St Hedwig Village News Autumn 2018 Edition

From the CEO’s Desk

New beginnings

After the excitement and festivities of Christmas and the New Year, January was a relatively quiet month. I think everyone was happy to have some peace and rest but not for too long.

We now move into the Lenten period as we prepare for Easter which is not too far away.

Easter is all about new beginnings and here at St Hedwig Village we hope that it will mark the beginning of our long anticipated re-development project. We are hoping that our DA will be approved real soon.

Kathy Eberl
Chief Executive Officer

Pastoral Care Condolences

We take this opportunity to extend our condolences to the families who have lost loved ones:

Nellie Booth, Willi Jaehne, Gloria Le-Cuddenc, Herbert Lee, Ann McGerty, Joan O’Loughlin, Audrey Sim and Eva Sowonja.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

Good Bye & Good Luck

Two of our young German volunteers are returning to Germany. Their time with St Hedwig Village has come to an end – Anna Rumbach and Frieder Seethaler. Both were working in the Nursing Home.

It has been an absolute pleasure having Anna and Frieder here. The way that they cared for and interacted with the residents was genuine and spontaneous. They will be missed by residents and staff. 

They are now returning to Germany to commence their university studies. We wish them all the best and who knows perhaps they will visit us again in the future. 


A big welcome to Sherry Zantua who has joined the Hostel team as Recreational Activity Officer. Sherry is job sharing with Noreen Nakic and will be working mostly Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sherry is not new to aged care, having worked with several other facilities. We wish Sherry all the best in her new role and many happy years ahead.

News From Past Volunteers

Kathi Graber (Volunteer 2016 to 2017)
As well as continuing with her studies Kathi is also spending some time in London to practise her English speaking skills.

Sebastian Knorz (Volunteer 2010 to 2011)
Sebastian is studying to be a doctor and is in his last year which is a year of internship. As part of his internship Sebastian spent four months working in a hospital in Tanzania, East Africa.

Sebastian hopes to visit Australia again once his studies are completed.

Pastoral Care Coordinator News

The season of Lent is upon us once again, beginning on Ash Wednesday March 14th and ending on Easter Sunday. During this time Christians are encouraged to spring clean their soul, pray more, fast and reflect on their relationship with Jesus. Some people view Lent as an imposition and an inconvenience to their life style because traditionally the expectation is that we “give up” something that will have a profound impact on our life for the next 6 weeks. Self-denial however, is not something that is easily embraced in today’s society.

For those of us who do wish to set out on our own Lenten journey our experience will be unique to us and different from anyone else’s. This journey we must make on our own so that we can rediscover what part Jesus plays in our lives if at all. No matter who I talk to these days I am constantly hearing how “busy” life is for everyone and there is “not enough time” to fit everything in. I wonder does that also include not enough time to fit in God. Personally, I think Lent is the ideal time for each of us to stop and take stock of our relationship not only with God but with our family, friends and co-workers too. It is a good time to ask ourselves how our prayer life is. How do we treat our family, friends and co-workers? How open and willing are we to putting our own needs aside so that we may focus on helping others?

The choice to observe Lent is a personal one and if we choose to go on this journey, any prayer or act of kindness on our part does not go unnoticed by God. During this great season we have the chance to open the door to our hearts a little wider and allow ourselves to understand Jesus a little deeper. Our Lenten journey also gives us an opportunity to contemplate what Jesus really did for us on the Cross and remind us of his boundless love for each of us and all mankind. Lent is not a time to focus on the sadness or despair of Jesus’ death on Good Friday but rather the great hope that Easter Sunday brings to each of us, the Resurrection of Christ, who is our gateway to heaven.

Wishing all of you abundant blessings and an Easter filled with joy and peace.

News from the Pews

February 14th – Ash Wednesday – Mass in the Hostel Chapel at 3:15pm and 4:00pm in the Link with distribution of Ashes.
March 14th – Pilgrimage to St Brigid’s in North Sydney with Pastoral Care Team
March 20th – Family morning tea in the Hostel Lounge Room at 10:00am.
March 29th – Holy Thursday – Mass in the Hostel Chapel at 4:00pm
March 30th – Good Friday – Stations of the Cross in St Raphael’s at 10:00am and 3:00pm in the Link
April 1st – Easter Sunday – Mass in the Link at 1:00pm

Maria Lynam

Standard Notices

Personal clothing
To prevent clothing items from going missing, please hand in any new clothing items to staff for labelling before it is placed in resident’s wardrobe. Relatives are asked to check residents’ wardrobes and to supply correct fitting and appropriate clothing for all types of weather and season changes.

Fire safety awareness.
If you are in the facility and you hear the fire alarm please remain calm. Remain in the resident’s room or if you are in one of the common areas of the facility remain in that area and wait for instructions from staff.

Always sign in and out in the visitors’ book located on the table in the foyer.

Seeking Staff Assistance 
If you are in the building and would like staff assistance for your relative or yourself, the best way to do this is press the buzzer in the resident room. This will save you from walking around to find someone as staff may not always be visible as they may be attending to another resident.

Emails are faster and a more effective type of communication. Please make sure that we have your email address on the file.

Information system
Please be advised that the activities of the day can be viewed in each resident’s room TV and on TV’S in common areas on channel 8. Please also check our notice boards for updates when you visit.

Other Services
There is a kiosk in the Hostel library which opens once a month on a Thursday. The kiosk is mostly run by volunteers. The kiosk is accessible to residents / relatives and friends from both Nursing Home and Hostel.

To help us prevent the spread of any infection, please refrain from visiting if you have any symptoms of any infectious disease – e.g. flu like symptoms and gastro.

And always please use the hand sanitisers that are strategically placed throughout the facility.

Roshni Kumar
Hostel Care Manager

Narooma Holiday

On Monday 5th February it was time for the Narooma holiday again. A group of eight residents and five carers embarked on the five hour trip to Clark Bay Town.

One week of leisure in the paradise. The sun was shining upon us for our deep sea fishing adventure at Montague Island where we also could see a big colony of seals. Self-caught flatheads were on the BBQ menu this evening.

Other activities throughout the week were feeding the alpacas, the chooks, swimming in the crystal clean pool and many opportunities to play rummi kup, shut the box, read magazines or get pampered with a relaxing foot spa. One of the highlights this time were the beach walks as we could watch the seals from very close proximity as well as huge sting rays, and the “normal” tenants of pelicans, cormorants and seagulls.

We enjoyed each others company, reminiscing and sharing life stories.

Staff and residents thanked the volunteers Antonia and Frieder for their tireless help.

This was a truly happy and unforgettable holiday.

Birgit Hellwig
Recreational Officer

Nursing Home Activity Report

The summer months are always a busy time especially the December Christmas season. There were so many Christmas events and functions. The Nursing Home staff take great pride in ensuring the residents’ Christmas is a wonderful experience.

The Christmas season started with residents attending the Blacktown Rotary Club Senior’s Annual Christmas Party. This is always a lovely day out with great entertainment and a traditional Christmas lunch. Our dear Mrs Schweiberer made the Blacktown papers as she was the oldest person to attending the Rotary Club Christmas party. The 2017 Christmas decorations were lovely as always and this Christmas the nursing staff took it upon themselves to decorate their areas. This was very much appreciated by the residents and their visitors.

There were two Christmas lights viewing. Residents enjoyed dinner at the club followed by a tour of the Christmas lights around the St Clair area. Christmas Day Residents woke to a visit from Santa and Mrs Claus, who handed out the resident Christmas gifts, both the dining rooms were beautifully decorated with table decorations that were hand made by Sylvia and her craft team. There was a lovely Christmas atmosphere that was enjoyed by residents, their visitors and staff. A Boxing day BBQ lunch was held and residents assisted with making Heike’s famous and delicious potato salad. Residents were able to sit outside and enjoy the BBQ lunch.

Replacing the last bus trip for the year was the gelato bar. Birgit’s lovely gelato menu made it very difficult to choose a gelato treat as everything on the menu looked so good.

Heike and Ursula finished off the year with a lovely “Mud Punch Day”. Fancy mocktail’s were served and lovely menu for residents to choose from, with Heike and Ursula dressing up for the occasion.

The Nursing Home has been fortunate to form a friendship with the children from the St Michael’s vacation care. A group of children and their teachers came to visit the residents and played a friendly game of floor darts with the residents, everyone was rewarded for their efforts with ice cream. A visit was then returned with a group of residents visiting the children at their vacation center. As it was the day before Australia Day the residents joined the children in a wonderful Australia Day celebration.

RAO’s Nursing Home


Hostel Activity Report

Advent is a time to prepare ourselves for Christmas. For many people it is an enjoyable time. Through various activities we like to create a sense of belonging. As each Advent candle was lit, more decorations were put up.

St Nikolaus Day was very exciting and our young pre-school children joined in the celebrations. All attendees were very well behaved during the year so St Nikolaus gave presents to everybody.

The St Raphael’s Choir presented us with a wonderful concert. Our residents joined in the singing of well-known Christmas songs. Many residents stayed for a glass of wine and Christmas cookies.

Once again the magnificent Pia’s Christmas Wonderland display at St Raphael’s Hall attracted many residents. We thank Pia, Gisela and all the volunteers for the afternoon tea which included mulled wine, gifts and entertainment.

Christmas lights bus trip is always popular with our residents. Firstly we had dinner at the Workers Club and after a good meal and lots of conversations we took off to see Christmas lights in the surrounding area. It was a long bus trip and very interactive.

Everybody likes to celebrate the New Year and our residents are no exception. The New Year was welcomed in with the usual ‘fan fare’ followed by a special lunch and a glass of champagne.

The Summer Theme day was a big success. The Blue Room was converted to resemble the beachside. Beach gear and tropical decorations were used to engage the healthiness of seaside activities. A tropical fruit punch was enjoyed by all. Beach volleyball with balloons was played. Beach sports gear was used for our summer photo shoots. Lunch featured fish and chips and a special ice cream was prepared by the kitchen team. Sensory activities included the placing and touching of little stones, shells, drift wood and sand.

Our first Movie Morning was held in the library. Residents seated in a cinema created atmosphere watched the movie “Oddball”. Residents loved the movie and the popcorn was a big hit. We even made our own movie tickets.

Rose Monday was celebrated in a big way. DJ Joe played a broad range of music while residents joined in the organised activities.

Ten residents visited a horse farm in the Tennyson area and absolutely loved the outdoor environment and the opportunity to feed the horses. What a great outing.

RAO’s Hostel

Retirement Village News

December, January and February saw several significant birthdays: Inge Gurka celebrated her milestone 80th birthday, followed by Adolfine Hinterholz – 93 years, Hilde Schuldt – 92 years, Francis Peeters – 88 years, Helga Herzog – 86 years, Herbert Bartetzko – 83 years and Andreas Gurka – 87 years. May our Lord bless you and grant you many more years with us in our village.

How time flies when we are having fun! 2018 is already well underway and the last 3 months saw not only a lot of wonderful Christmas celebrations but also some sad moments.

December was a very busy month of course, Christmas festivities began with the annual Christmas lunch for our village residents with plenty of lovely food, Regula Scheidegger was kind enough to lead the Christmas Carols with her violin, interspersed with the recital of traditional and modern Christmas poems by some of our residents. This was followed by Pia and Gisela’s Winter Wonderland in the St Raphael Church Hall and the Bingo Club’s Christmas lunch. Our community hall was splendidly decorated with Herbert’s exquisite Nativity Scene next to our lovely Christmas tree, dozens of stars shining down from the ceiling and stunning table decorations which had been designed by Susanne Tipaldo who gave instructions for their assembly per mobile phone from her hospital bed. On Christmas Day Adolf and I hosted a BBQ lunch for 20 Bingo Club members including Lisa Kellerman’s granddaughter Karin and her finance Peter who had come from Bavaria for 3 weeks.

Sadly though we had to farewell Anne McGerty who had passed away suddenly. Anne had been a resident for many years, playing bingo and cards and we all will miss her infectious laugh. Eva Sowonja also slipped away peacefully a month after her 95th birthday. Eva had lived in our village for 9 years and another 8 years in the hostel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these two lovely ladies.

On Saturday, 10th February, 32 village residents attended the Retirement Village AGM to elect a new Village Committee. Christine Mulders and Irmgard Recktenwald had retired during the last year. We thank them for their long and dedicated service and even though Susanne Tipaldo has not been re-elected we are grateful for her offer of assistance with her talent and ideas for those imaginative decorations.

The new St Hedwig Village Resident’s Committee for the year 2018 is now as follows: President – Herbert Bartetzko; Vice President – Adolf Fober; Secretary – Ursula Fober; Members – Ute Carrus, Frances de Lange, Frank Mossfield and Katharina Schreiner.

In January the village was battered by a very destructive rainstorm. The new drainage system coped very well with the deluge so that we could keep our gumboots packed away and in the meantime the demolished dome panels have also been replaced.

Ursula Fober
Village Residents Committee Secretary.


On 12th January 2018 we farewelled Margaret Krüger who has decided to retire and have a bit of a “sea change”.

Margaret started her career with St Hedwig Village in the nursing home as an assistant in nursing. She then moved through several roles including kitchenhand, cook, personal care attendant until she found her “calling” as a Recreational Activity Officer.

Even in this role Margaret kept adding to her skills list and learnt to drive the bus, learnt Tai Chi and aromatherapy – all aimed at providing our residents with the highest quality of life she could give.

She has been a true ambassador for St Hedwig Village and we are all (particularly the residents) sorry to see her go.

We wish Margaret and her husband Uwe a long and happy retirement.

Kathy Eberl


We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome to St Hedwig Village these new residents:

  • Lieselotte Formby
  • Pauline Hodge
  • Tuileisu Matavao
  • Gertraude Gahlau
  • Hans Koeberler
  • Mary Overlunde

We hope you will be happy and comfortable here. We look forward to getting to know you and your family and friends.


Congratulations to the following staff on reaching milestone anniversaries in March, April and May.

Five Years: Kenebey Guerreo; Carol Leslie
Ten Years: Noemie Maglaqui
Fifteen Years: Shiria Khanam
Twenty Five Years: Bozana Mrvica; Sylvia Noble


to Sandeep Kaur on your new baby boy!! This is such a wonderful time for your family and we hope that parenthood is filled with lots of fun, love and cuddles. All the very best.

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Visit

The Quality Agency conducts unannounced and announced visits to review their services and facilities against the government’s standards and expectation.

On 24th January 2018 St Hedwig Village had an unannounced visit. Three auditors arrived at 9:00am and spent the day reviewing our continuous improvement activities, behavioural management, human resource management, comments and complaints and talking to staff, residents and their representatives.

The auditors commented that the feedback from all parties was very favourable. The residents appeared well looked after and content. They observed that the staff related to the residents in a compassionate and calm manner. The residents and visitors reported that they were happy with the services and the staff commented that management are approachable and responsive to their needs.

Our formal Re-accreditation Audit will be on 1st, 2nd and 3rd May 2018 when the auditors will be reviewing our facility against all four major standards. During this time they will also be speaking with residents and their representatives.

A notice about the visit will be displayed on notice boards as we get nearer to the audit.

Judith Brezovski
Director of Nursing

St Hedwig Village Goes Chinese for a Day

On 16th February residents and staff welcomed in the Chinese New Year with a tea testing ceremony, traditional custard buns and a Tai Chai demonstration.

This is the year of the Dog and we wish our favorite pet therapy canine Johnson a very happy New Year with lots of treats.

The Dog is one of the 12 year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac calendar. The Dog symbolizes traits such as loyalty and kindness.

Thank you to Sherry and the Hostel staff for organising such a colourful occasion.

Morning Tea for Relatives

During the year we will be hosting morning teas for the families and friends of residents residing in our Nursing Home or Hostel.

Dates are:

20th March 2018
15th May 2018
17th July 2018
18th September 2018
20th November 2018

Save the date. Morning tea starts at 10:00am.

Happy Easter to all our residents, staff, families and friends..