Treasurer since June 2021
In 2003, Sonia transferred from the University of Newcastle for a 3-year lecturing contract with the University of Tasmania, with the understanding that there would be plenty of time to see the island and do all the walks (having never been to Tasmania). She and her family immediately fell in love with the island and now have their “forever home” in Franklin, with their own jetty and 100-year-old wooden boat.
Sonia (now retired) lectured in accounting and corporate governance for over 20 years and has a PhD in governance and not-for-profit organisations. Her work as a lecturer was recognised by CPA with a Teaching Excellence Award.
Sonia is very passionate about volunteering and supporting others who volunteer, as that is the foundation of not-for-profit organisations. As such she has been actively involved in a diverse range of not-for-profit boards from dance groups (where, as Treasurer, she was able to organise DGR) to community legal centres (where, as Chair, she developed clear governance processes). Her current work as Treasurer on Volunteering Tasmania, the peak body for volunteering, has enabled her to assist many more volunteering organisations.
Moving to Franklin in 2014 meant that Sonia became fully immersed in the wooden boat culture. She joined the Living Boat Trust, learnt how to row St Ayles skiffs and learnt about building wooden boats. She was the Treasurer and a volunteer guide at the Wooden Boat Centre Franklin for 5 years. The Wooden Boat Centre was purchased by the community in 2014, so Sonia was involved in setting up Xero (accounting software) and the accounting processes, designing financial reports and governance processes useful for the board, and registering as a charity with the ACNC.
Although wooden boats are expensive when made from specialised timbers, they are truly an art form in their own right, and it is sharing this passion for this beauty and acknowledging all the skills involved in building and maintaining these pieces of art that made being a volunteer guide at the Boat School so rewarding. The AWBF does this on a much bigger scale, and with the current climate change concerns, recognising the sustainability of this art form can only benefit the Festival further.