Meet the Team: Sophie

Meet Sophie, our Partnerships Coordinator here at Royal Far West

Hi, my name is Sophie and I am a Partnerships Coordinator at Royal Far West (RFW).

What does your role involve?

I work closely with our Schools and Early Years Services funders to ensure a high level of service delivery is achieved. Our aim is to provide the greatest level of care for the children, with the funding provided.

How long have you been with Royal Far West?

Two years

What led you to work at RFW?

I have a passion for working with children and supporting them to grow into the best little humans they can be! Before working at RFW, I was a primary school teacher for six years. I loved the hands-on nature of being in the classroom, however over the years I found the role and demands of being a teacher were changing and I decided to make a change in my career. Although I was no longer in the classroom, I knew I still wanted to help and support children. This led me to find RFW.

Have you seen any changes in the sorts of issues children have during your time at Royal Far West?

Throughout my career, even before starting at RFW when I was teaching, I could see that the issues children were experiencing were becoming more and more complex, and the number of children needing mental health support was growing. These changes have continued to be apparent since working at RFW.

Can you describe your typical day?

What I find exciting about my role is that each day is always a little bit different. However, one part of my day that is always consistent is it starts with exercise and coffee! After that, I might spend my day speaking with funders and resolving issues, collecting data for reports, or writing proposals and contracts. I also meet with RFW clinicians to plan visits to communities to provide face-to-face services. A part of my role that I really love is when I get to go along on these visits into communities and meet and chat with some of the families and educators that we support. Going into the community really helps you understand why we do what we do and how much our service can benefit these communities.

What do you love about working with families from rural and remote Australia?

I have found it so rewarding to be able to offer services and help communities who have limited access to allied health.

What do you think makes RFW unique?

RFW is unique in that everyone I have met who works here is so dedicated to helping and making a difference to the lives of the children who access our services.

Can give us an example of a family’s positive outcomes through working with RFW?

While on outreach, we met a father who shared his daughter’s journey with hearing and speech difficulties due to needing grommets. She was referred to RFW through her kindergarten and her dad was amazed and so grateful for the progress she made working with one of our Speech Pathologists. He couldn’t believe the transformation the service had made on his daughter’s life.

Where’s your country? – Where do you feel most connected to?

My parents are Kiwi’s and every summer when I was growing up, we used to stay in a town called Russell in the Bay of Islands. Although I don’t get to visit so often anymore, it is a place that I have such a strong connection with. When I am there, I feel calm and at peace.

Can you share some career highlights from your time at Royal Far West?

Being able to travel to Qld multiple times to provide services to children in regional and remote kindergartens has been a massive highlight of my role. Being able to see the children we are supporting, chat with their parents and hear firsthand the positive benefits our service provides them has made a big impact on me.


Read more about our Schools & Early Years Services here