top of page

Meet The Committee

Project Officer

Helen Morton

Helen Morton.jpg

I joined the project Staying in Place of which The Village is a key part, after retiring from politics 5 years ago. I now live in Pingelly/Wandering. 


The Commonwealth Department of Social Services has provided pilot funding and as a member of the committee, I am keen to bring this project to fruition.

People in rural and remote communities do not want to leave their home or their community as they age. 

Pingelly Representative

David Freebairn

I have lived in Pingelly/Wandering all of my life and have been chairperson of the Pingelly Somerset Alliance Inc. for over 30 years.

After 35 years as a councilor on the Shire of Pingelly, The Village seemed the perfect solution to helping people stay living at home in our community as they age.


I was in the right place at the right time when the ideas started circulating about this program and I decided to get involved. 

David Freebairn_edited.jpg

Wandering Representative

Sheryl Little

Sheryl Little_edited.jpg

My desire to help started with my Mum and Dad who lived in the country. They came to live with us for care and support.


Dad needed general help with daily living and with doctor's appointments for his Chemotherapy. We also looked after my mother for several years after she developed Dementia.


Our two daughters helped, but both of our parents could have lived more comfortably at home if something like the Virtual Village had existed. 


We live 26kms from the nearest town and eventually the time may come when we may need some help. We would love to stay at home in the area we love. Hopefully we can see the Virtual Village thrive and flourish for the benefit of all.

Wickepin Representative

Sue Mearns

I am Sue Mearns from  Wickepin, currently working as a Care Coordinator for    Amity Health in Narrogin. 

I love Wickepin life, settling there after many years working in rural settings.  I    recently completed a Master in Nursing on Chronic Care and Ageing. 

I joined the Virtual Village to promote living a healthy and meaningful life as we age in place in our beautiful wheatbelt. 

sue m.png

Cuballing Representative

Julie Christensen

It is hugely encouraging and exciting to me and our seniors’ that the Virtual Village may complement and enhance existing services - and create them if none are in place.


Ageing with grace and dignity in our own homes, for as long as possible is the goal - and the right of every Australian.


After 20 years of advocating for and supporting aged care services in regional Australia, I am keen to collaborate with community and governments to ensure innovation and passion stimulates current and new service models for older people living in rural and remote areas.

University of Western
Australia  Representative

Professor Loretta Baldassar

I am Professor Loretta Baldassar, Director of the UWA Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Lab.

I am delighted to be involved in the Pingelly Village Hub because the SAGE Lab is committed to supporting community initiatives that facilitate social engagement and inclusion, particularly for older people.


Without adequate social support networks we are at greater risk of poor health outcomes, especially as we age. The Pingelly Village Hub is an exciting initiative and the SAGE Lab is committed to supporting its development.

Loretta Baldassar.jpg

Concierge Team Member

Lee Steel


Lee is currently the Manager of the Pingelly CRC and holds the executive role of treasurer for the PSA. 


Lee is an experienced executive with high level, multidisciplinary knowledge, who is committed to good governance.

Lee has been an active member of the PSA for over 7 years and is committed to the PSA’s goal to allow all to age in place, in the community that you call home.

Concierge Team Member

Kaye Watts

Kaye has had a long term commitment to helping people stay living at home as they grow older.


For 12 years, Kaye was chairperson of the Cottage Homes which then became the Pingelly Somerset Alliance Inc. She was also the manager of the Pingelly General Practice. 

Kaye was a farmer in Wandering, retired to live in Pingelly and wants to stay here with her husband for the rest of their lives.

bottom of page