Janelle Clark first started working with Catholic Homes in 2004, working with our Affordable Housing team, and the project group on the construction of the first retirement village for the organisation – Corpus Christi Retirement Village – where she is now the Retirement Living Coordinator.
Through this construction project, she had the opportunity to meet many of the incoming residents, some of which are still at Corpus Christi. She left Catholic Homes in 2010 after six years to have her first child, and then her second. In 2014 when the position of Retirement Living Coordinator came up at St Thomas’ Greensborough, she jumped at the chance to come back and work within Retirement Living. She spent six months at St Thomas’ before transferring to Corpus Christi.
What do you do as part of your role?
Being a Retirement Living Coordinator means you wear many hats. My duties range from the vacating, admission and sales of units, assisting with obtaining additional services such as home help, arranging social events for the residents, assisting with maintenance issues, helping residents with technology devices and just the day-to-day concerns and operation of the Retirement Village.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen from when you started?
The biggest change would have to be the merger. As mentioned I started at Catholic Homes in 2004 initially when there were 11 people at Head Office. Merging with Villa Maria increased the range of services we provided, and I think we have become a great aged care and disability support services ‘one-stop-shop’.
What does it mean to you to work at VMCH?
I enjoy working for VMCH because of the range of service we can provide to make life a little easier for the person or their carer. The staff who work with the residents are extremely caring and the residents make the work rewarding. I appreciate that VMCH have a strong focus on staff as well as residents and clients.
What do you love most about your role?
I love the diversity; each day is different. I also love working with the residents within their home, I feel like part of the family we have a wonderful community here. The residents here are amazing; they feel like an extended family. Everyone gets along and looks out for one another and the sense of community here is wonderful.
What do you like to do outside of work?
My children are 9 and 7 who keep me busy with their extra-curricular activities, however there is always room for ‘me’ time. I enjoy playing the bag pipes, and I recently got back into playing after a few years off, and I play with the Frankston RSL Pipes and Drums. This year due to COVID-19 and the restrictions on ANZAC Day gatherings and celebrations, the residents all lined up in their drives for a minute silence and I played the pipes for them. It’s tough going for the residents with the worry of COVID, it was nice to do something special so we could still remember our heroes.