Hear Me, See Me - Know our Stories

Hear Me see Me Project

Wingecarribee Shire Council, supported by Matrix Co and Banter Group recently ran a community awareness campaign Hear Me, See Me - Know our Stories designed to support, promote and create awareness of our community members across the Shire in Aged and Disability sectors. 

Here we tell their stories ...

Disability Services Australia: Jesse Briggs

My name is Jesse Briggs and I live in the Southern Highlands with my Grandma.

I attend Disability Services Australia Southern Highlands Community Solutions Program and also attend their Picton Short Term Accommodation site. I enjoy jewellery making as you can see by the cool Ladybird earrings in my photo that I made at my Day Program. My interests are watching Movies and a big favourite of mine is Star Wars, I am the biggest fan of Darth Vader and as you can see have a great costume, so I can dress up as him anytime I like.

I collect many items anything collectable really, but my favourites are all collectables from Movies, I am a fan of the villains featured in Movies and Cartoons and I have a big picture book on villains that I show everyone during my stays at Community Solutions Program and short-term accommodation. My Gran has the greatest influence in my life and helps me to live my best life. She has me taking part in many activities that I find fun and where I can learn life skills, achieve my goals and take part in my local community.

I spend a lot of time using Technology, especially my I-pad, DVD Player, WII Game and the Computer. I am most proud of my collections of cool things and especially my awesome DVD and Game collections.

Oak Tree: Felicity Gee

Oak Tree Group owns and operates 31 retirement villages across four states including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

We maintain a focus on both metropolitan and regional locations, demonstrating a commitment to connect with Australian seniors and preserving local communities.

Residents can continue to live locally and age in their communities they know and love. Offering maintenance-free living and the safety and security of a caring environment, Oak Tree specialises in building smaller more private communities, complete with purpose-built recreational facilities. Oak Tree is passionate about providing an environment in which our residents can form new friendships and be part of a close knit community whilst continuing to live independently.

My name is Felicity Gee and I’m excited to be the Village Manager at Oak Tree Retirement Village in Moss Vale.

Coming from the hospitality industry, I have been blessed to have had the opportunity of working in the Retirement Village and Health Retreat sector since 2009. I have a genuine kinship with people of all ages and particularly so with those who qualify as seniors! I enjoy living away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and Moss Vale is ideally situated in being accessible to Sydney when needed, whilst enjoying the peace, relaxation and beauty of living in a rural village.

What do I love?

  • Travelling, especially to my birthplace of Zimbabwe.
  • Children and all the laughter and happiness they bring to the world.
  • The bush and wild animals.
  • Australia! I am filled daily with gratitude for all we have here in Australia.

I have a huge respect for nature and believe in kindness being the ultimate connection with people. Being part of the Oak Tree Group gives me pride in being able to offer residents beautiful homes and a sense of community with like-minded people, where friendships are formed and there are opportunities to relax or enjoy social activities creating a sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Resident: Rose Wallder

My husband and I owned and lived on a rural property in Tullibigeal 48 kilometres south of Condobolin NSW. Our two children attended school in Tullibigeal 19 kilometres from the property. We sold the property in 1973 and came to Bowral to live while our children attended high school, at Chevalier Bowral and Elm Court Moss Vale. Our intention was to return to Condobolin after six years, but we loved living in the Southern Highlands, and so we stayed. We stayed in Bowral until 2007, sold up and lived in Roche Close Moss Vale for about 13 years. My husband and I attended the 1st meeting of Oaktree Reitrement Village in 2019 and saw plans of the units. We were very impressed and put a deposit down.

Unfortunately, my husband's health was failing and passed away 15th October 2019. I sold the home and came to Oaktree Village in April 2020. Living in Oaktree village is the best thing I have done. Our Village Manager is wonderful, I have made some very nice friends, and I feel safe. I am worry-free, my health has improved, and I am kept very busy going to exercise classes, happy hour, visiting friends, looking after my garden and enjoying a very happy life.

Mt Emyard: Michelle Poll

Set amongst 12 acres of magnificent landscaped gardens, Mt Eymard is a well-established Over-55’s community close to the heart of Bowral. Graced with historic charm and character, Mt Eymard is a strata-titled village that offers a choice of secure retirement living options. There are 14 serviced apartments and 72 independent living villas with a variety of floor plans and aspects.

Mt Eymard is a pet-friendly village with a welcoming and inclusive community. Residents enjoy a variety of regular organised activities that include Book Club, Happy Hour, picnics, Snooker, Trivia, Knitting Group, Scrabble, Bridge, Tai Chi, Exercise Group, morning and afternoon teas and a Church service. Facilities include a dining room, library, function rooms, indoor heated pool and spa, visiting podiatrist, visiting massage therapist, visiting hairdresser, exercise circuit, on-site Registered Nurse, onsite staff 24/7 365 days per year, on-site personal alarm system, resident workshop, snooker and darts room and outdoor barbeque area, to name a few.

Residents attest that Mt Eymard offers a supportive community, friendship, safety and security. Mt Eymard staff often become a “second family” to many residents, offering care and support beyond their level of duty. 


I have worked at Mt Eymard for around 12 years. Working at Mt Eymard has been very rewarding. Our residents all have stories to tell, some pretty amazing ones. It is a pleasure to be part of their lives. The main building has had a lot of history - Mt Eymard has been a private residence, a monastery and a conference centre before it became a retirement Village, not to mention the beautiful gardens.

I love spending time with my family and our dog Harley. I like the outdoors whether it’s bushwalking, camping or gardening.

We have a large country, with so much beauty. We camped at Uluru in 2019, it was amazing! We saw it both at sunrise and sunset.

My family line designed the Bowman Flag. The oldest known locally designed flag in Australia was created by John and Honor Bowman in 1806 and it is the first known flag to have a kangaroo and emu on it.

My family is what I’m most proud of especially over the horrible fire season we had 2019/2020. They spent so many hours on the fire line while still working to the point of exhaustion.

While I have met a few famous people, my most favourite memory is meeting Darth Vader when I was a child.

How hard is it to pick a favourite movie! I can’t pick one favourite movie, so my shortlist is Ferris Bueller’s day off- John Wick series – The Note Book- Sharknado-Back to the Future.


Resident: Elizabeth Shepherd

The highlands have always been my home, a wonderful life raising three children. I now have grandchildren and a great granddaughter. My family are the most imporant people in my life. Timmy, my beautiful Maltese Terrier, who I walk every morning brings such unconditional joy, love, and companionship, he is my best buddy.

I moved to Mt Eymard four years ago. I love living here. I have assistance if needed, if not I just lead my own life. It is a happy village, beautiful gardens that provide a sense of calm, hence why I feel safe here. I have fortunately over my life made great lifelong friends here. I play golf, my passion, and now I have taken up lawn bowls. The saying is you are never too old. I might sound sports mad having participated in sport it all my life. I still play, maybe not to the same standard I once did, who cares I still enjoy it. The heated swimming pool is a luxury, the spa always gives my body welcome relief. Attending many University of the Third Age (U3A) courses, going to the pictures and my book club all expand my mind or just keep it going.

The nicest moments are with friends when we go for drinks, coffee or lunch and have conversations about life. To my 16-year-old self some advice. Everything will be ok, 99% of what you will worry about never happens and the 1 % that does, you can deal with it.