Blue Care celebrates 50 years in Beaudesert

Jeanette Pepper and Elaine Kerrison
Jeanette Pepper and Elaine Kerrison

COMMUNITY organisation Blue Care Beaudesert celebrated 50 years of caring for people in the community with a morning tea attended by some of the original nurses and committee members.

Blue Care Ladies Auxiliary supported the Blue Care Centre to commission a painting from Mununjali artist Robbie Antcliff (see opposite page) in recognition of the 50 years services have been provided to Beaudesert and 20 years since the opening of the current building.

Blue Care’s goal was to present a visual welcoming for community members and provide a cultural appreciation for First Nations People who have continued to contribute to the local area.

The acquisition of the painting also recognises that Blue Care aims to achieve safe, equitable and optimal outcomes for all client health journeys within the Beaudesert community.

First nurses

Jeanette Pepper and Elaine Kerrison were the first nurses employed by Blue Care when it began in Beaudesert.

Started by the Uniting Church Minister at the time, the women praised the efforts of the committee who initiated the service and provided ongoing fundraising support through the Blue Care Ladies Auxiliary.

One of the challenges they faced in the early years was that there was no map of the area to help them to find their way to clients’ homes.

“We worked from home for many years and travelled together to attend to any clients,” said Jeanette.

Jeanette said it took a little time for local doctors to get used to referring patients to Blue Care, but once they knew what the service could do it proved invaluable for many people.

Fundraising provided the first of many cars for the nurses to travel in, with the Beaudesert Girl Guides washing and cleaning the vehicles for them.

“Back then we would take our children with us,” said Jeanette.

“We made a bed in the back of the car for them!”

Jeanette and Elaine helped clients with wound dressing, personal care and home care.

“We feel privileged to have been there when it started because it was so badly needed,” said Elaine.

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Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.