Back to the future

Back to the future

There’s a winning combination of heart and steel in the hard-wiring that makes up Uniting AgeWell Box Hill Community Residential Services Manager Daisy Zhou.

She’s all heart when it comes to the wellbeing of residents, but there’s a band of steel running through her when it comes to her determination to be the best version of herself in her career. And with all she has achieved at the age of 37, Daisy looks set for a stellar career in the aged care sector.

Wind back the clock to 2001, when 17-year-old Daisy stepped off the aeroplane from China, on her own, to study in Melbourne. Daisy completed high school at Knox Private School and decided to study nursing. .

While Daisy was studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Victoria University, she worked as a personal care worker in Uniting AgeWell Box Hill Community for three years.

After Daisy graduated she started working as a registered nurse in sub-acute wards at Caulfield Hospital and acute wards at the Austin Hospital, while studying a double Masters’ Degree in Business Administration and Health Administration at Latrobe University.

“I love nursing in hospitals, but the pull to the aged care sector was always there for me,” Daisy explains. “In hospitals, patients come and then go. In aged care, I can share their ageing journey, I can help them achieve their wellness goals and do things that they want to achieve. I can be part of their lives. I love listening to their stories, they have a huge amount of wisdom. We are like a big family in the aged care facility.”

Daisy returned to Box Hill Community in November 2013, first as a casual after hours supervisor, and then as care manager from 2014 to 2017. She was promoted to senior care manager until 2019, and then took up her current role – coming full circle since when she first started at the facility.

Daisy says, apart from the joy she gets from working with older people, that aged care nursing is a flourishing career path.

“It’s estimated that by 2042, there will be over a million people in Australia aged 85 and above,” she says. “There is no doubt that demand within aged care sector will continue to rise. And aged care is an exciting sector to be in, there are so many new learnings supported by innovation and technology!”

“Uniting AgeWell has always supported me every step of the way, the leadership and this culture comes from the top down. If I am uncertain of anything, or need advice, I only have to pick up the phone to Vicky Jacques (General Manager Victoria) or Ian Blair (Director of Operations Victoria), and they give me the support I need. They have certainly enabled me to grow in the role. I’m also surrounded by supportive colleagues, we all work together as a team. “

Daisy does the same with her team. “My door is always open, I will always be there to support workers, to empower them to be the best that they can be, and to achieve excellence.”

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