Home » Podcast » Mark McBriarty, founder of My Care Solution and advocate for mature aged employees

Mark McBriarty, founder of My Care Solution and advocate for mature aged employees



In this week’s episode, Geoff is talking to Mark McBriarty from My Care Solution who were Finalists in the 2021 South Australian Community Achievement Awards.

After 25+ years in executive Human Resource Management roles across a range of world-class companies such as Hilton Hotels and Telstra, Mark established an Aged Care business in South Australia with the very clear intent to change the face of ageing – through the provision of a truly unique, compassionate, client-centered and flexible service, delivering the highest quality of care to older people across South Australia.

My Care Solution has now assisted over 20,000 seniors across Metropolitan Adelaide, the Hills and the Fleurieu Peninsula to live their best life. As the Executive Director of My Care Solution, a premium South Australian provider of home care services, my primary responsibilities in this role now revolve around good governance, growth, acquisitions and advocacy around positive ageing and mature age employment pathways.


In this episode:

  • Founded in 2017, My Care Solution now has 200 staff and are looking for more
  • We learnt that Mark was a champion Table Tennis player and played in the Australian Open 20 years ago.
  • Mark’s words of wisdom – don’t become the parent to your parents


Connect with Mark on LinkedIn

To find out more, visit the website: www.mycaresolution.com.au Regular blogs provide info and tips on things to look out for in your elderly parents and when they might need some form of assistance or support.

My Care Solutions is expanding to regional areas in SA and TAS, so if you want to know more, contact Mark on mark.mcbriarty@mycaresolution.com.au


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Aimen Jafri

Madeline Wells



[00:00:05] Annette
Welcome to the
[00:00:05] Annette
inspirational australian’s podcast, where we check the people making a difference in their communities
[00:00:10] Annette
and in the lives of Others.
[00:00:12] Annette
And here is your host for today.
[00:00:14] Annette
Geoff Griffin.
[00:00:21] Geoff
Welcome to the Inspirational Australian’s podcast stories of inspiring achievements and community contribution.
[00:00:28] Geoff
Every week we will celebrate an award program
[00:00:31] Geoff
category, winner or finalists. We hope you’ll be inspired and encouraged to know that Australia is in good hands, together with our corporate partners and not for profit partners, awards, Australia, showcase ordinary people from right across Australia. Doing extraordinary things. If you enjoy hearing the stories about inspirational Australians, please subscribe. Write us and review us. We really appreciate
[00:01:02] Geoff
how inspirational Australian podcasts guest today has spent more than twenty five years of his life in human resource management roles.
[00:01:09] Geoff
He later saw the need and established marketsolution
[00:01:13] Geoff
to provide comprehensive in-home aged care
[00:01:18] Geoff
and support for older people,
[00:01:20] Geoff
for their
[00:01:21] Geoff
significant contribution to the wellbeing of older South Australians. My care solution
[00:01:26] Geoff
was chosen as a finalist in the
[00:01:28] Geoff
office for ageing. Well, tackling ageism well
[00:01:32] Geoff
out of the twenty twenty one South Australian community achievement awards.
[00:01:37] Geoff
Welcome to the podcast, Mark.
[00:01:39] Mark
Thank you, Geoff. Nice to be here.
[00:01:42] Geoff
I’m super excited to talk with you today to learn a little bit more about your career which is quite extensive. And of course
[00:01:49] Geoff
my career solutions. Can you tell us
[00:01:53] Geoff
about some of the organisations
[00:01:56] Geoff
that you work with during your career?
[00:02:00] Mark
Yeah, absolutely. Look, I think in terms of shaping my career, I spent around about 17 years with Hilton Hotels
[00:02:07] Mark
initially in the food and beverage
[00:02:09] Mark
and management areas. And then moved across into training and then eventually found myself in human
[00:02:13] Mark
Resources and working over in the States. And then back in
[00:02:17] Mark
Sydney and then the opportunity came across to South Australia with Hilton. So that was certainly in terms of shaping my beliefs around what good service looks
[00:02:26] Mark
like. Still sits with me today. I then spent quite a bit of time in strategic areas with Telstra and the enormously rewarding experience but also pretty difficult in terms of I joined the organisation when they were downsizing. So when I started at Hilton there were seventy two thousand. When I left, there was thirty seven thousand so massive downsizing which, you know, someone has to do, but I found it to be quite a challenge in terms of that kind of work. So I think I was the only person that ever left Telstra without the package, but decided that it was taking a little bit too much of a toll on me that kind of
[00:03:03] Mark
work. And I need to sit back and have a good think about what I’d like to do with the rest of my life
[00:03:07] Mark
So I had a bit of a sabbatical for six months. And obviously my wife is a palliative care nurse. I had a background obviously in training, and we looked around and thought what would be an area that would be fulfilling. And we happened across aged care. So that was when we decided let’s, let’s do that.
[00:03:27] Geoff
Yeah, well I guess with your the work that your wife does,
[00:03:31] Geoff
I’m sure you had an empathy and an appreciation for the needs of older South Australians at that time.
[00:03:38] Geoff
And if you can handle
[00:03:41] Geoff
downsizing in a big organisation in the role that you were in, I guess you can pretty much
[00:03:47] Geoff
be prepared for anything.
[00:03:49] Mark
It, as I said,
[00:03:51] Mark
Telstra do it exceptionally well and make tough decisions
[00:03:53] Mark
that need to be made. But when you closing down whole regional call centres and things, it really does take a personal toll on you. And obviously just a great opportunity at that stage in my life to say, what would I like to do? And there’s no doubt that aged care
[00:04:09] Mark
has been such a fulfilling direction for me to hit it in terms of
[00:04:12] Mark
the immediacy of the response you get from clients. When you, when you get to make a difference in their lives.
[00:04:18] Geoff
In such an important
[00:04:20] Geoff
thing, these days I care, it’s been in the spotlight as we know, but to give
[00:04:25] Geoff
people the opportunity to live in their own homes
[00:04:27] Geoff
longer than otherwise they may be able to do. It’s really important.
[00:04:33] Geoff
And so it’s gratifying for the person but also I’m sure my cancellations indeed. So Mark
[00:04:43] Geoff
your wife’s in palliative care, you have a history
[00:04:47] Geoff
in shot. So my solution,
[00:04:52] Geoff
particularly head of the line from the bottom line
[00:04:55] Geoff
to specifically what you do.
[00:05:00] Mark
So I’m the executive director of my care solution and we engaged the company to help us develop
[00:05:05] Mark
a brand that we were comfortable with.
[00:05:07] Mark
And we spent a lot of time on values. And what’s important to us as a family
[00:05:12] Mark
and my daughter is also the chief operating officer of the
[00:05:15] Mark
business now. So as we’ve continued to grow
[00:05:18] Mark
those family values that we hold tight in terms ofhumor,
[00:05:22] Mark
in terms of responsiveness, a lot of it was,
[00:05:24] Mark
was driven from my time
[00:05:26] Mark
with Hilton Hotels. And what I saw in aged care was a lot of benevolence. And a lot of charity, but that’s sort of left a fairly uneven playing field. And I didn’t want clients feeling grateful. I want them to be in charge of their own destiny in their own care. And for us to be a service provider and I think they are some of the changes that some of our larger
[00:05:46] Mark
faith based and not for profit organizations are starting to struggle with now where they’ve come from historically, from a place of, of goodwill. But people are looking more for a service experience that’s memorable
[00:05:59] Mark
[00:06:01] Geoff
absolutely just going back.
[00:06:03] Geoff
Of course our awards night was held in Adelaide.
[00:06:06] Geoff
Did you work in Adelaide?
[00:06:08] Mark
I certainly did. And I was actually a judge on the previous iteration some 20 something years ago. So interesting, when I was at the Sydney Hilton, I introduced traineeships for
[00:06:22] Mark
coming out of year 12.
[00:06:24] Mark
And it had tremendous success in terms of shaping young people and many have gone on to
[00:06:29] Mark
great roles. So the opportunity for aged care was to look at
[00:06:33] Mark
also how do we properly skilled people. It’s
[00:06:36] Mark
fine that people are well intentioned, but that’s not enough
[00:06:39] Mark
We need to make sure that we wrap a whole lot of skills
[00:06:41] Mark
around them around the areas that are important to us, which is
[00:06:44] Mark
really around dementia care. And we do a lot of work around end of life care. So having
[00:06:50] Mark
that caregivers in that area that are comfortable and thrive in those environments has been the real joy for us.
[00:06:59] Geoff
So when did my case start?
[00:07:02] Mark
Officially? We commenced in January 2017. So we’ve been working pretty hard in the last sort of four to eight years now to try to grow the business.
[00:07:13] Geoff
How many people have you supported needs care or home Care
[00:07:18] Mark
to look at over that period of time around about 15000 South Australians who have had the opportunity to assist to maintain their independence So we hit the ground running and we’ve been busy ever since.
[00:07:30] Geoff
Sounds like pretty rapid growth.
[00:07:32] Mark
It has been
[00:07:34] Geoff
and what geographic spread do you have? What areas do you cover?
[00:07:39] Mark
So at the moment
[00:07:40] Mark
we cover obviously all of metropolitan area up as far as goala in North and Adelaide. And we cover the Adelaide
[00:07:48] Mark
hills all the way down the fleurieu peninsula around Victor harbour and those sorts of
[00:07:52] Mark
areas. So we have an office sort of midway between those two at morphettville, so we’re seeing a
[00:07:57] Mark
lot of people moving down the South Side of of Adelaide. So we needed to get an office in there to make sure
[00:08:04] Mark
people see who we are and what we do.
[00:08:07] Geoff
Fantastic. So what are some of the services that you specifically provide that, that
[00:08:13] Mark
look, it really is molded around each individual. There are some common services that we provide certainly around personal care and making sure people are up and meeting the guy correctly. If I can. One of the reasons people end up in residential care is either medication mismanagement
[00:08:30] Mark
or frailties through not eating properly. So there are two key areas for us in terms of
[00:08:35] Mark
particularly people
[00:08:36] Mark
that might have some cognitive issues is to make sure that routines and patterns stay in place.
[00:08:41] Mark
We do a lot of respite work so getting people out of their house and getting them in the out in the community. We’re obviously pulling back on that a little bit at the moment. But we often find is there’s a lot of Social isolation out there. So we’ve started the community club down in Victor harbor there to bring people in so that a nice common place a relaxing place where people could come in and have a chat. So they have the sort of range of services all the way through. Obviously we do a lot of transportation to medical and social appointments, those sorts of things, but
[00:09:13] Mark
obviously people’s gardens still need to be maintained, all of those sorts of things. So it really is
[00:09:19] Mark
us having a whole raft of services and products that might be allied health to get people exercising again, all of those sorts of services. So generally we sit down with our new clients and spend about two hours putting a care plan together
[00:09:33] Mark
that really
[00:09:34] Mark
encapsulates what their goals
[00:09:36] Mark
are. What their deficits are at the moment, what the areas they’d like to work on.
[00:09:40] Mark
We then put a meaningful care plan together
[00:09:43] Mark
that guides our caregivers and ourselves in terms of what people like, what
[00:09:47] Mark
people don’t like, and making sure that we put people in place that are good social fit is also a very critical part of what we do.
[00:09:56] Geoff
So that’s pretty comprehensive.
[00:09:58] Mark
That’s the whole idea is the one stop shop that people don’t need to go around. You know, let
[00:10:03] Mark
us do the running around for you with Better
[00:10:05] Mark
electricians and carpenters and those sorts of things to make sure that police clearances are in place. And insurances,
[00:10:12] Mark
there are some, some dodgy people out there at the moment who say older Australians as some low hanging fruit and now people are getting their rooms removed within ninety seven years of age or paving done that’s not
[00:10:24] Mark
required. So we certainly take
[00:10:26] Mark
their advocacy role and guardian roll very carefully making sure that we keep our clients away from people who might not have their best interests at heart.
[00:10:36] Geoff
Well, that would be very comforting to know for family
[00:10:40] Geoff
members as well as the individuals that you careful
[00:10:44] Mark
look absolutely and look, if we look at the decision making today, you know, probably 90 percent of the decisions
[00:10:50] Mark
are driven by the eldest daughter in the family. Obviously they
[00:10:55] Mark
talk to the other ones, but they’ll make the decisions that’s starting
[00:10:58] Mark
to change. Now as more baby boomers come into the system, who are, you know, very comfortable with making decisions with regards to services. But our older demographic at the moment we call the silent Australians who are just thankful for what they get. Don’t complain very much. And that can sometimes lead to suboptimal services not being called out. So
[00:11:19] Mark
we absolutely encourage our clients, if we can do it better, we want to hear about it.
[00:11:24] Geoff
How many times did staff get ambushed by
[00:11:28] Geoff
the will wishin, eldest daughter or another child of the person you are caring for with?
[00:11:36] Mark
That’s a challenge. There’s no doubt sometimes looking after the client is the, is the least issue that I have and
[00:11:41] Mark
you know, there are some complex relationships out there and I’ve found there aren’t many Brady bunch is that it’s what level of dysfunction is in your family is probably a better question, but
[00:11:52] Mark
you know, they’re stakeholders and we have to work with all members of the family and the communication. We’re often you’ll see from our logo. It really is about filling in the gaps the people and some people have enormous gaps where they don’t have family support. Others have very large families that are looking for
[00:12:07] Mark
specific times and specific days where we can fit in and help them to help their parents maintain their independence.
[00:12:15] Geoff
So this is be the role reversal of the mother of the bride for a wedding planner.
[00:12:21] Mark
Very much so and quite often when they were mother heavily as a child, they tend to reverse those roles and that never goes down. Well
[00:12:29] Geoff
yeah, that would be you know, hadn’t been something like considered, but certainly would be problematic. I guess for your staff was lucky you, when you have this experience, that
[00:12:42] Mark
is a people business, there’s no doubt about And there’s always a solution Huie that works at the front of the Hilton will say that everything is possible, the impossible reality could be 20 minutes. And so what we can do,
[00:12:54] Mark
there’s always a way around something,
[00:12:57] Geoff
one of the other dramas, like size and weight. It’s not a drama for us, but it would be a similar situation that a lot of people that your staff deal with would be lonely. They come into the home
[00:13:10] Geoff
and how do you most
[00:13:12] Geoff
lovingly try to cut short their life story again and again and again to
[00:13:19] Mark
actually provide the services that would take quite some
[00:13:22] Mark
talent. And that’s the balance. And that’s the balance is why don’t you pull a chair up while doing the dishes, or why don’t you grab a tea towel and you can wash the other Side. So I’m directing. Sometimes those conversations are very important because the task still does need to be completed, but that
[00:13:37] Mark
companionship we would, would rather good companionship than a bit of dust sitting over the Side there. We’ll
[00:13:42] Mark
get to it eventually. But connecting with individuals that are lonely is a pretty important part of what we do.
[00:13:47] Geoff
Don’t be such a myriad of little things that we wouldn’t contemplate or even consider
[00:13:55] Geoff
that your you and your team would have to face on a day to day basis.
[00:13:59] Geoff
So all power to you.
[00:14:01] Geoff
Thank you.
[00:14:03] Geoff
How many staff to actually have that?
[00:14:05] Mark
We’re running just under two
[00:14:07] Mark
hundred at the moment. And, and the challenge for us is finding great people at the moment. It is a real critical workforce shortage, and I know we’re not the only industry, but we are absolutely being challenged at the moment. And we’ve had people that have been waiting two years to get a government funded package and they’re landing in some areas where there’s just not enough staff and
[00:14:28] Mark
I won’t take someone on if we don’t have the resources to be able to do our job properly. So there are some areas down South at the moment. We’re offering scholarships, we’re doing
[00:14:36] Mark
all different types of things to attract people into our industry.
[00:14:41] Geoff
That’s fantastic. It is growing exponentially,and
[00:14:45] Geoff
I think you nailed it.
[00:14:47] Geoff
There are
[00:14:47] Geoff
probably people out there organizations who are looking for the quick buck and
[00:14:52] Geoff
trying to do too much and not doing it Well enough. And it’s gratifying and wonderful to hear
[00:14:59] Geoff
that you want to extend services if you’re not able to provide the most appropriate caring way. So that’s good, good stuff.
[00:15:06] Mark
And there’s a lot of providers out there that outsource to a third party. And again my old Hilton belief is that if I
[00:15:13] Mark
don’t know the caregiver and the client doesn’t know the caregiver, then that’s not a very good starting point for quality. So we only use our own staff here will use a few
[00:15:23] Mark
gardeners and for outside of that, but we will only use our own staff. I don’t
[00:15:26] Mark
believe in outsourcing this
[00:15:29] Mark
intimate level of work. Yeah,
[00:15:31] Geoff
that’s wonderful to hear.
[00:15:33] Geoff
My solution
[00:15:35] Geoff
would have changed says that No staffing increase. So what is it more involved now?
[00:15:42] Mark
So very much about strategy and direction. If you had asked me three years ago I was answering the phone at two o’clock in the morning and again at seven. So it is a 24/7 business and people’s care needs to stop because it’s the weekend. So
[00:15:56] Mark
as we’ve grown, I’ve brought a CEO in brought my daughter in as the chief operating officer, we have antibalas coordinators and things now. So the day to day,
[00:16:06] Mark
I still keep a very close eye on and
[00:16:08] Mark
certainly read most emails that come across our business. But it is really about setting the direction for our business and being involved in initiatives such as mature age, employment, and really being an advocate out in the community for that. Fantastic.
[00:16:24] Geoff
I guess like everything
[00:16:26] Geoff
we have to evolve. Teacher, we were
[00:16:29] Geoff
affected at all by covid and
[00:16:32] Geoff
And that type of stuff is I
[00:16:34] Mark
look initially when, when it first hit it, it was very much the unknown. So we probably in the first week dropped 40 per cent of business where you stop if
[00:16:44] Mark
other people have been thrown out of work. So they were home with their
[00:16:47] Mark
parents and said we won’t need services. Other people that were just frightened and said, look,
[00:16:51] Mark
I want to cancel things. You know, I think what really came through is the importance of our role is that after one week people are ringing back up and going look I’m not coping. I need you to come back in. We obviously had all the appropriate people on etc.. So there was that initial bump. But after that,
[00:17:08] Mark
people have gotten used to the fact that we do take our
[00:17:11] Mark
responsibilities very seriously in terms of making sure that we don’t pass on diseases to individuals.
[00:17:18] Mark
So we take a lot of precautions going in. So as I say an initial drop. But that picked back up the very quickly.
[00:17:25] Geoff
Fantastic. And you mentioned mature age employment just a few moments ago. I believe you delivered the state’s first mature aged traineeship program to the aged care industry. Tell us about it and
[00:17:39] Geoff
why are you focused on employment for older Australians?
[00:17:43] Mark
Look, we’ve always been an employer with mature folks in, in South Australia, a couple of reasons. I think certainly
[00:17:50] Mark
compatibility. The average age of our client is about eighty seven. We have many clients in their 90s and a couple in the hundreds. So the idea of commonality of interests,
[00:18:01] Mark
[00:18:02] Mark
all different types of things sways itself and makes it easier for someone that’s a bit more mature
[00:18:07] Mark
to build that relationship. The second part of that is
[00:18:11] Mark
you have people who are mature and often looked after their own parents themselves and have been around the block a few times. And I think that empathy, but they will go away in the next few years. So people look at it with a very different lens, so
[00:18:24] Mark
we tend to stick away from
[00:18:26] Mark
heavy household cleaning and things. So we don’t want to
[00:18:30] Mark
have people exhausted by the end of the day. And we do a lot of work with helping people with dementia and palliative care and really supportive environment. So
[00:18:38] Mark
what we found, though, is that those numbers were drying up 12 months ago. I was advertising and I would get twenty five applicants. Three months ago I
[00:18:48] Mark
got two applicants for the same.
[00:18:50] Mark
And in saying So to me, we needed to get further up the front of the bus. And again going back to my old Hilton days, I’m a very firm believer in earning while you’re learning. So the idea of mixing theory and
[00:19:03] Mark
practicals together over a 12 month period, I think builds that level of competence and expertise. And once we get those levels of competence and expertise, that’s what we build trust with our clients. And once we get the same team the same people going in, you get past the platitudes
[00:19:19] Mark
and you really get to know the individual. And
[00:19:22] Mark
perhaps they’ll tell, give us things that they won’t have until they’re cheap. That could be things to do with continents where they’re too embarrassed to tell their male G.P that they haven’t been out for the last two weeks. That’s because they might entrust their bladder. If we know those sort of things by building a relationship than we can get resources in place for that individual and help them re-engage in their lives. So I’ve always been a fan of mature employees but we just need to get closer to the front of the
[00:19:50] Mark
bus and be very involved in selecting up front, working with the training provider to train what we need trained
[00:19:57] Mark
and to be flexible with working with people that are mature, so making sure that technology was a big thing with mature employees, making sure that we had coaches and support in place that an app is not a dirty word. Once you learn how they operate, it opens up a world of information that you’re able to read about a client before you walk in the door. So it’s a matter of why, why do we do this? He is the reason why and I think once mature people understand, I can see the purpose of why we do this. Then they come along for the ride veryeasily.
[00:20:29] Geoff
Fantastic. Has the
[00:20:32] Geoff
mature age
[00:20:34] Geoff
programs of traineeships been really successful and how many people
[00:20:38] Geoff
would you put through that actually ended up in employment with you.
[00:20:42] Mark
So we’re just advertising for our second round. Now our first round finished in September of this year
[00:20:50] Mark
we started with 12 trainings and we finished with 12. We hired 12
[00:20:56] Mark
at the end of the traineeship. Unfortunately, one moved to
[00:20:58] Mark
Queensland and is working as a caregiver up there, which is great.
[00:21:02] Mark
And we have to understand when you venture into training, you’re sometimes training for the industry. Make sure they’re good ambassadors for you if they do go to work in other places. But
[00:21:11] Mark
as I said, the retention was, was exceptional. Most traineeship programs in Australia would have
[00:21:16] Mark
dropouts. In the 40 to 50 per cent Mark to
[00:21:19] Mark
have no dropouts at all with a great return on investment.
[00:21:23] Geoff
I think it’s made a difference for your mature aged clients.
[00:21:29] Mark
No doubt, as I said, I think that compatibility is a huge factor there but also building people’s confidence through that 12 months is
[00:21:37] Mark
really, you know, lets our clients know that we value maturity, that we would put a number of people that have worked in retail. Those sorts of areas where they had
[00:21:45] Mark
great customer service skills, so they’re able to communicate
[00:21:49] Mark
exquisitely. So it’s just a matter of that training around personal care and understanding dementia and how you interact with someone with dementia
[00:21:56] Mark
building that expertise is what I guess makes the family comfortable when they see someone who who owns their role and is very comfortable in that.
[00:22:04] Geoff
And I believe your service model was shortlisted in the most innovative companies award. That must have beenexciting.
[00:22:12] Mark
Look, it really was. And I think it really shows that innovation doesn’t just mean coming up with new ideas. Can often mean that my background in Hilton
[00:22:21] Mark
looking at what great service looks like, what the service experience, we call it our moments of truth.
[00:22:27] Mark
And from a client’s perspective on the least important person in this organization the care giver. And that last three feet and getting that interaction right
[00:22:36] Mark
is critical and all those learnings from my old
[00:22:39] Mark
Hilton days that and people go, wow, that’s very
[00:22:42] Mark
innovative and you go, well it is for eight services. But a lot of people think
[00:22:46] Mark
of age care again from that benevolent point of view rather than doing excellent service execution and making sure people are delighted with what you do.
[00:22:56] Geoff
[00:23:00] Geoff
I just want to pause for a moment to mention our new membership program. This is a really exciting opportunity for individuals and businesses to show their support and appreciation for our awards programs and their community members are really making a big difference for Others by purchasing a new 50 dollar membership. All contributions go towards prize grants, that our sister award winners continue helping Others. And only around 14 cents per day.
[00:23:31] Geoff
The benefits are huge.
[00:23:33] Geoff
Why not check it out? Member benefits and awards Australia dot com, forward slash shop. And one of the benefits
[00:23:40] Geoff
is a Shout out on the podcast.
[00:23:43] Geoff
This week we have two new members, both from tazi and both. Are young women.
[00:23:49] Geoff
Go go to girls firstly and Geoffrey who was a winner in the 2021
[00:23:55] Geoff
community achievement awards for a work with the multicultural Council of Tasmania,
[00:24:00] Geoff
Pakistani cultural Society of Tasmania
[00:24:04] Geoff
and the Shia association of Al Baitz Tasmania.
[00:24:09] Geoff
And also we have Madeline wills, who was a finalist
[00:24:12] Geoff
in the 2020 Tasmanian young achievement award. Madeleine spoke at the UN forum for youth was selected for the youth Taskforce and was a young leader for women deliver program. Their website links will be on the show notes on our website. Now back to you Mark, There must have been a real thrill and such a validation of your hard work closer to being chosen as a finalist in this year’s with a twenty twenty one. Not surprising. Well, tackling ageism award two.
[00:24:50] Mark
It was and
[00:24:52] Mark
I think they had around twenty four applicants. So to get down to the final three was, was an absolute delight for us. And more importantly, to be able to shine a light on the value of mature employees.
[00:25:03] Mark
But absolutely blown away by just the grassroots quality of people
[00:25:07] Mark
that attended the night from a whole range of different areas there that are
[00:25:12] Mark
really just don’t get a lot of advertising. You don’t hear a lot about it. But
[00:25:16] Mark
just going around and making an enormous difference in our community. So a very, very fun night, a great celebration. And again, from, from our perspective we didn’t win the night. But the gentleman who did was exceptional and the work that he’s doing in his own
[00:25:32] Mark
community. You take your hat off to, it’s not a competitive night at all. It really is just delighted to be here. If we won, it would have been
[00:25:39] Mark
great, but I’m just delighted to be in the finals right.
[00:25:42] Geoff
Well, and
[00:25:43] Geoff
you can nominate again next year. In fact, we encourage the nominees to go again. If you’ve made it to that level,
[00:25:51] Geoff
we obviously doing something right.
[00:25:54] Geoff
So certainly we encourage anybody who’s listening that can think of someone that could and should be nominated, someone doing something
[00:26:03] Geoff
terrific across the a broad range of industry areas.
[00:26:07] Geoff
And look at our website which is trying to come.
[00:26:10] Geoff
And both of their events are held in
[00:26:13] Geoff
Adelaide and in fact some gonna let them know they need to put some
[00:26:18] Geoff
money into this award because you’ve been said
[00:26:21] Geoff
that we’ve mentioned 400 times that I do love hills. I’ve been going there since 1988 with our award programs and absolutely love it. So
[00:26:34] Geoff
I think they do a terrific job as well.
[00:26:37] Mark
They’re a great example of not having to advertise
[00:26:40] Mark
much, much just
[00:26:41] Mark
do a great job and let your client speak on your behalf. I think we’ve got one bridge club in Adelaide that we’ve got six clients from my talk amongst themselves. So as much as we spend on Google AdWords and all of those
[00:26:53] Mark
marketing at the end of the day, if people are delighted with what you do, they’re going to tell people. And similarly
[00:26:59] Mark
if they’re not happy with what you do,
[00:27:00] Mark
they’ll also be out there talking as well.
[00:27:04] Geoff
And I probably do that even So in the very beginning, good business, you’re obviously doing something right. What inspired you at the community achievement awards? Was this
[00:27:14] Geoff
something from that? Not sticking your memory
[00:27:16] Geoff
in. I know you’ve mentioned a few things already but this is something that stood out as being caught inspiring for the night.
[00:27:24] Mark
Look, I just think it was the diversity of, of
[00:27:26] Mark
people and organisations, and groups from regional Australia that again I just
[00:27:31] Mark
hadn’t heard of. And some of the
[00:27:33] Mark
things that they’re doing around community transport that are
[00:27:37] Mark
purely being driven by volunteerism. And as we all know, Everyone’s struggling to find a volunteer at the moment. Everyone’s busy but because the cause is so good.
[00:27:47] Mark
I found that and the joy of that group that were there for you have nothing to do with money. It was all about, you know, the difference they make in people’s lives. So it was really reaffirming for me and I was just a great positive non.
[00:27:59] Geoff
There is a real thrill for us to be a part of something like yourself to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. Is a privilege for that,
[00:28:08] Geoff
for, for yourself and your wife, your daughter, and a. If you have time
[00:28:12] Geoff
to be a part of
[00:28:13] Geoff
something special, really is
[00:28:15] Geoff
very, very important.
[00:28:17] Geoff
And like all of us, you must feel the daily pressure built up from time to time. What
[00:28:23] Geoff
you do is very intense, very responsible. You’ve got such a lot of staff, how do you stay motivated and recharge?
[00:28:32] Mark
The motivations know the feedback that we have from our coordinators the they’re telling us what’s going well and what we can improve on
[00:28:40] Mark
this idea of continuous improvement drives me again back from I’ll mention it for the 18th time
[00:28:46] Mark
at the Hilton hotel, the idea of continuous improvement, I’m motivated. If we look at Toyota in Japan who says that we don’t want to be a thousand percent better at anything. We’d like to be one percent better
[00:28:57] Mark
at a thousand different things and getting employee involvement just to push things along every day.
[00:29:02] Mark
And make us a better version of ourselves. That’s what drives me.
[00:29:06] Mark
I’m taking Wednesdays off now which was a
[00:29:09] Mark
deliberate for four from July 1st this year that I’m having Wednesdays off to to play a very poor game of golf. But again, as you get a little bit older, your expectations lower a little bit
[00:29:20] Mark
and I just enjoy getting out with a couple of bikes and
[00:29:23] Mark
having a bit of a knock around a bit of a hit and giggle and like to do a lot of walking and things on the weekend, we’ve got some, some great tracks around Adelaide that are great to get out and relax. As I said, having a good strong management team underneath me is what gives me peace of mind that I know that if I’m not able to be here, that a quality decision is not going to change.
[00:29:44] Geoff
Fantastic. I think it’s important for that work life balance. And someone said, I asked a question more of a speaker that I was listening to. So what’s
[00:29:54] Geoff
work life balance.
[00:29:57] Geoff
So there’s no such thing as what it is, is relevant to you. So what you need of different areas. What you do is
[00:30:06] Geoff
it’s different
[00:30:07] Geoff
to the next person, the next person, and whatever it is you need is different. And that can change as you get older as well. That’s really important. Everybody needs to consider and think about what it is to them that they need to, to feel at peace to feel comfortable doing. And that can vary from job to job, to the competitive
[00:30:28] Geoff
[00:30:29] Geoff
personality and personality and so on. I think it’s great that you’re playing golf a little jealous because I’m
[00:30:35] Geoff
terrible. And I find that hard to stress that in like that’s is
[00:30:42] Mark
low expectation is the case.
[00:30:45] Geoff
Well, my wife and I looked after our granddaughters
[00:30:48] Geoff
on a Wednesday as well so that when I saw someone that could
[00:30:52] Geoff
but I am quite keen to get
[00:30:55] Geoff
back to work on the Thursday because running around running around 3:00 is very exhausting.
[00:31:03] Geoff
Very good to see you. Is that true? No,
[00:31:08] Geoff
but on a different note, what something like that because you
[00:31:13] Mark
look a few things. I was a very competitive table tennis player I played in the Australian Open probably twenty five years ago.
[00:31:21] Mark
And again, I think I left work, gave me a of those sort of things. So that’s another thing that
[00:31:26] Mark
I am taking to back up. I needed to lose a little bit of weight.
[00:31:29] Mark
My work life balance certainly went out probably a couple of years ago when we were growing very
[00:31:34] Mark
quickly. I wasn’t eating properly
[00:31:36] Mark
and I had a bit of a health scare at the end
[00:31:39] Mark
of last year. So I’ve got to change what I talk about again, you know, making sure I eat a lot better. I
[00:31:44] Mark
have an exercise physiologist that I visit twice a week that I don’t enjoy very much at all, but
[00:31:49] Mark
I can feel it making an enormous difference. So
[00:31:53] Mark
again, I want to get back to playing
[00:31:55] Geoff
competitive table, tennis balls, and I believe all
[00:31:59] Mark
the superstars in South Australia. So I get up at my expectations nice and low. What inspired you? Well I think that is
[00:32:06] Geoff
very important. Never knowing that whatever it is that you said you go say that. I’m
[00:32:11] Geoff
not sure that’s a good principle for me.
[00:32:14] Geoff
But it’s certainly I felt it was the diversity. I mean, the social things, organisations.
[00:32:21] Mark
So what’s
[00:32:22] Mark
next for you and my kids? And some of these, yeah, look we, we think we’ve got a great model here. So initially we’re going out to port Lincoln or to have a look at the next couple of weeks around city animal services that we’re pretty keen on because that’s what I think works best for us, is not a big capital cities all over Adelaide. But you know, more the launceston, the, those largest regional centres,
[00:32:47] Mark
you know, there is a readily available workforce to serve people that are keen to be trained. So
[00:32:52] Mark
over the next five years, we’re certainly going to be looking at another place that we have to look at. So
[00:32:58] Geoff
we think we’ve got a good model. So I’ll leave my seat over my shoulder and let’s look after
[00:33:04] Mark
the operations and also the growth and
[00:33:07] Mark
acquisition. So I really will start a new business or the local,
[00:33:11] Geoff
a smaller one. They might be struggling in their own homes. And perhaps a bit of our own processes to that
[00:33:19] Geoff
you’ve got to stop
[00:33:21] Geoff
that Side of that and you’ll be able to apply for the rural doctors, workforce agency will
[00:33:26] Geoff
help me out. And I
[00:33:29] Geoff
thought well which we are internally outside the track sometimes and speaking out
[00:33:35] Geoff
again, do you have any relationship with organisations like
[00:33:40] Mark
this continuous improvement? Yeah, absolutely. So we are contracted as a provider to them
[00:33:45] Mark
and we don’t do the contract to be with any other
[00:33:48] Mark
aged care organisation because I’m not a big fan of carers support. The role of respite is a really important part of our offering, and they don’t have their own website. So what you often find is people are totally destroying everything and that related to calling services for socially and effectively can a 24/7 ginormous childcare so we can get somebody, the skills or the personal can go out and relax for having a balance around it. We take them to their partner and, and for them to come home and find their colleagues in a better place than they let the good life moves along pretty quickly and we’re having a good time. So we do a lot of work here. As I say, we have a lot of relationships, g.p.a., all of us not able to recommend that someone have a chat with us. So
[00:34:36] Geoff
that’s sort of because I think the author of this hospital knows our services and we don’t have any information really diluting the value of people. So there’s no such thing. So what is it between now so relevant to what
[00:34:54] Geoff
you need and testing is going to say to the next person, the next person, whatever it is they do.
[00:35:03] Geoff
And that can, what do you think the world needs right
[00:35:07] Mark
now that’s really important. Everybody needs look, look, I think a lot of people out there
[00:35:13] Geoff
probably ought to be going through some challenges not be the explosions of some people at some point. So I think need to be cognizant of that and just think it’s great. Do you plan on making retirement plans work with another? Yeah, we’ve had several
[00:35:33] Mark
clients that we’ve picked up low expectations because all I want
[00:35:38] Geoff
for my wife looks after lots of work as well. I was not happy with, but I was agitated, but speaking to each other, not just stealing and running around literally. There’s no way to discuss the issues very good to have.
[00:35:59] Geoff
Do you have any other words of wisdom? That’s pretty good words of wisdom, but having a job
[00:36:07] Mark
like this, I think particularly if you’ve got an older parent, it’s Australian, Open the kids to go and discuss. And again, I think that’s we’re going to get your timing right. I’m surprised. Some people are to that.
[00:36:17] Mark
Another thing, parents, sometimes I am taking a look, I’m just straight to the Side of the wait hold. That’s not a
[00:36:22] Mark
time. I want to talk to somebody about that when I think the economy is hardly growing quickly. I wasn’t totally respecting and valuing blast Australia got a change and providing jobs again, and I think we do need to stay at home and I think the soldiers are getting home once a week is the start. I don’t enjoy very much and a lot
[00:36:42] Mark
of men feel like taking it out of the residential area as we
[00:36:45] Mark
try and play it again. I want to get back to playing it because much has changed over and absolutely over as superstars in South Australia, 92 percent of their expectations are sent live in retirement villages, very poor. You never know residential,
[00:37:00] Geoff
whatever it is. If you say see to continue, that’s not sure that’s a good sign, but
[00:37:08] Geoff
certainly want to get through the day. I mean the social things. Absolutely.
[00:37:13] Geoff
So is that one piece of advice for our
[00:37:17] Geoff
listeners? We’ve got a great model pills, but this is so
[00:37:22] Mark
actually we’re going over to Lincoln to have I think the best lesson I learned is that we’re pretty keen on the task is what I think works best for us is not my job to my cities. All over in Adelaide, it’s what gets me and all the organ systems, and I think we’ll just have to find out why is where there is a video about the difference between that kind of place. So I think over the next five years, I set out a camp for us to be another place we have kind so
[00:37:51] Mark
we think we’ve got a good line, but I’m worried that perhaps
[00:37:53] Mark
I’ll leave something to show after the operation.
[00:37:57] Mark
And I’ll drive really a growth acquisition total other
[00:38:00] Mark
people’s business, or that we might buy
[00:38:04] Geoff
a fantastic struggling European markets during the same process
[00:38:11] Geoff
for ageing well tested. And once that’s up and running you’ll be, I think
[00:38:16] Geoff
now I just Want you to
[00:38:21] Geoff
get a good look at Craigslist
[00:38:26] Geoff
and speaking up a lot of the blog. If you have any relations around organisations like
[00:38:32] Mark
carer’s pension loans, absolutely say about where it might be contracted as a provider to the widows whose contract but this organization because ultimately they can’t sleep at night. So the role risk was older, people are very good at heart and they don’t have their own turf. It could be something as awful as people are ordinarily guilty, people are needed to be in some very strong think particularly with dementia and can be a 24/7 detail. And so we can get someone feel that for familiar with their skill, be able to bring some can go out and relax for hours, constantly telling their partner
[00:39:11] Geoff
and for them to keep offering their partner free a place to live Next. That’s absolutely. And so
[00:39:19] Mark
we do a lot of work with that, have so many relationships with GPS and is going to allow us to like I mean we can then have a chat confessionary that sort of between a lot of trust, emotional providers effective discharge. But I also know that we don’t have any commercial relationships in place when I say, did I lose the value? She’ll come out of dollars and I would explain. Everything is directly between ourselves and the fact that
[00:39:46] Geoff
I’m doing a fantastic job in Society. The organization is almost full of support, so take your hats off to all of those
[00:39:55] Geoff
things are something that we what do you think the world needs right now? It does
[00:40:01] Mark
look a lot more patient. I think I think it’s a three weeks at the moment and that will be a fundamental principle of going
[00:40:09] Mark
for some ground. I think we might be seeing the best. It’s something that I think
[00:40:14] Geoff
we need to be cognizant of that has nothing to ease up
[00:40:18] Mark
on and nothing for us to value judgments about people and places. I mean we’ve had a few difficult clients that we’re hearing from other travel too. If they don’t get good results, I just know what they want, so they won’t settle for anything less than. That’s to me that’s someone that I like to work with. So I think, you know I say to those people who are not happy with services. If you, by all means keep
[00:40:39] Mark
agitate, you can just be kind to each other, you weeks, no
[00:40:43] Mark
yelling at one child raising voices and saying it really, there’s no way of not resolving any issue, much more expensive. But course,
[00:40:52] Geoff
you have any other words of wisdom or encouragement to use pretty good words of wisdom. How
[00:40:57] Mark
many Others are quite prepared? Look, I think, particularly if you’ve got all of his career on his turf he has not been defined by the perfect they discussed before. But it’s going to get your timing right. I’m surprised. Some people
[00:41:09] Mark
get money from their parents in terms of, you
[00:41:12] Geoff
know, when you’ve just scratched the surface of the vehicle that’s not it to not be talking to someone about something they’re going to get your
[00:41:17] Mark
timing right on those sorts of things. So from our point of view it’s about respecting and valuing quite often Australians and providing options. People do want to stay at home. And I think sometimes like getting home Care is the start of the gradual decline of moving into a residential facility. As we try and point out if you get help with living around aging, there’s much less chance that you’ll ever end up in residential care. Ninety two per cent of people live in their own home. Four per cent live in retirement villages and four percent live in residential care. So the vast majority of Australians continue to try to kick on it and just need
[00:41:59] Geoff
plenty of time to get through that privilege.
[00:42:03] Geoff
Yeah, you’re a true champion who makes the rules. Is there one piece of advice you would like to leave
[00:42:09] Mark
with alzheimer’s? And that takes lots of pills, but this is something you particularly doctors, are very reluctantly. And honestly
[00:42:17] Mark
I think the best lesson I became very emotional and who said
[00:42:22] Mark
the task is the task? Well, the job is to make people feel important. That’s what
[00:42:26] Mark
gets me. And I think we all have to find out why or whatever we do in. That’s how they, but
[00:42:33] Mark
the difference that is people’s lives. Anybody? We tend to underestimate temperament and how I’m pleased for us to say five minutes like not to
[00:42:44] Mark
complain, but to be worried that perhaps something was wrong and they didn’t show up on time. So
[00:42:49] Geoff
from our point of view, it really is about making sure that at least lots of options for people to find out where
[00:42:56] Geoff
Senator Sam fantastic to hear a bit more of your story. We talked to, everybody gets off with the Office h.g. wells, synchronized money as possible so quick. Now this is connect with online and find out more
[00:43:12] Geoff
about the solutions.
[00:43:14] Mark
Thanks. Look, we
[00:43:15] Mark
have a good website called market solutions that I am you and I normally christobel every last couple of days around some topical issues. Whether that might be a good pension loan scheme that came out or not based on things to look out for quite often we’re going to see some people this Christmas that we might not have seen for the last two years, which is to keep an eye out for some of the clients because all the people are very good at covering up and I’m all right. What could be something as subtle as a tone shalako that people need needing to balance. Also some very subtle things to look out for signs of perhaps it’s time that we to have that discussion around a bit of extra support for, for mom and dad because they’ll be loathe to bring it up because I’m sure I’ll be okay. I don’t want you worrying about me.
[00:44:03] Geoff
We would love to see you offer a free appraisal
[00:44:07] Geoff
chat with people who want to talk about their parents ordinary.
[00:44:10] Mark
Absolutely, and we encourage them that happens in the home so we can get a good sense of who the person is what the family structures like. We can then sort of come back and try to just make sure we put a team of people around them that we think socially would be a good fit. That’s a free service. I also have someone that works for us because our internal dementia consultants, our families are having to difficulties in she’ll come over at no expense and spend some time locking them up with what’s in the community that’s out there. And doing a bit of counseling for the family around what the journey is going to look like in the next few years and what sort of supports they’ll require. So all of those sort of services are something that we offer to anyone in the community.
[00:44:51] Geoff
Now what a brilliant service, and of course the website does have a very comprehensive list
[00:44:57] Geoff
of all the services
[00:44:58] Geoff
that you cover
[00:44:59] Geoff
so that people can get on to my case and check it out
[00:45:04] Geoff
and give someone
[00:45:05] Geoff
a call to see if it might
[00:45:07] Geoff
be appropriate. And applicable cost, nothing to make a phone call
[00:45:11] Mark
and nothing for us to come and visit. We don’t believe in pressure sales. In fact, we encourage people. If you do have a new home Care package, speak to a few providers, get a good sense and feel about who you’re comfortable with. Don’t jump with the first one. Even if that’s us, we really think that you need to have a look
[00:45:27] Mark
at the market, make sure you’re comfortable with your decisions.
[00:45:29] Mark
The good thing is, if you’re not comfortable, you can move along. So you need to give you a provided two weeks notice. And one of the challenges we find is that quite often, some of the larger not for profits are much more expensive than us. But because
[00:45:44] Mark
[00:45:45] Mark
client has been with their caregivers for a number of years, they won’t move. So attached to their caregivers, they’re quite prepared to have a few less hours of care. So that’s a challenge for us in the industry to work to get people to move on, but aren’t getting the best quality and volume of services that they should
[00:46:03] Geoff
and shouldn’t accept second best or not good enough, just because of familiarity, but that’s easier said
[00:46:10] Geoff
than done so
[00:46:12] Mark
if it’s not for profit that’s going to result in me getting a better deal and quite often these are large organisations with many layers of management and quite expensive accommodation. You’re the highest level of care that you can get for a home Care package is a level full package, it’s called and most of the not for profit providers are revolving around eight or nine hours of care a week for that. We offer 14. We believe in a really high quality, low overhead model,
[00:46:40] Mark
so we don’t have
[00:46:41] Mark
grandiose offices or expensive furniture or anything of that nature. We try and keep our costs down so that we can deliver the best value we can to clients. Fantastic.
[00:46:51] Geoff
Mark has been a real pleasure talking with you today and an honor
[00:46:54] Geoff
and a privilege. You’re a true community champion who makes a real difference in the US so many older South Australians, thanks so much
[00:47:03] Geoff
for taking the time to chat with me today. Thank you.
[00:47:06] Mark
My pleasure, a very relaxed individual enjoyed it enormously.
[00:47:10] Geoff
At me today, it’s been very enlightening and someone who has a mother in aged care with dementia and a father who passed away earlier this year that should have sought help
[00:47:24] Geoff
from an organization like yours. Anybody listening to anybody at all? It’s a family member,
[00:47:31] Geoff
please have a chat. Check out my time, or anybody for that matter. Certainly get a couple of opinions, but have a chat some tomaz time at market solution because you’ll be so thankful that you at least inquired to find out whether
[00:47:48] Geoff
the services the Muxtape offer
[00:47:51] Geoff
is for you. I hope everybody
[00:47:53] Geoff
has enjoyed the chat with Mark as
[00:47:54] Geoff
much as I have. As we start to think about twenty twenty two. I wanted to thank all of our extraordinary Australians who do so many things for so many thanks to our sponsors for making it possible. Shout out to Annette. It produces the inspirational australian’s podcast to Josh, which hosts
[00:48:17] Geoff
our weekly podcast. We’re up to.
[00:48:19] Geoff
This will be 40, 70 for
[00:48:21] Geoff
Mark and all of our team and Australia who are
[00:48:25] Geoff
amazing and help us to empower Others to continue their
[00:48:29] Geoff
dreams of supporting Others.
[00:48:31] Geoff
Thank you so much. On behalf of the team of what’s Australia
[00:48:35] Geoff
and Mark is with me now. We wish you all a happy
[00:48:38] Geoff
safe and rewarding. 20. 20 turn until next week. Stay safe. Be kind and keep inspiring us together and
[00:48:46] Geoff
make a difference. Thanks, Mark.
[00:48:49] Mark
Thanks very much, appreciate it.
[00:48:50] Geoff
Cheers, mate. I hope you enjoyed today’s interview as much as I had. We would love you to subscribe to our podcast, that you won’t miss an episode showing us each week as we talk with ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things. Did you know that awards Australia is a family owned business that proudly makes a difference in the lives of those that make a difference for Others? And we thank our corporate not for profit partners to making award programs possible to, you know, someone that’s making a difference or maybe your business might like to sponsor an award. Contact us throughout Instagram page, inspirational dot Australians, head to our website, awards Australia dot com. Would be great if you could share this site with your network because who doesn’t like a good news story and please write and review us.
[00:49:46] Geoff
We would really love to hear your thoughts
[00:49:48] Geoff
until next week. Stay safe.
[00:49:51] Geoff
And remember,
[00:49:52] Geoff
together we make a difference.
[00:49:56] Annette
Thanks for joining us today from the inspirational australian’s podcast. We hope you enjoyed listening
[00:50:01] Annette
and have been inspired by ordinary Australians achieving extraordinary things. So it’s goodbye for another week. Remember,
[00:50:10] Annette
together we make a difference.