In this issue:

  • CEO Update
  • Bus Outings Calendar
  • Farewell to Jackie
  • Volunteer retires after 29 years!!!!
  • Client Profile: Bridgid Mclean
  • Staff Profile: Nena Zavodja
  • Recent Events Photos
  • Building Service Case Study

CEO Update

I’m delighted to see the terrific response we have received from our clients with regards to the resumption of our social outings program. In recent months our Neighbour Aid team have been busy redesigning MWP Care’s social calendar, bringing back many of our much-loved lunch outings as well as introducing some new activities. We recently held a ‘Know Your Mobile Phone’ workshop which provided some helpful insights as well as a lovely opportunity to bring people together over lunch.

Our CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) groups have been particularly busy with a variety of social outings taking place for our Serbian, Chinese, Italian and Filipino social groups. Thank you to all our clients who are involved with our CALD program and indeed our clients more broadly. We know how important keeping connected socially is for our clients and MWP Care is committed to building and creating new social connections.

In this edition of Care Matters you will find our latest Social Activity Calendar. Please let our team know if we can register you for one of our upcoming social events. We would love to see as many of our clients as possible involved in our social outings & activities program.

A special acknowledgment to one of our highly valued volunteers, John Thompson, who has recently announced his retirement as a volunteer with MWP after 29 years of dedicated service.

John has been a driver for MWP Care supporting many of our clients over an extraordinary period of time. John is a true gentleman and is retiring to take better care of his partner. On behalf of MWP Care, I’d like to express our deep gratitude to John for his remarkable service.

Stay safe and stay connected.

Kind regards,

Grant Simpson

Bus Outings Calendar

Wednesday 5th May
Mother’s Day Flower Arranging Workshop at the Tramshed 

Thursday 6th May
NSW Art Gallery and lunch at the Gallery Café

Monday 10th May
Golden Ridge Farm, Dural 

Thursday 13th May
The Brasserie at Asquith Golf Club

Monday 17th May
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Gardens St Ives: Indigenous Heritage talk

Wednesday 19th May
‘Topic Of The Month’ talk – Planning Ahead, 10:30am

Thursday 20th May
Tradies Gymea Lunch 12:30pm – Serendip Asian Lunch Special

Monday 24th May
Lunch at The Courtyard, Hornsby RSL

Wednesday 26th May
Magpies Waitara Lunch 

Friday 28th May
Movie Day

Farewell to Jackie

When I joined MWP Care late last year one of my first priorities was to re-establish the wonderful Outings program.

In speaking with many of the regulars it quickly became evident how much affection and fondness Jackie Bennett was held in. In her time Jackie generated lots of fun and many, many wonderful experiences and memories.

On behalf of MWP Care I would like to thank Jackie and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Alex Kane

Volunteer retires after 29 years!!!!

John Thomson is retiring from the MWP Care Volunteer Team to assist his lovely partner with her health issues.  What can we say after such a long and dedicated career of volunteering with our organisation? ‘Thank You’ doesn’t seem enough.  John was made a Life Member in 2019.  We thank him for his dedication and the many hours he has spent in the field with our clients making a positive difference to their lives.  We wish him and Helen all the very best going forward.

Client Profile: Bridgid Mclean

Each and every one of our clients has a fascinating background, and during a casual chat at our Mobile Phone Workshop, we learned more about the incredible career of one participant in particular; Bridgid McLean.

Bridgid is an Australian iconic Pop Artist and sculptor, whose work is represented in the Australian National Gallery, the Art Gallery of NSW and other institutional and regional collections such as Watters Gallery.

We caught up with Bridgid for a chat at her North Narrabeen home (which almost replicates an exclusive gallery in itself!). We wanted to share some of it with you.

“I’ve always been into art. My mother said that I picked up a pencil at 18 months, I held it correctly and drew lines. No one else in my family was artistic aside from my grandmother, who would have been an artist if she didn’t have 5 children. Back in those days you just become a wife, so she didn’t really get a chance after that.

I mostly grew up in Sydney, but I also went to school in Griffith in the country because my mother was looking after her mother. I hated school. It was really wild. There were lot of drugs and pretty wild kids… I wasn’t wild, I was just trying to survive and keep a low profile. I then went on to study art for 5 years at the National Art School in Sydney.

My first solo exhibition in 1973 was a series on racing cars and machinery that showed at Watters Gallery in Darlinghurst -one of Sydney’s top galleries- for more than 40 years.

Untitled 1969

I was always interested in racing cars. Especially when the movie Grand Prix came out, which I saw a couple of times. My family weren’t into cars or anything.

A friend took me to see motorbike racing in Griffith and I remember being interested in the speed… I don’t know the mechanics of race cars, but I did manage to get to a Grand Prix in England whilst I was on a round-the-world trip which was mainly to go to Art Galleries.

Our (Australian) driver nearly won the race; Jack Brabham – He was in the lead, and then on the last bend of the lap he came dribbling round the corner – he had run out of gas! All the Aussies in the crowd were cheering and screaming, and then they all went silent as the German driver overtook him.

Machine 14 1971

In the mid 70’s after the racing machinery series I changed tack for the next show, which kind of annoyed a lot of people. They were expecting more of the same, but I’d gone on to the next thing.

I had some relatives who were doctors, so the subject and interest in body parts must have come down from them. Along with my rather black sense of humour!

A Surplus of Optics 1976

At the moment I’m redoing drawings with pen and pencils. Once the pandemic is over I also need to start hunting for some synthetic hair for my sculptures (which, we must add, are amazing!), and I have a car painting from the 70’s that I still need to finish. I might be going on a show later this year of female artists as well as I happen to be in the foundation collection”.

A huge thank you goes out to Bridgid for sharing her time and her art with us. Bridgid is also a regular on our social outings, so please check out the calendar for May. We’d love for you to join us – and you never know who you’re going to meet!

Staff Profile: Nena Zavodja

When did you start with MWP Care?
November 2018.

What is your role?
To plan organise and coordinate outings and social meetings for our 5 CALD Groups. As well as to facilitate outings and meetings for the Serbian and Italian CALD Groups.

Why do you do what you do?
It gives me the opportunity to meet a wide variety of older people from diverse backgrounds and make a positive difference in their quality of life.

Seeing what impact these social interactions have on individuals is exceptionally rewarding and it simply makes me happy.

What do you enjoy most about working here?
It would have to be the people. My colleges are very supportive, caring and selfless individuals who are always available to lend a hand.

And our clients are full of interesting stories and facts about themselves, a time gone by, or a period they lived through. They love putting time aside to share their experiences and stories.

Sometimes it is a tale of romance, sometimes war, but they are stories that often take you to another time, another place and a different culture. There is so much to learn; so much wisdom and life lessons; it’s always entertaining and usually a lot of laughs.

Have you had any funny/interesting experiences?
I was once asked to be a mascot for a kids charity event. I happily agreed to it without giving it much thought or asking any questions. Anything for the kids, right! How hard can it be?
Editor’s Note: This story occurred in a different workplace prior to Nena joining MWP Care.

The easy part was putting on and wearing the 18kg fur kangaroo costume on a 34°C mid summers day. The not so easy was having to squeeze into a helicopter with a big kangaroo head and a thick long tail. It was an uncomfortable challenge to say the least. I was then flown to a football stadium, dropped off at one end of the field and asked to hop all the way across to the other end where I was to greet the eagerly waiting and enthusiastic children.

The hop turned into a skip half way down the field which then turned into a walk and finally a crawl. By the time I reached the now overly excited kids the costume was dripping wet from perspiration and the knees and hands covered with green grass stains.

I managed to muster up enough strength to rise up off the ground, stand straight and do a big star jump just as the officials opened the gates through which a mob of kids charged straight towards me. I was back down on the ground with a big thud and a mound of kids on top of me.

My kangaroo head went flying, the kids shrieked in horror and the parents gasped in disbelief. I just laid there very still and in silent too exhausted to react. That was the end of my mascot-ting career.

What do you like to do outside of work?
When time permits I love experimenting in the kitchen. Revamping and personalising old recipes is always fun. A get together with family and friends over good food, good conversation, and a belly laugh is something I really look forward to.

On weekends I like to go for long scenic nature walks whereas during the week they turn into short and brisk local dashes. Also, I find curling up with a good book and a cup of tea on a crisp winters day very comforting.

Is there something unique or different you have done that many people wouldn’t know?
On the recommendation of a good friend I once took a kick boxing class. The classes were enjoyable and quite a lot of fun. A good stress release. They were run by a former Australian kick boxing champion who liked my form and power.

After several months he approached me and suggested I consider taking kick boxing more seriously and start entering some competitions. The thought terrified me so I quit.

Recent Events Photos

Building Service Case Study

Ned and Richard from our Building Maintenance Department recently completed the deck pictured above for one of our many maintenance clients.

Ned explains: The old deck was a train wreck, and was also very unsafe.

It was decided to replace it as economically as we could, so the sub-floor and decking was new, but we retained the balustrading to save the client a considerable amount of money, which she was very pleased with, and also noted that “The build quality was excellent”.