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Lenny running with the Commonwealth Games Baton giving high fives to children along the way

Even before she says a word, it’s clear Lenny Brown is a force to be reckoned with.

At age 12, Lenny started volunteering for her local community in Victoria. Between the ages of 15 and 18, Lenny amassed an impressive array of achievements, including:

  • Lion of the Year, Leo’s Club
  • Mayor of Gannawarra Shire Youth Council
  • Passed two legislations for the YMCA Youth Parliament
  • Premier’s Volunteer Champions Award (VIC) – Outstanding Youth Volunteers
  • Gannawarra Shire Citizen of the Year
  • Gannawarra Shire Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year
  • Baton Bearer for the Commonwealth Games

However, like the people she now supports in her role as a Recovery Support Worker, a couple of seemingly innocent life choices meant Lenny’s life took an unexpected turn.

And, like the people she now supports, it was St Bart’s which helped set her back on track.

Lenny worked in the debt collection industry during COVID’s initial outbreak. “The industry was draining me; I was in a very unhealthy relationship, and I was waking up for work everyday dreading the fact I had to go and sit in an office. I didn’t really know left from right anymore, I just knew I had to get up every day and do it.”

As a teenager, she was actively kept busy with volunteering commitments and proactive community engagement.

“As a fresh adult, I got distracted by all the nuisances and shiny bits of adulthood, and the activities I once thrived off got lost in the wind of life. I had personal circumstances impact my wellbeing, and from these I needed to recover,” she said.

The day she came for her interview with Gayle at St Bart’s was the day her appetite for community services was reignited.

“I remember after the interview just sitting in my car and staring at this building for what felt like hours. I had walked into a shell of a building, but when I came out of it, it wasn’t a building anymore. It was a place brimming with hope, vision and drive. I came out to a tower of wonder, a tower of opportunity, a tower of happiness and endless possibilities.”

Lenny embraced her opportunity to work at St Bart’s in a casual role, taking the chance to learn about the organisation, its services and its people. She started working full time in the Future Homes service in March this year and plans to stay with the company for the foreseeable future.

“I’ve got the best team of people to work with and a brilliant manager, who supports and educates me, I’m so thankful for all of it! I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together,” she said. 

“It’s just like this is the place I’m meant to be. As much as St Bart’s is here for the consumers and for the people we take care of – I feel like in turn, I have been given an amazing opportunity in my life to re-rail my career, re-rail my focus and really look at my purpose and what I want to do with my life.”

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