Archived News Item

Mercy In Action in Rockhampton

The Range Convent site with smoke in the background

In recent weeks, the Rockhampton area has been severely affected by bush fires. In a true example of ‘Mercy in Action’, the Mater Hospital and Mercy Aged Care Services sprung into action.



The past week has seen many of the areas where our health and aged care facilities are located severely impacted by bushfires. Searing temperatures and extreme hot, high winds have fanned these bushfires and it has been a very stressful time for many in our Mercy family and in the wider community. Our thoughts and prayers have been very much with those families and communities who have been affected by the bushfires and with the skilled and brave firefighters who have worked tirelessly, often potentially putting themselves in harm’s way, to save lives and properties.


On Wednesday, authorities issued an Evacuation Notice to residents in the Gracemere area which is a town located near Rockhampton. The urgency of the Evacuation Notice caused much distress to many people including some of our staff who live in the Gracemere area. It also caused a significant care and housing problem for staff at the Blue Care operated Gracemere Gardens Aged Care facility as their elderly residents had to be evacuated at short notice and accommodation for them had to be urgently found.


The response of the people at the Rockhampton Mater and at our Mercy Aged Care Services facilities to this unfolding crisis was to immediately spring into action doing all they could to house the Gracemere Gardens residents who had to be evacuated. Talk about Mercy in Action.


Amanda Houston, the Finance Officer at the Mater Rockhampton, responded to my request to provide me with a few words to share with you what the Mater Rockhampton team did to provide compassionate care to the displaced Gracemere Gardens Residents. Amanda’s words paint the picture of care and compassion that characterised the Mater Rockhampton response:

“Mater Rockhampton were pleased to assist the Gracemere evacuation efforts, accommodating 16 residents from Gracemere Gardens in our Hospital. Residents were accompanied by numerous Carers and all enjoyed some wonderful Mater hospitality and the comfort of staying in our safe location. Many thanks to all Mater staff for making the residents stay comfortable.”


Likewise the staff at Mercy Aged Care Services reached out to the Gracemere Gardens residents and I will let Lesley Schneider, Executive Officer of Mercy Aged Care Services, take up the story:

“I would like to offer my thanks to all of the wonderful Mercy Aged Care Staff who sprang into action when the call went out for assistance to accommodate bed bound residents from the Blue Care facility at Gracemere. It was very gratifying to see the Mercy Spirit in action at Bethany as the team found spaces, erected beds, prepared meals and made ready for our new arrivals. Once they arrived the welcome they received was impressive and the staff went over and above to ensure their safety and comfort. The Bethany residents were so kind and considerate, offering the use of their chairs, televisions and anything else that might be needed. I believe further assistance was required from our staff into the evening and overnight with chairs being required at the Blue Care Day Respite Centre and some modified fluids needed for those residents who had been generously housed at the Mater. Leinster Place staff was also called upon to offer shelter to a frail elderly member of the Gracemere community and her daughter at the request of OZCARE. Congratulations everyone on a great team effort and I pray that everyone returns home safe and well”.


Phillip Bauman
Mission Coordinator
Mercy Health and Aged Care
Central Queensland Limited

Messages to: Phillip Bauman