Our SNS team

About Us 

Sapphire Neighbourhood Services, formerly known as Far South Coast Family Support Service, has been operating in the Bega Valley since 1987. The organisation is part of a state-wide network of Family Support Services in NSW and is a member of NSW Family Services Inc and the NSW Local Community Services Association, both peak bodies in the community services sector.

Sapphire Neighbourhood Services in Bega, NSW, 2550
support groups at sapphire neighbourhood services

About Sapphire Neighbourhood Services

Sapphire Neighbourhood Services (SNS) receives the majority of its funding through the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. We are currently funded to provide programs under two funding streams:
Targeted Earlier Intervention Program: Provides advice and support to individuals and families with dependant children aged 0-18 years, along with individualised and group parenting programs, information, advice and referral. Self-referrals are encouraged, and the length of support may range from a single appointment to several months or longer.
Intensive Family Preservation Program: Provides intensive case management to families with dependant children aged 0-18 who have been referred by the Department of Communities and Justice and where children are at imminent risk of harm. We work with families in this program over an extended period, usually twelve months, and will always allocate at least two case workers to support the family’s needs.
Additional grants are also sought to deliver short-term projects and new activities.

Where can you see us?
We offer appointments in Eden, Merimbula, and our main office in Bega. For people with transport or access issues, we can see you at your home, in any area of the Bega Valley. Alternatively, we can arrange to see you at another public location if that makes you feel more comfortable.

What do we provide?
We support people experiencing a range of family-related challenges including parenting difficulties, relationship issues, child safety or developmental issues, substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health issues. Our services include but are not limited to casework, parenting education, information and advice, support groups, counselling, advocacy and referrals.

How do we work?
SNS takes an integrated approach to service delivery that recognises the need for using diverse approaches to creating meaningful outcomes. We work within a person-centred and trauma informed philosophy that prioritises safety, inclusivity, personal liberty and holistic service provision.
We take a strengths-based approach by valuing and supporting the unique skills, qualities and capabilities of each individual; and focusing on people’s strengths, not deficits, in all areas of our work.
We work with people in an empowering way by ensuring that they:

  • Are consulted in decisions affecting their lives
  • Understand the range of options available to them
  • Have the information they need to understand their options and their consequences
  • Set their own goals and priorities, making an informed choice from the available options

SNS follows the Australian Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian’s Child Safe Standards.

Our Board of Directors actively works to maintain our status as a local employer of choice, ensuring SNS ‘walks the talk’ in supporting staff in a way that is also strengths-based and person-centred.

What can you expect?
When you contact us for the first time we will take down some basic details to make sure we are the right service for you. We can often help people with brief enquiries and information over the phone, without you needing an appointment.
For people seeking appointments, we will try to get back to you within one business day to arrange a meeting to understand your needs and goals, get your consent for service delivery, and tell you about your rights and responsibilities.
If you have a particular issue that we aren’t qualified to assist with, we will give you advice and options about where you can get the right support for your issue.
If you have special requirements relating to your language, culture, pronouns, chosen name, identity or other characteristics, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate these.

Meet Our Team

Sapphire Neighbourhood Services is fortunate to have a diverse and multi-skilled team including a Service Manager, and numerous caseworkers and clinicians. All staff have tertiary qualifications, including some with postgraduate qualifications in social science disciplines including Counselling, Family Play Therapy, Aboriginal Health and Public Health. We prioritise the ongoing professional development of our team.


Hello, I’m James, the current Service Manager for Sapphire Neighbourhood Services. I have spent most of my adult life working with survivors of significant abuse and trauma. This experience has been broad ranging, from policing and statutory child protection to non-government programs working with vulnerable children and families. I have a particular interest in working with men exhibiting violent or abusive behaviours in the home and am currently completing my Graduate Certificate in Men’s Behaviour Change (MBC) – a nationally recognised qualification relating to domestic and family violence. As well as managing the team here at SNS, I also continue to work directly with families using our service and participate in regular Safety Action Meetings with my colleagues at SAMs


Hi there, I’m Valerie, an accredited Social Worker and have been employed in various roles within the community welfare sector overseas and here in Australia for around 15 years. I have been working as a Child, Youth and Family worker for the last 10 years and am passionate about supporting families and communities. Working collaboratively with others, group facilitation and casework are all enjoyable parts of my role here at Sapphire Neighbourhood Services.
I am trained in several parenting and relationship programs such as, Circle of Security, Bringing up Great Kids (Australian Childhood Foundation), Stormbirds (Australian trauma informed natural disaster response program) and Love Bites (Healthy relationship program for young people). I also facilitate the Bega Playgroup and love supporting families in these early stages of development and assisting in forming meaningful relationships and connections.
I am currently completing my studies in Interplay Therapy, a humanistic attachment-based relationship therapy model to work therapeutically with children, young people and adults to assist in processing, healing and recovering from complex and ongoing trauma and early childhood experiences.


Hey I’m Jade. I have been working in the Community Service sector for the past 13 years. I am passionate about working alongside families in meaningful ways, that support and strengthen family relationships. I also enjoy running group work and I am a trained and an experienced facilitator of a variety of programs delivered by Sapphire Neighbourhood Services including, Caring Dad’s parenting program, Tuning in to Teens, Bringing up Great Kids and Circle of Security.
I also enjoy getting out into the community to deliver Love Bites – a Healthy Relationships program delivered to adolescents attending all the high schools throughout the Bega Valley. Currently I am completing a Graduate Certificate in Men’s Behaviour Change (MBC) – a nationally recognised qualification relating to domestic and family violence and along with James, am passionate about establishing the Bega Valley’s first MBC program.


Hi I’m Suzanne. I offer therapeutic counselling for individuals, families, couples, youth and children, as well as working in a direct support role with families. I have a Masters in Counselling and am a member of the Australian Counselling Association. My therapy focus is on finding the strengths, skills and values that support the person through the ups and downs of life. I also manage to bring my 30 years’ experience as a Massage Therapist into my work, understanding how our bodies carry stories just as much as our thoughts and feelings. Through curiosity, acceptance and mindfulness, I collaborate with people to get their desired outcome from each session and to work towards their goals.


G’day, I’m Hans and am currently employed in a Child, Youth and Family Worker position at Sapphire Neighbourhood Services. I’ve had a broad work history, ranging from art galleries, hotels, hospitals, restaurants to bush regeneration and oyster farming. I recently completed my Diploma of Community Services through TAFE and was offered a job here after completing my student placement at SNS. I’m relatively new to Yuin Country but I grew up in a country town similar to Bega, and have always yearned to come back to a place like this. I’m grateful for all the experiences the Bega Valley has shared with me, and I’d like to offer my support back to this wonderful community. I have a strong passion towards social justice and equity, and this drives me to assist people to navigate their challenges, and witness people growing to realise their full potential and make real positive change.


Hello, my name is Kellie and I have been working in Community Services for the past 15 years. I am passionate and work hard to focus on the needs of the people and families I support. I feel honoured to help empower people throughout their journey and share with them some of my skills, experience and knowledge. I am trained in running a variety of parenting programs such as, Circle of Security, Bringing up Great Kids (Australian Childhood Foundation), Bringing up Great Kids – First 1000 days, Seasons for Growth (Grief & Loss program), Stormbirds (Australian trauma informed natural disaster response program), Antenatal and Post-Natal Depression Group. I also facilitate the Bega Playgroup where I work with parents and carers to focus on play and social development of their children. I hold a Bachelor Social Science in Social Welfare and am currently completing my accreditation in Interplay Therapy. In my role at SNS, I always try to work alongside people to tell their story, enabling resilience and growth to rewrite the many stories of survival.
Sapphire Neighbourhood Services, Bega NSW

Our Story

Sapphire Neighbourhood Services (SNS) has been delivering services to people in the New South Wales Bega Valley since 1987, operating as Far South Coast Family Support Service until its name chance in 2023. It became an Incorporated Association on 11th August, 1988.
SNS is governed by a Board of Directors who are volunteer representatives from our local community. The Board includes people with a wide range of expertise in areas relating to families, children, and local community needs. Some Board Members are founding members of the organisation.
Over the past few decades, SNS has established a strong reputation and close links with communities and service providers, including government and non-government organisations. The organisation continues to grow in terms of staff numbers, locations of operation, types of services offered, and the professional qualifications and expertise of the team.
referrals at sapphire neighbourhood services, about us at Sapphire Neighbourhood Services

Our current Board Members are:

 Joanna Rideaux  President
 Claire Lupton  Vice President
 Graham Stubbs  Treasurer
 Kylie Dummer  Secretary
 Katherine Boland  Board Member
 Mary Hourigan  Board Member
 Paul Brunton  Board Member


about us Sapphire Neighbourhood Services and child safety

Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

Sapphire Neighbourhood Services (SNS) is committed to providing an environment where children feel safe, are protected, and where their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. We support children’s empowerment, participation, inclusion, diversity and equality. We take children seriously when they raise concerns about their wellbeing, or when we see that they are being harmed in any way.

SNS believes that keeping children safe is everyone’s business. SNS follows a Child Safe Policy as well as the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian’s Child Safe Standards. The Standards were developed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to help make sure institutions respond appropriately if children experience harm, and to prevent children from being exposed to future harm due to an institution’s culture, systems or processes.

The ten Child Safe Standards are:
1. Child safety is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
2. Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
3. Families and communities are informed and involved
4. Equity is upheld and diverse needs are taken into account
5. People working with children are suitable and supported
6. Processes to respond to complaints of child abuse are child focused
7. Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through continual education and training
8. Physical and online environments minimise the opportunity for abuse to occur
9. Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is continuously reviewed and improved
10. Policies and procedures document how the organisation is child safe
The Standards provide a framework for organisations to create a culture of safety and inclusion, and develop strategies to keep children safe from harm.


Experienced Staff

All our staff have tertiary qualifications in their field and relevant industry experience. Each staff member regularly participates in professional development, external clinical supervision, supervision with their manager, and team support.

Professional & Friendly

We promise to always be kind, professional and friendly. We will listen to you, make an effort to get to know you and your family, and make sure you get to decide what you want and need from us.

Outreach & Home Visits

If you don’t want to come to our offices, we can see you in your own home or in a public place that makes you feel comfortable. We can offer office appointments in Bega, Merimbula or Eden.

Same Day Support

We can usually offer same-day telephone support to discuss your situation and begin working on solutions. We try not to keep a waiting list, and normally see people in person within a week or two.

Drop-Ins Welcome

If your situation is urgent you can always drop in between 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and we will find someone to assist you. We prefer that you phone us to tell us you are coming, but it’s not essential. No Fees

No Fees or Costs

Our services are always free of charge, regardless of what you are participating in or where it is being held. We gratefully acknowledge the funding support from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, our donors, and our various small grant funding bodies.

Service Without Discrimination

We will not discriminate against you because of your family structure, sex, sexuality, gender identity, race, age, marital status, mental health status, disability, or because of who you are related to or associated with.

Respect & Dignity

We will respect your needs and make every effort to accommodate any unique requirements you tell us about. We will protect you rights, be clear with what we say, give you choices, and never force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Privacy & Confidentiality

What you tell us stays confidential within the organisation unless you or someone else is at risk of harm, or we are required by law to share information, or you give us clear permission to share certain information.

Feel Safe When You Visit Us

We have a zero-tolerance policy to violence and abuse, and we will do whatever we can to help keep you and your family safe. We audit our services regularly to make sure we are promoting physical and emotional safety at all times.

Uphold Your Rights

We will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a person using our services, and will make sure we get your consent before delivering any services, contacting you or your family, or sharing any information.

Tell Us Your Opinion

Your opinions are extremely valuable to us. Feedback or complaints can be made to Sapphire Neighbourhood Services, PO Box 376 Bega, NSW 2550 or to admin@snsi.org.au. Alternatively, you can phone us or use the Contact Us form on this website.

Flexible Support, Flexible Locations

We provide information, practical advice and counselling. We can work with you in your home, at our Bega office, at outreach venues in other towns, or wherever you feel most comfortable, including by phone or online.

02 6492 3411


47 Bega Street, Bega NSW 2550