New Shepparton Villages Chief Executive is passionate about aged care
Kerri Rivett has big, bright plans for Shepparton Villages after being appointed the new chief executive of the aged care organisation.
It was a tree-change from the rat-race of Melbourne city life that brought Ms Rivett to the area, where she has settled at Euroa.
She said after growing up in Ballarat it was a chance to reconnect with the country lifestyle and country people.
“The weather was also a drawcard,” Ms Rivett said.
She took up her position as care services executive manager almost two years ago after working as the age-care services executive director at Marcy Health.
Ms Rivett said she switched to the age-care sector after starting her career in mental health at 17.
“My passion comes from wanting to deliver excellent services that meet the needs of residents,” she said.
Ms Rivett said she was excited about expanding services to the community and developing a bright future for Shepparton Villages.
“I see lots of growth for Shepparton,” she said.
“The population of Shepparton’s 80-plus generation is one of the fastest growing areas.”
Shepparton Villages board president Stephen Merrylees said Ms Rivett had the characteristics to further the organisation’s vision as a centre of excellence.
“We had a nationwide search process for the position, but the positive thing is for an organisation of our size, we’ve got the talent in our own backyard already,” he said.
“We were looking for someone to connect with our philosophy and vision of treating the elderly with respect.”
Ms Rivett’s appointment will start on June 18.
Privileged to have played his part.
A decision to retire as long standing chief executive of Shepparton Villages has left Kevin Bertram with mixed emotions, but looking forward to the next stage in life.
“It’s partly sad about leaving, partly scary about my future after full-time work and partly happy because I’ll be with my family again,” Mr Bertram said.
“I’ve gotten so much out of this role that it will be hard to leave it behind.”
One of the main things he said he was looking forward to was spending more time with his family in NSW.
“I’ll also be finding time to do some fishing and golfing, but I’ll mainly be spending time with my family,” he said.
Mr Bertram spent 18 years at the helm of the organisation and he said it would leave him with many fond memories.
He arrived during Shepparton Villages’ transition from a Rotary-established organisation to an era when aged care was becoming complex.
He previously worked in aged care in Perth and Adelaide before moving to Shepparton.
“I can remember being blown out of my mind with what had been developed as a dream of Rotary,” he said.
Mr Bertram said one of the challenges of the role was preparing the organisation for the continually changing role of aged care.
“The economics of aged care are only going to become more challenging for the whole of society,” he said.
However, it was working with the staff and residents he considered one of the highlights of his time at Shepparton Villages.
“It was all about the people, who had such wonderful stories, sense of humour or had been through times of sadness or hardship – and to be a part of their lives has been an absolute privilege,” he said.
Mr Bertram said he had the benefit of the experience of Shepparton Villages founders Lance Woodhouse and Keppel Turnour.
“They showed me what it is to make a difference in the community through hard work, resilience and not giving up, he said.
“It’s a job that really doesn’t have any boundaries; you do whatever needs to be done.”
Mr Bertram will officially step down as chief executive on June 18 and will spend a couple of weeks transitioning new chief executive Kerri Rivett into the role before moving to NSW.
By Jenna Bishop
As published in the Shepparton News, Wednesday, May 24, 2014