The next interview in our 'Meet the team' series is with our Indusrty Liaison Team Leader for Queensland and New South Wales, Sara.
Industry Liaison Team Leader for QLD and NSW
What’s your role at Freedom?
I look after a team of Industry Liaison Clinicians and Officers and together we work with 10 Freedom villages across QLD and Northern NSW. Basically, my job is to stay in touch with the community, which includes meeting regularly with medical professionals such as GPs and hospital discharge planners and social workers, as well as potent ial residents looking to learn more about the home-care community model. I’ve been a registered nurse for 25 years so I also conduct assessments of potential residents.
Where are you based?
I don’t actually have a desk at any of the communities because I’m on the road so much. I do about 1000 kilometres of driving each fortnight so my car is my office! Every now and then I’ll have a home-office day to catch up on paper work or setting up appointments. It’s busy but I love it. Luckily my husband works close to home and my 14-year-old twin boys are pretty self-sufficient.
How did you end up working in aged care?
My first job at 16 was as a carer in aged care. Once I gained my nursing qualifications I spent some years in intensive care. But I’ve always gravitated to looking after older people. I think that the value of older people isn’t always appreciated, particularly in the aged care system, so it’s been my passion to change that and to be an advocate for elderly people.
Sara and resident at one of our community Open Days, getting into the spirit of the face painting!
What’s your view on aged care?
Unfortunately in aged care, much of the quality of care is just ‘ok’ and we are committed to changing that. At Freedom, our mission is to offer high quality care and an environment of respect and community/belonging, so residents can have a great quality of life. We are creating the kind of communities that we would want for our own parents, or even ourselves– when the time comes!
Describe a typical day
It’s always different but almost always involves being on the road, including monthly flights to Coffs Harbour. On a typical day I could be leading a call with my team, visiting potential residents in their homes or in hospital, meeting with GPs or discharge planners, or attending industry meetings and conferences.
What’s the best part of the job?
I love my job so much that it’s not even work to me. There are so many fantastic things about it. I get to make people happy every day. Seeing the smile on people’s faces when they move into a community is wonderful. And you can feel the relief of their families – their shoulders literally shrink three inches because the burden and worry has just melted away. A few weeks after new residents move in you see them grinning ear to ear – they’re so absorbed in their new life and new family and loving it. It can be life changing for everyone involved and I’m honoured to be able to be part of that, to have helped make it happen.
What’s it like to work at Freedom?
The work culture at Freedom is pretty amazing. When I first started I couldn’t believe how happy the staff were. Everyone who works here is really passionate about what they do. We’re all committed to transforming aged care. It’s an exciting time.
Meet more of the Freedom family!