All the latest – awards, buildings & fun

From honours bestowed on individuals and organisations for their outstanding commitment, to new buildings, fun activities and a serious safety message…

Above: Glenn Muskett (middle-right), with the board of ACSWA, which recently awarded him honourary life membership.

Braemar Presbyterian Care CEO, Glenn Muskett, has been presented with honorary life membership of Aged and Community Services Western Australia (ACSWA), for outstanding commitment and contribution to the industry.

Glenn has spent twelve years at the helm of Braemar Presbyterian Care and received ACSWA’s Aged Care Excellence Award last year.

Mr Muskett thanked the association, saying it was a privilege, an honour and a humbling experience to have been elected to the ACSWA board in 2002, and to have served with its other members. 

“Aged care has always been and will remain challenging, but rather than be weighed down by the challenges and obstacles I would prefer to focus on the opportunities that are likely to emerge,” he said. “The one caveat is the need for government to take positive and material action rather than continuing to only talk of action.”

Excellence in Queensland

Aged Care Queensland has also dispensed accolades recently, with six Excellence in Care Awards presented to both organisations and individuals at its State Conference last week.

The Organisation Award went to Feros Care, which continues to lead the way in making targeted technology investments to leverage the power of information in community care operations that cover a huge geographical area.

The media award went to Hadden Place, an aged care facility offering day respite and therapy, run by Wesley Mission Brisbane, while the industry supporter award went to 50+ Plus Fitness.

Diane Bynon of RSL Care’s Fernhill Retirement Community took out the volunteer award, and Jamie Steinberger did Benevolent Aged Care proud by bringing home the trainee award.

And last of all for this year’s ACQ Excellence in Care Awards, but definitely not least, is Greg Crawford of Noosa Care, who won the employee award.

Winners apply within

Above: Henry Korn, Jewish Care’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year with his wife Sandra (left) and Olympian Lousie Sauvage.

More winners were announced last week by Jewish Care Victoria, which held its Staff and Volunteers Service and Excellence Awards at Albert Park in Melbourne.

Australian gold medal-winning Olympian and Paralympian, Louise Sauvage, gave a keynote speech that emphasised the value of determination and a positive attitude in overcoming challenges and achieving goals.

Long service awards were presented to staff who have been with the organisation for periods ranging from five to thirty-five years, and other awards recognised outstanding staff members in other categories.

The President’s Award went to Emma Boyar and The Samuel H. Harris Award to Anca Ardelean, while Marylin Lovitt and Martin Zerafa shared the CEO’s Customer Service Award.

Alma Basic and Darren Kovacs were joint winners of the Ethos Award and Jewish Care Victoria’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year was Henri Korn.

Three staff members also won scholarships worth $10,000 to study the education program of their choice, a new addition to the internal awards program, which now in its second year.

The evening concluded with the announcement of the recipients of the Jewish Care Ethos mission to Israel: Meigan Lefebure, General Manager, Services for Older People and Manager of Healthy Ageing, Deborah Harvey.

Fun for the whole family

Above: Benetas staff and family members enjoying tug of war at the Benetas Family Fun Day.

Victorian aged care provider Benetas also celebrated the outstanding achievement and dedication of its staff recently, at a Family Fun Day held at Collingwood Children’s Farm.

Over 450 staff members and their families attended the event, enjoying farm activities including cow milking, pony and tractor rides as well as the old family picnic favourite, the all-in tug of war.

Benetas uses the Family Fun Day as an opportunity to thank its staff members for their “commitment to creating fulfilling life experiences for older people, particularly those who have made special contributions to the organisation and to supporting older Victorians over a long period of time”, according to a statement.

Over 230 staff members were recognised and thanked for long service milestones reached during 2011 and 2012, including 25, 30 and 35 years of continuous service.

The Family Fun Day also marked the end of the inaugural Orange Festival at Benetas, an 18-day event that saw over 20 events held across Victoria at Benetas’ nursing homes and community offices, celebrating all things ‘orange’ (the organisation’s corporate colour).

Benetas family members enjoying tug of war at the Benetas Family Fun Day.

What’s cooking? 

Above: Doreen, a resident of Villa Maria Berwick who enjoys cooking.

Cooking classes have become a big hit with seniors at Villa Maria’s Berwick aged care residence, who recently showed off their gastronomic skills by putting on a special lunch.

For more than three years, a group of volunteers has run a cooking group for residents each Friday morning where they create scrumptious snacks and meals to share.

The group, which has grown from just three members to 15 since 2009, held a special luncheon earlier this month to celebrate their passion for food, one of two such events each year.

Villa Maria volunteer and retired chef, Judy Allan, said the group always worked out what they would cook democratically, with particular recipes often commanding strong voting blocks.

“It’s a very democratic process,” Ms Allen explained. “We had a conflict last Friday where half of the group wanted sausage rolls and the other half wanted pizzas. Luckily we meet every week though so there are plenty of opportunities to try different recipes!”

Ms Allen said she began volunteering with Villa Maria six years ago to “give something back to the community”.

“I think the group has given the residents something to really look forward to,” she said. “One of the older ladies who lost her husband late last year would never come down to cook. We finally encouraged her to come down once and now she’s the first person there every week.”

“That’s the satisfaction you get out of it. Afterwards we share a cuppa, a conversation, and a laugh. Food is a universal language that brings everyone together.”

A tender moment

Above: Turning the first sod for Azure Blue Carina’s construction: (from left) Moderator of the Uniting Church Queensland Synod, Rev Kaye Ronalds, Azure Blue retirement living investors, Carl and Bev Cahill, and UnitingCare Queensland CEO, Anne Cross. 

Blue Care has announced Cockram Construction as the winner of the apparently sought-after tender to build its new Azure Blue Lifestyle Community in Carina, Brisbane.

The construction company is now calling for sub-contractors for the project and expects to begin preparing the site in April.

Blue Care executive director, Robyn Batten, said a number of reputable contractors had expressed an interest in building the new $80 million lifestyle community.

It is the second of several integrated developments being developed by Blue Care in South East Queensland over the next five years under the Azure Blue branding. 

Ms Batten said that Cockram was selected after a rigorous six-month selection and evaluation process, on the basis of their “strong project team, demonstrated experience on similar projects and commitment to time, cost and quality”. 

Cockram Construction’s Queensland State Manager, Chris Meade, said both organisations had “proud traditions as service leaders”, and that the project would deliver significant economic benefits to Brisbane’s eastern suburbs.

Azure Blue Carina will comprise both a care precinct and a luxury retirement living precinct where residents’ amenities include a swimming pool, café, library, function room and media room, according to Blue Care. Already 80 per cent of retirement living apartments have been reserved ahead of construction.

Residents will have access to a range of hotel services including meals, laundry and cleaning as well as the option of in-home care, provided by Blue Care’s Community Care services. The site also offers the benefit of a co-located residential aged care facility for 128 residents.

Fire safety warning

Above: Firefighters like station officer Bill King from Fire and Rescue NSW can help older people change and maintain their fire and smoke alarms.

Fire and Rescue NSW has issued an important public safety message: change the batteries in your fire and smoke alarms at the end of daylight savings, at the same time you switch over your clocks.

Fire and Rescue NSW station officer, Billy King, said that having working fire alarms was vital – especially for older and less mobile residents.

“In 2011, 80 per cent of all fatalities in the fires that we attended were aged 60 years and over,” station officer King said.

“Smoke alarms provide an essential early warning and time to evacuate – but only if they work. Remember to change your smoke alarm battery when you change your clock on Sunday, April first.”

The NSW fire and rescue commissioner, Greg Mullins, encouraged seniors living in NSW to participate in the Smoke Alarm Battery and Replacement program (SABRE).

“Our firefighters are very happy to change and maintain the smoke alarm batteries for frail people aged over 65 years, and immobile residents,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“For elderly residents in NSW who need assistance to replace their smoke alarm batteries, contact your nearest FRNSW fire station or 1800 151 614 and ask about your eligibility for the SABRE program.”

To learn how to reduce the fire risk in your home, go to

To find your nearest fire station, go to

Tags: acswa, award, building, family, fire,

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