Celebrating the amazing women in our organisation
As one of Australia’s leading aged care providers, with 7,500 employee, 82% who are women, we take the opportunity on 8 March, International Women’s Day, to celebrate all the amazing women in our organisation.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme was choose to challenge. Here we profile some of the inspirational women in the Estia Health family and tell their stories, including how they’ve overcome challenges and adversity in their lives and careers.
Anita is Estia Health’s Head of Quality Audit and Projects, a Registered Nurse with an amazing career and breadth of experience in health care. We asked Anita to tell us about her wonderful career and the experience that led her to work in aged care.
‘Having worked in paediatrics, psychiatric nursing and surgery before taking a break to have a family, I became a District Nurse; it was then I saw the real lives and struggles of people, including older Australians, and the essence of ‘person-centred’ care. That’s when I realised my heart belonged in aged care, a sector I’ve now been in for the past 15 years and I absolutely love it.’
"That’s when I realised my heart belonged in aged care, a sector I’ve now been in for the past 15 years and I absolutely love it."
As our Head of Quality Audit and Projects, Anita works as part of a broader clinical team developing internal audit tools to meet the Quality Aged Care Standards, developing and reviewing clinical policies and procedures as well as leading the Quality Improvement Committee and being a member of the Clinical Governance Committee. This is all focused on continually assessing and looking at opportunities for Estia Health to provide residents with the highest quality care, improve their wellbeing, maintain their dignity, all while in a safe and supportive environment.
Anita joined Estia Health last year right in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and spoke of her experience during this incredibly challenging time.
“Supporting Victorian homes through their COVID-19 outbreaks was difficult at times, none of us really knew what lay ahead” “I would often shed tears of happiness when I read about residents returning from hospital and their emotional relief to be ‘home’. In the end I felt like I knew each and every one of them”.
"In the end I felt like I knew each and every one of them."
We asked Anita how she has coped during challenging times ‘I’m sure we all experience times when we think we can’t continue at the pace we work or live, but I have drawn strength from others and will often say to myself “This is nothing compared to what others have endured” and I take a deep breath and carry on with a smile on my face.'
As well as hearing about Anita’s professional experience, we asked her about her other passions outside of work and something people may not know about her. “Back when I was much younger, I studied ballet and tap dancing and became a Channel 9 dancer with appearances on Brian Henderson’s Bandstand! This led me to run my own tap dancing school for several years” “In 1989 I took up aerobics and became the Reebok runner up aerobics champion!”
We asked Anita to explain why she thinks it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate International Women’s Day and which women have inspired her. ‘My Mum used to work for the Australian Medical Association and Medical Defence after hours, and to broaden her knowledge she enrolled in Medical Law as a mature-aged student studying in the evenings – she topped the state at 45! Her words to me were “If you enjoy your job, it will never feel like work” ‘Although she passed away several years ago, I will be honouring her on International Women’s Day as well as the many other women who have played important roles in my life.’ “I believe it is important to celebrate all women (and girls) as we are a mighty fine species!
"I believe it is important to celebrate all women (and girls) as we are a mighty fine species!"
So, on International Women’s Day and every day, I feel proud that I am a woman!”