Sarah Roberts looks glamorous as she arrives at the Australian Women's Weekly's Women of the Future Awards for 2021, but her mind is firmly on her stepdaughter, Scout.
"When I think of Women of the Future, I think of my daughter Scout and how I'm bringing her up and the things we've been talking about lately," she tells us.
She and husband James Stewart have made Scout the focus of their lives since they wed in July 2019, but Sarah's bond with the nine-year-old has grown ever stronger in the last two years.
"I particularly noticed during lockdown - because I was in the trenches home-schooling, cooking, and cleaning - Scout became like my little best friend and my little shadow," Sarah says.
"We talk about everything now and it's a great relationship that I really cherish because we've built it from the ground up."
And does James ever get jealous of the girls' club Sarah and Scout have together?
"He actually does," she laughs. "We gang up on him sometimes, it's really funny."
Sarah says that the role of mum means "everything" to her and she can't wait to spend even more time together as a family over Christmas.
She, James and Scout will be heading to Melbourne first to spend the holidays with her family, then head to Queensland for some time with James' family.
"It's going to be the first Christmas ever that the three of us have spent together, so we're really excited about that," she gushes.
"There's going to be a lot of family time which we both really love."
The former Home and Away star will also exchange Christmas wishes with her former castmates, who she says she's constantly in contact with.
The incredible sisterhood behind the scenes on the show really bonded all the women together, whether they've been on the show for a few episodes, or decades.
"I am really close with Sam Frost and she was always like a sister to me on the show, and Lynne McGranger was like my mum on the show," Sarah says.
"I really miss them a lot but we all stay in touch and I think that's a real testament to the sisterhood on the show."
Lynne sadly couldn't make it to the Women of the Future event, held in partnership with La Trobe Financial, but Sarah says she's the kind of woman who uplifts every young woman who comes through the show.
"She's been on the show for such a long time and she's just always a barrel of laughs, if you're having an off day or you're a bit sad she'll instantly cheer you up," she says.
"It felt so special for my character to be growing up in her house, under her wings – it was a great time in my life."
As for what it means to be a woman of the future, Sarah says it's all about "finding your power without having to put men down."
"There are so many successful women now doing amazing things, there's a lot more inclusion and it think it's really exciting."
- PuzzlesThe Australian Women's Weekly February Issue Online Entry
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