Pip Downey is passionate about many things, and when speaking to her about her role as Senior Community Manager at Ingenia Gardens Dubbo you can see why she is so good at her job and a favourite amongst the residents within her communities.
Whist Pip can wear about 30 different hats every day, there is rarely an occasion that she doesn’t stop and spend time with a residents who needs it. On any given day, Pip can be a social worker, appointment manager and administrative assistant amongst many other things across both the front and back communities. “I do whatever the residents need me to do,” says Pip. “My job is to make life as comfortable and as easy as possible for them. That’s my passion. They’re the reason I am here.” Western region born-and-bread, Pip has been working at Ingenia Gardens Dubbo for the past 11 years, after a long career in the hospitality industry which stood as a good stead for working at the independent senior community. “Essentially, it’s like hospitality because this job is all about looking after the residents’ needs.” When talking to Pip about spending her working days surrounded by her residents, her eye light up. “Every day I listen to and hear their stories, and it makes me realise how lucky we are today. Many of the residents within the Community have lived interesting lives and have stories about having gone through such difficult times in history. I enjoy listening to their stories, it’s been like an 11-year history lesson.”
For Pip, this isn’t just a job – each day is a life affirming exercise. “Everyday I wake up and say how grateful I am. That’s thanks to this job and the people I’ve met here. It’s made me realise how much we take for granted these days.” Pip’s advise for anyone who is interested in working within a Senior Community is patience and resilience, and it is important to do your homework first. “It’s a job you really have to want to go into, at least if you want to be good at it and effective in your work. Having a heart for it is the first thing you need. You can get qualifications along the way, but if you don’t have a heart for it, it’s never going to be as rewarding.
“If you have those qualifications – kindness, empathy, patience – this can be a very rewarding career. That’s why I’m still here. I love it. I’ve been here 11 years and I just couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. The day I get up and don’t want to come to work, that will be the day I walk away.”
To learn more about Ingenia Gardens Dubbo, and to make an appointment to visit Pip and take a Community tour, visit: https://www.ingeniagardens.com.au/communities/new-south-wales/dubbo/
*Image supplied by Dubbo Photo News.