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Nellie Melba's 'beating, caring heart' opens

Written by Michael Cummings
on February 08, 2019

Ryman Healthcare’s operations in Australia have passed another milestone with the opening of the care centre at its second village, Nellie Melba.

The centre opened at the end of January, marking what regional manager Eileen Kielty described as “a huge step” in the Wheelers Hill village’s journey to completion.

“The centre is the beating, caring heart of the village, so to have it open and providing care and support to residents is very exciting,” Eileen says.


Jacky Fitzsimon (pictured) has been appointed clinical manager of the 200-bed care centre.

“Jacky was previously clinical manager at Woodcote, our founding village in Christchurch, so she’ll be going from Ryman’s oldest village to its newest.

“She’s extremely experienced and we’ve recruited a fantastic care team to support her, so residents will be receiving world-class care.”

Jacky says moving to Melbourne to help set up a new, much larger village is a “huge opportunity” and she’s relishing the challenge.

“It’s going really well. We have a great team so far – we’ve got 40-50 staff and they’re all just getting stuck in,” she says.

The first resident moved into the care centre at the end of January, with about 10 more scheduled to join them in the weeks after that.

“As more residents move in, more staff start, and we’ll get all the systems and processes up and running.”

Jacky says her philosophy of care is guided by one simple principle: “It’s the residents’ home”.

“We work in their home and whatever the resident wants, they get. If they want poached eggs for breakfast, they can have poached eggs for breakfast. If they want their dog to come visit, their dog can come visit – anything – it’s their home. Nothing’s too hard.”

But it’s no ordinary home, with Jacky describing the new facilities at Nellie Melba as “beautiful – like a five-star resort hotel”.

The village, which is already home to more than 80 residents living in independent apartments, is due to be completed this year. It will be home to around 650 people when it’s fully occupied.

And as Nellie Melba approaches completion, work is beginning on two new villages in Melbourne.

Construction of villages at Burwood East and Coburg was scheduled to start in February, with work on a third village, in Geelong, to begin in the first half of this year. 

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