Blue Care, Australia’s largest not-for-profit provider of community health and residential aged care, has honoured its long-serving staff across Queensland and northern New South Wales.
The recent 2009 Blue Care Staff Recognition Night honoured 194 individuals who have reached a career milestone of 20 or more years of continuous service with the organisation across a variety of caring and support roles.
More than 300 people attended the event at Sebel and Citigate in Brisbane city.
Blue Care Executive Director Stephen Muggleton said each individual had achieved a remarkable milestone.
“These extraordinary individuals come from across the state, working in a variety of roles including cooks, maintenance workers, personal carers and nurses,” he said.
“Although each person has a unique role, one thing is the same for each and every one and that is a commitment to making a difference in people’s lives.
“Together, they have spent more than seven million hours delivering care or support to Australians in need and for that Blue Care says a very big thank you.”
Long-serving staff received a certificate, Honour Booklet and specially commissioned ‘blue star’ badge, which signifies their extraordinary commitment to the organisation.
Mr Muggleton said Blue Care received a ‘Queensland Great’ Premier’s Award during Queensland Week 2009, being publicly recognised for making a lifetime commitment to the state.
“This award, along with being voted by the public as a Queensland Q150 Icon was significant for Blue Care and is largely due to these long-serving staff members whose ongoing commitment and dedication has made Blue Care the organisation it is today,” Mr Muggleton said.
“Their work over the years has brought kindness and dignity to people when they most needed and least expected it.”
Elaine Cabria, a Registered Nurse with Stanthorpe Community Care, was the longest-serving employee recognised on the night, with 39 years of continuous service.
Mrs Cabria is the second longest-serving employee currently working for Blue Care after Toowoomba Administration Officer Heather McKenzie who was recognised for 41 years of continuous service at last year’s inaugural event.
Mrs Cabria said one of the most rewarding aspects of her job was learning from the life experiences of her elderly clients.
“I remember years ago I used to care for an elderly lady who also said ‘time and tide waits for no man’ and I think that is more relevant now because our lives are getting busier and busier,” she said.
“In doing my job I know I am helping to improve someone’s life. I understand quality care is the most important thing, no matter how challenging and despite the many changes, including technological, that surrounds us today.”
Blue Care started as the Blue Nursing Service in 1953 and has grown into Australia’s leading not-for-profit provider of community health and residential aged care.
Blue Care supports the elderly, people with a disability and others in need in the community to remain independent for as long as possible.
Blue Care thanks the following sponsors for making 2009 Blue Care Staff Recognition Night possible: EPAC Salary Solutions, Hesta Super Fund, PFD Food Services and Pickles Auctions.
Photo : Blue Care Executive Director Steve Muggleton awards Elaine Cabria. Photo courtesy of Blue Care