Meet Doug, our chef who cooks with care and passion

Doug initially trained as a chef in the Royal New Zealand Air Force before relocating to Australia.

He is a welcomed face around our community and is always up for a chat. He likes to know residents feel nurtured and cared for even when he’s not around – leaving extra baked goods in the fridge to enjoy any time!

What do you love most about what you do?

Creating a sense of home. I love interacting with residents, checking that they’re enjoying their meals and getting their feedback on the menu. If I notice someone hasn’t eaten their full serving, I offer them something else. I like to know what they like or want in the moment, so I can respond straight away.

Why did you choose to work in aged care?

Food is a big part of a resident’s day and contributes to their overall enjoyment and wellbeing. I love that I can be a part of this. Knowing residents look forward to my morning teas and meals makes me happy and I love seeing the satisfaction on their faces.

Why is Harden Grange so special?

Here, we’re all one big team working together. We use local suppliers, make as much from scratch as possible, cater for allergies, and allow residents to choose when and where they want to eat. It’s much more personalised – and just like home.

To find out more about our welcoming community, call our friendly admissions team on (02) 5330 8000 or emailing

Meet Lucy – our Community Manager

Hilltops’ local, Lucy Rowe, is passionate about residential aged care and has spent her entire career working in this industry. She brings over 16 years of care and management experience to her role at Harden Grange and has a deep commitment to ensuring our community is a welcoming, positive and happy environment for residents and staff.

What do you love about working in aged care?

I knew I wanted a career where I could help people every day. When I first started as a Carer in a Cowra aged care community, I fell in love with how rewarding this industry is and I’ve never wanted to leave it.

What do you think makes Harden Grange so special?

The Hilltops Region is a proud and connected community where locals feel they belong. This sense of belonging is reflected in so many ways at Harden Grange. From the country-style interiors to the way our staff have formed such close connections with residents, it’s quickly become a welcoming environment that’s valued by the entire region.

How do you think you’re making a difference to residents and staff?

One the most rewarding aspects of my role is getting to know each and every resident. It’s so important that we respect and learn from our elders, and I greatly value the daily conversations and interactions I have with Harden Grange residents. Along with supporting my team to deliver excellent clinical care, my focus is also on celebrating residents’ unique stories and strengths.

I’m lucky to work with a passionate team who are united in a positive culture of caring. I love supporting staff to continue learning and developing as we work together to enhance the wellbeing of every resident.

Our entire team enjoys having the support of Apollo Care’s industry-leading aged care specialists across human resources, governance, technology and finance. It’s exciting to be part of such an innovative alliance that’s making the future of Harden Grange so strong.

Fun Facts

Favourite pastime: Gardening, although I’m not very good at it!

Favourite food: My Mum’s beef stew, especially on a cold winter’s night

Watching TV or reading a book: Neither. I much prefer listening to podcasts.

Favourite way to relax: I’d rather be busy than relax!

Favourite childhood memory: Visiting my grandparents’ farm every weekend. Such happy memories!