Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Meet Craig Wearne CEO - Garden Village


Meet Craig Wearne CEO

CEO Craig Wearne features in this month’s Focus magazine about Garden Village’s vision for 2023. Craig is equally as comfortable in the boardroom as he is barbecuing for our fabulous residents! 


Garden Village’s 270 valued employees create a positive and caring culture and we look forward to growing our services for the community this year. Find out more about Home Care, Disability Support, Retirement Living and the wonderful Wellbeing Centre. 

This month we’re celebrating our team’s achievements in the Aged Care Quality Star Ratings. Garden Village received five stars for compliance and a four star overall rating which is in the top 30 percent of Residential Aged Care providers nationally. We’re pleased the new Star Ratings system offers transparency and accountability. It’s another way for residents and families to find information about quality, compliance and residents’ experiences. 

Scroll on to read more.

Focus Magazine CEO Feature Craig Wearne Garden Village




Tell us a little about yourself and your role as CEO at Garden Village.

This is my sixth year working alongside the Garden Village team. The organisation’s continued growth is thanks to our 270 valued employees. Together, our people create a positive culture and caring community. As a local not-for-profit organisation everything we do is underpinned by our values to support the needs of our community and help them live their best life. In recent times our hardworking team has gone above and beyond and we are looking forward to a brighter COVID ‘normal’ future.

What guides the Garden Village vision?

Giving people opportunities to age positively is a shared responsibility. At Garden Village, we support a whole-of-community, whole-of-life, multiple activity approach to ageing. Our team is passionate about creating connected and inclusive services where everyone can take part in meaningful activities. 

Garden Village demonstrates progressive leadership to continually adapt to the needs of the region. I work with an experienced Board of Directors to support strategic growth while maintaining operational excellence. In 2022 we welcomed Gary Humphreys as the new Chairperson and two new Board Directors, Victoria Oakden and Shannon Dawson. 

We’ve accomplished some incredible milestones with two new Retirement Living residences, a new Wellbeing Centre and the launch of Home Care and Disability Support.

Tell us more about the Disability Support and NDIS Services

We have over 40 years of experience providing care within the Hastings. People may not necessarily recognise Garden Village as a Disability Service provider, but it made sense to provide services and supports to NDIS participants given our experience and presence in the local community. It is also important to remember that people who already have an NDIS Plan in place and turn 65 can continue to access NDIS services.

We also offer Disability Support to people over the age of 18 in the Port Macquarie Hastings region. Again, we are not known for providing services to younger people and we look forward to providing this additional support to the community.

What Home Care Packages do you offer for older Australians?

More people are choosing to live in their own homes as they age.  People frequently leave it too late to consider Home Care arrangements so we suggest exploring Home Care possibilities early. People who are 65+ can check their eligibility for in-home support through the My Aged Care assessment process or contact Garden Village Home Care for assistance navigating this process.  

Our growing team of Support Workers travel to provide nursing care and individualised support across the Hastings. We service clients from Port Macquarie to Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills, Laurieton, Kew and Wauchope.

Garden Village Home Care offers a range of services including nursing care, medication assistance and personal care.

Congratulations on receiving five stars for the new Residential Aged Care Star Ratings 

Thanks! Garden Village received five stars for compliance which is a fantastic achievement. Overall Garden Village received a four star rating which is in the top 30 percent of residential aged care providers nationally. We’re pleased the new Star Ratings system offers transparency and accountability. It is another way for residents and families to find information about quality, compliance, residents’ experiences and staffing levels. We always recommend the personal approach – book a tour with our Transition Nurse, Katie or Eilleen, talk to staff and residents and find out what makes Garden Village Residential Aged Care a good fit for you or a loved one.

Global population trends show the number of people aged 65 or older will more than double in the next 30 years. What does this mean locally?

People are living longer than previous generations and Port Macquarie is well known as a retirement destination. Population ageing is a global trend that requires a whole of community response. Collective action is urgently needed to support growing numbers of older Australians. At Garden Village we continually adapt and innovate and have formed strong relationships with state and federal members to ensure ongoing advocacy for the sector. 

What opportunities are there for young people to work and be part of Garden Village?

A key challenge for our sector is workforce. Garden Village was an early adopter of a traineeship program. Our nurse educators and our RTO partner Wesley Vocational Institute have all done an amazing job. 

Garden Village also supports an ongoing scholarship award to students at Hastings Secondary College. We are proud to celebrate student achievements but particularly support students that have an interest in the health sector. Recently the Hazel Kirkbride Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Anthony Hooper. It is great to connect with local students and support ongoing learning opportunities. 

If locals are interested in careers in health, disability, or aged care we offer generous salary packaging, career development opportunities and mentoring from a supportive team.

Garden Village is fast becoming an iconic retirement village in Port Macquarie.  What do people love most about the community?

It’s the community and the people that create a wonderful sense of belonging. Garden Village is situated in a prime location and we are fortunate to be stewards of this beautiful area of Port Macquarie. Our central position on the corner of Hastings River Drive appeals to people who want to be close to shops, medical facilities, and the beautiful Hastings River foreshore. Our positioning is unique and Retirement Living Apartments and Units are in high demand. We have a small number available in the affordable Classics and the brand new Banksia Apartments.  

The new Wellbeing Centre is open to the public. Why is wellness important to your vision?

We’re delighted to open the Wellbeing Centre to offer more holistic services to residents and the community. People can access massage therapy, beauty treatments and wellbeing classes such as yoga, pilates and tai chi. Keeping active is key to positive ageing for better health. The more we invest in wellness in the younger years the more active we will be in later life. We have an onsite physiotherapist with access to a fitness gym to support people’s rehabilitation and reablement. The recently refurbished hydrotherapy pool is heated to a lovely 32 degrees and enjoyed for aqua aerobics and swimming.

What’s happening at Garden Village in 2023 and beyond?

A transformation is taking place. The Royal Commission into Aged Care recommendations coupled with COVID has pushed the sector changes. New reforms will be taking place across the Residential Aged Care and Home Care sectors in 2023/24. Guided by the Board of Directors and a strong management team Garden Village is well-positioned to support the changes to ensure access to quality care for all. The reforms are welcomed by Garden Village as positive steps to ensure ongoing excellence in service delivery. 

How can people get to know Garden Village?

Join us at the Wellbeing Centre for a pilates class or book a massage. Follow us on Facebook to find out what’s happening and visit our website to see our Home Care; Disability; Retirement Living; or Residential Aged Care services. Visitors can also come along and enjoy a Buffet Breakfast at the Waterfalls Cafe on Saturday 18th February – everyone is welcome.  

Located in Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast, Garden Village is a leading Retirement Living, Aged Care, Disability and Home Care Service. As a registered not for profit we’ve provided care services to the community for over 40 years.

For more than 40 years, Garden Village has provided homes, care and support for ageing Australians on the land of the Birpai people. We pay our respects to all First Nations Ancestors, Elders and People in our community and throughout Australia. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country, and their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community.

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