Respect Celebrates Inspirational Staff on International Women’s Day

IWD 2024 |

Celebrating International Women's Day

International Women’s Day takes place today and its importance continues to be felt more profoundly than ever. Originating from a history of women’s rights movements, the day also serves as a global opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women across all aspects of life. 

The significance of International Women’s Day is particularly relevant for sectors like aged care, where women form a significant portion of the workforce. Recent statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that women make up approximately 80% of employees in the aged care industry. This highlights the crucial role women play in providing care and support to the older population, often in demanding and emotionally taxing environments. 

Respect is proud to observe International Women’s Day and turn a spotlight on the diverse and dedicated women who represent the backbone of our care organisation. From caregivers and nurses to administrators and managers, they contribute their expertise and compassion to help improve the lives of older Australians living and receiving care in our communities.  

Here, we share just a small snapshot of some of the stories, achievements, and perspectives of women from our aged care communities. Whether they are staff members, working on the ground or leading teams, or selfless supporters and beloved residents, we honour their invaluable contributions to Respect. 

Amanda Wright, Social Care Coordinator at Cooinda in Lithgow, New South Wales 

Reflecting on her personal and professional journey, Amanda cites several female role models, including her mother, grandmother, aunt, and close friend Jenny, for instilling in her values of strength, confidence, kindness, and resilience.

From her teenage years to her current roles in aged care and education, Amanda has drawn inspiration from the women who have supported and guided her, shaping her approach to work and life. 

When asked about what makes her proud now, Amanda points to the daily joy she derives from working with our residents.

Juggling professional duties with raising her young family stands out as her proudest accomplishment, which she says is testament to the opportunities and support she has received. 

Elva Smallwood, resident at Woodhaven in Lockhart, New South Wales

Elva is a beloved resident at our Woodhaven community in Lockhart, and across her 104 years she has truly seen how impactful inspirational women can be as role models for others.

Reflecting on her own upbringing, she singles out her own mother and acknowledges her hard work, kindness, and selflessness – and that impact it had on others around her, including Elva. 

Elva says a proud moment from her own career was when she was able to draw on and display these same values in her work in her local hospital’s kitchen, where she derived great joy from bringing smiles to many faces.  

Michelle Malycha, General Manager at Coroneagh Park in Penguin, Tasmania

Supporting the next generation of strong women is an area extremely close to Michelle’s heart. 

As a proud mother to two daughters of whom she is incredibly proud, Michelle says she considers it an integral part of her role to encourage and grow all nurses and carers that come through Coroneagh Park. With many being young women in the first stage of their careers as clinical professionals, Michelle is proud to match their excitement and eagerness with an equal level of enthusiasm and positive guidance. 

Michelle places immense value on the women in her life who have mentored her and provided examples that she has looked up to and attempted to emulate.  

“At every stage in our lives and career, it is so important to have people to shine a light ahead for you to follow – strong intelligent women do that for me whether they know it or not,” she says.  

Rosemary Bain, supporter – RM Begg in Kyneton, Victoria 

Rosemary leads the RM Begg Auxiliary Group which, through its great fundraising efforts and passion and commitment, continues to inspire positive change for our residents in our Kyneton home. 

International Women’s Day naturally hold a special significance for this group, with all 20 members drawn together with a common, philanthropic purpose: to raise funds and provide support for the home’s residents. 

For Rosemary, International Women’s Day symbolises the acknowledgment of women’s accomplishments globally, highlighting her own pride in the strides the Auxiliary has taken, for more than four decades. Looking forward, Rosemary and her colleagues are proud to continue this legacy, demonstrating the same generosity, passion, and dedication as those who inaugurated their group more than 44 years ago. 

Elisha Squire, Social Care Coordinator at Eliza Purton in West Ulverston, Tasmania

Elisha recognises International Women’s Day as a unique opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the women in our lives who have shaped us and our future.  

Personally, she points to her mum who she says led by example, teaching her the morals and respect that Elisha is proud to stand for each and every day. Above all, Elisha says her mum taught her to believe in herself. 

“This has allowed me to move into a position I had only dreamed about. Being more confident and happy within my personal life has made me a better person in my work life,” she says. 

“Becoming a mother has been the single most empowering moments of my life, nurturing and raising amazing young humans who all share my morals and respect for others. Raising decent kids is certainly empowering to me.” 


Other News