"The magic of Leadership WA truly is the cohort."

Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Psychologist at Therapy Focus, is driven by human connection and the potential to positively impact the lives and mental health outcomes of others.

A career that took shape in adolescence after experiencing a series of tragic suicidal losses, Rebecca felt motivated to change the narrative of poor mental health and the lack of immediate support.

“I started volunteering at Women’s Aid, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. It was an eye-opening experience for my 16-year old self, but it was exactly what I needed to catalyse my studies and ultimately this journey to helping others see their own potential.”

Now, Rebecca not only provides life-changing clinical support for people with disability, but leads strategic development, governance, design and implementation of funding stream diversification. Rebecca also sits on the Board of Mental Illness Fellowship of Western Australia, where she contributes to empowering Western Australians to live a life of meaning.

“I’ve learnt that I thrive on setting myself new challenges, change energises me. Humbly speaking, leadership opportunities have presented themselves to me throughout my career.”

Mentorship has formed a large part of Rebecca’s leadership journey, and as an advocate for asking for help at all cross-sections, the opportunity of the Rising Leadership Program came highly suggested.

“It was time to lean into leadership, I knew how to support people and to empower a sense of belonging, but I needed to develop my capabilities to lead. I was fortunate to receive great encouragement to embark on the Program by Leadership WA Alumni whom I had, and continue to have, the pleasure of working with.”

Attributing her newfound self-awareness of personal abilities, boundaries, and confidence in the unique value she brings to the table, Rebecca reflects on the continuing impacts of the Program.

“The magic of Leadership WA truly is the cohort; it is such a rare opportunity to sit in a room with such sheer diversity. Formed mutually on genuine grounds, these individuals are now the people I call to brainstorm, seek advice, or simply have a laugh. The power of humour should never be underestimated.”

“The Alumni network has been one of the most powerful tools in my leadership journey. Since graduating I’ve been proactive in approaching leaders within this community, all have been so receptive to meet up and share their leadership journeys with me.”

Describing her leadership style as firm, fair and relational, Rebecca places a high value on ensuring her team feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work.

“Having consideration that we are all human with intricate lives outside of office hours has helped build trust and humanity in my leadership roles. I try to maintain an even-keel temperament regardless of outcomes changing or projects not going to plan. As a leader I believe I have the responsibility to support others, stay calm, fail fast, and keep momentum.”

Rebecca’s advice to emerging leaders is to not let small moments define who you are.

“Setbacks happen, learn from them rather than dwelling on them. Ask for feedback and be vulnerable, this is one of the most valuable ways to grow as an individual and a leader. Lastly, you are deserving of the role or position you find yourself in, validate not only those around you, but yourself too.”