COVID-19 Service Update: Our Day Programs have reopened with daily limits, COVID-19 screening questions and venue changes in place, please call the centre for further information. Our Overnight Respite service is continuing to operate as normal.

Waratah Respite Services



History of the Waratah Respite Centre

The Waratah Respite Centre was first opened in 1987 as an Adult Day Care Centre in Azalea Avenue, Coffs Harbour. In 1991 the service relocated to the current Waratah Respite Centre which was built with Home and Community Care (HACC) funding. HACC services were designed to assist older, frail people or those with disabilities continue living at home for as long as possible.

In 1993 funding was acquired through the National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP) to provide evening respite for carers of adults with disabilities.

In 1994 following extensive community lobbying and fundraising our six (6) bed “Maureen Guthrie Cottage” was opened to provide carers overnight respite. The Cottage was furnished with the assistance of our long term Management Committee member Mr Des Kingdom and Coffs City Rotary Club.

In 2005 extensions to include staff amenities were undertaken. This extension was the result of several years of fund raising by the very proactive Management Committee and a substantial donation from a community member.

Waratah Respite Services has a long & proud history of delivering flexible respite options for older people, those living with dementia or other disabilities, and their carers living on then Coffs Coast & surrounds. Our unique service model offers Centre based social support groups and overnight respite in cottage style accommodation. Throughout the years the service has impacted positively on the independence, wellbeing and socialisation of our clients and enabled them to avoid premature placement in residential aged care.

Today we offer centre based social support and respite care in Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga as well as flexible overnight respite in our Maureen Guthrie Cottage for older people, those living with dementia and their carers.

Mission Statement

Our Mission

To be leaders in flexible respite options; assisting carers and the person they care for to enjoy the best possible quality of life.

Our Vision

A community where carers can choose to maintain their loved ones at home for as long as practicable and desirable through the availability of a range of flexible, person centred respite options.

Our Values

At Waratah Respite Services we value and promote:

  • supporting individuality, choice and “quality of life” decisions
  • person centred care targeted to individual needs
  • active engagement of families/carers
  • a culturally appropriate service
  • acting at all times in the best interests of the service user
  • equity of access
  • a safe and reliable service
  • flexibility
  • compliance with regulatory requirements
  • professionalism.

Leadership Team

Sharen Philp
Clinical Care Manager
Reece Cassidy
Team Leader Corporate Services
Melanie Kokegei
Team Leader Social Support
Amy Field

Management Committee

Paul Bartholomew
Vice Chairperson
Colleen Hull
Philip Mclean
Ken Ryan
Cynthia Darrington (Professional Clinical Experience)
Maureen Jones
Denise McNally
Owen McCosker

Current Jobs

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia, in particular the Gumbaynggirr nation where we work, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to them and their cultures, and to the elders both past and present.

We celebrate diversity, foster inclusion and value a community where everyone belongs

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