Community News

Shirley Gillespie from the Mareeba Coffee Shop

And she made a darned good coffee too!

Shirley Gillespie from the Mareeba Coffee Shop
Shirley Gillespie from the Mareeba Coffee Shop


Long-time Mareeba employee Shirley Gillespie recently retired after 24 years’ service.
Not afraid to dive in and have a go at anything, Shirley first worked as a General Service Officer in the kitchen, as a cleaner, and in the laundry.
For the past six years Shirley was the face of the highly popular Mareeba Coffee Shop. Her welcoming smile and lovely nature made it a joy to see her.
“I had to train as a barista to use the coffee machine,” said Shirley. And she made a darned good coffee too!
Asked what makes a care-home a really good care-home Shirley said, “Well, it’s the staff and particularly the management”.
“It’s been interesting to watch Mareeba grow from just 50 residents when I started in 1992 to the present 119. The new building has been a great addition and has definitely enhanced resident lifestyle,” said Shirley.
Shirley’s decision to reduce her working hours three years ago gave her the opportunity to spend time with residents as a volunteer in the Leisure & Lifestyle Department.
Here she accompanied residents on community outings and has been a great team support with social activities at Mareeba.
“Volunteering gives me a great deal of pleasure. Witnessing the enjoyment our residents get from social outings is the reason I’ll continue volunteering.”
A social organiser, Shirley loved the camaraderie between staff, often volunteering her spare time to organise staff barbecues and help with all manner of functions.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mareeba, the friendships made with both residents, their families and staff being a highlight.”
Director of Mareeba Aged Care Steve Gordon said, “Shirley is a remarkable and selfless person. Her deep care for our residents and her willingness to always go the extra mile will be missed by us all.”