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Lisa Vale is currently acting as Twilight’s Lifestyle and Volunteer Coordinator. In this role, Lisa reports to Staff Services Manager Emily Hams. Emily caught up with Lisa recently to chat about her journey with Twilight.

Emily: It is wonderful that you are acting in the Coordinator role for us Lisa. I am impressed how you started as a volunteer and now you are a Coordinator. Can you share with us some of your story?

Lisa: I actually started as a volunteer. My father was unwell in Queensland and I was not able to see him at the time. I was worried that he may be feeling lonely. It made me think about elderly people and how some would appreciate a visit.

I have lived all of my life in Gladesville and did my schooling locally at Gladesville Public School and Malvena High. So, I googled ‘local aged care homes in Gladesville’ and Glades Bay Gardens came up first. I called them to say I was interested in volunteering  as a visitor.

The first resident I was ‘buddied’ with was Jill. I came once a week to visit her and talk about life. I also brought along my son Ethan. He was a big hit with everyone here and used to wander around talking to everyone.

After around about 5 months Sai asked if I would like to consider a role as a Recreational Activities Officer. Initially it was only one day a week, but I loved it. The work kept growing and you (Emily) suggested I consider some study in that field. I enrolled in the Certificate 4 Lifestyle & Leisure course at Meadowbank TAFE. I was working three days a week then and the course took 6 months to successfully complete.

Not long after that I found myself working full time and also covering in the admin and concierge roles when required. Now, almost three years later, I am acting in the Coordinator role.

Emily: What have you liked best about your time with Twilight?

Lisa: I have loved every role I have been a part of at Twilight, as it feels like my second home with all my grandmothers and grandfathers a part of it.

Honestly, I think the residents really make the role and their appreciation of what you do for them is endless and heartfelt. I think my RAO role was so fulfilling it honestly was the best job I have ever held.

Emily: Are there any moments that stand out?

Lisa: I think the most outstanding moments at Twilight are Culture of the Month days at Glades Bay Gardens, as we all get involved with the residents with dress ups and great music, dancing and Ramina’s cooking.

I also love catching up with Jill (pictured) when I can. It was her birthday on 6 October and it was nice to share some of that day with her.