Mary has worked at Courtlands Aged Care in North Parramatta for 10 years this month, and it turns out this was her first ever paid job!

Mary came over to Australia at 17 years of age with her love Joseph in the 1970s, all the way from Lebanon where they met. The war had started and as Joseph had lived here before they made the decision to move for a safer life, here they still are. Mary admitted that back then in 1974, catching a plane over here was a little scary. She had no friends or family here and to slowly start to build a life.

Life kept Mary busy though, being blessed with five wonderful children. It was only when they were older and started having children of their own that Mary started to look at what else she could do.

She put her name down to volunteer at Westmead Children’s hospital and mentioned to a cousin that she was interested in doing something else. She would hear family and friends talk about working and catching up with work friends and thought maybe it would be worth trying for a job a few days a week just to get her out of the house.

Before she knew it, her cousin had mentioned it to a Westmead Hospital staff member who also happened to work here and she was called asking if she was interested in laundry, cleaning or kitchen work at Courtlands Village. Mary said yes straight away to kitchen work because she loved cooking.

Starting as a kitchen assistant and never looking back, Mary has become a much-loved team member at Courtlands and we are so very glad she decided to get out of the house 10 years ago!

She now has seven grandchildren and family she still visits back home in Lebanon. She says the most important thing is being there for our residents and each of us doing our part in their care.

And does she do all the cooking at home? The answers is no, actually.

Her husband Joseph does most of the cooking at home now and spoils her with dinner cooked and ready when she gets home.