New Village Manager Michelle Barnard is ready for almost anything.
“I’m excited for a new challenge and to be a part of many people’s lives during their golden years.
“I love being in the heart of the village, making connections with people, and seeing people enjoy their retirement. It’s a very rewarding career!
After starting at Evelyn Page 10 years ago as the Activities Coordinator, Michelle progressed to Assistant Manager, and then Resident Services Manager. When Murray Halberg Village opened, she relocated there, before moving to William Sanders Village.
“Being a Resident Services Manager helped a lot in preparation for running a village. I dealt with all the inner workings, and it’s that experience that led me here.
“My favourite thing about working for Ryman is the amazing people I work with. It’s a real people-focused job and I love being able to connect with so many people.”
Michelle moved from Hermanus in South Africa 13 years ago to build a new life in New Zealand with her two daughters.
“One day we went to a seminar in Cape Town, and they spoke about New Zealand and what life was like here for families and then that was the end of that!
“We love it here and love the community.
While she has no other family here in New Zealand, she says working in the heart of a Ryman village has meant she has adopted new family.
“The residents - they become like your family.”
As for what she enjoys in her spare time – Michelle says the outdoors calls.
“I really enjoy hiking and ocean swims and getting out in nature.
“I love the people here and the culture. It’s laid back in terms of beauty and calmness. I’ve never felt that in any other country before.
She says her focus at Miriam Corban will be to build a village with a great culture and great communication.
“Residents like to see that things are getting done and that they are being communicated with.”
Michelle is looking forward to life with a lot more residents to care for as Miriam Corban Village grows and the new care centre opens.
“It’s exciting. I’ve met so many wonderful people here and can’t wait to see the village grow.
“I look forward to being able to shape the future of Miriam Corban.”