From Melbourne to Mauritius, a story of hope, care and community

From Melbourne to Mauritius, a story of hope, care and community


It’s not every day you are a guest speaker at a Woman’s Senior Citizen’s EID celebration, a guest at an Independent Commission Against Corruption conference, present to 40 NGO workers on Supporting Infant Development, and meet with the Vice President of Mauritius to share the experience of working at Tweddle with vulnerable families in Australia. But that’s just what Tweddle’s Early Parenting Practitioner and Social Worker Amelia Dupla has achieved in one impactful working holiday to Mauritius.

We are incredibly fortunate at Tweddle to have so many amazing staff sharing their experience, skills and passion for babies, families, and communities. When we are able to gain deeper insights into our colleagues, we can understand the full impact of how the families we care for (and each other) may learn and benefit.

During Amelia’s Tweddle induction interview at the end of 2021, she recalls her sweating palms, her shaking voice and a manager asking her the question “What would you like to gain from working at Tweddle?”

Her response? “Well, one day I hope I can further learn about infant development and use this knowledge to practice in Mauritius and help the community where my mother grew up.”

And while this was an honest response, Amelia thought this would be a bucket list item that will be checked off in perhaps decades from that date.

From Dreams to Reality for Amelia

What felt like a distant pipe dream of Mauritius became a reality quicker than Amelia expected when she recently took the huge step and followed her dreams. Thankfully, Amelia has recently returned to Tweddle to continue her wonderful work.

She tells her story here of what inspired her, what she learned, what she shared, and the incredible people that she met along the way (not to mention a special message for her Tweddle colleagues).

Each one Help one

“My mother is a proud Mauritian that lived in a sugar cane plantation, my grandfather Louis was an orphan and greatly benefited from charity growing up and instilled a family value of ‘Each one help one’ always giving back to charity and to those less fortunate.  Mauritians generally value hospitality, sharing and caring for our neighbours, all with a smile and a joke or two. ”

“I grew up listening to my grandparents and mothers’ stories of Mauritius, colourful stories of tropical village life, eating mangos and lychees straight from their backyard tree, spending Sundays at the beach while dancing along to Sega.”

Charity and Hospitality

“I was very fortunate to get in touch with and partner with SOS Children’s Villages International and M-kids once I realised I would be in Mauritius to visit family in April/May this year.  Both are national NGO’s that work with the most vulnerable children and families experiencing poverty.  The CEO and Founder of M-Kids Iman was kind enough to greet me personally and invited me to celebrate EID with his family.”

“Imam was also very generous in taking the week off to organise lots of cross-cultural exchange opportunities, where I was able to visit members of the community, hear their stories and life experiences firsthand ask questions about parenting challenges and the social climate of Mauritius all while being fed mountains of Biryani and Fromage Samosas followed by litres of tea and Pepsi.  I learnt a lot about Mauritian social worker perspectives of practice, what they value and their strengths (Compassion, humour, patience and more).”

The universal importance of Grandparents to infants 

“I was kept busy once they realised I was an Australian social worker and I learnt that there were many opportunities to help in Mauritius, all that was required from me was saying yes. This ranged from being a guest speaker at a Woman’s Senior Citizen’s EID celebration and invited to talk about the importance of Grandparents in raising infants, and also attended a youth camp to encourage young people to complete their studies.”

“I was also lucky to be a guest at the ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) of Mauritius conference to learn about the issues of corruption in Mauritius.”

“M-kids also offered me the chance to exchange information with other NGO professionals such as Australian social policy and history, information I have learnt from my Social work degree in Australia and my experiences and especially my knowledge I’ve attained from Tweddle.”

Sharing Australian Perspectives; First 1000 Days, ACEs & Brain Development 

“I was invited to provide an educational seminar entitled “Importance of Supporting Infant Development” to 40 various NGO workers from Mauritius and Madagascar breaking down the concepts of the first 1000 days, the effects of Neglect and Toxic stress on brain development, ACES’s and how to support new parents in vulnerable situations (Thankfully I had a translator to break these concepts down in Kreol Morisien).”

“I was also fortunate enough to be asked if I would like to meet with the Vice President of Mauritius Sir Marie Cyril Eddy Boissézon to share my experience of working at Tweddle with vulnerable families in Australia. During the meeting I was able to advocate for increased funding to early childhood services and the creation of safe spaces for vulnerable families and in particular pregnant woman and new mothers experiences family violence, and education for Social workers to be more informed about infant mental health when working with parents.”

“Through these amazing experiences I was able to stop and listen to many Mauritians and ask about their words of advice. For example, A 70-year-old woman that runs a food bank in her pantry reminded me to always remember to stop and help anyone around you, to stay humble and kind and it will be returned to you and “if you are generous enough and it becomes something you don’t have to think about, you think less, which means less worry.” I can’t argue with that logic.”

Inspired by Tweddle Co-workers

“I am very grateful for Tweddle with providing me with the education I could pass on to others. I am constantly inspired by my amazing co-workers and parents that I have the privilege to work with.”

Thank you for teaching me new things every shift. I am grateful for a workplace that supports me In ticking off ‘bucket list’ items and providing me with the opportunity to help my community, whether it is helping babies and parents my community of the western suburbs of Melbourne or helping babies and parents in my mother’s motherland of Mauritius.”

I will finish with a quote I saw painted on the side of a school in Pamplemousses, 10 minutes from my mother’s village.

“Si j’ai plus de chance que d’autres, je dois construire une table plus longue, pas une clôture plus haute.”  – (“If I am more fortunate than others, I need to build a longer table, not a taller fence.”)

Merci, Amelia 

Thank you Amelia

Tweddle takes immense pride in the passion and commitment displayed by its staff, as they continue to uplift families, fostering healthy development and nurturing stronger communities.

Thank you, Amelia, for sharing your story and inspiring others and caring for babies, families and communities.

Amelia Dupla and Vice President of Mauritius Sir Marie Cyril Eddy Boissézon
Translate »