David just the man for the job

St Ann’s Living says the employment of a grounds-person through the Southern Central Subregion Workforce Development program has filled a much-needed void in the village’s daily operations.

ST Ann’s Living says the employment of a grounds-person through the Southern Central Subregion Workforce Development program has filled a much-needed void in the village’s daily operations.

The new grounds-person is David Wessing who has been in the role since December last year.

The Director of St Ann’s Living, Old Beach Wayne Rogers, said St Ann’s had been struggling to find a reliable grounds-person. 

The new grounds-person at St Ann’s Living is David Wessing who has been in the role since December last year.

“We tried many young people in the role but often found they lost interest quickly and didn’t want to stay in the job,” Mr Rogers said.

David Wessing’s new role involves looking after 20-30 acres and includes mowing, weeding, other general garden maintenance/trimming, plantings and maintaining pathways.

St Ann’s Living is a senior lifestyle village with approximately 120 residents, many of whom are very particular about how the grounds and gardens are maintained.

“The grounds-person needs to be good at interacting with residents and taking on board feedback in a positive and receptive manner,” Mr Rogers said.

It was excellent timing when Anthony McConnon, who is the workforce development coordinator, approached Wayne Rogers at a time when St Ann’s decided it would like to look for a more mature-aged employee to take on the role. 

“We needed someone who had an excellent work ethic, not afraid of hard physical work and would be very particular about the grounds and the presentation of the property,” Mr Rogers said.

“I was able to explain to Anthony exactly what we needed to successfully fill the role. We have always liked to employ locals as much as possible, so this was an important factor we wanted considered for a potential appointee.”

Anthony referred David Wessing to St Ann’s Living for an interview through his contacts across the different training and employment agencies in the local area.

“When I met David, I was immediately impressed by his attitude and he began his employment at St Ann’s pretty much straightaway, four-days-a-week. Nothing seems too hard for him and the residents have really warmed to him.”

Prior to his new role, David was working as a contract cleaner but when COVID hit, his hours were cut back and he was out of work for about six months.  During this time, he completed some certificates and training in horticulture and landscaping.

Because of his age, 64, and disappointedly, some ageist attitudes to mature employment, David had almost given up ever finding another job.

Living in the Bridgewater and Brighton area for most of his life David is a retired member of the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Brigade, where he volunteered for 16 years and has been recognised as one of the Brigade’s most reliable volunteers who always turned up for call-outs. In one fire season alone, he did 600 hours as a volunteer during a six-month period.

David is fit and physically active. When he is not working, he plays competition frisbee with his son and daughter at Brighton and is also a former keen cricket player and footballer.  

St Ann’s Living couldn’t be happier with his new employee. The residents are delighted and David is loving his new job, close to his home in the Municipality.

Anthony McConnon with the newly appointed project assistant for the Workforce Development Project, Gemma Winton.

About Workforce Development – Southern Central Subregion 

  • The St Ann’s Living placement is just one of many successful placements facilitated by Anthony McConnon as the Workforce Development Coordinator since he began his role in September 2020.
  • Since beginning, Anthony has filled 54 roles across predominantly the hospitality and agriculture sectors and has sent a total of 175 resumes to potential employers.
  • He has facilitated six successful traineeships/apprenticeships.
  • Anthony averages 35 meetings month working with industry and employers finding appropriate workers and candidates for vacant positions.
  • This year he has successfully coordinated a program for students in years 9, 10 and 11 across the subregion to undertake their white card certification for the construction industry. At this stage, 72 students have nominated to take part in the training.

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