100 years of family care

For immediate release
Adrian Bernecich, Media Officer, Mercy Health
5 March 2014
100 years of family care
Three Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre employees have been helping vulnerable families reconnect for a century.
Liz Window, Sue Romage and Pat Bennett have worked at the Canterbury centre for a combined 100
The trio has spent their lives caring for and supporting families who are dealing with issues such as
the stress of multiple births, drug use, anxiety, trouble breastfeeding and childhood behavioural
During the mid 1990s, the staff were also involved in making decisions on the centre’s re-structure,
which was prompted by the State Government. The changes involved a departure from caring for
unaccompanied children to a closer focus on families as a whole.
Ms Window joined the centre 30 years ago when it was run by the Grey Sisters, caring for families
and children in need of support. At the time, Ms Window had just completed a course in mothercraft
nursing/social sciences and was about to take a holiday, but was offered a job at the centre. After a
few days, she took the job and has never looked back.
“I love what I do and have done so ever since I started,’’ Ms Window said. “I am part of a great
multidisciplinary team that supports families presenting with a wide range of issues.”
Ms Romage started at the Mont Albert Road centre in 1981 and has loved every day since.
“We try to assist in the child’s development, behaviour and responses and we show them how to
interpret these, and how to respond accordingly.” Ms Romage said.
“We work with families on areas they need assistance with.”
Mrs Bennett was a student in the last year of mothercraft nursing run at the centre during the late
1970s. She has been based at the centre now for 37 years.
“I still love being here, it is a lovely place that nurtures families, I think you need to believe you can
make a difference,’’ Mrs Bennett said.
All three women work as part of the Department of Human Services’ Cradle to Kinder program,
travelling to the homes of vulnerable families to provide support.
Mercy Health has managed the centre since 2003.
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