After decades of working in aged care, Marilyn Valler never dreamt there would be a time when she could walk to work and enjoy every minute of it.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bolton Clarke Fairways, Marilyn, 72, and her long-time friend and colleague Damita Wood cut the cake as they reminisced on their time at the retirement village.
Marilyn started working in aged care during her 40s after she took up employment at Cazna Gardens community at Sunnybank where she worked for 11 years, before transferring to Fairways 19 years ago.
The grandmother now lives at Bolton Clarke Fairways with her husband Ross, and their dachshund Juddie.
“I was one of the first employees at RSL Fairways, I started in the dementia unit there and I was then transferred to another section after the floods,” Marilyn said.
“I worked in allied care before I thought I would retire, but it seems I just haven’t been able to let go, and I now work at the door with the COVID screening.
“I went to retire one day last year and said to the girls, but their response was ‘well actually how about doing the door screening instead’.”
Marilyn said she enjoyed her time working at the retirement village and she was surprised by how fast the years had flown by.
“I love working in aged care and I never expected to be living here and walking to work,” she said.
“But things happen in your life – change in circumstances, and I didn’t think I would end up living here and still working two days a week.
“I get to cut the cake with my best friend Damita, we have worked together for a long time and been through thick and thin.
“We’ve had lifelong interests together, been through the floods together, and a good friendship formed and lasted over coffee.”
Marilyn’s passion for her work helped inspire others, and her daughter Sharon Wilson now also works at Bolton Clarke Fairways as a registered nurse.
“It’s really a happy, quiet and nice place to work and now live,” Marilyn said.
“I’ve had a long experience, and one of the highlights is listening to the stories and achievements from the aged care residents, I don’t think I would ever change that.”