Who you are and what you do?
Hi, my name is Rebecca, and I am currently working in Royal Far West’s Research & Service Innovation Team as the TAG Project Manager. The TAG project involves Health, Education and the Not-For-Profit sectors working together to use technology to deliver a mental health program to children in rural and remote areas who may be unable to access in-person services.
‘TAG’ stands for ‘Telehealth Approach to Got It!’. ‘Got It!’ is an in-person, school-based mental health early intervention program run in NSW primary schools, for children in kindergarten to grade 2. In the TAG project, we are trying to determine whether the ‘Got It!’ Program can be delivered via technology (Telecare), and under what conditions the program can be effective and a success.
My role in our Research team also involves input into strategic documents, data analysis, research/grant applications, attending conferences and liaising with external stakeholders/partners.
How long have you been here? Have you seen any changes during this time?
I have worked for RFW for almost five years. In this time, I have observed and contributed to the huge 10-fold growth in our ‘Telecare for Kids’ service, where we deliver speech, occupational therapy and psychology using technology, from seeing 50 kids to 500 kids via their school. We now reach six times the number of schools compared to when I first started!
When I joined RFW, I was coordinating the Telecare sessions. I then moved into program management, and now into research, where I can apply my learnings about Telecare to research and evaluation findings. I have seen our Telecare focus change from primarily helping children directly, to working with groups of children and in upskilling teachers and carers to optimise the learning of the children. This is important because it is through upskilling of those around a child in need that we will see a huge impact, not only on individual children but on classes and school communities as a whole.
What led you to work at RFW?
I was finishing my Master of Public Health (Advanced) and saw an opportunity to be a part of the health service at RFW. I came in for the interview and absolutely loved the office beach views! I could tell that RFW suited my passion for helping country kids to access the health and education services that they might not otherwise have access to, and I am excited to say this is the case!
What’s the best thing about working with families from rural and remote Australia?
Knowing you are helping families access a service that they might not have been able to access, particularly playing our part to help close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.
What do you think makes RFW unique?
The broad array of services we offer and the multiple ways we reach the children, from Telecare to Manly to in-community; the fact children can still attend school whilst they access health specialists; families who may have never seen the beach or the city can come down and see the sights in beautiful Sydney.