Chief Encounters: Katie Rafferty


​Katie Rafferty, just three months in post as director of Respect Me, loves getting on a bike and heading out of town

12th July 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

What’s the best thing that’s happened this month? 

After an 8-month long Inquiry into bullying and harassment, the Equality and Human Rights Committee at Scottish Parliament published its findings and recommendations earlier this month. The report highlights some concerning issues, but I’m pleased we’ve reached this stage and can move forward by looking at their recommendations carefully. 

Does your job enable you to get out much? 

Yes, I’m now 3 months in post so I have been out and about meeting lots of interesting folk and partners that I’m really looking forward to working with. 

Would your 16-year-old self be proud of where you are? 

I’m sure my 16 year old self would indeed be proud, and it’s nice to remind yourself of that.

What’s your favourite album? 

Unashamedly, The Strokes, Is this It. In the pre-YouTube days of yore, a large portion of my post-school afternoons would involve painfully long waits for their music videos to download.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Getting out of the city, doing some walking or cycling, country pubs, all ideally in the sun.

If you were your boss would you like you?

Yes,though I would probably find it irritating how much I talk about food.

I’m sure my 16 year old self would indeed be proud, and it’s nice to remind yourself of that

Is the third sector a calling or an accident? 

A calling. I’m glad to be in a job I thoroughly enjoy and care about.

Are we seeing more or less bullying behaviour in Scotland’s schools? 

There are lots of factors that make collecting data about bullying challenging and we don’t have a robust national picture of trends. This makes it even more important to listening to the voices of children, young people and practitioners on the ground and respond to their experiences and concerns.

Have you ever been bullied? 

I was very aware of bullying as a child, I saw it happen to others and worried it could happen to me. The ripple effect of bullying really does affect entire communities.   

What advice would you give your successor? 

This feels slightly premature given how new I am to post! But I would say listen and learn from those around you, keep the big picture in mind but don’t be overwhelmed by it.

What’s your favourite cause apart from your own? 

Services that provide an outlet to talk to someone whose job is to listen and give non-judgemental support.  I spent some time as a counsellor with Childline and was inspired by what they do.

Who was the last person you kissed?

A friend’s lovely dog named Betty.

Which Brian Cox? (actor or scientist) 

The scientist. He’s physics’ answer to Sir David Attenborough.