When Rebecca McMillan heard her name being called out as winner of Ryman’s Health, Safety & Wellbeing Award for 2021 it took a few moments to sink in.
The Resident Services Manager from Logan Campbell Retirement Village was watching the online event at home with husband Mike and daughters Sophie, 19, and Kate, 18, and admits it was a shock, albeit a nice one!
“It’s a funny moment because you are concentrating on the technology too but I was really surprised and humbled.”
The role involves ensuring all members of the team complete their health and safety inductions and constantly driving home the importance of doing things safely and minimising risk.
Rebecca’s comment about lockdown hair possibly qualifying as a new hazard in the village got a big laugh from MCs Hilary Barry and Laura Daniel who then went on to read out what some of the nominees had said, citing Rebecca’s ‘tireless’ efforts to ensure wellbeing and safety throughout the village.
“She lives and breathes safety and continually strives for excellence,” the judges summed up.
Rebecca said her family were so excited for her.
“They loved the acknowledgement and were super proud, they really enjoyed the awards night and it gave them a greater insight into life at the village.”
Rebecca joined the team in 2018 as Assistant to the Manager, not long after the village opened, and then moved on to become Resident Services Manager with oversight over the teams delivering all the services for residents, including kitchen, laundry, housekeeping, gardening, and administration.
Despite having to battle Auckland’s notorious traffic to cross the Harbour Bridge twice a day travelling to and from work, Rebecca quickly fell in love with the people at the village and admits she can’t imagine working anywhere else.
“I love village life and am so lucky having been here since almost the very beginning I know everyone, all the residents right throughout our village and all the staff and so many relatives too.
“I get my energy from people interaction. I love hearing people’s stories – it’s what tops my tank!”
And in turn, Rebecca has plenty of energy to give. During the recent Olympics@Ryman event, Rebecca was a tireless cheerleader at all the sporting competitions, often dressing up in silly costumes to bring smiles and colour to the occasion.
Rebecca with Logan Campbell's Activity and Lifestyle Coordinator Gerlie Navaja deserved a gold medal in cheerleading during the Olympics@Ryman!
The costumes and bringing good cheer continued when New Zealand returned to lockdown in August, with Rebecca helping to deliver groceries and Happy Hour in a Bag to residents, even high kicking along to the accompanying music, much to their amusement.
Despite the restrictions, the pandemic has brought about some special moments, she says.
“Hearing the stories of kindness shown between residents is a beautiful thing.
“And I have huge respect for our team members who show up and step up each day.”
Now, there is a fresh challenge to look forward to, following the recent announcement that Rebecca will replace Karyn Nobilo as Logan Campbell’s new Village Manager.
Says Rebecca: “I’ve got huge shoes to fill but I’ve been fortunate enough to have been mentored for 3.5 years by Karyn, Leader of the year 2020 and then Village of the Year 2021 and she is Logan Campbell’s new Regional Manager so it feels like a very natural and exciting progression.”
Rebecca is glad that the residents and families will continue to see a familiar face too.
“There’s been so much change over the past 18 months and I really wanted to be there for residents and team members.
“I’ve had so many conversations with residents and relatives these past few weeks hoping I had applied so I’m really looking forward to them all finding out!”
She adds: “We are a beautiful village with a vibrant and loving community of staff, residents and relatives. I can’t wait to open up the village again and have our visitors back too!”
It looks like this Logan Campbell love story is set to continue for a long time yet!