Barb grew up in Avoca and went to Campbell Town District High School while her father and grandfather built and operated the Avoca Sawmill until the timber industry downturn in the mid-2000’s. Barb lives in a tiny rural town in the Northern Midlands with her husband and two children, and enjoys bushwalking and camping, especially when it helps raise funds for Tasmania’s youth. She successfully completed the Whitelion Three Peaks Challenge in 2009, 2016, 2017, which involves three mountains across three states in 33 hours, and thinks there’s nothing better than standing at the top of Mt Kosciuszko at sunset. She has also completed the Tasmanian Overland Track to raise money for disadvantaged youth.
Barb believes that rural Tasmania offers the best possible workplace, and that country people are the backbone of our state. “Each day is different and we are able to interact with so many inspiring people who trust us to share their highs and lows as they navigate their way through life.’’ Barb believes it is important that organisations like RAW are there to offer practical and meaningful support when the going gets tough, and that we are visible and accessible across the entire state.
Barb is steadfast in not taking mental health and well-being for granted, and views mental health on a continuum, where the gauge can trip from being well (green), to being impacted by situational stressors (amber), to having a diagnosable mental illness (red), and back again. ''The amber space is where RAW can really help, by assisting others to stay out of the red zone'' by addressing the situational stressors (e.g., relationship issues, financial worries, traumatic events, physical health, family or work pressures, etc.) that can impact on wellbeing. Often, after the practical issues have been resolved with a little help, many will be able to bounce back to the green zone. Barb is proud to be heading up the organisation and supporting rural Tasmanians in this way.