If there’s a job to be done at Deloraine’s Grenoch Home, Colin Sylvester is the man to do it.
For the past 26 years, the maintenance assistant has been making a big difference by carrying out the aged care facility’s little, but important jobs.
On Wednesday, Mr Sylvester was among staff at Grenoch recognised in the first national Thank You for Working in Aged Care Day.
Hosted by the Our Turn to Care campaign, with support of the Health and Community Services Union, the event was aimed at recognising the work of aged care employees across Australia.
Mr Sylvester said he was surprised, but humbled by the recognition.
“I wasn’t expecting it, but it is nice,” he said.
“I started here in 1992, so this job has been a big part of my life.
“Being able to help bring a smile to someone’s face is what makes it all worthwhile.
“I say ‘hello’ to one of the residents and you see a smile flash across their face.
“If my work plays a part in them being happy here, it is worth it for me.”
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Along with Grenoch, Tasmanian recognition ceremonies were also held at Mt St Vincent Nursing Home at West Ulverstone and Masonic Care at Lindisfarne in the state’s south.
The Our Turn To Care campaign brings together aged care workers, providers, residents and families who seek to improve aged care funding and wages for the industry’s workers.
HACSU assistant state secretary Robbie Moore said the work of people like Mr Sylvester was often hidden from the public.
“We think the work of aged care workers is significantly unrecognised,” he said.
“Today is about bringing more attention to the work people like Colin do, across all aged care roles.
“Because a lot of what they do is often hidden from the public, because it goes on behind closed doors.
“But it is really important because it really adds to the quality of life of people in aged care.
“It is about supporting the people, who support our elderly residents every day.”
From moving furniture, hanging paintings and most recently, gardening, Mr Sylvester said there was never a shortage of jobs to be carried out at Grenoch.
“For people here, it is often the really little things that have the biggest impact on their quality of life,” he said.
“I might go into someone’s room to hang a painting and they will say ‘just put it anywhere’.
“But I always tell them, they are the ones who are going to live with it, so they should have a say as to where it goes.
“It is something small, but I think they really appreciate that.”