Employee recognition program

It takes a special kind of person, and organisation, to provide the vast range of services we do, and it’s for this reason we launched our Ozheart program, to recognise the very biggest hearts in Ozcare and the exceptional work they do.

Each quarter we recognise the accomplishments of our employees who make a positive difference in the lives of residents, clients, and colleagues

We invite everyone to share their experiences of an Ozheart and help us recognise Ozcare employees who are doing exceptional work no matter what their job description.

Current Ozheart

Spring Winner – Leanne Sellwood

Congratulations to Leanne Sellwood, Care Assistant from the Sunshine Coast, on being voted our Spring Ozheart.

Leanne was nominated by her clients, Barney and Fay, for, “all the little things she does to make their days better when she visits." Leanne understands the importance of individual attention and responsive care, and she goes the extra mile to ensure she makes a difference in the lives of the people she cares for and supports” .

Leanne's story

2019 Winners

Winter Winner – Karen Russell

Our heartfelt congratulations to Karen Russell, Client Services Assistant at our Port Douglas Aged Care Facility, on winning the Ozheart Winter award.

Karen received 11 nominations for the Ozheart award last quarter, from both staff and clients, and all nominations received were very complimentary of Karen's efforts in her role in the laundry. Karen's win demonstrates how our support staff, who do most of their work behind the scenes, play an invaluable role in making a difference in the lives of our clients..

Karen's story

Autumn Winner – Toni-Lyn Shaw-Linke

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Toni-Lyn Shaw-Linke, Care Assistant at Ozcare Hervey Bay Aged Care Facility, on winning our Autumn Ozheart award.

Toni received two nominations for the Ozheart award last quarter and both nominations spoke volumes about the type of carer she is. Toni is described by the people around her as caring, thoughtful, fabulous, selfless and the kind of person who would do anything for anyone. She is someone who is always willing to lend a hand in all areas and to all team members, whilst wearing her heart on her sleeve.

Toni's story

2018 Winners

Summer Winner - Emma Orr

Congratulations to Emma Orr for going the extra mile to make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia. Emma works in ‘Wattle’ the special care wing at Clontarf. Hesitant to work in Wattle initially, Emma has taken the opportunity and run with it.

Emma goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of her residents. The families of the residents in Wattle are always commenting on Emma’s terrific work. So much so that the wives of the residents in Wattle have nominated her for an award through Queensland Carers and had no hesitation in recommending Emma for the Ozheart award.

Emma's story

Spring Winner - Kate Adams

Kate Adams, Care Assistant, is our first Ozheart winner on the Sunshine Coast and a very worthy recipient.

Kate was nominated by one of her clients who is unable to verbally communicate. This client wrote Kate is exceptional and everything a person could wish for in a carer. In summary, Kate makes this client feel safe in situations she finds difficult with empathy, reassurance and kindness. 

Kate's story

Winter Winner - Jo Witt

Congratulations to Jo Witt, Family Support Worker at GIFS & Ipswich Accommodation Project, for going above and beyond to help families get their lives back on track.

Jo was nominated for the Ozheart award by one of her clients who simply said in a state of desperation he found Ozcare and an angel called “Jo Witt”. Jo gave him the confidence to keep going and made him a better man, father and human. To demonstrate his appreciation, this client wrote a heartfelt poem to Jo which we have shared on our blog.

Jo's story

Autumn Winner - Shilpi Jishtu

Described as a knight in shining armour by her clients, we salute the courage and compassion that Shilpi Jishtu, Dementia Advisor at Ozcare Brisbane North shows to others.

Shilpi’s nomination was put forward by the daughter of one of her clients, and seconded by her supervisor, David Mack and state coordinator, Karen Constant. An outstanding nomination, Shilpi is a very worthy Ozheart who demonstrates commitment to our organisational values and shows a professional individualised service to each of her clients.

Shilpi's story

2017 Winners


November Winner - Michele Roche

WDiversional therapist Michele Roche won the November Ozheart for her innovative new program using Skype to connect residents of Ozanam Villa Burleigh Heads to residents of a Japanese aged care facility.

The program has been a huge success - creating friendships, providing motivation and inspiration for residents in their art and music sessions, and sparking new ideas for activities such as a club to learn Japanese phrases.

Michele’s story

October Winner - Rita English

We received an overwhelming number of nominations from colleagues and residents at Keith Turnbull Place for Rita English, who celebrates 30 years as a dining room attendant this month.

A fixture of the Keith Turnbull Place food services team, Rita won the 2014 Queensland Food Service Assistant of the Year award for an innovative idea to improve the quality of dining table settings.

Rita’s story

September Winner - Adonna Ruff

Her knowledge and skills make her a good nurse, but it’s her compassion and dedication that make her a great nurse.

Adonna Ruff is our September Ozheart, nominated by clinical nurse manager Vicky Alley after receiving a particularly special thank you card from a client’s family.


Adonna's story

August Winner - Deborah Leeds

This month we were deeply moved by the outstanding Ozheart nomination we received for Deborah (Deb) Leeds, Support Worker at Madonna House Women’s Refuge.

Deb’s joint nomination from her supervisor, colleague and client was so heartfelt that it was unanimously voted by the leadership team as this month’s Ozheart winner.

Deb’s story

July Winner - Mary Hopf

Mary’s nominations were hard to go past; Mary recently turned 70 but shows no signs of slowing down.

Mary goes out of her way to put a smile on her client’s faces, and loves to take them on social outings. Whether it’s fishing, accompanying them to Government House for the over 100’s birthday recognitions, or just taking them by the hand and making them feel that they are the most important person in the room.


Mary’s story

June Winner - Ted Sheehan

Ted Sheehan, bus driver at our Day Respite Centre in Burleigh Heads, was nominated by Ozcare client Fletch for going above and beyond for his passengers.

Ted’s co-workers describe him as generous, approachable, welcoming, helpful, easy to talk to, humorous, accepting, empathetic, engaging and overall great to work with.

Clients tell us he is wonderful, caring, happy, pleasant, huggable, obliging, a good driver, a joy to see and everything the centre needs.

Ted’s story

May Winner - Rob Murray

An incredibly worthy Ozheart, Rob is an asset to South Brisbane Homeless Men's Hostel and the people who walk through its doors looking for help.

Rob always has his clients’ best interests at heart and he’s always looking out for his co-workers.


Rob’s story

April Winner - Kerry Frost

He’s described as “fantastic”, “helpful”, “a real go getter”, and “someone who lights up the room”; all admirable qualities and most definitely qualities worthy of an Ozheart award - congratulations this month go to Kerry Frost, care worker at our Townsville Day Respite Centre and our very first male Ozheart.


Read Kerry’s story

March Winner - Leah Tasker

A heartfelt congratulations to Leah Tasker, cook at our Keith Turnbull Place Aged Care Facility for winning the Ozheart award for March.

Leah was nominated by her manager for the effort she has put into creating moulded texture C (smooth pureed) foods for her facility.

Read Leah’s story

February Winner - Vivian Webley

Congratulations to Vivian Webley, Ozcare in home support worker from Emerald, who has taken out our very first award for Ozheart of the Month. 

Vivian is described as “a very special kind of person, who is vigilant, knowledgeable and someone who makes a very big difference in the lives of others.”

Read Vivian's story

About Ozheart

At Ozcare we like to think we do things with heart.

And it’s important that we do, since we help the people in our society who need it the most. They are seniors, veterans, carers, people living with dementia, disadvantaged Australians, people with disability, mental illness or health condition, the homeless, women and children experiencing domestic violence, and people facing drug and alcohol addiction.

We give them the supports they need to continue staying in their own homes, or provide a warm and welcoming home with 24 hour care. We enable them to live free from domestic violence, to find and maintain a permanent home, to make the most out of their lives and achieve their goals and dreams.

It takes a special kind of person, and organisation, to provide the vast range of services we do, and it’s for this reason we launched our Ozheart program, to recognise the very biggest hearts in Ozcare and the exceptional work they do.

How to Nominate

We accept nominations from clients, Ozcare employees, and the public at any time through the Ozheart nomination form. At the beginning of each quarter, a winner will be chosen from the previous quarter’s nominations and published on our blog, Facebook, and throughout our organisation. Sign up to our mailing list to be notified of the winners.

Nominate an Ozheart


Who to Nominate

The Ozheart program is designed to recognise Ozcare employees who embody the spirit of our organisation:

  • Constantly going the extra mile
  • Providing exceptional care or doing exceptional work
  • Displaying a positive attitude to health and wellbeing
  • Helping their colleagues and other departments


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