How Occupational Therapist Samual Armitage is achieving great things for children’s learning journeys…and his own
Samual Armitage has spent a lot of time travelling around Australia and Europe, experiencing some incredibly vibrant cultures along the way. Yet, none were quite like the caring, inclusive culture this driven Occupational Therapist discovered at Goodstart Early Learning. Find out how Samual creates meaningful outcomes for children, our teams and his career.
Supporting children and families to thrive
If there’s one word to describe Samual Armitage, it’s compassionate. Throughout his career, Samual has felt a deep drive to support people to live life to their fullest. And at Goodstart, this caring, values-led occupational therapist is making his most meaningful difference yet: partnering and collaborating with our Educators to give Australia’s children the best start in life.
“Working with children has been some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done,” Samual says. “Ages 0 to 5 is when you can make the most change. You can see that change quite visibly; it’s just incredible. And children are so lovely to work with. They bring a lot of genuine, pure joy to interactions - something that is difficult to find elsewhere! It’s a lot of fun.”
As a member of Goodstart’s team of allied health professionals, Samual plays an essential role. Based in New South Wales, he works as an integrated member of the four Centres he works across, to enhance children’s outcomes.
Samual partners with these centres to create stimulating environments that encourage children’s learning, play, self-management, and social and emotional development.
“The idea is to mentor and coach Educators to support children with additional needs - for example, children with austism spectrum disorder or global developmental delays. Some children have experienced trauma and have difficulty coping and engaging with others. So, I work closely with Educators to identify concerns related to a child’s development and find solutions to achieve learning goals. Educators are already extremely capable - we just give them that additional support to help raise their capacity and confidence.”
A culture of care and compassion
Samual grew up a self-described sports fanatic in Bathurst, NSW. Rugby was his passion. Unfortunately, Samual experienced a career-ending injury, which led him into the coaching space. He had always felt a drive to help people, and this experience further inspired Samual to explore a role in the health industry.
Samual was also deeply impacted by the difference his older brother, who was studying occupational therapy (OT), made in their parents’ lives.
“My brother, Robert, paused his studies to care for Dad, who had cancer. I saw how he was able to take the pressure off Mum. I realised Robert was like an advanced problem solver, which really gelled with me. I admired my brother a lot, and I still do. So, I felt like getting into OT was a natural choice for me.”
Samual had been working in private practice, delivering specialist supports to NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) participants, when he realised he wanted to make a more effective and lasting impact.
“It’s difficult to give people the best leg up in life when you only see them once a fortnight. I’d heard about Goodstart from a former colleague, Scarlett (Goodstart’s Speech Pathologist). I’d been scratching my head for so long, asking, ‘Why doesn't a more grassroots and personalised service exist?’ And it did - at Goodstart.”
Today, Samual’s unique skills and strengths are creating quality learning outcomes at Goodstart, where he’s found a culture of connection unlike any he’s experienced. “The main thing for me is the people. A huge part of this job is relationship building. Each centre has a really strong culture; everyone is different, but they’re gorgeous people with this amazing bond. People are so willing to take care of each other at Goodstart. I’ve been to and lived in many places, but these centres foster community better than most places I’ve seen.”
Empowered to make a difference
Samual values having the flexibility and autonomy he needs to support our centres. He also relishes the support of good leaders who encourage him to develop professionally and personally.
“Having a manager who supports, trusts and empowers me has been integral to my career,” Samual reflects. “My professional confidence has grown. I’ve also had a lot of opportunities for development. I’ve trained in Conscious Discipline, and I’m currently training in Augmented Assisted Communication Devices. If you express interest in expanding your professional knowledge and skills, Goodstart will find a way to support you in this”
Samual’s advice to other occupational therapists and allied health graduates? “As a new graduate, I’d definitely look at Goodstart. It’s not just the uniqueness of the role; the support structure is there. Supervision and personal development are guaranteed. So, I say go for it - it’s incredibly rewarding.”