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Deborah Cheetham sparks jobs bonanza

Written by Michael Cummings
on July 20, 2023

The opening of Ryman Healthcare’s Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village has been 
an employment boon for Ocean Grove, with more than 50 new jobs created and 
coming on line this month.

The Shell Rd village, which will be home to around 360 residents, has completed a
months-long recruitment drive to staff its just-completed aged care centre and support 

The jobs span an array of roles, including nurses, carers, hospitality staff, activity and 
lifestyle coordinators, gardeners, maintenance people and administration staff.


Despite concerns that finding enough high-quality staff for a village in the seaside town 
could be a challenge, a Ryman recruitment campaign launched earlier this year saw 
more than 100 locals attend an open evening at the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club 
looking to join the Deborah Cheetham team.


Ryman Healthcare Graduate Operations Support member Camilla Ryzner at the recruitment evening.

The village offers a mix of independent retirement living, assisted living in serviced 
apartments, and a 120-bed aged care centre, so requires a broad range of skills and 
experience now it’s fully operational. 

Among the new Deborah Cheetham recruits is Ocean Grove local Colin Cooper, 
who’s stepping away from a long career in the corporate world to take up a role as a 
van driver.

“I spent around 40 years in corporate life and just on 12 months ago I walked away 
from the corporate world to look for a more balanced lifestyle,” Colin said.

“I was looking for some part time work and I was looking for some work that had a 
bit of purpose and a bit of meaning about it.

“I saw this and I thought, ‘This looks amazing’ because it suits me perfectly in terms of 
the hours and the flexibility, but also the fact that you're working with people that you 
can actually make a difference to their day.”

Colin lives just down the road from the village, “so I’ve watched it grow and it looks 
amazing – it’s a magnificent facility”.

Working for a values-based organisation with a positive purpose was what attracted 
him to the role the most, he said. 

“Even the interview process, it was more about who you are, what are your values 
and what's important to you.

“I feel a part of the team already, the induction process and recruitment process has 
been pretty awesome.”

Ryman Healthcare Recruitment Manager Lisa Grantham said they were “blown away” 
not only by number of Ocean Grove locals who applied for roles at the village, but by 
the calibre of them.

Induction Day - DCH - July-03 (Large)

Some of the new team members at Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village.


“At Ryman we’re looking for the right kind of people first and foremost, with a real 
emphasis on ‘kind’,” Lisa said.

“Given we had so many roles to fill and Ocean Grove is a relatively small place, we really weren’t sure how the recruitment process was going to go.

“I’m not sure what we were worried about to be honest – this community is 
absolutely overflowing with people who are talented, kind, and who want to work at a 
place with a real purpose.”

Lisa said more roles will become available at the village as more residents move in 
over the coming months.

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