10 May

Mum and daughter helping those most vulnerable

This Sunday marks an incredibly special day – Mother’s Day. Today, we are sharing the story of how two women, a mother and daughter, who both work in our Home and Community Services on the Gold Coast, are supporting our most vulnerable.

A Gold Coast mum has inspired her daughter to follow in her footsteps, in supporting our community’s most vulnerable.

Debra Gilbertson is a Registered Nurse and a Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator, and her daughter Emily is a Team Leader, who both work at Anglicare Southern Queensland’s South Coast Home and Community Services in Robina. Debra has been with Anglicare for the past five years and Emily has been with Anglicare for the past four years.

Debra and her daughter Emily at the Gold Coast Robina office.

Debra works with clients and their families who are going through palliative care and end-of-life care and Emily has worked with clients in the Out and About program, which helps clients get involved in activities. She has also worked as a Home Care Worker and has now been promoted to Team Leader in charge of recruitment and onboarding of new staff. She started out as a volunteer Lifestyle Assistant before receiving a paid position as a Lifestyle Assistant and Home Care Worker. They play an essential role within the Home and Community Services which include nursing, cleaning, meal preparation, home maintenance and social support.

The two share an unbreakable bond and say they love working with each other in the same office and spending time together.

“It was a little strange at first but now I think it is great! We have lots more in common now and we like to tease each other, which gives the other staff a laugh. I have really seen her develop in confidence and maturity since joining Anglicare,” Mrs Gilbertson said.

“I have been with Anglicare for five years. I enjoy the camaraderie with the people I work with in the office and the staff who are out on the road. We have a lot of laughs, and this makes for a wonderful work environment. The people here genuinely care for each other and for their clients.”

This Mother’s Day Mrs Gilbertson plans to spend time with her family, including her 89-year-old mother-in-law who will be 90 later in the year.

“I always spend some time thinking of my mum on Mother’s Day. She passed away in 2001 but her family meant everything to her. She was a nurse as well and I know that she was proud of my nursing achievements,” she said.

“My children are both grown up now and I am very proud of the kind, compassionate adults they have become. I cannot wait to be a grandma – no pressure kids!!”

Emily said her mum means the world to her and was one of the reasons why she chose to work at Anglicare.

“It’s great to work alongside my Mum, it gives us the chance to see each other all the time,” she said.

One of the most memorable moments as a mother for Debra was bringing her newly born children home.

“Bringing the kids into the world and taking them home from hospital, realizing that they were totally dependent on me was a really special moment. Christmas is so much more special when you have children to celebrate with – seeing the excitement in their eyes,” she said.

Debra’s advice for new mums out there is to enjoy every single day as they grow up so fast.

“Don’t worry about the material things. Make sure you have experiences with them, so they get to enjoy this wonderful country we live in and to value the environment,” she said.

“For those who are fortunate enough to still have their mothers around, ensure they enjoy the day and spoil them.”

If you would like to find out more about the work Anglicare Southern Queensland does in the community, you can visit our website on https://anglicaresq.org.au/

Thank you to Debra and Emily for sharing their Mother’s Day story with us.