Military partners have a reputation for being resourceful and determined, and Emily Healy is no exception.
Military partners have a reputation for being resourceful and determined, and Emily Healy is no exception. She created the services her family needed but couldn’t find in their remote posting location and now she is growing her business with the help of Prince’s Trust Australia.
Emily Healy was living in a remote part of the Northern Territory when two of her children were diagnosed with learning difficulties and disabilities.
She knew they needed specialised help, but that help was nowhere to be found.
So she created her own support service.
Almost a decade on, the RAAF partner and mum of five is the owner of Tailored Developmental Therapies, a growing business, now based in Adelaide, helping clients across the country.
Emily said it all started when her family was living in the Tindall region and two of her daughters had a “multitude of diagnoses” thrown at them.
“I wasn't happy with what the specialists and other professionals were saying with regards to the brain – ‘this is just how it's going to be’,” she said.
“I knew even at that point that the brain was malleable, we could change it.
“One (daughter) was never really going to learn how to read and I wasn't going to accept that. “The other daughter had some extremely difficult emotional regulation problems. And I didn't want her to have that for the rest of her life.
“So that really drove me to find something better for them.”
Working as a teacher at the time, Emily knew her children weren’t the only one in need of help.
So, with some extra training and education, Emily setup Tailored Learning Centre, which grew into Tailored Developmental Therapies.
Now based in Adelaide and with qualifications that include a degree in social welfare, a graduate diploma in teaching, a master’s in special education and a post graduated certificate in positive behaviour support, Emily is determined to ensure families can access therapies that make a difference.
“We offer mentoring, counselling and customised therapies that help with a range of learning difficulties and disorders for toddlers, students and adults,” she said.
“We're able to customise our approach to support (clients)to rewire their brain, basically.
“We use neuroplasticity therapies that help create nerve nets and pathways in the brain for efficient processing of information.”
And while Emily has grown her business to include six staff members, with more to come, there have been plenty of challenges along the way.
She said the hardest part was balancing her “urge to help others and provide such life-changing therapies” with building a financially sound business, being a military wife and being a mother.
“Then there is me in there as well…my self-care and all those things that I need,” she said.
“I'm really lucky that I've got the most amazing and supportive husband.”
Emily said the business of running a business often took a backseat.
But at the start of this year she enrolled in the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Online program, which supports veterans and their spouses in starting and growing small businesses.
Emily said the program gave her a chance to reflect on her business and the opportunity to connect with and mentor other military spouses on the business journey.
“They've definitely given me ideas of ways to network more and grow my reach,” she said.
In the future, Emily wants to use her skills to help defence families.
She said she’d love to run a program to help parents better connect with their kids and take the pressure off services such as Open Arms.
“I was a defence kid and I got to the point, I think it was my seventh school, where I decided to not make friends anymore…because I'm going to leave in two years, or 18 months, it's really not worth it,” she said.
“(I want to help) make emotionally resilient kids and emotionally resilient families to be able to go well yeah we're moving in two years, but it's still a good idea to make friends.”
Photo by Karen Waller Photography