February 2019

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This week, I want to give you a peek into what life is like as the Village Manager at Evergreen, including how I came to work here!

I sat down for an interview to give you all an inside look.

What does a typical day at Evergreen look like?

Well first, I have to grab a coffee! I always begin by checking off my emails but the rest of the day really depends what’s on, if there’s an event or tour.

There’s always a constant stream of visitors and residents coming in to see us. Some just come by for a chat and others come in because they may have some maintenance work that needs to be done.

Everyday we try to walk around the village (if it’s not raining!). This gives us a chance to see if there’s any maintenance to be done, talk to residents or pop in if someone has requested a visit.

How did you come to work at Evergreen?

How long have you got? [laughs]

I used to work as a teacher aid until my son was diagnosed with cancer and I had to quit my job. After he recovered and went back to school, it was hard to get back into the education sector. I began volunteering for an organisation called Macwacare. I would take a group of gentleman dancing, all of whom had or were suffering from dementia, strokes etc.

I remember one time we were at the dance studio and there was a newspaper open on one of the tables. On the open page was an advertisement for a part-time administrative assistant. It didn’t say where the job was, just a phone number and that you were to apply online. I rang the number and a lady on the other end told me that the job was here at Evergreen and that I was to apply online. But I was determined! I came to the village and sat outside on a bench until the manager came out. I told him “I can do this. Please just give me a chance.” And he did!

How long have you been working at Evergreen?

Wow, it must be five years – since 6 December 2012. It was the best Christmas present I have ever received.

What is your favourite part of working at Evergreen?

Definitely the people. They’re my extended family.

When my son was ill he created a documentary about his journey with cancer. He showed it at the village and everyone came to watch. The amount of support I felt was amazing.

What is a highlight of your time working at Evergreen?

Three years ago we had 9 or 10 residents turning 80 so we threw a big OBE (Over Bloody Eighty) party. It was after hours and there was a live band. It’s one of the best times I have ever had, all of the residents out-partied me! The Christmas party last year is also a highlight. Everyone danced and sang, it was such good fun!

I should also mention that just last week we sold our final villa, meaning Evergreen is full for the first time!

I’m now 61 and this is the best job I’ve ever had, I wouldn’t swap it for the world. They say if you love what you do then it’s not a job, and I love what I do. It’s not work for me! That’s all thanks to my assistant manager Sharyn and all of the residents at Evergreen.

What is a piece of advice for retirees?

Life doesn’t stop just because you get older. Come to Evergreen and see how we party, see how we live! I always say you have one life and you have to live it. Moving into a retirement village is the most important move you will ever make so it needs to be right.

I hope this gave you some insight into the warm, wonderful and vibrant life you can have here at Evergreen. If you want to discuss if it could be a good fit for you, please get in touch!