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Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Page: 3612


Mr HARTSUYKER (Cowper) (16:04): I rise today to recognise those associated with the Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village. On 10 March I had the opportunity to join people from the community at an open day at the village. The day not only honoured the 20th anniversary of residential care services at the facility but also acknowledged the pioneering foresight of such people as the Reverend Barry Harris, who, 35 years ago, identified the need for aged-care services in the Woolgoolga area. The Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village is proudly a community owned facility. Indeed, it has been the support of individuals, religious dioceses, local businesses and community groups which has underpinned the growth of this not-for-profit aged-care service at Woolgoolga. Back in the early 1980s the priority was to build two two-bedroom self-care units. Today the facility has nine one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom living units in the village, plus a 64-bed aged-care facility. It is built in a relaxed seaside setting and enjoys ocean views. The village employs more than 60 local people.

During my visit on 10 March the board of directors kindly presented me with a book which details the history of the retirement village. The book was researched and written by John and Robyn Rooth, who are two of the hardest working community volunteers on the Coffs Coast. The book is an important record of the history of the Woolgoolga retirement village and details the journey up until this year. As I noted before, the Reverend Barry Harris is recognised, but so too are: former chairman Dr John Kramer, who had the vision to create a multipurpose aged-care facility; employees Merle Hoyle, John Martin and Vicki Dover; and Betty Wright and Stephen Povey, who provided great leadership during their terms as chairs of the board of directors. There are countless other volunteers, staff and community groups who have given so much over such a long period of time. Everything from raffles, street markets and art exhibitions to dances were held. There was even a charity queen quest, with all funds raised going to the village.

The retirement village took the opportunity on 10 March to make a number of special presentations to employees who have given years of long-term service. I would like to recognise those who were acknowledged at that function. There were five employees acknowledged for 20 years of service. They were Vicki Dover, Bev McComb, Carrol Ford, Cathy Flynn and Stephen Johnson. Three people were recognised for 15 years of service—Sharne Johnson, Vanessa Groot and Louise Featherstone—whilst Gail Northcote's contribution over the past 10 years was also acknowledged.

I would like to congratulate all those associated with the Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village. It is a tremendous facility and a tribute to all those who have been involved in its development over so many years. It truly shows what can be achieved when a community works together.