Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Masters Qualifying (Psych) from the Australian National University in 1981, Thérèse went on to establish her own international business in 1989. Working as a rehabilitation counsellor, she founded the company, Ingeus, to assist people with injuries or disabilities to return to or enter the workforce.
Ingeus expanded from being a one person enterprise to employing more than 6,000 people in around 150 offices across 12 countries. Each year, her company assisted hundreds of thousands of socially and financially excluded people into independence through finding suitable sustained employment.
Thérèse fundamentally believes that people the world over, regardless of their age, background or circumstance, are best assisted when interventions focus on their strengths, not their constraints; increase their confidence; take the time to understand what gives their lives meaning; and provide them with control and choice.
She now works for herself and as a successful international businesswoman and entrepreneur, Thérèse has the ability to offer unique insights into topics such as reducing joblessness, social entrepreneurism and using evidence-based positive psychology concepts in business to help people flourish She is an inspiring innovator and advocate of using new technology platforms to help more people in more ways.
Her commitment to assisting people, however, goes well beyond her lifelong business skills. Thérèse is dedicated to assisting marginalised and disadvantaged people to achieve the means for optimal quality of life, and is active in the fields of disability, homelessness and maternal health.
In 2010, Thérèse was awarded the prestigious Australian Human Rights Medal for her ongoing work and commitment to celebrating and improving the lives of people with a disability and their carers, and was an active patron of the following organisations:
- Common Ground (Australia)
- The Indigenous Literacy Project
- UNICEF Australia’s maternal and infant health programs
- Ability First Australia
- International Paralympic Committee (Honorary Board Member)
- OzHarvest Food Rescue
- Arts Project Australia
- Livable Housing Australia
- The Bella Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
- ACT Junior Talent Squad for Athletes with a Disability
Thérèse’s passion for assisting people grew out of her own personal family experience and the values taught by her parents.
Her father, John Rein, a RAAF veteran, became wheelchair-bound after a plane crash in WWII. Told he would not walk or work again, he went on to become an aeronautical engineer, worked until retirement at age 65, raised a family, and represented Australia in the Paraplegic games (the forerunner to the Paralympics). Her mother, Elizabeth, was a physiotherapist.