The Joy of multicultural care

DREAM JOB: Multicultural Aged Services CEO of 25 years Joy Leggo, with longtime residents Helga and Livio, and Lily, who has worked at the centre for almost 25 years. (Joe van der Hurk) 189593

When Joy Leggo took the helm at Multicultural Aged Services (MACS) in January 1994 she hoped to make a difference for the elderly.

And 25 years in her “dream job” as its inaugural chief executive officer has only stoked her passion.

“I see where we have made a difference to people’s lives,” she said.

“We’ve kept married couples together. We’ve taken people who have been in shocking situations – they may have experienced domestic violence or been a hoarder – and we’ve given them a safe place to live.”

Joy has helped transform the 40-bed hostel at North Geelong from employing 30 people in 1994 into a 160-bed facility with 200 staff and 60 volunteers.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have been with the organisation from the beginning so I could set the culture,” she said.

Joy was particularly proud of a dementia-specific facility that opened at the centre in 2016.

“We fought so long to get that facility and we knew that was a need.”

MACS will celebrate Joy’s silver anniversary with a barbeque lunch and the opening of Stan’s Shed and a walking track.

The shed commemorates Slobovan ‘Stan’ Mirkovic, a founding member and long-serving director of MACS, who died in November 2015.

Stan’s wife, Elaine, donated the funds for the woodworking shed in his memory.

A not-for-profit organisation, MACS provides residential aged care, independent living units, home services and dementia-specific, palliative and respite care for elderly people of more than 60 ethnicities.

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