Twenty-five years of Tresillian at Nepean

Silver celebrations: Four of the original Tresillian staff, from left, Leanne Daggar, Sue Bemmer, Sue Bruhm, and Anne Thomas, were celebrating the centre's 25th birthday.

Silver celebrations: Four of the original Tresillian staff, from left, Leanne Daggar, Sue Bemmer, Sue Bruhm, and Anne Thomas, were celebrating the centre's 25th birthday.

The year is 1992 and five fresh new faces have started their first day on the job at the newly-built Tresillian Nepean.

“The place wasn’t finished,” now-nurse educator Mary McDonald, one of those original five, recalled. 

“We had to get it up and running and start admitting clients,” Leanne Daggar, another one of the original five and now an operational nurse manager, added. “We used to only take babies aged 12 months and under.”

Twenty-five years later, Ms McDonald and Ms Daggar are still working at Tresillian Nepean alongside nurse unit manager Sue Bruhm, client services assistant Anne Thomas, and registered nurse Sue Bemmer.

Last week they joined a large crowd celebrating the centre’s silver anniversary, marking 25 years of providing expert parenting advice to families during the early years.

Among the crowd that gathered for a high tea on August 3 was former state MP turned Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District chairman, Peter Collins. As then-health minister, Mr Collins helped establish Tresillian Nepean and eventually his family became one of the more than 125,000 to be assisted over the last 25 years.

”I thought Tresillian is just such a fantastic back-up for young mothers,” he told the Gazette. 

”I was representing the electorate of Willoughby where Tresillian also is, and where one of my children had gone as an infant. Here I am living in the Penrith Local Government Area, and my first grandson used the neo-natal intensive care unit and Tresillian – both of which I am very proudly associated with.

“It’s very special to come back and see how well it works. 

“This is just such an invaluable service, this is critical. Really, without Tresillian in the west, I think that so many young mothers and their children would be in trouble.

“This is a great way to start a young life.”

Tresillian chief executive Robert Mills said the celebrations marked a milestone in its history.

The centre had been well supported in the Penrith community over the last quarter of a century, with Mr Mills picking up a cheque only the previous evening from Penrith Valley Rotary Club for $5,000.

“The local community is behind us all the way,” he said.

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