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About Us

GIFTED & CREATIVE Services is dedicated to providing information and services that encompass and nourish the whole gifted person and meets emotional, intellectual, physical and educational needs. Since our inception in 1979, our focus has been on all aspects of giftedness. We know about emotional issues, intensity, sensitivity, perfectionism, and the very real needs of visual-spatial learners. We know how unique gifted individuals tend to be when it comes to learning style and self expression.

Lesley Sword

The Director of Gifted & Creative Services Australia is Lesley Sword, a consultant who specialises in the psychology of the gifted and who has worked with gifted people of all ages for over 15 years.

Lesley has formal qualifications in psychology, education, consulting and counselling. She also has extensive training in the social & emotional development of the gifted with leading experts from the USA and a Master's level unit in the Identification of Gifted Children from Charles Sturt University. She specialises in the emotional health and wellbeing of the gifted and has particular interest and expertise in the area of the emotional intensity and sensitivity of gifted children and the emotional and spiritual development of gifted adults. Lesley also works from her experience as the mother of adult gifted children.

Lesley has both expertise and years of experience in assisting gifted people of all ages. She does this by analysing individual’s personal, family, school and/or work situations, identifying barriers to both personal achievement and achievement in the world and helping them to develop strategy plans for overcoming these barriers.

Lesley has worked with gifted people of all ages for over 10 years and has assisted more than 700 gifted individuals, families and educators, Australia-wide.

Lesley is an accredited service provider with the Victorian Education Department Gifted Unit. She has studied with Professor Barbara Kerr from Arizona State University and Professor Nicholas Colangelo from the University of Iowa. In 1998 Lesley studied and worked in the USA with Dr Linda Silverman at the Gifted Development Centre and completed the Certificate of Emotional Development and Emotional Giftedness with Dr Michael Piechowski at the University of Denver. In 1999, by invitation, she went to the USA to work and study with Dr Annemarie Roeper in Oakland, California and with the Roeper School for the Gifted in Detroit.

Lesley is a regular presenter at conferences on giftedness and provides professional development for teachers, educational psychologists and guidance and welfare officers. She also gives talks and conducts courses for parents of gifted children.

Lesley's special interests are in the emotional and spiritual development of gifted children and adults.

David Harrison

Gifted & Creative Services Australia is pleased to welcome David Harrison as Manager, Creative Projects. David has worked closely with Lesley Sword over the past 10 years in developing Gifted & Creative Services, giving freely his time and expertise. David is a strong Visual Spatial Thinker with a keen interest in creativity and art.

David holds a Bachelors Degree in Health Administration and a Trained Primary Teachers Certificate. In addition to training as a teacher, David was a youth leader with the YMCA before going on to a wide-ranging career in Australia and overseas.

David has worked in both the private and the public sector in areas including: information management, health services management, program research, review and evaluation. He has held senior policy, administrative, review and evaluation positions within the public sector, was Manager of the Information Management Review Unit in the Victorian Education Department, Assistant Director (Administration) in the Cabinet Office, Department of Premier and Cabinet and was also Regional Director for the Goulburn North East (Hume) Region of the Victorian Department of Human Services.

As a management consultant, David has undertaken projects such as the evaluations of Cervical Cancer Screening Program, the National Mental Health Strategy, a review of HIV/AIDS services in the ACT and assessment of needs for services to people with Multiple Sclerosis. He has also undertaken extensive organisational reviews, evaluations and service rationalisations in areas including aged care, aboriginal health, disability services, community health and general medical practice. Currently David is the Director of Monash Research for an Aging Society at Monash University.

David’s special interests are the mentoring and support of gifted young people and the development of programs to support creativity in adults and children.

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