Valda steps aside after a lifetime of service

Valda Balke spent a lifetime volunteering at a local Toowoomba aged care service. After 60 years she has retired, with a celebration held in her honour.

Churches of Christ Care Toowoomba Aged Care Service celebrated Valda and her impressive dedication and heart at a morning tea on 2 November.

In 1958, Valda started her volunteering journey at the then new Churches of Christ Care Mylo Aged Care Service in Toowoomba, now known as Churches of Christ Care Toowoomba Aged Care Service.

She was initially encouraged to volunteer at a working bee at the new service as they sought new residents. She returned in 1963 when the service was seeking a housekeeper and Valda volunteered her time to help before she married and moved to a dairy farm out of town.

Over the next five decades, in between raising her family and working as a cook at Toowoomba Base Hospital, Valda continued to bring uplift to the lives of the many people who have come through the doors of the service through volunteering and paid positions. She enjoyed working across an array of areas, including in the kitchen, provided nursing support and diversional therapy.

“I loved the type of work. I was very interested in it, and loved working with the people,” Ms Balke said.
Valda has some cherished memories. One that stands out was the sing-alongs with the residents.

“We used to love the sing-alongs, where we would sing old bush ballads,” she said.

Valda decided it is now the time to step aside from the volunteering, and leaves with fond memories of her time with the service.

“The service has been very good to me. I always wanted to be a nurse, but it was not possible for me. Through my time with the service, I have been able to learn and do so much.”

Churches of Christ Care’s Residential Aged Care General Manager Anne McGill said she was in awe of Valda and the impact she has made to so many lives over the past six decades.

“Our volunteers and staff bring so much to the lives of our aged care residents, and for Valda to have shown the love, compassion and commitment to the lives of the residents for so many years is testament to who she is. We thank Valda for her service and wish her all the best,” Ms McGill said.

The morning tea was attended by Valda’s family, staff, residents and volunteers from the service.

Churches of Christ has approximately 1300 registered volunteers, bringing uplift to residents in the leading not-for-profits aged care services through a range of programs.

“Every day, our volunteers contribute a lot of their time, care, and commitment, not only to the work of our organisation, but also to the community, bringing a brighter future for all,” Ms McGill said.

“It is through the expression of love that we are all enhanced, and we thank each of our volunteers for their contribution.”

Churches of Christ Care’s Toowoomba Aged Care Service is an 89-bed residential aged care service offering a range of personal care, therapies and accommodation options for Darling Downs seniors. The service is co-located with Churches of Christ Care Nubeena Retirement Village and Churches of Christ Care Community Care Darling Downs.

Churches of Christ Care provide a range of volunteer programs across their services. For more information about how you can volunteer, go to to find out more and register your expression of interest today. Posted November 19, 2018 in News