At Catholic Healthcare we are shining a 'light' on our people and the exceptional work they are all doing across our services. We share how team members are innovating, engaging and helping to make Catholic Healthcare a great place to work.
Meet Renier du Pleiss, Area Chef Manager at St Catherine's, Bathurst.
Renier du Plessis is a firm believer in Catholic Healthcare’s Mission of ‘living life to the full.'
“We talk about our Mission in terms of supporting residents and clients, but it also applies to staff,” says Renier. “If staff are living their lives to the full, this shows in their attitude and enthusiasm for their work, which in turn benefits the people we care for.”
Work is busy for Renier. As Area Chef Manager for Catholic Healthcare’s Residential Aged Care Homes in Bathurst as well as Bathurst Private Hospital, he is responsible for managing the kitchen and preparing meals for over 200 residents, patients and staff. Renier also ensures the correct processes and attention to detail around food preparation and cooking are adhered to.
It’s no surprise then that of the five Catholic Healthcare Values, the Value of Hospitality has the biggest impact on Renier.
“Not just hospitality towards the residents, but hospitality to anyone who enters St Catherine’s or the Macquarie Care Centre,” says Renier. “Visitors, doctors, tradesmen, fellow staff and colleagues. The Value of Excellence also resonates with me as I am committed to excellence in all that I do, the quality of our food, the flavour and presentation, everything done well every time.”
Renier was recently responsible for an initiative at St Catherine’s which demonstrated our Values and the true Christmas spirit. Staff at St Catherine’s normally wear something red or Christmas-like to get into the spirit of the season. Renier, in his efforts to help the residents with poor vision to recognise him better (he had been mistaken for doctors and pharmacists in his uniform with his face mask on), started to intentionally wear bright red shoes and bright red buttons on his uniform. This was a novel way of making himself stand out as the ‘chef’ at the Home.
Above: Renier with resident, Gloria
“The residents started recognising me from afar instead of waiting for me to get close enough,” says Renier. “The residents then started chatting more freely and easily to me, something they normally did not do before.
“By wearing the red shoes I have been able to get to know the residents better and care for their needs in a more person-centred way.”