Volunteers acknowledged

Our volunteers were acknowledged last week with a morning tea and service awards presentation. Our team of volunteers play a crucial role in the daily workings of Capecare – meeting and greeting visitors and assisting with the check-in process at both of our facilities, spending time with our residents by leading activities and outings, and being there when we most need them.
We thank all our wonderful volunteers, but would particularly like to acknowledge:
Trevor Hemmett – 5 years of service
Rosa McGuillivray – 10 years of service
Evelyn Jennings – 20 years of service
Julie Clifford – 1000 hrs of service
Yumiko Hayashi – 1000 hrs of service
Thank you to Dunsborough CWA for hosting and catering.
If you’re interested in joining this wonderful group, visit our Volunteers page.
Hairdresser Sue at Capecare

Thank you Sue for keeping us stylish

For 12 years, Dunsborough local Sue has made the lives of Capecare residents brighter, providing professional hairdressing services, warm conversation, and plenty of laughs.

Sue has made the difficult decision to hang up her scissors on 36 years of hairdressing, leaving the door open for a new hairdresser to take over the salons located at Capecare Busselton and Dunsborough facilities.

“I’ve had such a rewarding time, doing two days a week at Capecare Busselton and one day at the fabulous new Dunsborough facility,” Sue said.

“There are many things I’m going to miss, including seeing residents’ faces light up when they see me, making them feel special and having lots of laughs with them.

“I’ve heard many interesting tales shared by residents and I’m sure I’ve been told things even their families don’t know about!” she said.

“But all good things must come to an end and it’s time to hang up my scissors.

“Thanks to the staff and residents who have made my job so much fun over the years.”

Thank you to you Sue for brightening up our day whenever you have been at work and for the happiness you’ve brought to our residents over 12 years.

To find out about how you can work or volunteer at Capecare and make a difference to the lives of local residents, contact recruitment@capecare.com.au or visit https://capecare.com.au/vacancies/

Capecare ageny staff Alana, Evelyn, Vida and Ramadani

Staffing solutions: Capecare features in Australian Ageing Agenda

“Staffing solutions: Perks and technology are among strategies providers are using to fill shifts” by Natasha Egan was in the latest print edition of Australian Ageing Agenda. The article covers Capecare’s accommodation, student placements and bonuses to aid recruitment. A snippet of the article is below, and a PDF version of the full article can be found here: Australian Ageing Agenda March/April edition

“Capecare – a non-profit provider of residential and home aged care services and independent living accommodation in the south-west of Western Australia – is dealing with workforce shortages across the board from leadership to direct care and support roles, says CEO Joanne Penman.

“The shortages are impacting on our capacity to provide care and services to our residential aged care and community aged care clients,” Penman tells Australian Ageing Agenda.

Capecare has around 200 aged care beds and 75 independent living apartments across two villages in Busselton and Dunsborough.

“We opened a new 82-bed facility in nearby Dunsborough in August 2021 but due to an inability to recruit the required high quality suitably skilled workforce, we have not been able to open many of the available beds,” Penman says.
To help attract staff to work at the established Ray Village in Busselton, Capecare has temporarily converted cottage respite accommodation and office spaces into onsite beachside accommodation where staff can stay in their own bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and shared facilities.

“By opening up some of our respite and administration areas as nursing and care staff accommodation, we’ve been able to attract Perth-based staff who would otherwise not have been able to find rental accommodation.

“This has resulted in an additional 14 staff living rent-free in our accommodation, providing an essential injection to our teams. The incentive of free accommodation and the higher agency rates makes it a more attractive proposition to prospective staff,” says Penman.

Capecare has spent money and time refurbishing the accommodation and providing cleaning, maintenance and support to these staff free of charge. However, it is worth the expense, says Penman.

“This initiative has been a game changer for us, allowing us to maintain high-quality services and support our community by offering as many residential aged care beds and community services as we can.”

Capecare volunteer Delyce Lohf assists a visitor with check-in

Join our volunteer team for company, friendship and fun

For Busselton resident Delyce Lohf, volunteering at Capecare has provided company, friendship, and fun.

When her husband retired, they moved from Perth to Busselton and while he sought a quieter life, she wanted to retain the busyness a city life provided.

Rather than sitting at home and keen to make new friends, Delyce sought out an appropriate volunteer position. She enjoyed daily visits to her mother in a Perth aged care facility so sought out Capecare and signed up. She currently works two mornings a week.

“I love it. I enjoy people, meeting and getting to know them,” Delyce said. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. If I had my time again, I would work in aged care.

“If you like working with older people it’s very rewarding. The staff are friendly and explain things really well so I feel very comfortable.

Delyce has had several volunteer roles in her five years at Capecare.

“I’ve helped with bingo, taken residents walking, and assisted at the Day Centre. When we closed to visitors during COVID lockdowns I helped on the front doors to assist with deliveries. Now I’m working at reception to meet visitors at check in.”

Capecare is always looking to add to its 100-strong volunteer base across its Busselton and Dunsborough facilities. To find out more visit https://capecare.com.au/volunteers/ email volunteers@capecare.com.au or call 9750 2000.

Lallaine Dodd

Meet Lallaine Dodd, Capecare Team Leader

Caring is not just a job for Busselton’s Lallaine Dodd.

Hailing from the Philippines, Lallaine joined Capecare eight years ago as a Carer after moving to Western Australia. She said she loves the work and, watching her interact with our residents, it’s clear she takes a genuine interest in their needs.

“In my culture we really look after our elderly,” she said. “I really like caring, getting to know the residents and helping them is so rewarding.”

Capecare is helping Lallaine to progress in her aged care career. She has been working as a Team Leader for the past three years and has also gained experience in the Lifestyle Team and in medication competency.

“I’m also studying at TAFE at the moment, and am planning to do enrolled nursing,” Lallaine said.

“Capecare is actually helping me a lot in being flexible in my hours to allow me to work and study.”

When asked what she loves most about Capecare, Lallaine says: “the whole environment, it’s the whole aura in there, I love it”.

When asked if she would recommend Capecare to others, she laughs and says, “I already have! I’ve recommended it to a few people already and two of them are working with me now.”

Capecare supports people like Lallaine to pursue a career in Caring or Nursing. The organisation partners with South Regional TAFE to provide a fully supported 9-month traineeship program for students studying a Certificate III Individual Support (Ageing), who will then become part of their Care team for its residential facilities in Busselton and Dunsborough, and its community home care team. Your course fees will be covered, and you’ll be paid while you study and doing your practical training at Capecare. If you’re studying to be a Registered or Enrolled Nurse, Capecare also offers practical paid experience in Caring or Support Worker roles while you complete your training.

Capecare currently has opportunities in Caring and Hospitality (cleaning) in their residential teams across both Busselton and Dunsborough locations and Support Workers and Domestic Assistants in their community team.

Contact hr@capecare.com.au call 9750 2000 and speak to our recruitment officer, or visit Capecare.com.au to find out more.

Capecare's Lallaine Dodd with resident Pat Seddon

Capecare’s Lallaine Dodd with resident Pat Seddon

Capecare workforce boosted by arrival of Pacific Island carers

We had a most exciting arrival this week, welcoming six new Carers from Fiji to our staff. They will fill much-needed staffing gaps created by the general healthcare staff shortage which has been exacerbated by staff who are COVID close contacts isolating at home.

Capecare has been working with Brisbane-based organisation HealthX since mid-2021 to secure these staff members, the first group of Pacific Island workers HealthX has helped move to WA since the border reopening.

HealthX has worked with hundreds of healthcare and aged care services in regional and remote locations across Australia for more than 15 years to address long term workforce shortages.

The South Pacific carers are placed for three years (with annual visits home) and are currently living on-site at Capecare, so the program provides a reliable and consistent workforce to supplement local workers. For the Pacific Island workers, benefits lie in being able to further develop their skills and knowledge in aged care and will be able to utilise and transfer these skills when they return home, providing a benefit to their communities.

HealthX CEO Carollyne Palling said HealthX worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as an Approved Employer under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme (PALM). “This enables us to employ aged care workers from Pacific Island countries to work in regional and rural locations.

“HealthX worked with Capecare to identify its workforce needs and undertook labour market testing to confirm that positions could not be filled with local workers.

“We then submitted a recruitment plan to the PALM scheme team for approval and worked with the PALM Labour Sending Unit to identify, interview and employ suitable workers from the Pacific islands.”

HealthX assisted with visa applications for the workers and a staff member from HealthX travelled with the Fijian workers to Busselton to help them set up home and introduce them to their new community and workplace.

The aged care workers employed through the PALM scheme have completed an Australian standard Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) which is delivered by the Australia Pacific Training Coalition.

Capecare CEO Joanne Penman said management and staff welcomed the new team members on their first day with a barbecue lunch.

“We are so thrilled to welcome Lita, Mani, Vara, Tama, Dee and Viki to our team and wanted to provide the chance for them to meet some of our team and enjoy an Aussie lunch before they commence work later this week.

“They will be an enormous asset to our organisation and knowing they will be here for three years will also provide our residents with consistent care.

“We will soon also welcome a second HealthX Registered Nurse to our team who is from Singapore, and will have a third join us by the end of this month.”

Capecare has a number of skilled and unskilled positions currently available, which can be viewed here, or email hr@capecare.com.au for more information.


Accommodation provides respite from staffing shortages

The aged care and healthcare staffing shortages in WA are well documented, and regional providers in tourist areas are hit with the additional challenge of a tight long-term rental housing market.

Capecare has created a way to take some pressure off both the staff and long term housing availability challenges by temporarily converting some of our cottage respite accommodation and office spaces into staff accommodation.

Agency nurses and care staff from Perth can now stay on site at Capecare in Busselton in their own bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and enjoy shared communal facilities just steps away from the beautiful Geographe Bay beach.

Enrolled Nurse Alana works for a Perth-based nursing agency which provides her the opportunity to work around Western Australia. She said her new work environment at Capecare gave her and her colleagues a great sense of balance during what is one of the most demanding times in her career.

“I love it here,” Alana said. “It’s one of the best facilities I’ve worked in. The staff are all friendly and super accommodating.”

Capecare has 14 bedrooms available in the Busselton facility’s original residential care building which has since been refitted and extended.

“The beach is right next to us and I spend the majority of my mornings there before I start my shift,” said Alana. “The town is amazing too.”

The living quarters have cosy and bright shared living spaces with TVs and lounges, plus a shared commercial kitchen and kitchenettes for staff to use in their downtime.

“I do feel like I’m at home, and making a lot of great friends, there’s a lot of lovely people who work down here,” said Alana.

“I’m in the process of buying a house in Perth so I’m close enough to drive back there when I need to. Working remotely also provides an amazing opportunity to grow your career and earn some extra money and at the moment there’s plenty of demand,” she said.

Capecare has a number of skilled and unskilled positions currently available, which can be viewed here.

COVID-19 information page

Please note there are new visiting requirements for Capecare in Busselton and Dunsborough from today (8 March). Please visit our COVID-19 information page for this information. The page is updated whenever there are new rulings or requirements. Thank you for your understanding and for helping keep our residents and staff safe.


Capecare welcomes 5 new graduate Carers

Last week we marked a significant occasion with the graduation of five new carers from South Regional TAFE’s Certificate III Individual Support (Ageing), which is an entry level qualification that provides foundation skills and knowledge to become a direct care/support worker. Employment and work with Capecare is a component of the training undertaken during this qualification, and we’re so pleased that each of the five graduates, Linda Sharp, Glenis Gleed, Ella Cull, Oceanna Fardella, and Olivia Hewitt is staying on at Capecare.
Capecare CEO Joanne Penman, pictured on the left of the photo, said the graduates’ commitment to aged care was more important now than ever.
“It’s incredibly important for us to be taking on graduates at a time where it’s really challenging for us to recruit in the aged care sector. Thank you for doing this important work and joining our team, we are so grateful to have you all and so proud that you’ve made it through your traineeship and you’re a shining example to our next group of trainees and I hope that you will go on to be people who influence the way we go about care.
“It’s a work we can feel incredibly proud of. We do make a really important difference to our community and we do provide exceptional care to people who really need us. I congratulate and officially welcome Linda, Glenis, Ella, Oceanna and Olivia to their carer roles and to Capecare.”
On the far right of the photo is Nichola Campbell, Lecturer Health and Community Services, South Regional TAFE Busselton Campus.
A group of aged care staff smiling

Graduates of the TAFE Cert III course who are all commencing work as Carers with Capecare

Unexpected payments for some Capecare staff

Approximately 400 current and past award-based staff at Capecare will receive an unexpected payment later this month after the Busselton and Dunsborough-based aged care organisation identified payroll discrepancies from the period of 2014 to 2020.

Capecare, Western Australia’s largest regional not-for-profit aged care provider, is repaying all monies owed with interest to recognise and recompense all affected employees.

CEO Joanne Penman said the organisation’s Board and management regretted that this error has occurred and was in the process of contacting all affected staff. She said remediation payments would be made as quickly as possible.

“The discrepancies were identified by a new member of our payroll team. Following a rigorous investigation, the main cause was determined to be inconsistencies of award interpretations in our systems,” she said.

Capecare Chair Martha Ryan said the Board took the discovery of the payroll discrepancies extremely seriously and regretted the errors made.

“We sincerely apologise to affected staff and Capecare is doing its best to compensate staff as quickly as possible.

“On discovery of the potential errors, the Board and Management proactively appointed independent auditors KPMG to undertake an extensive review to ensure accuracy and full transparency,” Ms Ryan said.

Capecare has self-reported its non-compliance to the Fair Work Ombudsman, advising that it had incorrectly applied clauses of the Nurses Award 2010 and the Aged Care Award 2010.

Ms Penman, who commenced with Capecare in October 2021, said Capecare was taking every reasonable measure to ensure this kind of error did not recur.

“We are implementing a number of new procedures and systems, including investing in a new HR information system to measure time and attendance; outsourcing the payroll function; utilising a Compliance Officer to monitor changes to awards and national employment standards; developing an internal payroll audit process; and introducing annual external payroll audits.”

Affected staff will be contacted via mail and phone and advised of the monies owed and the process for repayment.

Capecare has been established for 60 years and is a not-for-profit and independent community organisation, existing to serve the needs of our older people in the Capes Region.

For specific enquiries on the payroll underpayment, email hr@capecare.com.au or call 9750 2000 and ask for the HR department.