Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser

International Women's DayAdvertising Feature

Care for her community the end goalAdvertising Feature

HOME TOWN: CEO Michelle Stares wants to develop health services that provide everything that is needed for families in the local area.

Michelle Stares has been appointed CEO of the new specialist private hospital in Gledswood known as The George Centre which is due for completion in mid-2023.

Ms Stares was born in Camden and has lived in the area for most of her life.

She has a degree in Health Services Nursing and completed her Graduate Diploma in Business Studies as part of her Master's in Business. She is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD) and is undertaking a Directorship course.

Throughout her training in nursing, as well as her executive career, Michelle has focused on developing her skills in human resource management, strategic planning, team building and healthcare management.

As the first centre of its kind in NSW The George Centre will offer private maternity and paediatric services for the Macarthur region, along with endoscopy and other surgical services.

Ms Stares said she was excited about The George Centre and its place in the local community.

"I was born and raised in Camden and have lived most of my life here, along with my parents and my own child," she said.

"I want to give back to the community that has been a happy home to myself and my family. I want to help the community develop services and grow to provide everything that is needed for families in the local area."

Ms Stares said until now local families that wanted to access private maternity or paediatric services had to travel outside of Macarthur.

"This is not only inconvenient, but it's not ideal from a clinical perspective for a pregnant woman to be travelling once labour has commenced," she said.

"As well as the impost on the individual patient through ease of access to services, it also causes additional strain on family members and visitors who wish to spend time with them during their stay and have to travel to do so."

Ms Stares said it was important to mark International Women's Day so that women know they have choices.

"It's important for women to understand that they have a voice, whether they choose to follow a career pathway or be a stay-home-mum, or anything in between."

Helping those who need itAdvertising Feature

HERE TO HELP: Melinda Griffiths started her law firm as a sole operator and now employs 25 qualified staff.

At Melinda Griffiths Lawyers, they aim to make a difference in the lives of the community they serve.

Chief operating officer Narelle Hawken said they want to be a voice for those that don't have one and help them seek the compensation to which they are entitled.

With their "No Win No Fee" policy for all personal injury matters, they hope to ensure that anyone can get the legal assistance and support they deserve.

The team are very excited to now have offices in Wollongong and Campbelltown, the second of which opens in mid-March.

The firm specialises in legal matters relating to Abuse, including Institutional and Historical, as well as Workers Compensation, Medical Negligence, Motor Vehicle Accident claims, Total Permanent Disablement (TPD) claims and all other Personal Injury matters.

Melinda Griffiths started the business on her own in January 2019 and finished her first year with four staff.

Some three years later - and after some impressive growth - the firm now has 25 professional and support staff, dedicated to client satisfaction.

Ms Hawken said their success was due to the work ethic, expertise and customer-focused strategies of Melinda and her dedicated team.

Melinda's dedication and empathetic approach to her clients is endearing and rewarding to all of those around her. "We also have Narla, a female therapy dog, who provides emotional support to clients," Ms Hawken said.

"Because of Melinda's success, we have needed to increase our staff to 25, and this is due to their heavy client-customer satisfaction and referral base.

"My role is to help deliver Melinda's values and to create a collaborative and transparent culture of inclusiveness. With six lawyers, six law clerks and a team of 13 management, paralegal, administrative, and operational assistants, the depth now allows for progression and a collaborative operation enabling future growth and development.

"And Melinda has more than 25 years' experience in Personal Injury and is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury."

Ms Hawken said as an inclusive equitable firm they are keen to encourage their female staff members to "progress, feel equal and be involved in all of our community engagements".

"Our staff are empathetic and provide a safe environment for our abuse and compensation clients and that is definitely one of our strong points," Ms Hawken said.

"All I can say is watch this space. When our second office opens in the Macarthur region later this month it will be led by our Associate Natalie Butcher, who is very experienced in her field and a fabulous leader in the Personal Injury space."