MARCH 2018 | Cody Handley
SANDRA THOMAS is the new coordinator of Deloraine House.
Meander Valley Gazette spoke to Sandra in February to learn a bit about the House’s new head honcho.
Originally from Orange in NSW, Sandra has lived and worked on the Gold Coast and in Sydney prior to moving to Tasmania last October.
She has always been drawn to Tasmania ever since her first holiday here when she was 18 years old. “I fell in love with the place,” she said, and she has been coming back regularly ever since. Each time she made the trip across Bass Strait she always felt as if she had to re-visit Deloraine.
Last year she made the call to move here.
“Once I’d made the decision to move, it all happened really quickly,” said Sandra. Within 21 days she had ditched the Gold Coast for Deloraine. “When I got here I felt like I could breathe again,” she said, giving her slow gravitation towards the state an air of inevitability.
Sandra has a background in finance and superannuation. From there, she moved into disability support and counselling. At one point in her career she was a personal trainer. When asked about this curious move, Sandra said she has always had a bit of a coaching style, even during her time in the finance world where she helped people to reach savings goals and to pay o their loans.
Although she admits she is still learning the ropes, Sandra has a clear vision for Deloraine House.
Having a personal interest in mental health issues, Sandra places an emphasis on “acknowledging it’s out there and stopping the stigma around it.”
She says there is a tendency to see organisations like Deloraine House as being for people down on their luck or out of work. It is Sandra’s hope to begin a process of educating the public as to what Deloraine House can do for anyone in the community.
“Essentially we do whatever people need us to do when they walk in here,” she said. That can range from putting people in touch with various people or services through to helping people get to appointments. “It’s about coaching people into a better lifestyle,” she said.
Deloraine House is always on the lookout for volunteers, with a number of areas to suit people’s interests. Recently they had a circus trailer donated to them and are looking for people with relevant knowledge and skills to use this asset to do something for the children. They also run a community garden and welcome any excess produce that community members might have from their own gardens.
If you want to know more, volunteer, or think Deloraine House might be able to do something for you, Sandra invites you to drop in for a coffee and a chat.
Photo | Mike Moores