Doutta Galla COVID-19

14 April 2021

Dear Residents, Families and Friends

Re: Commemoration, reflection and acknowledgement

The 12th of April 2021 was a special day for Doutta Galla Aged Services. It was a day where we celebrated our 30-year anniversary as the provider of aged care services to the communities in the west of Melbourne and Shepparton and to importantly take time together as the Doutta Galla community to remember the people who have passed away, not only over the past 12 months, but over the last 30 years of the life of Doutta Galla.

Remembering and Commemorating

We remembered the joy and camaraderie that many of those whose paths have crossed with Doutta Galla have shared and reflected together. As a mark of respect, and in memory of the people we have lost, a candle was lit by residents from our homes and a minutes’ silence was observed across each of our eight aged care homes. All members of our Board, myself and senior staff members were part of the reflection and stood side by side with our residents, staff and many family members as together we remembered, individually and together. Grief is very personal to each of us.

The last 12 months have been very difficult for all of us as we navigated the crisis that was to be a once in 100-year pandemic. The virus infiltrated our lives with a malevolence that was unpredictable, speed that was unexpected and in so many ways devastating. Sadly, we will remember 2020 as one of the worst periods of the 21st Century.

Looking back, it is astonishing to consider what we have all been through during 2020. Our residents could not have visitors in the way that they were used to so window visits and chat decks were invented. People uncomfortable with technology found themselves facetiming, zooming and skyping, some with family overseas they had not seen in a very long time. Many of our staff could not leave Australia to visit and care for their own families and sadly a number of staff lost their loved ones overseas to COVID 19.

During those very devastating times, our residents showed their bravery, resilience, sadness, grief, hopefulness and care for our staff and each other. Our staff showed incredible courage, and as Mary Anne Radmacher said:

“Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow”.  And there is no small act of kindness. Every compassionate act makes large the world”.

I wish to extend my condolences and that of the Doutta Galla community to all of our residents, families, staff and friends who have lost a loved one in the past 12 months.

Celebrating and Recognising

In acknowledging our 30-year anniversary, we recognise the efforts of a group of local people back in the late 1980s’ who saw a need for aged care in the west of Melbourne that was for all people regardless of their backgrounds, religion, socio-economic status and culture. From these humble beginnings Doutta Galla now has eight aged care homes, 96 units in two Retirement Villages, as well as Home Support packages in the western suburbs of Melbourne and of course Shepparton.

We think that over the past 30 years we have provided support, accommodation and care to 20,000 thousand people, and over 5,000 staff have provided care and support in many and various roles.

On the 12th April 2021, we were also able to personally recognise our dedicated staff and volunteers who celebrated significant service milestones. I wish to extend my congratulations and thanks to our staff and volunteers who continue to work hard to serve Doutta Galla residents each and every day.

Yours sincerely

Vanda Iaconese CEO