Just in case…


It is very reassuring to see the number of COVID-19 transmission rate going in the downwards trend. Thank you again for your patience and your support to keep our residents and staff safe at the Abel Tasman Village. For the time being, we still need to continue our “lock-down”.

All of us are working hard to keep our residents safe. Nevertheless, should a positive case of COVID-19 occur at the Abel Tasman Village, the Australian Government announced these emergency leave provisions for residential aged care on 14 May 2020.

  • The new leave provision enable, for a specified time period and location, care residents to take emergency leave (non-hospital), rather than using their existing social leave entitlements.
  • Families will have the opportunity to take residents out of Abel Tasman Village on “Social Leave” for a period of time back to their family home if suitable.
  • Residents won’t be penalised or disadvantaged for moving out of the facility during crisis under emergency leave legislation amendments adopted by the Morrison Government.
  • Emergency leave is available from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • Services Australia (Medicare) deployed the payment system functionality for emergency leave on 27 June 2020. This included suspending the social leave count during the emergency leave period.

In other news, Abel Tasman Village will no longer be invoicing you for the hairdressing services for residents at the village. Rosa Iacono will be directly emailing you with an invoice. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact her directly on 0409 659 342

Stay Safe,

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

August Update

We’ve settled into a routine at the Village and unfortunately expect to keep the current visitor restrictions at least until the end of August.

A reminder for ALL relatives and friends to ensure they have received the 2020 flu vaccine.

Despite the temporary closure, we are still providing for relatives to enter Abel Tasman Village when residents are entering End of Life care. These families and friends must still ensure they have current flu vaccination.

Thanks to all the families who have taken advantage of our new communication portal to stay in touch with your loved ones. You can book your session here (or look for the drop down menu item under “About Us”). Alternatively, staff can assist you on (02) 9645 3388.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

Settling into a routine

I’ve been heartened by the support which we’ve received over the past week from friends and relatives of our Abel Tasman residents. It makes a difference! And of course, especially today when we’re celebrating Aged Care Employee Day!

Unfortunately, our lockdown continues and will again be reviewed in one week’s time, on 14th August. While staff have settled in their COVID routines of temperature testing and masks, we’re very much aware of the missing link for many in our care: regular communication.

To help solve this, from this Monday ( 9th August ), friends and relatives can book a call with residents at Abel Tasman village. Whether it’s a simple phonecall or a connection via WhatsApp, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger. One of our staff will be ready to facilitate the call at the appointed time.

You can book calls online here:  ( the “call a resident” link is also on the News page of our website )

I appreciate that, for many of us, this is an anxious time. Rest assured that we understand and are doing our very best for those in our care, as well as their friends and relatives.


Sophia Markwell
General Manager

Aged Care Employee Day

Your Opportunity to Thank Our Staff on Aged Care Employee Day

Friday 7 August 2020 is Aged Care Employee Day. It is the time to celebrate and thank all our staff who make such a difference to our residents’ lives, especially during this difficult time of COVID 19. Some may be called superheroes, some are quiet achievers, but everyone in our industry contributes to care. We salute them all because they play vital roles – from nurses, personal care workers and allied health professionals, to kitchen staff, cleaners, gardeners, laundry workers, maintenance staff, activities staff, managers and volunteers.

We will be celebrating Aged Care Employee Day with our staff next Friday in a special way, but we thought you too may like to recognise all our wonderful staff by writing a message to them.

Please download the postcard below and write a personal message to staff which we will display in our staff room. Send completed cards to business.mgr@abeltasman.com.au, drop your card into the Admin office or simply email me with the content of your message and we will complete a card for you. If you can do this by Thursday 6th August, it would be appreciated. We hope to get as many messages as possible to show our staff how much we appreciate their role in caring for our residents!

Download this postcard (Word)
Download this postcard (pdf)

Temporary Lock-down

We have today received notification from NSW Health, that another 6 local government areas have been added to the list of areas excluded from visiting aged care homes, if visitors have been in those areas in the last 14 days. This means a further 150 suburbs would need to be included in our screening processes. Clearly, it has become apparent that we at Abel Tasman Village cannot guarantee compliance with this instruction from NSW Health, given that the areas now stipulated amount to over 300 suburbs and other specific hotspot locations. We are also concerned that, given that the Canterbury Bankstown LGA of which we form part, we now appear surrounded by excluded areas.

It is therefore with tremendous regret, that from 5pm on Friday 31st July, the Abel Tasman Village will be temporarily closed to visitors, to be reviewed on Friday 7th August. This advice is also being sent to first contacts of our residents. Please pass this information on to other family members and friends as soon as possible.

This is a decision the management team and Board have made with a heavy heart. We have been extremely proud that ATV has remained open to our residents’ families at a most difficult time. However, as you can all appreciate, our first duty is to our residents, staff, family members, and their safety. Please be assured that residents within the Village will have the freedom to move about as they have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic.

We are currently reviewing our existing communication methods such as Zoom and FaceTime, with the intention to open other forms of communication. There will be separate advice to you regarding this by COB Friday 31st July.

We understand that this is a very difficult and anxious time and are available to discuss any concerns with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me on (02) 9645 3388 or email gen.mgr@abeltasman.com.au. In my absence, please contact Harry, Clinical Care Manager, or the Registered Nurse on duty.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

Keeping us COVID-SAFE

In this edition of our COVID-19 updates, I want to acknowledge and answer some of your questions about Abel Tasman Village’s efforts to keep residents and staff safe in the face of a 2nd wave of the CORONA virus. Here are some of the protocols we have implemented:

  • All staff, volunteers, allied health visitors and contractors undergo a screening process every shift, every day. 

  • All staff have given declarations to ATV management if they work elsewhere, including workplaces other than Aged Care, such as cafés and hotels. 

  • If staff are unwell, they have been advised to not come to work even if it is just a tickle in their throat. 

  • Staff who call in sick or present with symptoms, are screened by the Registered Nurse. Depending on their symptoms, they will be advised to undergo a COVID-19 test and will only be able to return to work if the result is negative and when they show no other symptoms. 

  • As you will already be aware, all staff and visitors must wear a mask, this is mandatory until further notice. I can reassure you that Harry and myself are ensuring masks and other vital equipment are well stocked in preparation for any eventuality. 

  • Abel Tasman Village receives regular updates and communications from the Department of Health and the Aged & Community Service Australia, regarding COVID-19 as well as advice on managing these situations. 

  • Abel Tasman Village will continue to follow the guidance as set out by the Department of Health as well as the “Visitors Access Code” and take any reasonable steps to reduce the risk of COVID transmission within the facility. 

  • A process where staff actively declare whether they have been to a known hotspot and are following safety protocols

On their part, we also ask visitors to pro-actively tell staff whether they have been to known hotspots and are following protocols.

Take Care,

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager

Urgent – Latest Advice – Thursday 16/7/2020

The NSW Health department has just released new advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant PSM as follows:

The outbreak of COVID-19 continues in Victoria and an outbreak has been detected in South Western Sydney, associated with the Crossroads Hotel in Casula. It is crucial that all residential aged care facilities maintain vigilance to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into your facility. Given the current risk of COVID-19 now in the community please implement the following measures.

  • We are required to sight a “proof of address” and phone number for all visitors.
  • Until the end of July, any visitors to any residential aged care facility who have been in the following local government areas in the previous two weeks should be excluded from the facility: Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly. Please see the list of suburbs attached.
  • All aged care staff who reside in the above South Western Sydney local government areas must wear a surgical mask while in the facility until at least the end of July.
  • Further advice will be provided should this be a required measure post the end of July.
  • Staff and visitors who have visited any of the locations linked to the COVID-19 outbreak in South Western Sydney (see updated list of venues and dates at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates) should be excluded for a period of 14 days since their visit to the listed location. It is important to regularly check the website, as this list may expand.

At this stage, we are not going into complete lock down. However, please ensure that you check the website regularly, as the situation is changing rapidly. We may have to consider lockdown of our site if things do not improve. Be assured that every measure we take is for the complete safety of our residents and staff at Abel Tasman Village.

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager

Urgent COVID-19 Update

There has been an urgent Covid-19 update from NSW Health with regards to aged care facilities in NSW. Facilities are now required to screen all staff and visitors prior to entry.

NSW Health has further stated that visitors and members of staff who may have attended the venues listed below on the dates provided should not be allowed to enter a NSW aged care facility within 14 days of having visited the venue. Under no circumstances should staff or visitors that are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 enter a NSW aged care facility.   

  • Crossroads Hotel, Casula: 3-10 July (people who attended the Crossroads Hotel during these dates are advised to immediately self-isolate until 14 days after they were last there and attend a clinic for testing even if they have no symptoms https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/20200712_01.aspx)
  • Picton Hotel: 4, 5, 9, 10 July
  • Planet Fitness, Casula: 6 – 10 July
  • Star City Casino: 4 July (8:00pm – 10:30pm)
  • Canterbury Leagues Cub: 4 July (11:00pm – 1:00am)
  • Narellan Town Centre Shopping Town (Kmart, Target, Best & Less, H&M and food court): 6 July
  • Zone Bowling, Villawood: 27 June (11:00am – 3:00pm)
  • Cook, Kurnell: 5 July (11:30am – 12:30 pm)
  • Highfield, Caringbah: 5 July (6:00pm – 9:00pm)
  • Merimbula RSL: 6 July (6:00pm – 9:00pm)  
  • Waterfront Café, Merimbula: 7 July (8:30am – 9:30am) 
  • Murray Downs Golf Club: 4-5 July

This list of venues will continue to be updated and included in the media releases issued by NSW Health. It remains essential that anyone with symptoms, even very mild symptoms, get tested and stay home until cleared.

Thank you for your continued understanding and co-operation.

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager

GM update: Food Safety Audit

On behalf of the Board, the management team, staff and residents of ATV, I am very proud to announce that we received an rating of “A” for our Food Safety audit yesterday evening.
Congratulations to Mark and his catering team for the great effort. Im sure you are all relieved and proud when you heard the news yesterday evening.

I would like to give a special acknowledgment and thanks to George and Gus from our maintenance team with their contribution to assisting Mark to get the kitchen and the servery area in the main kitchen, Camellia and Link building ready for the food audit.
Also, I want to extend that acknowledgment and thank Harry (CCM), Jeremy (SSM) and Dave (Kitchen Hand), who assisted myself and Mark with the final deep clean of the main kitchen over the past few days. The kitchen sparkled after all that hard work. 

Finally, to all the catering team, you all worked really to ensure the day went smoothly. You were observed to be calm and relax, which was a good sign of knowing that you were confident and competent in what you do in the kitchen.
It was a great team effort and I am very proud and honoured to be representing the Abel Tasman village as the General Manager. Well done team, looking forward to the next challenge.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

COVID-19 : Visiting & Outings

Welcome to another Friday update from ATV. With low levels of local Covid-19 transmission, AHPPC recommends that: 

  • Children of all ages will be permitted to visit the Abel Tasman Village. All visitors, including children, must adhere to restrictions on visitor numbers, social distancing and personal hygiene.
  • Visiting service providers such as hairdressers, diversional therapists and allied health professionals will be permitted to enter The Abel Tasman Village when their services cannot be provided via telehealth or other adaptive models of care, and the resident cannot attend an external facility to receive these services; these providers must adhere to equivalent social distancing and hygiene practices as they have implemented in community settings.
  • Visits to a maximum of two visitors at any one time per resident.
  • Visits should be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors, or a specified area at Abel Tasman Village, rather than communal areas with other residents.
  • No large group visits should be permitted at this time, however gatherings of residents in communal or outdoor areas which adhere to social distancing and current jurisdictional requirements for gathering size may be permitted.
  • Visitors must practise social distancing where possible, including maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres. Visitors have a responsibility to supervise any children with them, practise hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and to comply with directions given by Abel Tasman Village staff.
  • Residents can be escorted on outings that include going to the:
    • The local bank
    • Medical and specialist appointments
    • Allied Health appointments.

Given the increasing numbers of coronavirus (COVID-19) in particular locations of the suburbs in Victoria and the heightened risk of transmission, Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions will be applied to impacted areas.

The restricted postcodes are: 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064.

The RN on duty will ask for your driver’s licence as part of the screening process if you are a visitor from Melbourne.

Abel Tasman Village has updated the screening process to include asking the following questions:

In the past 14 days, have you been to or returned from Melbourne?

If the answer is YES, then..

In the past 14 days, have you been to or returned from COVID – 19 hotspots in Victoria?

If this answer is YES, the RN on duty may refuse your entry.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager