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Shona McFarlane Kindness Award Winner


Shona McFarlane kindness award winner Esther Hukui pictured with the colleagues who nominated her.
From left to right: Tracey Sprott Anne Bean, Helen Duguid and Andrea Manuel.

Our first kindness award winner Esther Hukui puts her success down to listening, smiling, always making time for residents and some killer Michael Jackson dance moves.

Esther has worked for Ryman for 13 years, starting out at Rita Angus and then moving to Shona McFarlane.

She’s the serviced apartment activities co-ordinator, a part-time care assistant and also fills in as a receptionist.

She was thrilled to win the award which included travel vouchers which she will put towards a dream holiday to Greece.

Coming to work is never a chore for Esther.

“I love my job. I love my residents, the staff, and the atmosphere here. Basically I always make time to listen to residents, to ask them what they want to do so I know what they expect of me.’’

She says her Samoan background helped shape her approach – it is very important to her culture to care for and to show respect for older people.

She tells new staff three things. Be yourself, smile and take time to listen so that you can communicate well.

“I think a smile’s really important. If you come in looking like a sour puss then people will wonder whether to bother.’’

And she has just the thing for any residents or staff feeling blue.

“If anyone’s down I just dance to make them laugh. I’ve got a really good Moon Walk. I’m not bad for over 50.’’

So would she consider working anywhere else?

“No, I tell everyone when I’m finished I will live here. I’ve picked out my retirement house. It is just over from the pool and nice and close for Happy Hour.’’

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