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Inspirational Adelady, Fallon Roocke: ‘I went to Africa with the hope of changing lives, yet Africa profoundly changed mine.’

We want to tell you about an Inspirational Adelady called Fallon Roocke — an incredible young woman who has made it her mission to make this world a better place. She has a heart the size of Africa (the continent that captured her soul), and is now devoted to helping the people of this nation through the charity she is now one of two directors of, OpBlue. We were so inspired by her story, that we simply had to share it!

Six years ago, after battling some personal challenges with her physical and mental health and feeling completely lost in life, Fallon knew she had to do something different. Something way out of her comfort zone. In a spur of the moment decision, she packed her rucksack and travelled to Africa on her own. 

This three month trip reshaped her perspective on life and ignited a newfound sense of purpose within her. “Africa became a catalyst for change, a place where I found unexpected strength and resilience amongst the most inspiring people I’ve ever met,” Fallon explains. It also led her to the work she is now doing years later — teaming up with OpBlue, an inspiring charity doing incredible things.

Here’s how it all came about.

Going to Africa on your own is a big move… tell us more about your experience.

My first two weeks in Africa were spent on a safari, going through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and ending in Livingstone. It was here where I spent the next few weeks volunteering at a community school in town before hearing about a rural volunteer program. I thought, ‘why not, what a great way to get out of the city and help people who are more remote’. It didn’t really register in my mind that I’d be in the middle of nowhere in an isolated Zambian village, with little to no phone coverage. I was set to be a support teacher here, to a class of year sevens getting ready for school exams. I had no teaching experience but was up for the challenge!

After the year seven teacher showed me around the school and joined me in the classroom for a whole 30 minutes, he asked if I could take the next maths lesson while he ‘popped down the road to see his friend,’ saying he’d be back soon. His version of ‘soon’ ended up being two whole weeks! Taking a class of year sevens with absolutely zero teaching experience certainly tested me! Year seven maths is admittedly a lot harder than I remember, so I was taking books home every night to plan lessons, not having any idea when this teacher was coming back. 

I was the only white-skinned person in the village and a lot of the kids had never seen a white person before, so for the first few days, none of the kids even wanted to come near me. After a few days though, I couldn’t walk outside my room, (a straw hut with mud brick walls), without kids hanging off of me and touching my white skin and ‘soft’ hair! I’d ride my bike 45 minutes to school every day and would end up having a trail of about ten kids running behind me by the time I arrived. It was just adorable!

The most beautiful part though, was that I started the first week with a class of eight kids, but by the end of week two, I had over 30 people in my classroom every day!

What was it about the African people that made such an impact on you?

The few weeks I had within this village changed my life entirely. It was back to basics; sitting on the ground to eat with your fingers, cooking over the fire, playing soccer with a ball made of plastic bags and rubber bands. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. No shops, no phone coverage or connection to the outside world, just huts, cows, chooks and beautiful, happy people.

They made me feel like I was part of their family and their community. These people literally had nothing aside from the livestock and crops they owned, yet their generosity was far beyond their own belonging. It gave me a serious case of perspective in a stage of my life where I definitely needed it. 

It was in these few weeks that I can safely say I had a turning point in my life’s journey. I pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone and managed to shift health and mental battles that I’d struggled to break for years. I made deep and real connections with people that had been complete strangers just days before and I saw what true and untarnished happiness looked like. The reality was, I went to Africa with the hope of changing lives, yet Africa profoundly changed mine.

Tell us about your business, Fallon & Co. and how you became involved with OpBlue.

In the next few years after my trip to Africa, I volunteered and donated to various charities, always knowing I was destined to do something bigger. Eventually I founded my own Marketing Agency, Fallon & Co., with the intention of always having a portion of my profits going to a charity where I knew exactly where the funds were being directed.

Soon after launching Fallon & Co., through a twist of fate, I received an email about a charity called OpBlue, whose mission was to provide basic human rights focused on fresh water, health services and education to people in developing nations. I instantly knew this was the perfect fit! I reached out to Jack Wilson, the founder and managing director of OpBlue and began donating. Jack and I had a clear shared vision and after much communication and developing a great friendship, I became a Co-Director alongside him. Since then, the two of us have used our collective passion to drive the charity and increase the work we’re doing across the globe.

What exactly is OpBlue all about?

OpBlue was founded with the sole purpose of initiating a real, life-changing impact across the globe. Our mission is to create a world where basic human rights are provided to all people. Our Operations bring communities together; integrating local cultures and beliefs with our sustainable water, education and health solutions. We work with local staff and organisations to bring this vision to life, ensuring our impact is far-reaching and built to last. With every Operation we increase our reach, helping break the cycle of poverty, one individual and one community at a time.

After my time teaching in Africa and seeing the positive impact education had on the community first hand, I was hugely passionate about launching OpEducation. My vision with OpEducation is to provide a place for every child to learn, grow and develop into the next generation of change-makers. I am beyond excited and proud to be coordinating our Education department, partnering with local schools in Kenya to provide support to kids and families that need it most. 

Between my business, Fallon & Co. and Jack’s, Willow & Goose Wines, we cover all the administration costs of running the charity, so 100% of donations go directly where they are needed on the ground! We also have the incredible Jake and Jade from Salty Aura Sustainable Homewares donating 100% profits from their drink bottle sales to OpBlue to help us with our mission to supply clean water to communities without. We are all like-minded SA business owners who are invested in making a positive change in this world.

What can the community do to help support OpBlue and the wonderful work that you and Jack are doing?

Firstly, we have a sponsorship program where for just $40 per month, your contribution will send not one, but up to three children to school in some incredibly remote and poor regions in Kenya. You can read more about sponsoring a child here.

You can also make a one-time, monthly or quarterly donation to OpBlue here. Donations are fully tax deductible of course.

We are also excited to be holding an unforgettable OpBlue Gala Fundraiser in August, with all funds raised going directly to our humanitarian aid work. Held at South Australia’s iconic Golding Wines, the event’s major sponsor, this gala dinner will bring a room full of wonderful people together for an evening of purpose, community and positive change.

Tickets are available for purchase here and will include:

  • Canapes followed by a delicious four-course meal prepared by the award-winning team at Golding Wines
  • All inclusive range of local beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks
  • Live music, silent auctions, raffles, guest speakers and so much more!

Fallon, we are in complete awe of you! If anyone has the means to support OpBlue, we’d love you to consider donating so that these inspiring people can keep doing their incredible work.


Carrie Raymond

Carrie Raymond

Carrie’s aim is to provide you with helpful content for all things ‘Adelaide’ — so no matter what info you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it on our website.

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