Category Archives: Our Stories

Sue Phillips’ Story

By | Our Stories

When I started working on 31 August 1998 St John’s Community Care had been operating for almost one year.   I was employed for 12 hours per week to provide admin support at Redlynch and at my interview was told the hours would probably not increase – the Admin/Finance team now consists of 12 people at Redlynch alone!

There were approximately 30 employees working for St John’s. The programs were After Hours Respite at Redlynch, Aged Care Packages in Cairns, Mareeba and Innisfail. Project 300 and Project Plus clients had recently commenced and there was a 24 hour house in Atherton. My jobs were varied, every second Friday morning was spent doing the pays and bills (all done in a couple of hours), often on a Wednesday I would head to Woollies at Smithfield and do the shopping for the Respite clients meals. There was one bus to transport the clients to and from Respite. The original priest’s house was our office and there was wonderful atmosphere with the clients wandering down the hall to say hello on their way to the bathroom. There was a fenced area at the front of the house and two basset hounds greeted the clients as they arrived and children as they went past on their way to Daycare.

As the years went by the house had additions to the back as clients and staff increased. Disability had their office on the far side of the Church for a while. The Parish Hall was built and then the upstairs offices. As the organisation grew and more staff were located at Redlynch, the house was demolished for the current Respite/Administration Centre.

Many staff have come and gone over the years, only 2 of the support workers who were here when I started are still working with St John’s, Sharyn Harvey and Raylene Charles who work with disability clients and Glenda Barnes started in Respite shortly after .

There are approximately 320 staff now and St John’s have offices in Mareeba, Thursday Island, Innisfail, Townsville and Brisbane and the Respite Centre and Young Lifestyle Centre in Gordonvale. Our payroll now takes two days each week to process and keeping track of the accounts is almost a full time job.

I have always enjoyed working at St John’s and liked the challenges that come with new clients and programs. I have worked with many wonderful people, the Board Members, Managers, Coordinators and Team Leaders, Support Workers and the Admin Team.

Sue Phillips

Kate Thomas’ Story

By | Our Stories

Katie was born in Greece and educated in Alexandria Egypt. She obtained her post-graduate degrees in the U.K. where she worked for some years. She has lived in Cairns since the mid-sixties working as an Ophthalmologist in private practice. When Katie retired, she dedicated all her spare time to her elderly mother who passed away in 2008.

Katie joined the Volunteer Staff at St John’s Community Care in 2009. She works 4-5 hours a week, mainly doing clerical work for Home Assist.

Katie enjoys her work a lot; everyone at the office is very pleasant and always helpful and obliging. She is content in the knowledge that she is able to contribute in a small way to help those in need.

St John’s Community Care is very grateful for the dedicated work of Katie and all of our volunteers.

Click to here read more about volunteering at St John’s Community Care.

Shaun Gulliver’s Story

By | Our Stories

Shaun is a valued St John’s client at Young Lifestyle Care Gordonvale shared accommodation.

Shaun’s environment encourages his independence, taking part in household chores and continues to work on developing his skills so one day he can live independently. He also attends ten pin bowling outings, social groups and is involved with a church group.

This year has seen Shaun’s goal of talking to students about his journey and the effects of alcohol and violence on the community has become a reality. Shaun is also a valued member of the St John’s Focus Group and YLC Friendship Garden Planning Committee.

Shaun is walking with an aid of a walker and is continuing to progress on his mobility and developing important living skills. He is working closely with a local gym in Cairns with his own Personal Trainer.

Shaun has such motivation and determination, he is a true inspiration to all of us here at ST John’s Community Care.

Click here to read more about how St John’s Community Care is assisting our community.