Warrigal sponsorship gets Southern Illawarra Men’s Shed (SIMS) off to a great start

A new men’s shed being created in Oak Flats is close to becoming operational, providing a space for older men to come together and work on creative projects.

What started as an idea two years ago by a group of Warrigal’s Shell Cove villagers has been made possible through funding from the NSW Government’s ‘My Community Project’ grant in 2019 for the amount of $60,721.00, which allowed the group to purchase tools, machinery and equipment, such as a dust extraction system, wood and metalworking lathes.

To assist with the project, Warrigal has made part of its Oak Flats premises available as a location and paid for the building upgrade and improvements, part of which includes parking, safe and disabled access. The Shed is 12m x 15m and in addition to the fully equipped workshop has a new kitchen where less active members can enjoy conversation and a cup of tea.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell said, “Warrigal is proud to be a part of this important project as the construction of the Southern Illawarra Men’s Shed would ensure the continuation of a worthwhile group that benefits the whole community.”

Now more than ever sheds offer men a critical avenue for social support and engagement. “They are an important way in which older people could learn new skills and build strong relationships, particularly into retirement,” Mark said. “Men in the Southern Illawarra will soon be able to catch up with mates and share their skills in their new shed, and I’m looking forward to hearing how SIMS makes a difference.”

Southern Illawarra Men’s Shed President, Andy Peters said, “We are thrilled to have received this level of support and on behalf of everyone who has been working so hard to see it come to life, we just want to say thank you.”

The shed has approximately 20 members at present who have been extremely busy over the last few months painting and preparing equipment for the Grand Opening to be announced soon.


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

Come and get your thrift-fix

Op Shop 160421 6

Warrigal’s iconic Op Shop that locals know and love was officially re-opened last week by Warrigal’s CEO after it shut its doors in 2020 to protect the volunteers and the local community from COVID-19. 

The Op Shop, located in Warilla, has been operating for over 35 years and has always been run by volunteers, with people travelling far and wide to visit coming from the Southern Highlands, South Coast and throughout the Illawarra.

The Op Shop’s friendly volunteers only adds to the unique shopping experience, guaranteeing more than just retail therapy when you shop there. Not only will you pick yourself up an array of recycled fashion pieces, bric-a-brac, books and even some vintage and modern-day gems at incredibly low prices, but all purchases will help to create better lives for older people.

“All funds raised from the Op Shop are used to purchase personal equipment and other items for some of our oldest locals living at Warrigal who can’t afford to buy those things for themselves. Warrigal is a charity and the shop knows how hard it is for some people who have high needs to make ends meet.” said Mark Sewell, Warrigal CEO.

“Without the regular contribution of these inspiring volunteers, Warrigal simply couldn’t open this shop,” said Mark. “They certainly are an incredible group who have set this shop up and work it every week. They tell me being able to give back is something that fills them with purpose.”

Michelle Chate, Warrigal’s Volunteer Coordinator added: “I am continually humbled by all our volunteers who give freely of their time, and the passion, commitment and energy they each bring to Warrigal.”

Donations of items are greatly appreciated particularly men’s clothing. If you're looking for a new home for your books, bric-a-brac, furniture, clothing and homewares gathering dust on shelves, or you're wanting to make space in your wardrobe for some new threads, please drop in.

Warrigal has implemented health and safety regulations to ensure the volunteers, its customers and the broader community remain COVlD-safe.

Warrigal’s Op Shop is located in George St, Warilla and is open three days per week from
9.30 am until 2 pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Contact Michelle Chate on 1800 927 744 if you’re interested in volunteering with Warrigal.


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


Statement from Warrigal CEO Mark Sewell on the release of the final report of the Royal Commission

Mark Sewell2

Monday, 01 March 2021 

Warrigal has welcomed the release of the Royal Commissioner’s Final Report with its 148 recommendations and extends their appreciation to the Commissioners and their teams for what they have brought to this enormous task.

The report will now be a historic turning point in the rebuild of community trust in the important services that the aged care industry provide to the oldest people in Australia.

The Government is required to give a response by May this year and will need to consider all the recommendations the Royal Commission has made, and there is widespread hope that from this a more sustainable aged care system that allows everyone to live out their lives with respect and dignity can be built.

The stories and events that were told before the Commission were not easy to hear but they were necessary. Neglect and harm is completely unacceptable and the Commission has now written a report that could potentially right the whole system. 20 previous reports over the past 20 years have not been fully implemented by various governments so this huge report will require a very large investment to be implemented.

We are hoping for a strong moral response from the government to this report so that we can implement some of the minimum staffing levels that this report recommends. There are lots of recommendations in the report that providers can implement too so we also acknowledge that providers need to be accountable too for better services.

Our senior Australians are among our greatest treasures, and they deserve the highest quality aged care possible from Governments at all levels and from all organisations that provide accommodation, services or support.

Warrigal will immediately take steps to address the matters that are referred to in the report, and will immediately set up a high-level taskforce to examine the whole report and adopt as many of the recommendations as we can at Warrigal. We will:

  • Immediately engage and work with others such as NSW Health to ensure clinically sound practice happens at every service location
  • Rapidly expand our home services this year to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of older people who want to stay at home
  • Improve our workforce selection and induction processes to make sure all new staff know what they need to know and become experts ASAP
  • Transparently report all our staff levels and ratios and all our quality care outcomes so that everyone knows what happens at every service and every location at Warrigal
  • Review our Board and Management Teams in line with the minimum standards in the Royal Commission report.

Community trust is built on transparency and Warrigal is committed more than ever to making these changes to ensure our older people come first always.

Warrigal knows that there are a lot of important issues to address. We will be implementing all the things that we can, and we feel hopeful that the Government will treat this report seriously. There may be a lot of improvement coming for everyone in the sector.

Warrigal looks forward to the year ahead, an election year, which promises to be our best opportunity to achieve the significant reform our sector needs.

Warrigal sees this time as an opportunity for all of us to focus on the future needs of older people in Australia.

Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report: Summary

Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report: Recommendations


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

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PO Box 435 Albion Park, NSW 2527
Email: warrigal@warrigal.com.au
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Warrigal was founded by volunteers and they continue to be vital to ensuring our residents happiness. From driving buses to regular visits, even assisting with our business operations, we have many varied opportunities for anyone who would like to donate their time, energy and skills to Warrigal’s residents.

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