November 12, 2019
Written by Jamie Loh
Arcare Parkwood opens its doors and the history books as QLD’s first-ever LGBTI aged care residence.
A crowd of over 650 people came to discover our Open Day on Saturday, November 9.
The open day featured live music from Diddly Squat Band and gelato and coffee vans from local businesses.
Visitors also enjoyed professional physio massages, culinary talks and guided tours around the newly built residence.
For our official opening ceremony, we invited special guests such as local Bonney member Sam O’Connor, Queensland AIDS Council’s CEO Rebecca Reynolds and President Peter Black and the LGBTI Advisory Committee to celebrate this milestone for our diverse communities.
The Yugambeh Aboriginal Dancers also performed a traditional Welcome to Country ceremony and official Smoking ceremony to bless the land and the building.
Arcare CEO Colin Singh said, “We’re extremely proud to be opening our first LGBTI residence and the first in Queensland.
“We have been working with Queensland AIDS Council, (QuAC), on our recruitment and team training so that Arcare Parkwood can meet the needs of Queensland’s diverse LGBTI communities.” Colin said.
“The Queensland AIDS Council is proud to be supporting Arcare with this project and we welcome the commitment by Arcare to ongoing planning and learning and development opportunities for its staff and residents in relation to our communities,” QuAC CEO Rebecca Reynolds said.
Arcare Parkwood’s Enrolled Nurse, Emma Donaldson, who’s a member of the LGBTI community herself and says that she’s excited to be a part of the team implementing necessary change to see the elderly LGBTI community supported in ways they have not been before.
“I’m excited to work in an environment where we can share so much of our personal lives together and openly speak about our personal experiences. This topic is often a taboo among this generation and they are not a 100% accepting or, if they are part of the LGBTI community, they are very private about it,” Emma said.
“I hope to achieve a community where the residents feel comfortable about themselves, they don’t have to hide anymore, they can be around people who are accepting and know they are part of a safe community.”
Jamie Loh is Arcare's Community Marketing Officer for Queensland. Jamie joined the Arcare team in early 2019, stepping straight into her responsibilities which include communications with the broader community and some internal communications responsibilities. Jamie is a firm advocate for consistent, varied communications to help bridge the gap between those living in aged care residences and those living in wider communities. Jamie utilises a broad array of strategies to help improve messaging and boost brand awareness. Jamie is passionate about improving engagement between those who are enjoying their retirement in Arcare residences and family and friends who live in the wider community. She is always advocating for new methods of communicating, including new strategies and mediums. After graduating from Brisbane State High School in 2014, Jamie attended the University of Queensland where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communications (Public Relations) and Arts (Japanese). During her time at the University of Queensland, Jamie attended an intensive exchange program at Waseda University in Tokyo for two months.