Susan Wray has more than 20 years of experience working in the aged care sector and is excited to have now realised a career ambition to be at the helm of an organisation.
Mrs Wray has been announced as the new chief executive officer of Edgarley Assisted Living in Casterton. She arrived in town last week and said her appointment was an exciting personal end to a very difficult year for the broader aged care industry.
“I have lived in Kilmore for 11 years and I love country life. To get an opportunity to lead a community aged care organisation that is focused on resident care and to live here in this part of the world is amazing,” she said.
“Leading an organisation like this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and obviously with the major redevelopment well underway here at Edgarley it is an exciting time not just for the organisation but for the community.”
Most recently, Mrs Wray was the regional clinical governance and development consultant for BUPA – working with as many as 18 aged care facilities.
She said she had developed a vast network of industry contacts throughout her career, which had equipped her with a wide skill set that would help guide Edgarley into the future.
“I can tell already that there is a wonderful sense of community here in Casterton and that Edgarley Assisted Living provides not only critical residential services but it’s also a major employer and injects a great deal into the local economy,” she said.
“The town itself might be quite small, but it services a much wider area and I think Casterton is a wonderful gateway to those areas as well as being quite close to regional hubs like Hamilton and Mt Gambier as well.
“Recruitment of qualified staff is a challenge across the sector, but I’m hoping I can use my experience and network to really sell Edgarley as a lifestyle choice for prospective workers.
“Housing is affordable, the community is wonderful, country life is the best and we’re about to have a brand-new state-of-the-art facility as well.”
Mrs Wray has three children, the youngest of which is 16 and about to start VCE. She said he would stay in Kilmore with her husband to complete his schooling. Her eldest son is studying secondary school teaching and her daughter is studying nursing.
“I’ll be here in Casterton 95 per cent of the time…my family are used to me being away for work so that’s quite normal for us,” she said.
“I love following local football as well as supporting Carlton in the AFL. Football and reading are probably my two favorite pastimes.”
Edgarley Assisted Living board chairperson Alan Elijah welcomed Mrs Wray to the organisation and said she had a wealth of experience to offer.
He also thanked interim CEO David Knight from Leading Healthcare who had led the organisation through a challenging year.
Mr Knight is currently working alongside Mrs Wray to complete a handover. His final day at Edgarley will be January 8.