About Burger Centre
Burger Centre was born from a group of wise men with a vision of establishing a meeting place for older members of their community that offered more than a meal, more than a bus and was grander than the existing meeting place of Wolper Cottage that was located in the grounds of Wolper hospital.
This vision was realised thanks to the backing of prominent community donors, whose foresight, commitment and fabled negotiations enabled a block of land to be purchased in Woollahra, where JewishCare stands today. The Board of JewishCare, which included the most prominent leaders at the time, including Rodney Rosenblum, Dr Joachim Schneeweiss AM and David Lesnie, were totally committed to the project and the site was secured in 1989.
With support from the Wolper hospital and many volunteers, Burger Centre opened its doors in 1991 complete with a gift shop, hairdressing salon, library, bus and a beautiful grand piano, still in use today.
The establishment of the Burger Centre heralded the move by JewishCare away from purely migrant related issues and into the contemporary needs of the time. It was a turning point for the organisation and the whole community says David Lesnie, founding Board Member.
Those involved in the early days of the Burger Centre still speak of the aroma of honey cakes, cheese cakes and kugel that greeted everyone as they arrived to the Centre.
Opened by Norton Whitmont, the then President of JewishCare (previously the Australian Jewish Welfare Society), the Centre then flourished under the Presidency of the much loved and admired, Eva Fischl AM. Eva never missed an opportunity to celebrate special events and was shared a mutual love with the Burger Centre clients. Named after one of the major original donors, David ‘Zoli’ Burger AM, the Burger family remain strongly connected to the Centre today.
By the end of the 2000s, Burger Centre’s popularity had surged and outgrown its premises in Woollahra and JCA encouraged JewishCare and the Montefiore Home to become joint owners of the Burger Centre and to move the Centre into a custom-built facility in the Montefiore precinct in Randwick. The new centre, with an expanded and improved range of activities and facilities, opened in 2007.
Today, The Burger Centre is a vital resource that will serve the community for many years to come. With professional and friendly staff, a dedicated volunteer community and a vast array of activities, Burger Centre is perfect for people wanting to meet new people, remain active and be connected to the community, as well as for carers wanting safe and inclusive respite programs that offers purpose, enjoyment and a sense of belonging with culture and Yiddishkeit.
Our clients enjoy Russian speaking programs, excursions, aqua exercise, art classes and can take advantage of Montefiore’s onsite Hair and Beauty Salon, Café, luxury cinema and dental clinic, plus so much more.
MEET OUR PEOPLE AND JOINT OPERATING COMMITTEE
Christina Caddy-Gold, Executive Manager
Christina has worked within the Jewish Community for over 30 years across a variety of sectors including homelessness, family support services (including Domestic and Family Violence and Prison Outreach), and Aged Care.
Along with her years of experience within these sectors Christina holds a Bachelor of Social Work with Merit from UNSW, a Gradate Diploma in Design, a Master’s in Design from UTS, a Certificate IV in Mental Health and she completed Psychological Strategies in Mental Health through UNE. She also graduated the Launchpad Leadership Program through Australian Jewish Funders and graduated from a Community Leadership program through the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies.
Christina is passionate about empowering others towards long-term positive outcomes and has volunteered her time with many community organisations such as Maccabi NSW, Our Big Kitchen, a various synagogues and not-for-profit organisations.
Christina enjoys her current role as Executive Manager of the Burger Centre. She feels extremely fortunate to offer her time and service to the more senior members of our community and their families.
The Burger Centre is a wellbeing day centre for senior citizens in the Jewish and wider community. Their programs aim to bring joy, enhance the capability of older people to stay independent in their own homes, and to facilitate social connections within the community, in a sophisticated, culturally appropriate, warm, and meaningful way.
To contact Christina please email email@example.com.
Annie Kingsbury Leisure and Lifestyle Therapist
Annie joined Burger Centre in 2004 and has a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications and a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health. Annie loves the relationships and connections of working at Burger Centre. Her motto is “I love that I can use all of me to bring out everything in you”.
Tmne Blair, Leisure & Lifestyle Professionals
Tmne’s real passion is in client engagement, and she shares this passion with us each week. The favourite part of her day is connecting with the wonderful clients and getting to know them, their interests and hobbies as well as learning from their deep, rich and diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Tmne completed a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health.
Mally Ellis, Leisure and Lifestyle Assistant
Mally joined Burger Centre in 2016 and brings a passion for discovery and learning. With the motto of ‘never too old to learn’, she is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and guiding clients to reigniting past interests and helping them take on new challenges. She has as background in Music Therapy and a strong community connection to her mother country of Zimbabwe where she is involved in charity work.
Tayla Fowler, Activity and Lifestyle Coordinator
Tayla is currently enrolled in a Masters of Public Health specialising in Public Health Research at the University of Woollongong. She is conducting a research project which aims to understand how the design features of Residential Aged Care facilities impact on the daily life of people living with dementia. Tayla has a strong passion for public health and understanding the ways that she can help others and improve the quality of life of people attending aged care centres. Her role at Burger not only helps her to pursue this passion but allows her to connect with many inspiring individuals. These connections and interactions are beneficial both to her and our clients and she is delighted to be part of the Burger Centre team.
Marina Gomberg, Leisure and Lifestyle Therapist
Marina joined Burger Centre in 2021 after a 25-year career in international business. She says the best part of her day is hearing clients say that they’ve been looking forward to attending the Centre and herbprograms all week. Marina will complete her Certificate IV in Leisure and Health in 2021. As a Russian speaker Marina plays a big part in looking after Russian speaking clients and creating programming to support their spiritual, social, emotional and cultural needs.
Yvonne Grossman, Leisure & Lifestyle Therapist
Yvonne has been with Burger Centre since 2004. After many years in Potamology (the study of rivers), Yvonne enjoys the opportunity to support and foster positiveness in ourselves and others at the Centre on a daily basis. Seeing the transformation in mood from morning to afternoon at the conclusion of the programs gives her great satisfaction. Yvonne has significant skills in sensory stimulation particularly for those with sight and hearing impairment. Yvonne has a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health and is bilingual in French and English.
Rose Hort, Activity and Lifestyle Coordinator
I am an accountant by profession, but I always knew I was a people person. I retired 6 years ago and I had a void in my life. I approached JewishCare and asked them to suggest a voluntary position and I was offered Burger Centre.
I have been a volunteer for over 5 years. I love all my clients, love listening to their stories, bring a smile to their faces, love dancing with them and above all make the few hours in Burger most enjoyable. Recently I became an employee of the Burger Centre.
Elena Kishik, Leisure and Lifestyle Assistant
Elena has been bringing much joy and happiness to all that visit Burger Centre since 2007. With her talent and dedication to music, she loves to share her enjoyment of classical piano with our visitors. One cannot help but walk away with a spring in their step and a smile on their face after time spent with Elena. She is bi-lingual in Russian and English.
Cecelia Lugo-Anderson, Activity and Lifestyle Coordinator
Cecilia is excited to work with the Burger Centre, being part of the team and to encourage the members to engage in purposeful activities each day and provide emotional support. Cecilia is a creative, proactive and enthusiastic person with a passion for people, a caring attitude and able to motivate others. She has been working as a Leisure & Lifestyle officer in residential aged care, preparing and delivering meaningful activity programs.
Qualified in Certificate IV in Leisure and Health, Cecilia is also a qualified trainer, has experience in design with an eye for the visual, and her early career was in the travel industry and meetings and events. Cecilia is keen to share her love of music, dance and travel stories in our programs. She loves to see members enjoying the programs and she looks forward to spending more time with them and meeting families.
Asnat Meretz, Student Counsellor ACAP
Currently studying a Master of Counselling & Psychotherapy with ACAP, Asnat will offer a Counselling and Psychotherapy Service at the centre as part of her placement. She offers a personalised and flexible approach for:
- Addressing fears, anxieties and concerns, depression, conflict resolution,significant life changes and relationship difficulties.
- Exploring effective strategies and options
- Meeting your needs and reaching goals
- Seeking personal insight, peace and clarity.
Ruth Rankin, Diversional Therapist and front desk administrator
Ruth relocated to Australian in June 2022 has an Honours Degree in Applied Social Studies in Social Care. Her past experience includes working with adults with intellectual disabilities over five years, developing her love of helping and supporting others. She loves encoutering new and interesting people at the Centre ans is always left with a smiled on her face at the end of the day.
Mel Sarif, Leisure and Lifestyle Assistant
Mel joined the Centre in 2011 and has a passion for working with our seniors in the community. Her motto is “laughter is the best medicine” and says that working at the Centre keeps her inspired both personally and professional every day.
Natalia Sorochinskaya, Wellness Program Coordinator
Natalia’s holistic approach to wellbeing sets us all on the right path for optimal quality of life! As the Wellness Programs Coordinator, she keeps people moving and active – crucial for mental and physical health. Natalia speaks Russian and Polish in addition to English.
Olya Vilshanskaya, Community Engagement Coordinator
Everyone knows Olya! Olya is the essence of her Russian culture, exuding a generosity of spirit, camaraderie and strength and is the heart of our community. Olya helps to ensure that everyone is made to feel welcome and connected. She also ensures that their individual preferences are catered for and is a wealth of information for those with questions. Before joining the team Olya worked at NSW Public Health with the Population and Health Promotion Unit having had a medical background in Russia. Olya is bi-lingual in Russian and English.
Lisa Werner, Leisure Therapist
Lisa joined Burger Centre five years ago and has a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health. Lisa started her journey with the Burger Centre as a volunteer and felt an instant connection. Her passion for helping seniors and putting a smile on the faces of everyone she meets makes every day a joy at the Centre for her and our clients. With a background in dance Lisa is the Centre’s Dance Wise program champion. Lisa has a strong sense of faith, culture and love of learning and says the Burger Centre is the perfect blend of all these aspects of life and more.
David Balkin AM, Chairperson
Gary Groves, CEO, JewishCare
Gary brings strong community services leadership expertise, having served as a Director Inspector Child Wellbeing for NSW Police before moving into various Executive Director roles across family and community services where he’s recognised for developing strategies, policies and best practice to build stronger, more inclusive and resilient communities.
Gary has worked closely with Ministers from NSW Government and Peak Agencies to orchestrate a suite of strategies and frameworks including the NSW Carers Strategy 2020-2030; NSW Ageing Strategy; Whole-of-Government Outcomes Framework for Vulnerable Families and an overhaul of the Child Protection System.
Described as a transformational leader, Gary balances visionary concepts with sound strategy and a pragmatic approach to getting the work done operationally. He likes to challenge the status quo to deliver and design better products, systems and outcomes to stimulate innovation and continuous quality improvement to ensure clients are receiving the best care possible.
David is the Chief Strategy Officer and President Asia Pacific at Nanosonics Limited.
David has extensive experience in healthcare and medical devices, having served as the CEO and Managing Director of the Monash IVF Group, and as an Executive at Cochlear Limited, serving as the Chief Strategy Officer, and the President of Cochlear Bone Anchored Solution.
Prior to joining Cochlear Limited, David worked at Accenture in the Strategy practice.
David has a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Applied Science from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. David completed the Advanced Business Management Program at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in
Chicago, USA, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
David was elected to the board of JewishCare in 2014.
Aged care and social work consultant Toby Hammerman, was invited to contribute to Montefiore’s Operations & Quality Committee in 2017 and joined as a Board Member in 2018. With a long history of supporting the Jewish Community in his roles as CEO of the Sydney Jewish Museum, Habonim Dror leader and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies delegate, he is proud to serve an organisation that he believes is an industry leader, thanks to its best practice offerings in allied healthcare, spiritual and cultural services and more.
Toby’s combination of academic and professional expertise allows him to make a valuable contribution to Montefiore . He holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Haifa, the latter specialising in community-based residential care. Toby has 15 years ’experience as a Senior Quality Assessor with the Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality Agency, monitoring the quality of care and services in all nursing homes across Australia. He also has a particular interest in the delivery of catering, cleaning and laundry services as he previously owned and operated award-winning retail food outlet Toby’s Treats for 12 years.
Jenna Baskin, Board Member, JewishCare
Jenna has a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She was on the Australian Institute of Management 30 Under 30 list and serves on the boards of Mum for Mum and JNF NSW
Gary Inberg, Board Member, Montefiore
Gary is a financial and corporate adviser with more than 25 years of experience in commercial business, including property management and development, property funds management and public company experience. He’s been Head of Property for one of the largest property portfolios in NSW managing a team of more than 75 staff who look after property worth in excess of $3 billion. Gary is past Chairman of IWPE Nominees Pty Ltd, Trustee and Custodian for Investec Bank [Australia] Limited. He is a non-executive director for a number of other companies and has been CFO for a top 200 ASX-listed company.
He has been Vice President of Montefiore since 2004, prior to which he served as Honorary Treasurer for three years. Gary is a member of the Investment and Finance Committees, Chairs the Operations and Quality Committee, represents Montefiore on the Joint Operating Committee of Burger Centre and is a Director of National Nurses Plus and Maroubra Shores.
Robert Orie, CEO. Montefiore
Robert has been associated with the aged care industry in a senior management capacity for more than 30 years. During that time, he has lead organisations in both the private and not-for-profit sectors and has developed a broad insight and knowledge of the aged care industry, both at an operational and policy level.
As the current NSW/ACT Representative Director and Deputy Chairman of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the largest peak industry body representing aged care providers, Robert advocates on behalf of the industry to ensure providers operate within a framework that supports quality outcomes for residents and providers alike.
In his role as Chief Executive Officer of Montefiore , Robert’s leadership provides sustainable strategic planning while ensuring effective day-to-day management of the organisation’s aged care operations, which include four residential aged care campuses accommodating more than 700 residents, senior day centres, and an extensive home and community outreach program.