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    HONOUR: Penelope Manserra was presented a life governor award by Grampians Health, an acknowledgement given for exceptional service, for more than a decade of work with Wimmera Health Care Group Foundation where she is now deputy chair.

Penelope a Wimmera Health Care Group Foundation life governor

Penelope Manserra was honoured with a life governor award last week, for her volunteering with Wimmera Health Care Group Foundation. 

Mrs Manserra was recognised during Grampians Health’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

She said she was surprised to be given the honour for her work with the foundation, an organisation which raises money to purchase equipment and facilities at Grampians Health’s Horsham and Dimboola campuses. 

“I was very proud. I certainly wasn’t expecting it,” she said.

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“I joined in August of 2010 and have been a director since then.

“I was approached by the existing directors and was aware of all the great work the organisation had done and was excited by the calibre of people I would get to work with.” 

Mrs Manserra said the voluntary position involved a formal meeting every two months, other commitments in between and constant communication between directors.

“Our late former chairman, Don Johns, used to say everyone would need a hospital at some point in their life,” she said. 

Mrs Manserra, who is a financial planner, said the foundation’s funds were invested in perpetuity, with the income generated from these investments used for hospital projects that otherwise would not be funded. 

“The role was a complement to my skillset. What I do every day for my own clients, I was able to do for the hospital,” she said. 

Mrs Manserra said the organisation had most recently purchased a stress test machine to prevent cardiac arrests and an ultrasound machine for the Maternal Health Centre in McLachlan Street, Horsham. 

She said the Wimmera Cancer Centre had been the organisation’s biggest investment in her time, involving $400,000 in foundation funds. 

“The foundation ran fundraising events called ‘mastercook’. Amina Elshafei, who was on Masterchef, toured our hospital and that highlighted our cancer facilities were below par,” she said.

“This led to a conversation with then chief executive Chris Scott about building something bigger. 

“So the foundation had been a part of those early conversations.” 

Mrs Manserra said she had also been on the cancer centre’s steering committee in the four years before it was completed. 

“It’s nice to know you’ve been able to help, but it was very much a collective effort,” she said. 

– Sean O’Connell

The entire December 6, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!