Warrigal celebrates with long-serving staff at annual Chairman’s Awards

Last week Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, and Chairman of the Board, Wyn Janssen, celebrated with their long-serving staff by holding special ceremonies to acknowledge all they have achieved and contributed to Warrigal and older people over the years.

The Chairman’s Awards has been an annual event for many years at Warrigal, to celebrate those who are achieving special milestones with the organisation . This year, attendees were celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service, and acknowledged in a special ceremony the contributions they have all made.

Warrigal team member from the Illawarra, Deborah Stevens, received her 25 years’ service award and said that applying for a position with Warrigal all those years ago was a great decision.

Deborah said, “I have enjoyed growing my career with Warrigal, I’ve worked in a few different positions during my time here including administration, from desk concierge and now Social Service  Manager . I have really enjoyed recruiting staff and volunteers to come and work with us, and it has been really rewarding seeing some of those volunteers gain full time employment with Warrigal.”

Deborah continued, “Working with a great team and helping older people live great lives is the reason I love what I do.”

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Nancy Sconce from Warrigal Calwell achieved her 30 years’ service, and spoke at the ceremony. Nancy said, “I have worked in many different positions during my time, starting as an enrolled nurse, then on reception, in medical records, coordinating staff rosters, moving onto being a physiotherapist assistant for many years, and now onto my current position as a Lifestyle Officer arranging recreation activities.”

Nancy continued, “Working in the Lifestyle team at Warrigal, creating positive environments for the older people we support, has been the most fulfilling of all my positions during my time in aged care. Over my 30 years, I have worked alongside hundreds of co-workers, and have been privileged to have met and cared for more than a thousand residents from all different walks of life. When the time comes for me to retire, I will take away many years of experience, friendships and memories.”

Nancy Sconce

Those achieving their years of service awards received a certificate and special commemorative luxury gift, followed by a morning tea together. The ceremonies focused on the commitment and dedication of Warrigal staff, particularly those on the front line, and how special these achievements are at a time where changing jobs often is common.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said “It was fantastic to get together and celebrate these amazing contributions of our long-serving staff, particularly as we were recently named ACSA National Aged Care Provider of the Year and, at the recent Illawarra Business Awards awarded in the Excellence in Workplace Culture category. Without our dedicated and resilient long serving staff, Warrigal would not be able to achieve all that it has this year, especially through the challenges that COVID has brought.”

He continued, “We have an incredible team that not only provide great support to our residents, but also to each other – which is why we see so many of our staff achieve such long tenures. People love to work with us at Warrigal, to become experts and leaders in their filed, and they feel a deep sense of community as together they support older people to live great lives.”

To ensure all those receiving an award could attend, two ceremonies were held in the Illawarra and Queanbeyan to cover Warrigal’s locations across NSW and the ACT. Many people attended and adhered to COVID safety precautions and social distancing measures, enjoying being able to celebrate safely in person again.

Warrigal is now hiring for several positions. If you would like to join the Warrigal team, visit the ‘Work with Warrigal’ page at warrigal.com.au.



Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations Manager | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

Warrigal Executives stay overnight in Warrigal’s Southern Care Homes

Last week, Warrigal’s Executive team travelled from the Illawarra to Canberra to Calwell, Stirling and Queanbeyan, to spend time staying in their care homes at each location, experiencing daily life from the point of view of residents and staff.

The Executive Team, Mark Sewell (CEO), Craig Smith (Operations), Ben Marsh (Finance and Admin), Peter Hutchinson (Property), Penelope Batman (People and Culture) and Alissa Walsh (Strategy), experienced a day and overnight in a care home to get a feel for what daily life is like for staff and residents. They dined with residents at meal times, attended staff handover meetings at the end and beginning of shifts, and slept overnight in resident rooms at the care home.

Due to ongoing COVID lockdowns over the past two years, the Warrigal Executives have not been able to visit the care homes in person as often as they like.

This overnight stay was a great way to further build personal relationships between management, residents and staff in the care homes, particularly as Warrigal recently celebrated the 12 month anniversary of their Canberra homes acquisition from BUPA, and the two year anniversary of the official opening of the brand new multi-story care home at Queanbeyan.

Craig My dinner dates Executive Ben Marsh checks in at Warrigal Stirling

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said “This visit was a great opportunity for us to spend some genuine listening time with residents and staff at our Canberra and Queanbeyan care homes to hear, see and feel what it’s like staying in one of our homes. Spending a full day and night, we get an insight into what daily life at a care home is like for our residents and staff.”

He continued, “We all enjoyed our short stay immensely, and it’s very encouraging to see our residents happy and enjoying life in our care homes, being cared for by our friendly expert frontline staff. To hear their positive feedback first-hand only further confirms our commitment to enable older people to continue living their great lives.”

“We can’t believe how few aged care managers have ever stayed in a care home! We have 11 homes and 9 villages to visit regularly because for us building relationships and trust amongst every level of our organisation – from our Executive Managers to our staff and our residents – is very important and something we value greatly.”

If you or your loved one would like to see what life in a Warrigal care home is like for yourselves, call Warrigal on 1800 927 744 to find out more about the services they offer across NSW and the ACT.


Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations Manager | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

Warrigal wins National Award for Aged Care Provider of the Year

Warrigal has been awarded the National award for ‘Aged Care Provider of the Year’ at the Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) Awards ceremony on Tuesday 7 December, 2021.

The award, recognising Warrigal’s outstanding leadership, management, workforce culture, innovation, communication and excellence in the sector, was presented online amongst other aged care providers across all other states and territories in Australia.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said winning the award is a wonderful way to finish off the year for Warrigal, after a string of award successes for the organisation.

“We are truly honoured to be named the National Aged Care Provider of the Year, and this, along with our several other recent award wins, champion the great staff and workplace culture we have here at Warrigal.”

Warrigal won the NSW/ACT State Provider of the Year award in October, and have now gone on to take out the National award. They were also recognised in November at the IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards by taking home the Outstanding Community Organisation award, and being named joint-winners for the Excellence in Workplace Culture award.

Warrigal is proud to highlight the work of their 1500 staff and more than 350 volunteers, who have continued to work together tirelessly to reach positive outcomes for the residents and customers who use Warrigal’s services.

“Our positive workplace culture is a part of our organisational DNA, and is led by the incredible contributions from our volunteers. Warrigal was founded by volunteers, and it is volunteers who continue to govern us right up to our Board of Directors. We thank all of the incredible people who contribute to making Warrigal what it is, and share this achievement of recognition at a national level with them.” Mark said.

Warrigal is looking forward to celebrating their year of achievement with their staff, volunteers, residents, customers and community, particularly after a challenging year of working through the COVID pandemic.



Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations Manager | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

Warrigal wins at the 2021 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards

Warrigal has won the Outstanding Community Organisation award, and named joint-winners with Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra for the Excellence in Workplace Culture award, held at WIN Entertainment Centre on Friday, 19 November 2021. Warrigal was also the recipient of the Highly Commended award for Excellence in Innovation.

The awards, now in its 27th year, is a platform to recognise the outstanding achievements of businesses and business leaders in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands, and nearly 400 people attended represent their local businesses and to celebrate 14 award categories.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said winning these awards on the back of being named the 2021 NSW/ACT Provider of the Year at the recent ACSA awards was the cherry on top for another successful year for Warrigal despite the challenges.

“These awards are an outstanding achievement for Warrigal, particularly amongst such a talented pool of businesses in our local community. 2021 has been a challenging time for everyone in the Illawarra and around the world, and this accolade highlights the hard work and exemplary customer service and care that our staff delivers on a daily basis. These awards are a great opportunity for us to celebrate together all that we have done for people.”

Warrigal’s efforts throughout the pandemic were contributing factors to their recent award success, being recognised for their outstanding leadership, management, and innovation as they supported their residents, customers, staff and volunteers through various lockdowns to keep them safe and morale high.

Warrigal is proud to highlight the work of nearly 2000 staff and volunteers, who have worked together tirelessly for keep so many older people safe and happy who use Warrigal’s services.

Mark continued, “We are thrilled to be recognised as the most Outstanding Community Organisation, as well as for our intentional Workplace Culture – the ‘Warrigal Way’. This win is for our frontline staff. There is so much they have selflessly done every day and night for other people in the last two years. They are the real heroes of our community. They have shown great resilience and strength through a particularly challenging year, and our team are truly grateful to be recognised for this frontline effort.”

“We are also very proud of the Highly Commended award for Excellence in Innovation for our Safe Visiting Areas and Special Care Unit, as despite COVID’s constant challenges and continual disruption, providing exceptional care and services to our customers requires new and innovative solutions,” added Mark.



Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations Manager | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

Warrigal’s 2021 Annual General Meeting hears how Warrigal has doubled in size in just 4 years (2)

On Monday, 25 October 2021, Warrigal held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) attended by its Board of Directors, Executive Managers and Company Members, including one of the founding members, 101 year old Norm Rowland OAM of Shellharbour. It was held online, under the chairmanship of Wyn Janssen to protect the health and safety of all parties in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Three annual addresses were given by the Chairman, The Chair of the Business Risk and Audit Committee, Wayne Morris, and Warrigal’s CEO, Mark Sewell, on the year that was, plans for the future as well as on the results of the July 2020 to June 2021 financial year.

The meeting reflected on the historic challenges Warrigal has faced in the past 12 months which included the global COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the implementation of the recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission and the acquisition by Warrigal of the 2 BUPA homes in Canberra. Thriving amongst these challenges has put Warrigal in a very strong position to move forward.

Warrigal’s key financial results were also presented with the unprecedented cost pressures causing a significant situation over the last few years that has now been turned around. Warrigal’s unprecedented growth is being delivered, at the same time as a financial recovery plan and the pandemic response plan.

Some of the FY21 Highlights:

  • Warrigal’s reported surplus of $107m for the year is a change in accounting policy to better reflect the current value of property assets.
  • Warrigal’s underlying operating deficit was $9.6m reflecting the high costs of Covid protection, the commissioning of a new multi-level home at Queanbeyan and the acquisition of two homes in Canberra at Calwell and Stirling.
  • Expansion of Residential Care licences to 1255 beds is up from 695 in 2018. Warrigal’s care homes bed numbers have doubled in 4 years to now be a strategically significant size of over 1000 beds and in the top 5% of providers in Australia.
  • Warrigal has grown its total assets from nothing in 1967 to $472m in 2021 which demonstrates how a small band of local volunteers can create a significant organisation, still owned and governed by local volunteers on behalf of the community.
  • A new Strategic Plan titled ‘Towards 2030’ is being developed now. This revised strategy will set a new focus on particular services that the community needs as Warrigal uses its impressive team and culture to move forward even faster.

Warrigal’s Annual Report was also officially launched at the event, documenting the organisations’ achievements, opportunities and challenges over the past year. Warrigal’s annual reports often win awards at the Australasian Annual Reporting Awards for their transparency and innovative presentation of information. CEO, Mark Sewell says the organisation has come a long way since it began on Mt Warrigal but still has the DNA of a trusted local friend who listens to older people and meets their housing and care needs. It’s a simple formula that has worked for several thousand older people every year and plans to keep doing so for many years to come.

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Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations Manager | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

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