Coffee with…Wina Kung, General Manager Home Care Services, mecwacare

Describe your work/role at mecwacare:
mecwacare has provided care and services to the community since 1959, offering residential, community and in-home support to the aged and people with disability. We support clients through all stages of their life journey by providing high-quality care, services and respectful advice. We also assist clients to remain independent, provide safe guidance should their journey deteriorate, and in some cases offer end-of-life experiences with a focus on comfort and dignity. Our philosophy – for people at home supported by our community nurses and direct care workers, participating in supported activities in our day centres, or living in mecwacare’s residential homes – is that life remains a source of rich experiences, rewarding interactions, good food and fun outings. We believe that life is made more enjoyable through social inclusion and community involvement.

My role at mecwacare is a leadership role dedicated to planning, supporting and growing mecwacare’s home care and government services including services provided in South East Metro, North West Metro, some regional areas of Victoria such as Cardinia and Gippsland.  I oversee the strategic direction and operations management of home care services at mecwacare focused on programs such as Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), HACC PYP and Home Care Packages. I lead teams of professionals to achieve best practice and responsive customer services for our clients.

What excites and motivates you in your role?
I have been working in the Aged care and disabilities sector for over 19 years, I have seen a lot of reforms and changes along the way. I really enjoy the sector, it is full of excitement and challenges. I like the variety of my work – every day is not the same. There are always various challenges waiting for us to resolve.

I am constantly surrounded by hardworking and committed staff; I work with large teams of professionals who are keen to provide the best experience to our clients. I also enjoy working with the clients/families and assisting them to achieve their goals in life. Even though I am in a management role now, the fundamentals are the same – through my staff, we function as a team to work closely with our clients providing the best possible support to them.

mecwacare is growing in size and regional coverage, we are delivering more services to the EMR communities since 2018 focusing on HACC PYP and CHSP.

What is most challenging about your work?
Aged care and disability is a challenging sector, with regular reforms and changes, which to some people results in uncertainty and insecurity. Therefore working within the aged care and disability sector is a challenge itself.

Recently I found that workforce is a key challenge for us. Recruitment of appropriate staff is more difficult than in the past. It involves all levels of staff including support workers, administration staff, case managers, through to mid-level/senior managers. Due to the expansion of the sector, everyone is recruiting. It is harder and harder to recruit high-quality staff.

What strengths do you see in our ageing community?

  • Honest and kind
  • Resilient
  • Generous of their time –  huge numbers of ageing community members are volunteering
  • Wealth of knowledge and experiences that could inspire the next generations.

Where do you recommend in the inner east for lunch?
I like White Mojo Plus+ at Glen Waverley, nice food and environment. Their burgers are very nice.

If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?
If I could change back time I would spend more time with my families. As I get older and older, I start to realise nothing is more important than families. Spend more time with them if you still can.

If you weren’t working at mecwacare right now, what would you be doing?
I am unsure. Perhaps I would work with another organization, but it would be in the same sector. My passion is still with aged care and disability. A couple of years ago, a party approached me to work on developing a community care model in China. That would be interesting, exciting and different from what I do now, but obviously, I did not accept the proposition at that time.

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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