New executive director at Jubilee Community Care

Archive for March, 2021

New executive director at Jubilee Community Care

New executive director Darren Sonter took over the reins at Jubilee Community Care in February. Below, find an introduction from Darren on his first month in the job and his thoughts about aged care and Jubilee’s bright future.

Hello to all the staff and clients of Jubilee Community Care. I am Darren Sonter, the newly-appointed Executive Director.

Thank you for what has been a very warm and friendly welcome. I really have been made to feel like part of the Jubilee family. Like all new staff I even got to enjoy day one’s traditional morning tea welcome. This has set the scene for a caring, helpful and friendly orientation period. I have especially enjoyed meeting our support workers and volunteers as they have dropped into our office. I was also fortunate to have had our Management Committee president Judy Salecich put together a Jubilee history lesson. I found the overview she and former director Shaun Riley gave provided an excellent base to appreciate Jubilee’s core mission and its growth over time.

At the same time as I am finding my feet as executive director, Shaun has been respectfully handing over. Shaun guided Jubilee for 12 years. He has undertaken his role with diligence and integrity and has steered Jubilee’s growth and evolution while maintaining a stable workforce and delivering outstanding service to our clients. Shaun will stay with Jubilee until June – making recommendations about strategic matters in which the Management Committee has sought input.

As many staff have already discovered I am fairly blinkered by two passions – family and cricket! The Sonter family numbers 8 with my wife Jo-Anne and I proud parents to Chloe (23), Jack (15), Riley (14), Chelsea (12), Benjamin (10) and Emma (6). While Chloe has left home and is married to Peter, I am fortunate that all five children at home play cricket, which provides me with ample opportunity to coach and be involved in the sport in an administrative capacity. My wife Jo is also involved, serving on our children’s cricket club committee. As you might imagine, Jo is amazingly capable, gluing our family together with an energy and enthusiasm that never seems to be exhausted. It is such a privilege to be Dad to my crew and I am sure you will bump into them occasionally at the Jubilee office helping out with one task or another.

Looking forward, it reasonable to suggest Jubilee is entering one of the key periods in its 31-year history as we, along with the rest of the aged care sector, transform as a result of inputs unseen in our country’s history. At Jubilee fundamental decisions in relation to how we manage ongoing growth, while maintaining client and staff satisfaction and demonstrating service excellence at a time of enormous societal and sector change, will determine our legacy to the future leaders and staff of Jubilee.

The impact and opportunities being thrust upon the sector by the baby boomer generation and the Government’s response to the recent Royal Commission is expected to drive changes in funding allocation priorities as well as expectations around demonstrating service quality and value to the customer. All this in a workplace environment where skilled staffing shortages have been flagged as a key issue for many years. These macro changes mean we have a serious agenda ahead of us requiring considered decisions and plans. Many aspects of Jubilee operations will need to be evaluated, new systems and new products considered.

I believe that as this transformation unfolds a far greater challenge will be to retain this sense of Jubilee family I mentioned earlier, along with the trust of our clients in the integrity of our care offerings. I suspect the best map for navigation has already been presented to us in the existing Jubilee values that highlight people as our priority, relationships and teamwork as important, the need to treat people equally with respect and dignity while emphasising the need for transparent communication and social justice. Now and in the future our staff are the key to success for Jubilee and our clients.

Thank you for the warm welcome. The road ahead will certainly be an interesting one and I look forward to the journey with you.



Isabel celebrates 100 years

Three weeks of celebrations were held to mark the 100th birthday of Jubilee client Isabel Chase.

Isabel turned 100 on February 7, celebrating with family and friends in person and online. She received dozens of birthday cards from around the world as well as letters from the Queen and Australian dignitaries.

Isabel was born in India, the second of nine children who grew up on an army base.

She met her late husband Stephen through her church, with the pair marrying just six months later. “When you know, you know!”

Isabel said of her love for Stephen and their short engagement.

The pair had three daughters and one son, Isabel raising the children while also working with youth in her church. She and Stephen, a senior staff bank officer, came to Australia when Isabel was 47.

“When I came here I had to get a job but I didn’t know how to do any paid work,” Isabel said. “I worked at St Moritz Cafe in Albert St in the city – making sandwiches, washing dishes and other things – for 22 months.

“Then I started my own business as a hawker, selling things door to door. I hired six ladies and then 100 ladies. I enjoyed that,” Isabel said of her time selling handmade crochet lace items such as tablecloths, runners, placemats and other manchester imported from India.

Isabel ran Chase Products for 25 years before selling it to her daughter Margo.

And Isabel’s secret to old age? “I don’t drink tea or coffee, I don’t smoke or drink alcohol,” she says. And daughter Margo says she despises vegetables and eats three desserts after every meal!

Isabel keeps her mind active by playing scrabble online, solving word search puzzles, writing emails and creating posts on Facebook.

Happy 100th birthday Isabel!




Staff begin to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Jubilee Community Care’s staff are expected to start receiving the first of two COVID-19 vaccinations from this month.

The Australian Government aims to have as many people vaccinated as possible in 2021, prioritising high-risk workers and adults and broadening the rollout as extra vaccines become available.

The most recent information from the Department of Health just before this newsletter went to print stated Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout would begin on March 22.

Those expected to be vaccinated in phase 1B include Jubilee’s staff and other home and community care workers. Also included are older adults aged over 70, those who are immuno-compromised, indigenous Australians aged over 55, and critical and high risk workers.

At a date yet to be determined those aged 50 or older, indigenous Australians aged 18-54, and remaining critical workforce groups will be invited to receive the vaccine during Phase 2A. The remainder of the population aged over 18 will be vaccinated in phase 2B of the rollout with everyone expected to receive at least the first of two vaccines by the end of October.

Vaccines will be administered at selected general practices, General Practitioner-led Respiratory Clinics, Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Clinics, and pharmacies (from phase 2A).

Jubilee executive director Darren Sonter said the vaccine program was an important step in ensuring the health and safety of both staff and clients.

“Jubilee already has taken numerous steps over the past 14 months to protect our clients and staff from the pandemic.” “This is another important way we can support and protect our clients and ourselves. And, of course, Jubilee will remain committed to providing best practice care to continue to minimise the risk to us all.”

People with questions about the vaccine can talk to their doctor or the Australian Government’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080, or visit the Australian Department of Health website at

Clients are also encouraged to contact the Jubilee office on 3871 3220 if they have any concerns about their services moving forward.




Lyle and Ross celebrate platinum anniversary

A friendship sparked at the University of Sydney has led to 70 years of marriage for Jubilee clients Ross and Lyle Humphreys.

The couple celebrated the milestone with family at St Lucia Bowls Club recently after the February 23 anniversary date.

The pair met while Lyle was studying English and Ross agriculture. After university the couple moved to Scone where Ross worked with the Soil Conservation Service. The couple’s first two children were born in Scone and their third and fourth after a move to Gayndah.

Lyle later worked as a librarian. Ross spent his career working on foreign aid projects, research and the publication of six books. Ross’ work regularly took the couple overseas and he later was appointed an Emeritus Professor and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland.

And the key to a happy marriage? Both agree it is a sense of humour. “We’ve always had a good marriage and we are very fortunate,” Ross said.

Lyle follows up: “We have had four children and that has always been the greatest achievement for me.” “I never thought I would travel like I did … because of the work Ross did it allowed us to go to all sorts of places. It has been much more interesting than I would have expected.”




Free seniors activities in Brisbane

Jubilee Community Care’s Stay Connected programs are proving popular with our clients and other older adults.

The first programs of the year are currently underway with more to follow in the coming months.

Register your interest now for the free upcoming programs which include mindfulness, exercise and cooking/nutrition.

  • Body Moves – Presented by Bodytrack Exercise Physiology: Get moving under the expert guidance of an exercise physiologist. This program targets functional strength, falls prevention and social interaction, which helps to maintain independence and improve quality of life. The eight-week program includes an initial assessment and one 30-minute session each week. Participants require clearance from their doctor to take part. It is held at the Bodytrack clinic, 65 Sylvan Rd, Toowong. Free and disability parking is available.


  • Cooking for One or Two – Presented by Food Solutions: Nutritious cooking demonstrations followed by a shared lunch of the prepared meal is a great reason to join this popular program. Dieticians also provide information on nutrition and healthy ageing in this positive social environment where you can make new friends. Cooking for One or Two will run once a week for six weeks from April 27 at Graceville Presbyterian Church.


  • Mindful Connections – Presented by Conscious Beginnings: This program will start on May 12 with the eight weekly meetings held at the Voices of Birralee hall, 57 Carwoola St, Bardon. The program aims to support you to improve your wellbeing, mental health and self-care while meeting new people.

Previous participants in all of the programs, including the Mindful Connections program, have delivered wonderful feedback.

Arthur said of the mindfulness program: “I have heard many of the ideas and concepts before, but it was refreshing to hear them again in a new context, along with new ideas and fresh insights all presented in (the presenter’s) own bright informal style. The session on sleep was very helpful, and I would heartily commend the course to anyone seeking to improve their handling of their responses to the issues of daily life.”

Karyn aims to practise daily the mindfulness tips she learned. “I certainly remember to practice what (presenter Jon) taught me when distressed or overwhelmed and it has been very helpful,” she said.

As part of the project The University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research will gather data, evaluate and publish the findings of the benefits of seniors attending the innovative activities in the project.

Register your interest for Stay Connected ASAP. Participants can register for one or multiple programs and must provide their own transport.

For more information please phone Jubilee Community Care on 3871 3220 or email