Stories from the Black Stump

The Australian expression ‘black stump’ is the name for an imaginary point beyond which the country is considered remote or uncivilised. It is an abstract marking of the limits of established settlement. Blackall, in western Queensland, is home to the ‘black stump’ and our Barcoo Living Multi-Purpose Service.

Members of our Executive Group, including Chief Executive Officer Gary Edwards, Executive Director Services Bryan Mason, General Manager Church and Community Engagement Tim McMenamin and General Manager Property and Infrastructure Management David McConaghy, made the journey out to one of our most remote outposts.

The purpose of their visit was to simply connect with our staff, residents and volunteers at the service, as well as meet with local philanthropist and longstanding friend and supporter of Churches of Christ in Queensland, Owen Stockwell.

The group were privileged to hear many of the wonderful stories coming out of Barcoo Living Multi-Purpose Service. Three very different stories came from Wendy, Rosemary and Julie, who each provide loving care and support to our residents.

Wendy is a volunteer at the service. Her family has lived in the Blackall area since the late-1800s. Wendy’s mother is a resident at the service, having moved from the retirement living to now be in the aged care. Wendy visits her mother every day, but while she is there, she also spends much of her time helping the residents enjoy the ‘Wanderland’ Dementia Garden. She encourages them to participate in planting and watering the garden, and walking around and enjoying the garden and the colours and delights of the place. Wendy also helps ensure that residents are engaged and happy.

For seven years, Rosemary has worked at Barcoo Living Multi-Purpose Service, having relocated from the Gold Coast to work at the service, helping with cooking, community work and caring for the residents.

Rosemary has been supported by the service and our Human Resources team to lodge four applications for a Permanent Visa to live in Australia. On 4 September 2017, she was finally successful, and two weeks later her children were able to join her here in Australia.

Rosemary thanks her Service Manager Lorraine Withington and Area Manager Lynda Summers for their unwavering support through the application process. And we in turn thank Rosemary for the wonderful contribution she makes daily to our residents in Blackall.

In 2009, Julie May started working as an Enrolled Nurse at the Blackall service. Seeing the need for registered nurses, Julie decided to complete the higher qualification.

To support her studies, Julie received the first Stockwell Webber Foundation and Churches of Christ in Queensland scholarship to go towards her studies. The scholarship is supported by local philanthropist Owen Stockwell.

Julie completed her studies in November and is hoping to be able to use her new qualifications to support residents and other staff at the service.  Julie said that she “loves the service and would like to thank everyone for the help given to see achieve her Registered Nurse qualification.”

The team enjoyed their trip to the ‘black stump’ and hearing the wonderful stories. Gary Edwards thanked the service for a great visit.

“Thank you to everyone who made the day and event so special,” Gary said.

Barcoo Multi-Purpose Service is a 24-bed aged care service, providing quality, tailored care to older people in Queensland’s central west.

Find out more about our recent endeavours in the latest edition of Networking.

 

Posted December 12, 2018 in Networking blog