Sally bows out after 24 years of service

Over the past 24 years, Living Choice Alloura Waters staff member, Sally Mutton, has forged close relationships with both residents and staff members in her roles of Carer, Administration and Accounts. Now, she is starting a new chapter in her life – retirement – and preparing to leave for a caravan trip of a lifetime around Australia with her husband, Ian.

More than 100 residents and staff members gathered on Thursday 9th March to bid Sally `au revoir’ and, while their hearts were heavy, they gave her a rousing send-off with plenty of hugs, tears and warm wishes. The highlight of the afternoon was a surprise performance of the residents’ band playing “Mustang Sally” and their vocal backing group comprising staff members!

Sally started working for the company in July 1999 when it was known as Central Coast Retirement. Initially, she was a live-in Carer at Deepwater Court but later she worked as a Relief Carer at all three Central Coast villages. When the Community Centre was built at Alloura Waters in 2000, she moved upstairs as a Carer.

“I started working in the office with Sarah Joyce, my first Village Manager. After my overnight shift, I would start at 9am and work until 1pm answering the phone and doing filing,” recalled Sally.

“We got live-in managers, Barry and Margaret Clifford, and then I worked in the office full-time, doing more administration work and accounts. After seven years we had Brian Hillas and Shirley Hobbs as managers for a short time and they were our last live-in managers. Garry Spencer was here for seven years, then Dale Eastwood and Andy Dudney for a year each - and now we now have our lovely manager, Leanne Maini.

“I have seen a lot of changes with staff over the years and have watched the village grow. One of my highlights is having a great manager and staff to work with and the close relationships I have with the residents and their families, which I will miss very much,” she added.

Long-time work colleague, Andy Dudney, said Sally had been a “great workmate” for nearly 20 years. “If I ever needed transport to work, Sally would often pick me up in the morning and drop me off at Broadwater Court. This was a good time to share any experiences from our day and we formed a great working relationship which has lasted all these years.”

Andy said the Reception job at any retirement village could be both rewarding and very challenging. “Sally was very proficient in both those scenarios and, as a Village Manager, she took a lot of pressure off everyone and helped to make the daily running of a village more organised and efficient. Personally, I’m very sorry to see Sally retire but along with her husband Ian, they have had a retirement plan for a long time and hopefully they can now go off travelling and enjoy their many years ahead as planned.”

Current Village Manager, Leanne Maini, said she would also miss Sally dearly, describing her as a “great friend and work colleague”.  “Sally and I worked together in 2012, when I was preparing the Central Coast villages for accreditation, and we became great friends. We often say we could be sisters! We’ve shared many happy memories, including our own family times, bragging about our children and Sally’s grandchildren. There’s also been the challenging times when we’ve been there for each other.

“Fast forward to 2020 when I was appointed Village Manager at Alloura Waters. I had no doubt about the strength of the office team and at the forefront was Sally!