STAFF PROFILES: Sally Bate – Partnership Manager (Mooroopna)

“We’re setting children up for success within an organisation that has a terrific culture, a great team and a long-term focus.

What roles have you worked in before Our Place?
I started my career in HR management. I moved into the adult learning and community engagement field, working at a Neighbourhood House.  Training, grants and funding and finally management of the Centre have been where I’ve spent my last decade until moving to Our Place.

What attracted you to work at Our Place?
Having worked in the adult learning area and seeing the challenges many adults returning to learning faced, I kept thinking we have to go younger — our intervention had to start earlier. What we were doing was attempting to put a Band-aid over a cut that needed stitches. The focus on the importance of early years in learning and breaking familial cycles of disadvantage was so relevant to my experience.

“It’s exciting to think that Our Place could make a difference

What’s your role now?
I’m a Partnership Manager, so I work closely with our partners to implement the Our Place approach in a way that engages them and draws out the best that everyone has to offer. The role also includes managing the site on a day-to-day basis and overseeing the role of Community Facilitators.

What specialised skills and knowledge do you use in your work?
Thinking broadly and strategically, understanding and navigating systems as well as understanding people.

Tell us about the communities you work with
We work with the children, families and community of Mooroopna — a small town only a few kilometres from Shepparton. It struggles with high levels of unemployment and social disadvantage.  The population is predominantly Australian-born and people of Aboriginal background are about 8% of the population.

What’s so great about working with Our Place?
We’re working within the system, but we’re also looking to change the system and make things better for those children and families.  

“We’re setting children up for success within an organisation
that has a terrific culture, a great team and a long-term focus

What is your favourite memory of working at Our Place?
Seeing the reaction from community members when they first came to our site and the excitement that was in the air around what was happening — that’s a highlight memory.

What are your interests and hobbies?
Family, friends, food, film, books and art are where I spend my out-of-work hours. Reluctantly, I add a bit of exercise into the mix. I like volunteering, so next on that agenda will be flipping burgers at an annual ‘bush doof’ music festival.

What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know?
I have an unhealthy interest in second-hand auctions and had a short-lived career in voiceover work.

I’m currently trying to work out how to build a dry-stone wall