Scholar Profile - Julie Cooper PDF Print E-mail
Julie Cooper


Executive Officer at Bess Home & Community Care Ina

Awarded a BankWest Foundation / Governance Institute scholarship for the Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits, 2014

What sort of work does your organisation do?

Bess Home and Community Care supports the frail aged, disabled people and their carers living in the City of Busselton and the Shire of Augusta/Margaret River to live independently in their own homes and continue to have social connections in their community.

Describe a typical day's work.

A typical day is knowing every day is going to be different. With all the changes happening in the Aged care and Disabilities sector new information is available all the time and keeping up to date with this can be time consuming. Ensuring the day to day running of the office is going smoothly and being there to support my staff also plays a part of each day. Having come up through the ranks and being fairly new to this position there is something new I learn everyday.

What are some of the key learnings from the Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits program?

Everything from understanding our constitution and the laws associated with it to the legal responsibilities of the board members. I now have a better understanding of Risk Management and how to assess and analyse risks to the organisation. I gained so much knowledge from the course. Every subject in the course was relevant and informative.

How has it impacted / changed / benefited your role and your organisation as a whole?

Having previously had no formal training in the area of Governance, I was like a sponge soaking up so much new information. Every subject had material that was directly relevant to me and my organisation. I feel with this knowledge I have gained more confidence in leading the organisation into the future. It has also made me realise that there are people out there that can assist you when you come across situations you do not have all the answers to.

How did you come to be working in the not-for-profit sector?

I made a change and moved from the metropolitan area and decided to make a career change at the same time. I have worked for my current organisation for the last eight years and have never looked back. The satisfaction from working in this industry, knowing you are making a real difference to peoples lives, is extremely rewarding.

What do you feel is most needed to sustain and build the impact of the not-for-profit sector?

Financial diversification. Many not-for-profits are dependent on government funding and planning for the future of the organisation can be challenging when there are so many variables that can make that continuation of funding uncertain. Attracting people with a broad range of skills to voluntary boards can also be difficult. Finding money for marketing, when competing against large commercial organisations is another issue.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I don’t think there is anything unusual about me or overly interesting. I think everyone is unique and that’s what makes meeting new people so interesting as we all have our own stories. Working in aged care I have the privilege of hearing some wonderful and heartbreaking life stories. Hearing what some people have been through in their lifetime and survived makes me hope that I can meet my life’s challenges with the same courage.

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"Having previously had no formal training in the area of Governance, I was like a sponge soaking up so much new information. Every subject had material that was directly relevant to me and my organisation."


Julie commenced work for Bess Home and Community Care in 2007 as a support worker. After completing a Cert III and IV in aged care she was promoted to the role of community service coordinator. Eventually she became the manager and later stepped into the Executive Officer role full time.

In 2014, ASF awarded Julie a Bankwest Foundation / Governance Institute scholarship to attend the Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits program.


Annual revenue / size:

Medium - $250,000 - $5m pa

Segment of NFP sector:


Operating in: