The Saluting Excellence Staff Awards are highly prized among Vasey RSL Care staff

Saluting Excellence Conference 2022: Resilience – Maintaining a Personal Mental Reservoir

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* 16 December 2022 *

We chose the theme ‘Resilience’ for this year’s conference, because after a third year of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff have demonstration incredible resilience.

That doesn’t mean they haven’t found it frustrating, exhausting and emotionally draining – it means they have been able to draw on their own resources, remember self-care, reach out to help others, and in turn seek their help, and continue to be open to learning about themselves and others.

Chair, Mike O’Meara OAM, opened the day’s proceedings and welcomed special guests and staff.

CEO Janna Voloshin, shared some of the challenges she has faced this year, including the loss of her dear mother early in the year, followed close after by the invasion of Ukraine, the birth country of husband, by Russia, her own birth country.

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”15″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]Janna talked of the ongoing COVID battles in our workplace and the ‘industry long-COVID’ that the aged care sector is facing – difficulties that require our resilience as individuals and as a community.

We were treated to a video presentation from Vasey RSL Care Bundoora – residents and staff rapped to ‘Nice Nice Vasey’, heavy-duty gold chains included.

Jodi Evans (Acting GM – HR) had us trying out some relaxation techniques while Chris Gray (GM – Veteran Services) talked about filling our ‘resilience bucket’ and sent us home with a goal to make time to do something we really enjoy, to help us ‘refill our bucket’.

GM – Community Services, Rich Davey, talked about the progress in home care and what the future holds.

The highlight of the day was our keynote speaker, Joel Sardi (pictured). In 2013, Joel was back in Australia on leave from active service in Afghanistan and in peak physical fitness, when he fell on a staircase and suffered a spinal-cord injury leaving him a C5 quadriplegic.

Joel does not sugar-coat what he went through, telling his story with simple honesty. And he showed us what resilience can look like. Joel is now married, has two little girls, and is working with a team on a ground-breaking online job platform for people with disability, created entirely by people with disability. But it took great resilience to get to this point. 

Joel left us with a very practical message – our perspective on a situation can be changed, our narrative can be changed and our outcomes will then change: ‘Flip 4:1’ – take something that has gone wrong and think of four positives from that one thing.

Another aspect of resilience is laughter and after lunch, Melbourne’s own Lehmo tickled our funny bones. Lehmo has been out to entertain the ADF on their tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and on board naval ships around the world.

He told us that the best moment for him was when a soldier came up to him after one of his shows and said, ‘For two hours, you took me back to Australia.’

In closing the day, Mike O’Meara spoke of the conference being a highlight of the Vasey calendar and congratulated the day’s award winners and nominees


2022 Saluting Excellence Awards

Thirty-seven Saluting Excellence Awards were presented at Vasey RSL Care’s staff conference, held this year at the newly refurbished and spacious Manningham Civic Centre.

Now in their fifteenth year, the Awards recognise excellence among staff in line with Our Promises to our community – Traditional Values, Security, Person-Centred Care, Camaraderie, Dignity, Fulfillment and Quality, and a special category this year – Resilience.

A total of 239 nominations were received for 117 individual staff members, from aged care residents, family members, home care clients, ex-service accommodation residents and other members of staff.

“Congratulations to all nominees – you should still feel extremely proud to be one of this select group,” said CEO, Janna Voloshin.

Winners of the Jessie Mary Vasey Award for Excellence in Traditional Values were Santosh Poudel (Quality & Risk) and Siew Ping Su (Frankston South).

Awards for Excellence in Camaraderie went to  Rayphe Collins (OH&S), Tamara Paton (GM – HR), Nadia Wilson (Quality & Risk) and Heidi Mills (Brighton East).

Excellence in Quality awards were presented to Elsa Bramwell (Home Care) and Allan Chester Allanigue (Brighton East).

Four staff members received an award for Excellence in Dignity: Sue Douglas (Frankston South), Teena John (Bundoora), Lisa Raguz (Bundoora) and Rajinder Rani Kalia (Brighton).

Awards for Excellence in Fulfillment went to Lakmini Godawattha Liyanage (Bundoora), Dhriti Sudera (Frankston South), Leanne Saville (Brighton) and Anne Warden (Veteran Services).

Two awards for Excellence in Security were presented: Natasha Sharp (Bundoora) and Wasina Sirithorn (Bundoora).

Eight staff members received awards for Excellence in Care: Selbin Chacko (Frankston South), Jenni Beckett (Frankston South), Suman Suman (Bundoora), Nisa Thamel (Frankston South), Shiwalove Bhagat (Brighton East), Jacqui Cramer (Home Care), Chorten Gurung (Brighton East) and Maree Browne (Brighton East).

Finally, awards for Excellence in Resilience were presented to Nicole Groves (Bundoora), Julie-Ann Carr (Frankston South), Sanja Essa (Senior Business Liaison), Fran Ludgate (Communications), Neville Lin (Brighton East) and Nik Patel (Business Liaison).


CEO Award

Congratulations to Elsa Bramwell (Home Care) on this year’s CEO Award for Outstanding Achievement!


Congratulations and thank you to all this year’s nominees and winners for the work you do for our community here at Vasey RSL Care.





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Thank you to our Supporting Sponsors