Meet the team: Felicity

Hi. My name is Felicity. A little over a year ago I joined the Corporate and Philanthropic Partnerships team at Royal Far West. My role involves raising awareness with Trusts and Foundations about how we support children and families across rural and remote areas of Australia.

My role requires a detailed understanding of the work we do and of the communities and families we work with so I can demonstrate the value of our services to encourage potential partners to support us. I think it helps that I grew up in the country. I’m a farmer’s daughter from the central-western town of Gulgong and I have family and friends scattered right across NSW. I know how challenging, and at times downright unfair, life in rural Australia can be. I’m also a mum who struggled to navigate health and education systems to find appropriate supports (even in Sydney!) for a child.

Having an understanding of our clients’ lives and communities and their hopes for their children is one of the reasons I chose to work at Royal Far West.

My typical day

A typical day for me includes matching our needs as an organisation with potential funders, working across Royal Far West to create an appropriate funding proposal, and then presenting these proposals. This involves lots of research, plenty of listening, a fair few meetings, site tours and presentations, and copious amounts of writing.

It’s a very competitive space, and it is not uncommon to find we are one of hundreds, or sometimes even thousands, of applicants vying for a handful of grants or partnerships. It is important to focus on the best aligned opportunities to give a win-win to both Royal Far West and our new partners as they become valuable supporters of our work for country kids. Additionally, the other key part of my role is “stewarding”, which is grant-land terminology for account management and building long term relationships. It involves demonstrating the wise use of the money we’ve been granted, and keeping our funders informed of the activities, outcomes and impact being achieved through their wonderful support.

Importance of funding

We are a charity, and funding from Trusts and Foundations allows us to innovate and refine the services we provide to country communities. Funding from Trusts and Foundations secures end-to-end holistic, wraparound care for country kids, and support for those who care for them. It’s money for activities and services falling outside government funding parameters and rebate schemes such as Medicare and NDIS. It’s money that reaches where commercial arrangements (either for direct service providers or sponsors) fall short. It’s funding that helps us make the greatest possible difference for those most isolated, and most in need.

At the moment, funding from Trusts and Foundations supports the Healthy Kids Bus Stop, our travelling developmental health screening program for children aged 3-5, which is free-of-charge for participants. This very collaborative program is run in partnership with Local Health Districts, Aboriginal Medical Services, Primary Health Networks, preschools, schools and community service organisations, all working together to identify any health or developmental barriers children might be facing, and then helping them to access care, so they are ready to learn when they start school.

Trusts and Foundations are also making additional specialist psychiatrist-level assessment and review sessions available, supporting Telecare sessions in psychology, speech and occupational therapy, purchasing consumables and supplies for our benevolent orthodontic program enabling research, and bringing new experiences, laughter and smiles to all the visiting children who join our recreation program each afternoon when their health care and education requirements are done for the day.

Contact details

If you’re interested in supporting Australia’s country kids, or learning more about what we do in the Corporate and Philanthropic Partnerships team, I’d love to hear from you on 02 8966 8500 or via  felicitym@royalfarwest.org.au

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