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Healthcare Referrers Exchanging Insights and Welcoming Clients

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Regional Health and aged care professionals gathered last week to attend Catholic Healthcare's latest Insight Exchange event in Wagga Wagga.

Guest speaker, Associate Professor Maree Bernoth from Charles Sturt University, presented on the topic of 'A Participatory Approach to Care'.

Over 25 guests gathered at The Mercure in Wagga Wagga including health professionals from the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, as well as Catholic Healthcare representatives from The Haven Residential Aged Care and Home and Community Services. The Haven's new Residential Manager, Terese White, also attended.

Narelle Pabis, Home and Community Services Regional Manager, welcomed Maree who presented on strategies she's used throughout her career to build an environment where older people are respected as partners in care.

"Often overlooked, older people have significant contributions to make in teaching the next generation of health professionals and their contribution is welcomed. We need to learn from their stories and experiences," says Maree.

"The first step on the road to a participatory approach to aged care is for people to change how they think about older people. We need to banish the perception that older people are dependent, frail and unable to contribute – that they have to be passive recipients of care.

"All older people have a right to be respected. We can show them this respect by using adult-to-adult communication."

Narelle Pabis then moderated a Panel Discussion which included (pictured above l-r) Narelle Mills, Acting Executive Integration and Partnerships at Murrumbidgee PHN; Rebecca Keeley, Project Officer at Murrumbidgee LHD; Maree Bernoth; Kellie Harmer, Head Teacher of Community Services at TAFE NSW; and Danielle Kennedy, Aged Care Nurse Practitioner at Murrumbidgee LHD.

Pictured above top left are Terese White, Residential Manager and Jen Snowdon, Customer Service Manager, The Haven with guests.

Pictured above right are Narelle Pabis with Maree Bernoth and guests incuding Rosemary Garthwaite, General Manager Aged Care, Murrumbidgee LHD

To view Maree Bernoth's presentation - click on the link - PowerPoint Presentation. A White Paper capturing Maree Bernoth's presentation is currently also being prepared for publication.

Earlier that same day, the Open Day at The Haven in Wagga Wagga was also a great success with over 20 local existing and potential Home Care clients visiting the Wellness Centre and taking tours of the Aged Care Home and Independent Living Units.

There was lots of interaction and activity at the Open Day. Physiotherapists from allied health provider, Unified Health, ran a Moovers & Groovers session alongside a Home Care Package Information Session, followed by a complimentary lunch. A Music Session in the afternoon got everyone up dancing while also enjoying some exercise.


The Wellness Centre offers diverse activities for clients to enjoy while promoting fun, confidence and companionship for local seniors receiving Home Care support.

For more information on The Haven visit -