Transcript – Meet Rose Glassock

I am Rose Glassock, and I'm a Network Specialist Facilitator, and I work out of the Nirimba office normally, and I look after Western Sydney right through to the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury, and I'm also a psychologist.

It certainly has been quite a year. I actually started wearing more of my psychologist hat and doing some bushfire recovery counselling. So, that's where the year began for me, working with schools. COVID was escalating, and in school services, we've been out of our offices, working remotely, since the end of March, so that's been, you know, quite an extensive period of time.

Professionally, that's been a challenge because, you know, all the connections and the connections with school that's really a part of the network specialist's job, we just had to try and work out, how do we do that remotely?

Another challenge, of course, is I work with different agencies, and it seemed, in the beginning especially, everyone used something else. So, it was almost like you could play technology bingo, you know, was it Zoom, was it WebEx, are we on Skype? So, how is all the technology working?

And personally, it was a really interesting challenge because I have had some health issues, and so, as things were escalating and the department started to talk about who needed to maybe work from home if you had suppressed immunity or other issues, I realised suddenly that that was me. So, I needed to take that into account as well, and actually, it sounds odd, but have that little moment of going, actually, that's the self-care I need to do, and it's not just thinking about, oh, that list applies to a whole lot of other people and not me. So, realising that, yeah, I needed to take some action to look after myself.

I'm one of those people who set up the home gym in the garage with my son, and we were doing workouts three times a week, and I joined a Zoom choir, and we were doing trivia on Zoom and Friday afternoon catch-ups with my friends, and it was all a bit new and, you know, novel, and then it just kept going.

So, I guess a keyword for me would sort of be relentless, and then I think, to describe how I, when I just sort of got into this blah area. So, things, you know, a lot of those novel things dropped off, I don't do them anymore, and it just, everything just seemed a bit more of an effort, a bit of lethargy set in, harder to get motivated. You know, why do I need to get out of my slippers, that sort of thinking.

Having a bit of a schedule and planning, in terms of work days, having a really set schedule of what I'm doing first thing in the morning. I'm really fortunate to live quite close to a colleague and live in the Blue Mountains, so we've been meeting every week and going for a walk. So, we set it up as a meeting time where we can go out into the bush, and we sort of talk about work one way, and then we do a U-turn and we have a nice social catch-up.

I work across Dharug land. And so, in Dharug language, there is a word called "Warami", which means, "It's good to see you." And so, I set up Warami meetings, and I just would have a little Zoom meeting with maybe three or four people literally just called Warami, with just the opportunity to go, hi, how are you going? How are you going, this is how I'm going, so a bit of a check-in, but also really just, normally, I would have spoken to you several times this term, and probably the same strategies personally. You know, if my mood's getting into that blah, apathy sort of zone, that's a time when I do have to just go for a walk, or doing something change of scene, a meeting outside in the sunshine, just trying to have those really deliberate actions when I can feel things are flattening out a bit.

I'm going to talk to the leaders in our schools and in the department with this as a Network Specialist. I'm working with schools with really complex cases, and I'll often be speaking with the principal or maybe the director of educational leadership, and I'll ask, they'll be talking to me about their staff, and I'll say, and how are you going, and they, often, reply will be, I'm fine, but I'm worried about my staff.

Our leadership is really good at looking out for their staff, and they obviously really value self-care in the team that they lead or in the staff that they work with, and not so good at doing it for themselves. I can see that you value self-care because you're really good at supporting your staff, and how do you enact that value when you're looking after your own self?

I really just think it's really important that everyone is gentle with themselves and just goes, it is an overwhelming year, and so, it's OK to have the not so great days, and how do I seek support, and just be really deliberate about that if they need to be.

It's OK to ask for help. Then you can help yourself and others. Care and connect.

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