Meet Karin

January 10, 2020

Karin Damm has been providing Care without Compromise at Mayflower for more than 17 years and has developed some very special relationships along the way.


Pictured: Karin and Shirley enjoying a laugh together.

Moving into aged care from the world of accounting, Karin much prefers the personal interactions with residents to number crunching. She particularly loves the conversations and stories that residents share when they spend time together.

Mayflower’s personal care team provides residents with any help they may need with their day to day living activities, and although Karin’s daily work is relatively typical, chatting with residents adds plenty of variety to her day.

Karin enjoys developing meaningful friendships with residents and believes that a kind ear or advice can dramatically improve anyone’s day. It’s these small interactions that make her contribution to the personal care team stand out.

Karin finds particular satisfaction working with those living with memory loss. Drawing on her love of old-time classic music and dancing, instilled in her by her parents, Karin can jog old memories and relates well to residents through shared recollections.

In her time outside of Mayflower Karin also enjoys modern musicals, particularly the recent production of Mary Poppins. Perhaps it’s the spoonful of sugar that Karin brings to her job that makes her a favourite with residents.

Since being nominated for, and awarded, employee of the year in 2012, Karin has continued to strive to provide the highest level of care.
Karin loves working with all residents, but she does have a few favourites including Shirley McKechnie.

Shirley moved to Mayflower Brighton in 2014 and is an active and vibrant member of the community. She regularly attends resident feedback meetings which is not surprising as she was head prefect at Williamstown High School in her younger years.

Following school Shirley had to choose between science or dance and she chose dance, dancing at night and on weekends while working at her first job. This was the beginning of a long career as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and artistic director.

Shirley was the founder of the first-degree course in dance in 1975. In her later years she became a senior research fellow at the Victorian College of the Arts and a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Shirley received an Honorary Doctorate in 2007 and awarded Officer of the Order of Australia in 2013 for her contribution to dance, education and research both nationally and internationally. Today Shirley enjoys activities that stimulate her mind and social connections, and particularly loves listening to music.