Angela, Urmila & Nya’s Story

What’s it like to work at Calvary?

Angela started as a casual member of staff and has now been at Calvary for 21 years, because she enjoys it so much. Urmila talks about how teamwork is an important part of Calvary and how everyone is valued and support each other. Nya says Calvary is a part of his extended family. Watch their stories here.

Angela KrishnaAngela Krishnan

“My name is Angela Krishnan but I’m also known as Rajini, which means flower in my culture.

“I have been working for Calvary for about 21 years. I found my first position in the yellow pages and became a casual staff member in 1994. I was interviewed by one of the nuns (SR Louise McMohan). She kindly offered me the job. It was only for 4 hours a day at first, but as a widow, newly arrived to Australia and with 3 little children (2 , 3 and 5 years old), I greatly appreciated the opportunity.

“At that time I had no experience. I didn’t even know how to put the residents dentures’ in their mouths. I cried for a week because I was so lost.

“In those days there were only 2 wards and St Annes was not built yet. The only staff who were here were Gordana on day shift and Linda Williams on night shift. I was only 27 years old, I had no understanding of English and did not know how to attend to the ADL’s of residents. I looked after Jean Hamilton’s husband and the pastoral care of Helen Irani’s mum. Jean and Helen still support me to this day.

“When I look at the residents I forget my life of sadness. It gives me strength to go forward in life. My first priority is the care of my residents.

“My goal has always been to support them with love. I have gained self respect from being around them and that means a lot to me.

“One thing I like about Calvary is my workmates. The RN’s have trained me well to carry out my job. I have learned to trust myself and make sound judgments. When the residents let me into their world, it really changes me. I can’t express the sense of achievement I get from working with them. Their love and bravery in the face of sickness gives me strength.

“We have had lots of changes in management. I have seen good and bad days and experienced lots of ups and downs. But because we work with elderly people, I maintain a positive outlook – if we are not happy, how can we make their lives happy? I am very proud of my job and of being part of Calvary. I value Calvary’s emphasis on best practice, which is not black and white. This gives me a sense of self determination and I come to work with positive ideas even though being a nurse can be a very challenging job.

“I’d like to be part of Calvary until I retire. I am so happy with the team in Ryde Education, DDON, Clinical RN as well as the team in the hostel and all the new staff. Everyone supports and respects one another. I’d like to thank all the staff, especially Ana Durdzic, Loraine and Robyn who have supported me through good and bad days. I’m very grateful and thankful. I love my job and my second family at Calvary.”

Nya LaywehNya Layweh

“It was June 2009 when I started a job at Calvary Retirement Community Ryde as a casual worker for 4 hours a day. I had to leave home in the morning and drive for about an hour in school time traffic to get to work. It was a very difficult time for me but I endured and got through it. I was determined and focused. I was praying and hoping for an increase in my hours so I could go on and do further study and take care of my family. God almighty answered all my prayers.

“In 2010 I decided to do Certificate IV at TAFE and after completing my studies I was offered a Team Leader position on a part time basis. After a few months four staff members including myself were picked and sent to Cessnock for training. We became Champions at Calvary Ryde.

“Calvary Ryde has helped me to improve myself through training and education.

“During my five years at Calvary I have learned a lot from the management team, staff, pastoral carers, volunteers and the residents.

“I stayed at Calvary Ryde because of the residents, management team and the staff, all of whom are loving and caring people. I care about them and they also care about me. When I was ill, the entire staff and the residents remembered me in their prayers and everyone missed me during those bad times. When the Ebola epidemic entered my country – Liberia, the entire Ryde Retirement Community became concerned for me and for the rest of the Africans staff members. The management team at Calvary Ryde did fundraising to help Africa, which was an amazing and wonderful thing to do and I am very proud.

“I have now been moved from MPNH and positioned full time as a team leader in Marian Hostel where I’m getting to know all the residents.”


“There is something different about working at Calvary, and it is teamwork.

“Everyone has different ideas. Everyone contributes and supports each other and we give feedback to each other about how each person can improve.”