Capecare resident Betty Trotter celebrates her 101st birthday

Capecare resident Betty Trotter celebrated her 101st birthday this year, recounting her most memorable life moments – and what a life it has been.

From her childhood growing up in Cottesloe with sister Pat, to training as a nurse, creating a rich life in Donnybrook with first husband Glen, remarrying at 82 and skydiving at the age of 92 … Betty has jumped at every opportunity thrown her way.

Owing her long life and limited number of illnesses to a good diet and keeping active, Betty remembers most fondly her time spent with first husband Glen in Donnybrook where she belonged to many different community groups.

“Because I was so involved with [Girl] Guiding when I was younger, when I moved to Donnybrook I pursued a number of community commitments.”

Betty also started Donnybrook’s first arts and crafts group, was on the hospital auxiliary delivering flowers and helping people in need and was one of the first local women to be active in Rotary where she was an exchange student counsellor.

“We would have many students stay with us before they went to their host families. I really enjoyed this because of my experience in Girl Guides,” she said.

“I loved the age group and being able to be part of the students’ experiences.”

She was also an avid golfer. “I played every week in Donnybrook, and my neighbour Kath, who was also a good friend and the captain, introduced me to pennants. But I decided to just play socially in the end and later became the treasurer for the ladies’ golf club – I held that position for quite a while.”

When Betty was 92 years old, another unexpected opportunity came her way when her grandson offered to take her on her first skydive, an achievement she says was one she was ‘most proud of’.

“I was with my daughter, her husband, and my grandson in Jurien Bay, where they live, and my grandson had gotten involved in the skydiving group and was learning all the roles,” she said.

“One day when I was visiting them, he talked me into doing a jump and organised for me to go up to 15,000 feet, which was the highest jump.”

“I didn’t scream when I jumped. It was such a beautiful day – I remember the sea looking like glass, I could see little fishing boats, and the coastline. It was lovely, I really enjoyed it,” she said.

Betty has even appeared on TV but it wasn’t because she went to acting school. While at Fiona Stanley Hospital for a transcatheter aortic valve replacement operation at age 94, Betty was approached by heart surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp who asked if she would be a guest on her television show Heartbeat: The miracle inside you.

“I decided to do it because I was passionate about health,” Betty said.

“Dr Nikki is a wonderful woman. There were only five doctors in WA at the time who specialised in these heart operations, and Dr Nickki interviewed me for the show after my operation.”

The show is available to watch on ABC iView as an episode on science show Catalyst (watch from 48:13 and as well as the operation interview and footage, you can also see her skydiving!)

When Betty was 99, she met Governor Kim Beazley due to her 30-year membership with the War Widows Guild.

“I received a letter in the mail asking if I would go to an afternoon tea for members, and it was being held by the then Governor Kim Beasley,” she said.

“I sat at a table with Kim’s wife and a few other people who were widows from the Vietnam War, and after the tea Mr Beazley came up to me and gave me a gift – I was the only person at the tea who received one.”

Betty had a full family life in addition to her number of community commitments, raising four children with Glen – three boys and a girl who she is extremely close to.

She would holiday with her family in Busselton throughout their marriage, but her life remained in Donnybrook with Glen working on the farm and butcher shop.

Eventually the couple moved to the RAAF Estate in Merriwa, north of Perth, after Glen was diagnosed with Parkinsons and suffered other vascular complications from his time in the war. Betty remained at their Merriwa home for years after Glen passed away.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Betty also did a lot of travelling throughout her life noting her favourite places as Scotland, Norway, and Austria.

Her nursing background also followed on from her mother, with her sister Pat also training as a nurse before moving to New Zealand.

“When I was young, I was a quite naughty girl,” she said. “But I loved school and my time at PLC. My sister didn’t like it as much but we both ended up doing the same thing – nursing.”

Betty received three proposals throughout her life – the first from a Melbourne boy, the second her husband Glen, and the third, at 82-years-old from Lloyd Trotter, which she accepted.

Betty moved to Capecare in October 2022, from her home in Merriwa, and said moving from independent living to assisted living had been tough at first but she settled in quicker than she expected.

“The staff are wonderful, they really are. They spoil me,” she said.

“They always come up to me and throw their arms around me. I don’t have any favourites – they’re all great.”

Happy 101st year Betty from everyone at Capecare! Keep making the most of every opportunity.

Capecare is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia, existing to serve the needs of our older people in the Capes Region.

For more than 60 years Capecare has served the needs of our older people in the Capes Region and is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia.

For more information on Capecare’s independent living, community and home care, respite, and residential care services visit

Capecare welcomes new intake of Pacific Island carers thanks to success with PALM Scheme

Capecare welcomed four new Pacific Island carers to its team last month, thanks to its partnership with HealthX and the Federal Government’s Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

Tabeta Itioa (Beta), Akineti Tiotaake (Aggie), Kaekotaake Natibu (Kaeko) and Tuane Neemia (Tuane) have joined Capecare from Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas), a group of 33 small coral islands in the central Pacific.

For the first 10 weeks at Capecare they will continue to complete their Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and then join the team as fully fledged carers.

This is Capecare’s second intake of carers under the PALM scheme. An initial group of carers from Fiji arrived in 2022, and with the latest additions brings the total to 13 carers. The initial intake were the first Pacific Island healthcare workers HealthX helped move to WA post-COVID.

Capecare Acting CEO Philippa Ayre said the program had been extremely successful and made a significant difference to Capecare’s ability to source a sustainable workforce.

“We have been so fortunate to have Beta, Aggie, Kaeko and Tuane join Capecare, they have seamlessly become part of the team and our residents already love them.”

The Pacific Island carers are placed with Capecare for four years (with annual visits home) which means the program provides a reliable and consistent workforce to supplement local workers.

“Having the Pacific Island team with us for four years means our residents interact with familiar faces each day, which allows us to provide consistent and quality care,”Philippa continued.

“We recognise that our Pacific Island staff are a long way from home, and we have worked hard to ensure that as much as possible they feel they have found a second home with us here.”

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 is an approved employer of the PALM scheme for aged care and sources, interviews, sponsors and employs suitable Pacific Island workers to support aged care facilities across Australia.

HealthX Director of People and Welfare Naomi Dunne said the organisation was excited to be part of this wonderful initiative.

“As a people, Pacific islanders exude warmth and compassion, making them the ideal candidates for roles in aged care,” Naomi said.

“HealthX recognises that this is a life changing move, and we spend significant time preparing our employees for the change of culture and life in Australia.

Capecare staff welcomed the new team members on the first day at their Busselton aged care facility with a traditional Aussie BBQ lunch.

Capecare is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia, existing to serve the needs of our older people in the Capes Region.

For more than 60 years Capecare has served the needs of our older people in the Capes Region and is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia.

For more information on Capecare’s independent living, community and home care, respite, and residential care services visit

Lions Club donation a game-changer for Capecare residents

The Lions Club of Busselton has enhanced the lives of Capecare residents living with cognitive and/or mobility impairment thanks to a significant donation.

The Club purchased and donated to Capecare Busselton residents a Tovertafel,  designed to promote more joyful, social connections for seniors living with dementia through its wide range of interactive games.

The augmented reality gaming system uses light animation to help with cognitive challenges.

The games are designed to engage seniors in a purposeful play experience, increasing activity, connections, fun and learning opportunities, whilst creating memorable moments.

The Lions Club of Busselton has had a long and fruitful relationship with Capecare. President Ray Neil said making a meaningful contribution to the community is what being a part of the Lions is all about.

“This is a project that has been some time in the making,” Ray said.

A number of Lions Club members were on hand at Capecare for the state-of-the-art games console’s official handover and unveiling.

They were rewarded with huge smiles and laughter from the first residents to participate in the interactive activities.

Capecare Acting CEO, Philippa Ayre said the donation will have a positive impact on residents.

“An enormous thank you to the Busselton Lions. We are extremely grateful for their continued support in enabling us to continue to improve the lives of our residents,” she said.

“We love working with community organisations with shared values to identify opportunities for fundraising, donations and sponsorship.”

Capecare is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia, existing to serve the needs of our older people in the Capes Region.

For more than 60 years Capecare has served the needs of our older people in the Capes Region and is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia.

For more information on Capecare’s independent living, community and home care, respite, and residential care services visit

Capecare welcomes brand-new mobile exercise rails

The walking rails were purchased by Capecare thanks to the fundraising efforts of Soul Care Chiropractic in West Busselton following the ‘Move for a Good Cause’ squat and push up challenge. Capecare has now introduced ‘Standing Strong’ classes for residents.

A big thank you to the Soul Care Chiropractic team. We are extremely grateful for the support to enable us to continue to improve the lives of our residents.

Pictured (L to R) are: Acting CEO Philippa Ayre, Allied health assistant Erika Howes, Capecare Resident Neville Gregory, Facility Manager Hazel Gordon and Soul Care Chiropractic owner Dr Kat Zoetelief.

Service milestones celebrated

Capecare’s annual Winter Warmer event acknowledges and celebrates those in the team who have reached significant service milestones with the organisation.  On Thursday night a large number of our staff members and board gathered at Dunsborough Country Club for some social lawn bowls and award presentations.

Some highlights:

  • Capecare Way Champion award recipient May Ling Yap. May consistently displays the values of Capecare. She is a dedicated and hardworking team member loved by staff and residents alike. Nothing is ever too much for May who always goes above and beyond.
  • Susan Erceg and Robyn Pearce marking 20 years of service to Capecare. Sue is an Enrolled Nurse in our Residential team. Sue is a much loved and respected member of the nursing team recognised as a leader and mentor who is always ready to help others. Admissions Coordinator and Resident Advocate Robyn has had an amazing and varied  career with Capecare. Robyn is in most instances the first contact our clients and family members have with Capecare and we couldn’t wish for a better advocate of who we are and what we offer to support the community.
  • Support workers Carolyn Reeve, Sonia Williamson and Parminder Kaur marking 10 years of service. Each of these valued staff members plays an important role in caring for and helping our community clients with daily tasks, allowing them to live at home for longer. All three are dedicated and passionate carers who we are extremely fortunate to have.
  • Registered Nurses Claire Rice and Manoj Matthew, Home and Garden Maintenance worker Shayne Macri and Roster Coordinator Liza Hellstrom marking 5 years of service.

Thank you to Capecare board members Yvonne Robinson, Jeff Dick, Glyn Palmer and Mostyn Hamdorf for presenting the awards and Dunsborough and Districts Country Club for hosting the event.

Capecare can help you stay living at home longer

Getting the right help at home is crucial for older people to be able to stay living at home independently for as long as they can.

No two people have the same needs. Some may need help with transport to medical appointments or to the supermarket, others might need home maintenance, gardening, or cleaning assistance, or help with showering, dressing and getting ready for the day.

Capecare Home Care Manager Rachel Meares said trust and continuity between the client and service provider was important in giving older people confidence to stay in their home with external support.

“Recognising that you need help and then navigating home care and aged care services can be tricky,” she said.

“Once Government Home Care Package funding is approved, you want to get straight onto obtaining the help you need and not have to wait any longer than necessary.

“We can help clients through the process of applying for eligibility testing, and can then help them make a plan to suit their individual needs,” she said.

“Our home and community services provide a range of personalised support to people living at home, as well as respite for carers.

“We can provide half day, day or overnight respite at our Busselton Wellness Centre and Cottage Respite.

“Should the client’s needs increase over time, we can then provide continuity of care through our Busselton and Dunsborough residential care facilities.

“This offers great comfort to our clients, knowing they will receive the same high level of care across Capecare’s services provided by a team they have grown to know and trust,” Rachel said.Capecare is a local, independent not-for-profit service provider, supporting the community both at home and in their Busselton and Dunsborough aged care facilities, providing a continuum of care.

To find out more call our Home care team on 9750 2097 or email


Selfless community project improves gardens at Capecare

Capecare residents and members of the Geographe Bay Gardening Club got their hands dirty planting a variety of flowers and hardy vegetation after a donation of more than $500 in gardening supplies was made by Soils Aint Soils Dunsborough.

The initiative was created after several Capecare residents discussed they’d like a more interactive garden – inspiring Jan Smith, who resides in the Capecare Independent Living Apartments, to reach out to her gardening club and work friends at Soils Aint Soils.

“It all came about because some of the residents wanted to add their own touch to the gardens,” Ms Smith said. “So, I did some site visits, and we were lucky enough to receive a large donation of plants from the local business, as well as soil conditioners and fertilisers.”

Ms Smith said the community initiative was also a good project for the Capecare residents to get involved with, because it promoted positive mental health and fun. “However, there are a lot of residents who are no longer capable, but therapeutically it’s important for them to have a garden that is beautiful and well maintained.”

“Some of the more senior residents came down too and we helped them to put some plants in. They really enjoyed it, they loved it. They all went off feeling very happy,” Ms Smith said.

The project is estimated to have installed more than 250 plants at Capecare Dunsborough, including many species requiring little upkeep. “I think it was lovely we were given the opportunity,” Ms Smith said. “The generosity of Soils Aint Soils was beautiful. It shows a great commitment to the joy of assisting others, and they were very happy to do that.”

Soul Care Chiropractic team raises $1200 for Capecare

We are extremely excited to announce the Soul Care Chiropractic team in Vasse raised over $1200 to donate towards new mobile exercise rails for our residents! These are used during exercise classes to support mobility and movement.
Throughout the month of May, the team at Soul Care Chiropractic worked up a sweat to support the needs of our residents. For every dollar donated, they completed push-ups and squats as a team.
The fundraiser ended with an Open Day morning at Soul Care, where our Acting CEO Pip Ayre came down to support the crew. With free posture analysis, goodie bags, mini-seated massages and more, everyone had an absolute ball!
A big congratulations and thank you to the Soul Care Chiropractic team. We are extremely grateful for the support to enable us to continue to improve the lives of our residents.
Pictured (L to R): Dr Zach Willmott, Pip Ayre, Liz Thorpe, Angie Tarbotton, Dr Alex Siegwart, Dr Kat Zoetelief, Chelsea Branson and Rebecca Rose

Volunteers supporting volunteers

During our Volunteer morning tea on Monday, a special group of students from Cornerstone Christian College were onsite washing cars for Capecare volunteers! They were taking the job seriously and volunteers went home in sparkling vehicles. Led by teacher and Student Leader Coordinator David van der Tang, the students are members of the Cornerstone’s Service and Leadership Council who raise funds for community services and serve within and outside the school community. A quarter of the school’s student population are members of the Council. What a great program to shape future community contributors.

National Volunteer Week 2023

What a wonderful start we’ve had to National Volunteer Week! We held a morning tea to thank our amazing volunteers and had a great turnout. Heartfelt thanks to Lottery West and Volunteering WA for funding the morning tea, to Cornerstone Christian College, to Origins Market Busselton for volunteer vouchers and to One Rustic Bloom for contributing to our volunteer service gifts.
A number of our volunteers have achieved service milestones and were acknowledged. Our volunteers take our residents on beach and garden walks, play cards and games with them, manage visitor check-ins, help at the Wellness Centre, assist on outings and drive the bus, accompany residents on appointments and generally make an enormous difference to the lives of our residents and staff.


20 Ray Ave, Busselton WA 6280
Ph: 08 9750 2000
Fax: 08 9755 4696

Community Care & Respite: 08 9750 2097


171 Naturaliste Tce, Dunsborough WA 6281
Ph: 08 9786 5555
Fax: 08 9786 5508

Community Care & Respite: 08 9750 2097


If you’d like to make a difference to people’s lives, you can by making a donation to Capecare. You can donate now with your credit card via PayPal.

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