“I like being able to make a real difference, not only to people with asthma and COPD, but more broadly, to help people in Western Australia.” – Sarah, Chief Finance Officer
It takes an array of skills and experience to keep an organisation like Asthma WA going, including a number of critical roles working behind the scenes. One of those people is our Chief Finance Officer, Sarah who has been with our organisation for more than 13 years.
Initially, Sarah joined the Asthma WA team as an Accounts Officer, having come from another non-profit organisation in a similar role. By 2011, Sarah became our Finance Manager and six years later, she was promoted to her current role.
Sarah has seen the organisation grow and evolve during her tenure, and when asked what she loves most about Asthma WA, she had quite the list!
“I love learning and I’m still learning in this role. I’ve never stopped learning. I learn through my role, from the CEO, from the staff and from the diverse range of people we work with,” Sarah told us.
Sarah’s father and sister also have asthma, and although their conditions are relatively mild, she does recall a moment when she was about 12 years old that made her realise how serious asthma can be.
“My sister was about two or three at the time. She was hospitalised because her asthma. It came on so quickly. It was really scary. Because of that moment, I took note of what to look for. I knew what warning signs to look for and what to do if it happened again.”
Looking back over her years of being at Asthma WA, Sarah has an eclectic mix of memorable moments. One event that stands out the most was getting up early so she could be at the registration desk before the participants in the Freeway Bike Hike. Sarah recalls watching the sunrise while she was setting up her station.
Another memorable event was when Sarah hugged a rugby player! Sarah enjoys meeting new people, especially people she wouldn’t normally meet. In this instance, it was the team at the Western Force who the organisation worked with during its Tackling Asthma campaign. Sarah was fascinated to learn about what they do, where they train and what makes them tick.
Outside of work, Sarah enjoys stories; she enjoys reading, watching tv and movies and even playing computer games – anything that has a story. Particularly fantasy, science fiction and a good old ‘who done it’.
While we like to ask our team for a favourite recipe to share, it’s a little different with Sarah, as she calls herself a ‘good vibe cook’.
“I’m not a baker, but I like to cook. I read a recipe, and I’ll follow it to a point, and then I do what I like and add or take things out. I’m pretty good at working out what flavours work well together.”
So, alas, we don’t have a recipe to share with you, we do have a fun way to enjoy Christmas with your family!
Sarah loves to play games with her family, particularly at Christmas time. While they have their traditions of stockings from Santa in the morning, it’s worth noting they are made from cut-up pantyhose and attached to a bed with a nappy pin. And then there are the croissants with jam for breakfast, with Christmas antipasto lunch being the main event.
Once they have digested their meal, the real fun begins. Each year, Sarah’s family take turns in hosting Christmas and coming up with a new theme for a treasure hunt. Sarah admits it can get pretty intense, describing one year when her sister had decorated the garage so it looked like a scene from a bank robbery, with string ‘lasers’ that everyone had to navigate through before getting the prizes. Another year, clues were hidden inside some jelly!
Christmas with Sarah’s family sounds like a real hoot and has given us a number of ideas for our own families to try out this year.
(Photo at top of page: Sarah with Western Force’s Junior Rasolea, 2015)