‘To me, it’s not a job’: Mum named Home Instead Australia’s CAREGiver of 2023
Julianne Tombleson, caregiver for Home Instead Sydney Eastern Suburbs and Sutherland Shire, has been named in-home aged care provider Home Instead Australia’s CAREGiver of the Year for 2023.
Awarded at a gala event in Sydney, Julianne said she was honoured to win among an incredible field of finalists.
“To me it’s not a job, it’s a commitment to my clients. We lift them up when they are feeling down, we care for them, ensure they and their environment are safe, and support them through changes in health and life, through grief and bereavement, and always empowering them to live their best life in the manner they want to. What a privilege that is,” the mother of four, from Woolooware, said.
I treat all my clients like my family. One of the greatest moments is being told ‘you are now a big part of our family’, and the gratitude you receive after caring for their loved ones, particularly through end-of-life care.
Caring can be enormously rewarding and somewhat challenging, it can make you shed a tear, and bring some very funny moments. It is the most fulfilling role."
"This is my best achievement."
From introducing a book-loving client with failing eyesight to audiobooks, to discovering a couple’s passion for diverse cuisine, devising a meal plan and running cooking classes to help keep their freezer stocked, Julianne goes above and beyond in her role with every interaction in the five years since she took up the role.
“Julianne is the kind of caregiver you dream of having in your team because she is the perfect balance of practicality, sensibility, diplomacy, warmth, sociability, and genuine kindness,” Home Instead Sydney Eastern Suburbs and Sutherland Shire People Experience Manager, Tanya Ward, said.
With a background in hospitality and as a flight attendant for Ansett – until the day they closed – Julianne has always gravitated towards work that helps others.
“Since joining us almost five years ago she has cared for a broad mix of clients from different backgrounds with different degrees of care needs. She has been a treasured caregiver to all because of her dedication to getting to know them as individuals, to empowering them in their own care in even the smallest but meaningful of ways and to treating them all with dignity and respect,” Tanya said.
“She is always looking for ways to bring something special into her client’s days.”
This includes Julianne’s continued care of a man after his wife passed.
“She helps to fill his time when he is by himself and bring some joy into his days. As his eyes are deteriorating, making reading more challenging, she has introduced him to audio books and is always on the lookout for new things for him to listen to” Tanya said.
The CAREGiver of the Year Award is in its 14th year.
“Our CAREGivers are at the heart of everything we do. They are the cornerstone of the connections we form with our clients, and we will continue to support them in creating and maintaining authentic and respectful relationships that allow people to live independently in their own homes,” Home Instead CEO Kris Whitehead said.
We are incredibly proud of the contribution each of our 4000 caregivers make within the community around Australia. And we are excited to recognise the incredible work of those who have gone above and beyond in their roles in 2023.
The four finalists for the 2023 CAREGiver of the Year award were: Julianne Tombleson (NSW); Kenneth Penaluna (Vic); Nicole Morton (Qld); and Michelle Allison (WA). As well as the national recognition, the winner received a trophy, certificate and gift voucher to the value of $1,000.