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2023 Winners Announced: Hospitality and Lifestyle Aged Care Heroes

We’re thrilled to announce the winners and introduce your 2023 HLAC Heroes!

A Head Chef, Housekeeping Manager, Lifestyle Services Coordinator and Operational Training and Development Manager have one amazing thing in common—they’ve all been dubbed by their peers as Hospitality and Lifestyle Aged Care (HLAC) Heroes.

Run soley by the SoupedUp team, HLAC Heroes was designed specifically for hospitality and lifestyle staff—recognising and rewarding outstanding team members across catering, cleaning, laundry, and lifestyle services within aged care homes.

“We are extremely proud to award and acknowledge the roles and professions that often fly under the radar; those that keep aged care homes running behind the scenes" said SoupedUp Founder and CEO, Belinda Adams.

"These recipients are just a snippet of the empathetic, passionate, caring people who go the extra mile for their residents in aged care".

We’re delighted to be able to give back to these individuals and sites and highlight their exceptional work despite the challenges thrown their way,” said Belinda.

2023 Hospitality & Lifestyle Aged Care Heroes

Abbey Bordley - Domestic Services - RAAFA Gordon Lodge

Her care and consideration for our residents is outstanding. Abbey goes above and beyond in tracking down residents either "lost" laundry, or matching clothes to residents whose clothing has not been labelled. Her laundry area always looks impeccable. When on dinner service, Abbey is always polite and cheerful with the residents - she always remembers who likes what - and takes special care to make sure residents get their "favourite".

Adam Grant - Formally Lifestyle 2IC - Lions Haven for the Aged

Adam's passion for serving our residents emanates from the depths of his heart, and his unwavering commitment to their needs is truly inspiring. Whether it's organizing engaging events or creating personalized support systems, Adam always prioritizes the well-being and happiness of our residents. His tireless efforts to foster a sense of belonging and community spirit have forged strong bonds among our residents, creating an environment where everyone feels valued and cared for.

Basil Meleth - Chef - Kalyra Woodcroft

Basil is very patient and kind to the residents. He spends time with residents discussing optional meals, providing choice and also resolving meal issues. A resident stated to me "Basil has changed my life here, i get the right meal, he listens, takes time and is very kind and patient". Basil is dedicated to ensure all residents have good dining experience and trials different cultural dishes.

Deborah Sheppard - Diversional Therapist - Bolton Clarke Glendale Aged Care

It’s always hard to pin Deborah down but that’s simply because she is always on the go creating fantastic activities personalised for residents. From romantic lunches with their loved ones to artistic projects getting the whole home involved, Deborah is consistently implementing new and exciting ways to keep residents and their family members engaged. The rave reviews she gets from those around her demonstrates how hard she works to create an environment full of joy.

Greg Learmonth - Leisure and Lifestyle Team Leader - Dougherty Villa

Greg has gone above and beyond to ensure the residents get to do the things they enjoy, not what other people think they would enjoy. He is a very humble man who does not like the limelight or being thanked for all the little extra things he does. Having someone like Greg running the Leisure and Lifestyle program is integral to providing a rich and enjoyable program for our residents who feel they are still contributing to their community, something that often gets lost once coming into Aged Care.

Kylie Cusack - Catering Manager - Lions Haven for the Aged

Kylie's dedication to listening to our residents and incorporating their desires into the menu selection is truly admirable. One of the most remarkable qualities of Kylie's approach is her commitment to offering home-style cooking that resonates with our residents. She understands that a sense of familiarity and comfort in the dining experience can greatly contribute to their overall well-being.

Maureen Hincksman - Lifestyle Services Coordinator - Allity Lilydale Aged Care

It’s safe to say that jumping out of an aeroplane at 15,000 feet in the Yarra Valley with resident, Bob, proves that Maureen goes above and beyond for her role! Maureen is always looking for new and exciting ways to bring residents out of their shell, get them more engaged or tick anything they want off their bucket list. With a hot air balloon ride full of residents and team members and a sleepover at the local zoo on the cards, Maureen’s day-to-day is never the same and she makes sure of that!

Sanath Wanniarachchi - Head Chef - Villa Maria Catholic Homes

Sanath is passionate about inspiring his chef managers to concentrate on presentation, along with nutrition, to maximise residents’ dining experience. Alongside his team, Sanath has introduced a new 'Chop n Chat' group at each VMCH aged care home, encouraging residents to join chefs in the kitchen and prepare food together while they socialise. Under his guidance, the team has also developed attractive menu books with images, giving residents a visual representation of what to expect of their meal.

Vicki Reidy - Operational Training and Development Manager - Contemporary Catering

Vicki has a long career in Aged Care, with the last 10 years at Contemporary Catering and has been focused on improving conditions for our residents. Vicki has recently developed a dining experience training package to bring hospitality standards to Aged Care catering, and is currently training both catering and care staff to ensure an enhanced dining experience for residents across our aged care sites.

Vikki Daiber - Housekeeping Manager - Pennwood Aged Care Services

Not only does Vikki manage a team of fantastic housekeepers who work hard to keep the facility spotless, more importantly, she knows exactly which resident needs a new pair of slippers, who needs a warm winter quilt and who is having a rough day and needs some TLC. Over the years she's gone beyond the usual duties such as taking home a resident's favourite nightie to get out stubborn stains, nursing several beloved sick birds from the resident's aviary back to health, making special keepsakes for family members when a resident passes, buying clothes for residents that have no family to do it for them and so much more.

Winners were nominated by colleagues, family, and friends and detailed the efforts individuals went to that were above their standard duties.

“It’s been humbling to see via the submissions the number of empathetic, passionate, caring people across the country.

Through HLAC Heroes, we get an opportunity to spread the word that every minute, every day, people are doing little things that count!” Belinda concluded.


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