Pam McEvoy, our Art Therapist is celebrating 30 years of service with UPA Murray Vale Shalem.

The residents assisted with the celebrations, along with UPA’s State Care Manager Sally, Care Manager Jaqui and Regional Manager Tony.

What an amazing milestone for Pam and what an incredible caring lady to all at Murray Vale Shalem.

Our Residential Aged Care facilities in Henty, Holbrook, Howlong, Jindera, Lavington and Wagga Wagga need volunteers.

We’re looking for people of various ages, backgrounds and nationalities with some time to spend with our beautiful residents.

So, if you like to chat or prefer to listen, have hobbies or skills you’d like to share, enjoy drives in the country or a walk around a park, can play an instrument or sing a show tune, dance the Iris jig or juggle 6 oranges, read a newspaper out loud or write a residents biography, color-in or cook a cake, help build a dolls house or plant some seeds, paint nails or apply some lippy…you maybe the volunteer to make someone’s day a whole lot brighter.

If you think you would like to enjoy the company of our residents, I’m sure they’d be delighted to share yours.

Take the first step and contact our Volunteer Coordinator or 02 6025 1776

Lavington’s Holy Spirit primary school’s grade 6 fundraising team last year raised $2447.60 and will today present the funds to UPA Murray for its Amaroo Dementia Day Care program.

Holy Spirit Stage 3 teacher, Kerrie White said each year grade 6 students choose roles in different teams, one of which is the fundraising team. 

“For the whole year they sell things like icy poles, run raffles, have special days such as crazy hair day and footy colors day. The students also decide which organisation they will raise the funds for and last year’s group chose UPA’s Dementia Day Care program,” Ms White said.

 UPA Murray’s project manager, Matt Burke said he was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by the school about the fundraising and even more surprised to learn at the end of last year that the amount was more than $2400.

 “This is a significant contribution and I am looking forward to going along to the school to thank everyone at the school who supported last year’s fundraising team. On behalf of UPA and the people in the broader community who benefit from the Amaroo Dementia Day Care program – people with dementia and their carers – we say a huge thank you to the students,” Mr Burke said.

 “It’s a significant contribution and a big effort for a school with 350 students,” he said.

 The funds will be used to support the costs of transport for the Day Care program which allows the group to go on outings.

 UPA Murray is a not-for-profit provider of aged care services, operating five retirement villages, six residential aged care facilities and delivering aged care service packages in Henty, Culcairn, Walla Walla, Holbrook and Wagga Wagga.

UPA Murray's Matt Burke receives the funds from the Holy Spirit primary school students.

About 150 people joined in the celebrations at today’s official opening of UPA Murray’s $17.5million Lavington aged care facilities upgrade.

The works over the past five years were in two stages: Stage 1, the construction of 46 homes ($13.5million) and Stage 2, the community centre and other infrastructure ($4million), just recently been completed.

UPA Murray Regional Director, Tony Dunn said the works which were part of the master plan had sustained about 45 construction jobs.

“The master plan didn’t only provide for new buildings and new spaces. Works in this final stage also include road works and features that improve how the site functions, accessibility and connection to other parts of the site and community facilities,” Mr Dunn said.

“Some of the upgrades that were part of the final stage include the new Amaroo Dementia Day Care Centre and the Community Centre that caters for 250 people incorporating separate craft room, card room, kitchen, library and chapel,” he said.

“The changes integrate a 28-space car park, new offices for our staff and a new drop off/pick up area at the Murray Vale Shalem Hostel. This all makes the site flow better and incorporates safety features for our residents and guests.

“Our staff are already enjoying working in the more spacious offices and residents are commenting positively on the benefits of the new dementia day care centre, the community centre and additional spaces. A project like this does cause some inconvenience during the building works, so we are really appreciative of everyone’s understanding and are pleased with the finished product.

The development was designed by Wodonga architects, JWP Architects and the final stage built by Wodonga builders, Premier Building and Construction.

Nancy Cowell, who has lived at UPA Murray Vale for 21 years, cut the celebration cake at the opening. UPA’s state president, Louise Buxton and UPA Murray’s district executive president, Andrew Harbick  performed the opening.

Barbara Murray, who was a resident at UPA’s Lavington children’s home on the site in 1958, has served on the district executive and is now a resident at Murray Vale, talked about UPA’s role in her life.

UPA Murray is a not-for-profit provider of aged care services, operating five retirement villages, six residential aged care facilities and delivering aged care service packages in Henty, Culcairn, Walla Walla, Holbrook and Wagga Wagga.


UPA Murray’s district executive president, Andrew Harbick and UPA state president Louise Buxton open the development.
About 150 people attended the opening ceremony.

Gumleigh Garden Hostel’s beautiful resident Hazel’s daughter Bronwen, come to visit with her daughter Emily (granddaughter) and her children (great grandchildren) Liam and Jemima to celebrate the festive season.

Four generations together in one place.

Such a special time for Hazel.


Holbrook Hostel’s Care Manager, Leonie Mardling recently enjoyed a lovely birthday celebration shared with residents.

Sporting the obligatory “Birthday Hat” – complete with candles, flowers and cake. Leonie was feeling quite special…and our residents think she is too.

Happy Birthday Leonie 




Arm chair travel is the only way to go for the residents of the Oolong Residential Aged Care Facility in Howlong, NSW, when they took a recent arm chair trip to Japan in their Arm Chair Travel this week.

It was a great day, with volunteer Coleen presenting her photos and talking about when she lived and worked in Japan.   Jules (Activities Coordinator) dressed in a traditional Kimono and everyone tasted the traditional food to help with the Japanese theme.

Arm chair travel is a great way for the residents to enjoy seeing the world from the warmth, luxury and convenience of home.

The Gumleigh Gardens Hostel residents had a fabulous day out at the Wagga Wagga Show recently. They were there to see the winning show entries created by the residents   during one of their craft activities.

Activities Officer Melissa keeps the residents busy each day with craft, gentle exercise classes, daily walks and of course bus trips!


1st prize winner
2nd prize painting

After surviving scarlet fever as a child and being trapped in rubble for three days during an air raid bombing of London as a teenager, 90 year-old Joyce Smith now enjoys celebrating milestones. As a resident of Oolong Hostel, she is looking forward to the 25th anniversary morning tea party on Tuesday.

Oolong Hostel in Howlong was officially opened on 6 February in 1993. It was then owned and operated by Hume Shire and in the same month 18 years later, UPA Murray took over the running of the 21 bed residential aged care hostel.

Mrs Smith has lived at Oolong for 10 years after moving to Australia with her husband and children in the 1960s. She enjoys the care and friendship of staff and fondly remembers one group of visitors; the local motorcycle club who gave her a ride on their large 3-wheeler up the main street of Howlong.

Regional Director, Tony Dunn said Oolong’s 25th anniversary celebrations will be a little tamer.

“Mrs Smith’s life story is an example of how interesting the lives of our residents have been. Her motorbike ride highlights our philosophy of encouraging residents to engage in new activities and maintain their independence where they can. The 25th anniversary will be marked with morning tea and cake. It’s an important occasion that allows us to acknowledge the many people who have been involved along the way,” he said.

“In addition to many volunteers from the community having long associations with Oolong, we have four staff that have been working here for more than 10 years, two of them almost 15 years. They have been here longer than UPA and we value their dedication; continuity of care is important for the residents.

Steve Walkerden, UPA’s General Manager will travel from Sydney to attend the celebration.

Oolong’s oldest resident, Edna Huxtable who turns 97 this year, will cut the cake.

UPA Murray is a not-for-profit provider of aged care services, operating five retirement villages, six residential aged care facilities and delivering aged care service packages in Henty, Culcairn, Walla Walla, Holbrook and Wagga Wagga.

Cutting birthday cake.
Tony Dunn, Regional Director, Edna Huxtable Oolong's oldest resident and Jenny Walker, Acting Care Manager cut the 25th birthday cake.
Residents, families and supporters celebrated the 25th birthday with morning tea.

More than 130 delegates from throughout NSW and Victoria will spend three nights in Albury this week, for an annual aged care conference that this year features Ita Buttrose AO, OBE dispelling the myths of ageing.

Media identity Ita Buttrose, the national ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia and co-host of TV’s Studio 10, will deliver the keynote address on the opening day of the conference  tomorrow, that includes the local Fruit Bats seniors’ exercise group and a night at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.

The United Protestants Association (UPA) state conference and annual general meeting is being hosted by the local UPA office, UPA Murray River. UPA is a leading provider of aged care and accommodation; locally it operates eight retirement villages, six residential aged care facilities and delivers aged care service packages in Henty, Culcairn, Walla Walla, Holbrook and Wagga Wagga.

Regional Director, Tony Dunn said the Hon Sussan Ley MP, Member for Farrer will open the conference which will be attended by UPA’s aged care staff and features research and policy updates.

“We are delighted to host the conference this year and to have Ita Buttrose as the keynote speaker. We know she will add to our staff’s understanding and motivation to provide the highest quality care they can to our residents,” Mr Dunn said.

“We are pleased to have Dr Sharon Andrews from Dementia Care at Hammond Care presenting her research on pain management in dementia patients. Julianne Whyte, the founder of Amaranth Foundation will present the latest information on end of life / palliative care developments,” Mr Dunn said.