Every year the CEO and the Executive identify the "hero story" for the year. It is a story or an event that makes us proud to be associated with the Council. This year the hero story belongs to Wayne from Willowra Aged Care. This is his hero story…
Wayne Porter commenced employment with Central Desert Regional Council in May, 2014 as the Aged and Disability Services Coordinator in Willowra Community. Wayne says of his arrival at Willowra "There was literally nothing in place but after a few days getting around and meeting some of my potential clients I realised there was certainly a need for Aged Care Services in this community."
With no aged care facility in the community, Wayne used his initiative and the support of the Aged Care Management Team in Alice Springs to start one of the best aged care services for the people in the Willowra community.
Setting objectives that would create a unique aged care experience was Wayne’s next task, arranging meetings with other Council staff and external stakeholders, the Willowra Aged Care Service was gathering support and momentum; what an exciting time it was for the residents of the Willowra community.
Once Wayne had the support through the Council, it was time to take the consultation to the residents, and that is exactly what happened.
"These amazing and wonderful people for centuries have lived in open spaces and slept under the stars, ceremonies and meetings have been held outside. This gave me an idea, and with the assistance of my clients, I asked questions, and received feedback from clients that they were excited about my thoughts and ideas. So, what did we do? Well, as you can see from the photos, one of the first things we did was move most activities outside, near the river where they used to live.
I also started an exercise program which continues to have good participation, movie days and more recently school interaction program.
When people like nutritionists and other providers come into the community we have our meetings and interaction down by the river (weather permitting), both the Aged Care clients and the nutritionists enjoy this. We have achieved all of this without an aged care facility.
My clients and I have a special bond and an amazing relationship. I felt very privileged when they gave me a skin name of Jampijinpa which majority of my clients only use this. My main objective and goal is to have an outstanding Aged Care Service that we all can be proud of and the improved health and wellbeing of our clients in Willowra.
I thoroughly enjoy my position and the challenges that go with it. With amazing support from Cathryn Hutton, John Gaynor, Paula Eatts and Jenny Montgomery, these people make my job so much easier.
My biggest reward is seeing the wonderful smiles on my clients and their mobility and health improving each day."