Faces of Baptcare #43 | Meet Bernadette Bullock

Bernadette Bullock is one of Baptcare’s longest serving employees and a much-loved part of our community. Without hesitation, her colleagues described Bernadette as caring, loyal, kind, fun, supportive and knowledgeable. You can read about Bernadette’s amazing Baptcare journey below (and learn a bit about her hobby English paper piecing too!).

What is your current role at Baptcare?

Since September 2019 I‘ve worked as Sales Manager for the new retirement living community in Frankston South called Peninsula View Retirement Residences.

My role is quite varied but revolves around regular communication. I work with development and marketing to create a road map in order to sell the retirement apartments and villas off the plan. I communicate regularly to stakeholders and customers about their needs and how we can assist them in satisfying those needs. Another major part of my role is to maintain relationships throughout the build of the Peninsula View Retirement Residences, including assistance with the customer’s induction into a new site and then supporting them as they adjust to living in their new community.

What would a perfect workday look like for you?

A day that involves productive communicating with purchasers (both existing and prospective) where I’m able to keep them informed of what is happening on the development.  I also enjoy any conversations with other retirement living team members and supporting people in any way that I can.

You have been working at Baptcare for 31 years! What roles have you had during this time and what has kept you at Baptcare?

I started working at Karana in 1992 for Baptist Social Services as a casual in the kitchen while I was studying to be a Mothercraft nurse (childcare). I also completed a Certificate Three in Disability Care.

I worked across catering, cleaning, laundry and even dabbled in personal care before moving into supervisory roles. I progressed to supervisor in the domestic area.

Next I moved to Baptist Catering, then Strathalan to start our assisted living program. In 2006 I completed Graduate Diploma in Aged Care Management at Victoria University which was supported by Baptcare.

Around 2008 I took on the management of the assisted living and the retirement living village and worked across this portfolio until l left in 2019 for my current role.

In 2015/2016 I won the Victorian/Tasmanian Manager of the Year for retirement living under the Property Council of Australia. This award was very special for me because it was a resident-nominated award.

What keeps me at Baptcare are the people. I have always had the opportunity at Baptcare to be mentored by fabulous people who have supported me, guided me, and given space to make mistakes and learn.

What changes have you seen at Baptcare over that time?

I have seen our Karana, Hedley Sutton, Westhaven and Strathalan communities all re-built and now I’m watching the cycle starting again, especially Strathalan and The Orchards. While Baptcare’s size has grown dramatically I feel that we still show the care and respect to the people we serve in all aspects of our organisation.

Have you always wanted to work within the Retirement Living space?

I started working with children but after almost 10 years in that area I decided that I needed to change direction. I think, coming from a large family, I have always felt the need to nurture people and through studying I had the opportunity to work for Baptcare and have just never had the urge to leave.

What motivates you at work/in life?

My motivations for work and in life are doing the right thing, showing care, respect and being able to guide and support people to achieve the next part of their life. Away from work, family and friends are especially important to me.

What did you want to be as a young child?

I wanted to be a nurse.

Can you tell us two surprising things about yourself?

I have six brothers and one sister, and I like to do English paper piecing and embroidery.

(ed. English Paper Piecing involves stabilizing fabric pieces with paper before sewing them into intricate designs. See example below.)

What would your ideal weekend involve?

Catching up with friends, gardening, and spending time with my dog.

Do you have a mentor or idol?

It would be my sister. There is nine years between us but we are extremely close. Her ability to show care and compassion to others while working fulltime amazes me. She is always there when needed.

If you’d like to learn more about Baptcare’s retirement living communities, please call 0439 410 207 or refer to website: peninsulaviewliving.com.au