Fiona Sparrow started working with VMCH in 2012, back when it was still Catholic Homes. At this time Shanagolden Retirement Village, Pakenham only had 12 units with five residents. Now, there are 66 units and approximately 80 residents and Fiona has been fortunate to have been in her role throughout the whole process and see it grow – and in turn, she is very invested in the Village and its community.
Fiona does ‘a bit of everything’ in her role, and the diversity is what makes it interesting, she never knows what each day will bring. One day she could be resolving maintenance issues, and the next she will be organising social events (when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic), and fielding unit enquiries and sales. But she often lends an ear and a helping hand to residents when needed.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen from when you started to now?
Probably the Village itself and the growth over the last eight years. What’s great is that we started with a small group of people who built the foundation of the community we have now and as we’ve grown we’ve still managed to retain that strong sense of community.
What does it mean to you to work at VMCH?
It’s a great opportunity to be part of a wonderful community here at Shanagolden. I believe I help them enjoy life in the Village and they certainly make coming to work a pleasure for me!
What do you love most about your role?
Hands down – the residents. Sure, it can be challenging sometimes to deal with lots of different personalities but they are an amazing bunch of people who are always willing to help. We’re lucky here as everyone generally gets on well and we have a lot of fun. I also love that my family can be part of Shanagolden too. My husband and daughter often help at events, and my daughter even runs our choir. It’s great to have home and work merge so well. I guess the other thing I enjoy is the unpredictability of the role, it’s never dull!
What do you like to do outside of work?
As a family we’ve always been heavily into theatre and ran a small theatre company for several years. My daughter now runs her own performing arts school and youth theatre and I assist her with some administrative work as well as making all the costumes for her shows and concerts. The family keeps me busy as there are four grandchildren (including a set of triplets). My husband and I also just got a new puppy which we’re having great fun with although the cat isn’t too happy with us at present – she enjoyed being an only child.