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Milton community bands together

Care Services Community Stories

In January 2020, bushfires ravaged the NSW South Coast. With the largest aged care presence in the region, IRT faced a catastrophic bushfire threat across seven sites. In this series of stories, we celebrate the courage, resilience and leadership of our employees, who kept our centres operating and our residents safe.

21 February 2020
Lynne Jones at IRT Sarah Claydon. (Credit: Andy Zakeli)

IRT Sarah Claydon (Milton) Care Manager Lynne Jones had been in the role only six months when she encountered one of the most challenging events of her career – managing a 140-bed aged care centre under threat of bushfire.

Lynne Jones: “I walked out the front of the centre on New Year’s Eve and there was a big, bright, black and orange fire right there. That’s the first time I realised how close it was. We had community members and staff just turning up and helping. They were doing double shifts and sleeping here the night. The house of one of our GPs burned down, but she was in here the next day writing scripts for the residents. People with nowhere to go were coming here. A lady and her mother walked in and she looked stunned, she burst into tears saying, ‘my house and my mother’s house burned down and we’ve got nowhere to go. Can I bring her in?’ There’s nothing you can do in that circumstance except say yes, absolutely.”

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