Jordan Ablett is no stranger to the spotlight and now she’s using her profile to make a real difference to vulnerable women making the joyous, but often tough, transition to motherhood.
The wife of AFL superstar Gary is the new ambassador of The Babes Project, a crisis pregnancy support service.
The important role is a natural progression for Jordan, who has worked as a teacher’s aide and youth worker.
She tells Geelong Coast Kids reporter Melissa Grant about her passion for working with children, her own childhood and her future plans with Gary.
First of all, welcome back to Victoria. How does it feel being back here permanently with Gary?
Thank you very much! We’re really happy to be back as Victoria is very much home to us. Despite missing the constant sunshine up on the Gold Coast, nothing beats being home and spending time with family.
You’ve recently become an ambassador for The Babes Project, a not-for-profit pregnancy support organisation. How have you been enjoying the role?
It wasn’t too long ago that I sat down with Helen Parker (founder and managing director of The Babes Project) and had a really good, deep and meaningful conversation about the project and the heart and motivation behind it. As I listened to Helen, it was really obvious to me how passionate she is about getting alongside these women in what is a really significant season in their lives… pregnancy and becoming a mum! Instantly I knew that I wanted to be a part of The Babes Project (TBP) and to use the platform that I have to help make a real difference in the lives of these beautiful women and their babes.
It’s a role where you interact with a lot of pregnant women and newborns – have you learnt anything surprising about pregnancy or babies?
I’ve definitely learnt many things from them. However something I want to touch on is what has mostly stood out to me, and that has been their personal stories around the incredible impact that the project has had on them and how supported they now feel. We recently had a breakfast together and I found myself holding back tears when I listened to one mum in particular being really honest about how she often feels really judged in public for being a young mum and how people aren’t afraid to express their opinions. She then went on to talk about how TBP has made her feel valued and empowered and totally loved and appreciated. I loved hearing that!
We understand your family has some exciting baby news?
Yes! My oldest sister is about to give birth to her first baby, which our family are really looking forward to. My sisters and I are so close, so to have a new member on board and a part of our tribe is really exciting! We’re not sure whether she’s having a boy or girl yet but we shall soon find out.
You grew up on the Mornington Peninsula with your two older sisters. It’s such a beautiful spot – what are some of your favourite childhood memories?
I did. The Mornington Peninsula is where I feel most at home. I love getting back there whenever I can to just surround myself with family and those childhood memories. I’m such a sentimentalist so I’m constantly the one in our family who’s always reminiscing and trying to recreate a moment. I lived there from the very beginning and right up until I moved up to the Gold Coast in early 2016 when Gary and I married.
The beach was a place where we would often go as kids as it was so close to where we lived. I remember walking along the sand, collecting hundreds of shells and always competing with my sisters to find the best ones. I come from an Italian family also so a lot of my memories involve plenty of food and lots of laughter and good long conversations around the table.
You’re also a teacher’s aide and have been a youth worker. What do you love about working with kids?
I’m passionate about working with people who are vulnerable. I tend to be drawn to those who are mostly vulnerable, whether that be kids, people with special needs and disabilities, youth or the elderly.
My work over the years has involved spending time with a young boy with autism one-on-one after school where we’d have a real focus on social interaction. I also led and mentored youth in my role as a youth worker at a high school southeast of Melbourne. I really enjoyed this as I would often have students come into my office and really confide in me about what was going on in their world both at school and at home. I loved being able to sit with them and listen, especially when they didn’t feel valued and understood in their family and friendship circles. Separate to my role as a youth worker, I would also assist as an integration aide working closely with students with special needs and/or learning difficulties. And lastly, I did some voluntary work up on the Gold Coast at a retirement village 15 minutes from our home where I would spend good and quality time with the elderly. This also was something that had a real impact on me. I would often sit and just be with mostly the ones who didn’t have family or did but never had the blessing of having them come and visit.
Finally, you’ve got strong connections with family and friends in Geelong and Gary has publicly said he’d love to have a family of his own one day – do you see yourself here long-term?
We’re currently in the process of building a house together in Jan Juc. The plan has always been that once it’s ready to move into we will live there for as long as G continues to play football and then we’ll reassess post football. An option is to make the Jan Juc house a holiday home as it’s so close to the beach and then look elsewhere for our family home, whether we build or buy I’m not too sure. We do love areas such as Malvern, Armadale and then of course the Mornington Peninsula, in particular Mount Eliza. But we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes!