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A warm Hunter welcome

Date published: Friday 8 March 2019

Category(ies): News

I had the privilege this week of visiting two of our smaller Baptist Care Australia members in the Hunter region of New South Wales. It was a great opportunity to see first hand the wonderful work done every day by the teams at Maroba Caring Communities in Newcastle and Bethshan in Wyee.

The CEO at Maroba, Viv Allanson (pictured left), told me about the exciting work underway to train the next generation of health professionals through student placements for nurses, physios, OTs and speech pathologists. We even spotted a student paramedic helping a resident get her blood pumping in the Maroba gym!

I felt very honoured to meet resident Marlene who was one of the driving forces at Islington Baptist Church when Maroba was established back in 1954!

Bethshan is the largest employer in rural Wyee, just south of Morisset with a population of 2500. Well over 100 locals serve 130 residents in the care home, along with a retirement village. CEO Matt Bryant (pictured right) shared recent achievements of the Bethshan team, and also exciting plans for future growth and development.

In both places, I felt a palpable connection and involvement with local community and the families who call it home. I was introduced to relatives of the people showing me around, and heard stories of building strong connections with local business leaders, schools and universities.

I spend a lot of my time thinking about the big picture - about politics, our nation, the national Baptist Care network, and how we can make society better through policy change. This visit was a perfect opportunity to shift focus to the personal and the local. To witness the value our members make to the lives of older Australians every day. As we go through the process of the Aged Care Royal Commission, which is all about the big picture, it's essential that we keep this good work at the forefront of our thinking.