Faces of Baptcare | Meet Renee McDonald

Renee McDonald was a minor celebrity within her Communications and Customer Experience team recently when she celebrated 17 years working at Baptcare (or her ‘workaversary’ as she called it) Her inbox was flooded with the warmest testimonials with words like quiet achiever, caring, empathetic, professional and humble being used time and time again. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Renee to witness these qualities firsthand and hear more about her personal and Baptcare journey.

  1. You have worked at Baptcare for 17 years. Firstly, congratulations and secondly, the question everyone has on their lips, what are the main reasons you’ve stayed at Baptcare?

    Fun and variety. I also get the chance to help people which I really enjoy.

    I also am very proud of being a part of a company that makes a positive difference to a variety of different groups in society.

  2. You’ve had a range of roles over your years, starting as a Support Co-ordinator before moving to Office Manager and Retirement Living Co-ordinator roles. You’re currently the Client Relationship Partner in residential aged care sales. How have you found the variety of roles you’ve done at Baptcare and has this variety been a factor?  

    Well, I first started at Baptcare on a short-term part-time contact covering for the Long Service Leave of one of the receptionists.  Fortunately for me when she returned from her leave she wanted to cut back one of her days and there was also a vacancy in the lifestyle department so I was able to work in admin and lifestyle.

    I started working at Strathalan when I had small children and feel so lucky that I found a place that was understanding and supportive of working mothers and I was able to work part-time and job share when my boys were young. As my children got older and I was able to take on more challenging roles, I was very fortunate with the opportunities that came up at Strathalan as the site also developed and grew. I worked as Roster Clerk and Program Co-ordinator for the Strathalan Volunteer Program before moving into Retirement Living Support Coordinator role.

    I would definitely say that being able to grow and experience different roles has been a major factor in me staying with Baptcare.

  3. Have you noticed any major changes in Baptcare/working life over the past 17 years?  

    Baptcare has changed a lot in the 17 years that I have worked here!  But I think the heart is still the same 😊

  4. What is your current role and what does it involve day to day?

    I am currently working as Client Relationship Partner based at Strathalan. I get to showcase our Residential Aged Care services and help people and their families access the best aged care they possibly can.

  5. What do you like about working with Baptcare and in the Client Relationship space?

    Baptcare and in particular Strathalan has been a massive part of my life for the past 17 years. The people who live at Strathalan and the amazing people I get to work with – it is more than just work, it is a family. There are many co-workers and a number of residents who I have worked with for a large part of my 17 years if not all of it.

    I’m also very proud to be part of the sales team!  Although we are all spread across Baptcare sites I feel as supported and connected to them as I do the people I am physically with every day.

  6. What would you say to someone thinking of joining Baptcare?

    Do it 😊

  7. Can you share a particularly special work day/customer interaction you’ve had recently?

    I couldn’t pick just one because there are a lot of these!  One of the best parts of working here is being able to interact with the people we care for and help to make a positive difference in their day.

  8. Did you always want to work within the caring space and what are some other jobs you’ve performed in your career?

    I am very much a person who likes to help others and look after people but before coming to Baptcare I had worked mainly in administrative roles in different industries. I had three out of my four grandparents needing to go into aged care and when I saw the ad in the local paper 17 years ago I thought, ‘Yes – that’s somewhere I would like to work’.

  9. What was your first job ever?

    My first ever job was an administration traineeship at the Fire Brigade Training College in the community safety department. Lots of phone calls about beeping smoke alarms.

  10. What did you want to be when you grew up?

    Oh, lots of different things!  I still haven’t decided though!

  11. Can you tell us 2 surprising things about yourself?

    I’m scared of birds (probably not surprising to those that know me).

    We cheekily suggested to Renee that we could photoshop some birds into her Faces of Baptcare photo if she’d like and got the following response:

    Haha yes! Photoshop birds in, that would be hilarious! The photo is taken in the Strathalan garden area and as you walk out the door there is a sign that says ‘caution swooping birds’. I feel like I’m taking my life into my own hands every time I walk out there.

  12. What was the last thing you watched and read?  

    The Well-Lived Life by Dr Gladys McGarey and who can miss the car wreck TV that is Married at First Sight (MAFS)!

  13. What would your favourite weekend involve?

    My favourite weekend would include a walk near a body of water with my dogs and time with my gorgeous family.

  14. What are two things on your bucket list?

    I would love to travel through Europe and also travel to Mexico.

  15. Do you have a mentor or idol? OR If you could sit next to someone at a dinner party, who would it be and why?

Oh, this is a tough one. Definitely in my working life at Baptcare I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning form the great leaders we have!  What would be interesting would be to sit with the group of Baptist ladies that had the vision that started Baptcare all those years ago when they bought a farmhouse and property in Macleod and hear what they think of us now.

Thanks Renee. Something tells us that those ladies would be delighted to sit down with you too and would the first to applaud your amazing contributions to Baptcare. Here’s to the next 17+ years…