After 43 years in the job, Bushland Health Group CEO, Denis Hawkins (OAM) is calling it quits.
With June 24 marking his final day before commencing a well earned retirement, Denis was kind enough to spare a few minutes reflecting on his career.
"I started out in the Department of Main Roads in New South Wales in 1969. I studied accounting procedures and left there after 10 years and studied Health Administration at Charles Sturt (university), or Mitchell College as it was then, and worked in the public hospital system for about two years before the job in Taree became available and I took up the role of CEO or administrator of the old Kringle nursing home" Denis said.
It was this move back to Taree and the aged care sector that was to define his career. Since starting with Manning Valley Senior Citizens Homes in 1979 - as Bushlands was previously known - Denis has overseen the organisation's growth from a mere 51 residents to now catering for approximately 600 across three aged care facilities and six independent living precincts.
But that's not the only change he's seen. Like most places, Taree has undergone a transformation of its own during those five decades.
"This town's just so busy you can't get a park. It's a very progressive town I think, with regard to aged care where we're well serviced at the moment. But if you look around the town now it looks like it's going alright" Denis said.
Denis' retirement sees Errol Curran, who has been Director of Aged Care Services and Chief Financial Officer for the past 15 years, appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer. The Board of Directors has also appointed Emma Pike to the position of Director of Independent Living.
While Denis may officially be retiring, it seems he isn't quite done with contributing to the aged care cause in the region. He will continue to be involved with the Board of Directors and Senior Staff in the planning and program management and development of the
Fig Trees (Pitt Street) Infrastructure and High Rise projects, Manning Rise opposite Warrana Place in Marie Avenue, and planning and renovating the final stages of the upgrade of Bushland Place Village Administration, Kitchen and the Village Centre.
"I wish all well as I move on , it has been an amazing journey and look forward to seeing and working with you in the future" Denis said.
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