“Where else would I want to be than right here in Coffs Harbour with my family from Boambee Gardens.”
Lexi Connor, Boambee Gardens Retirement Village Manager
Lexi Connor knew exactly where she wanted to celebrate her wedding reception – at Boambee Gardens Retirement Village, just so residents could be part of her special day.
“The best part of our wedding six years ago was seeing residents in their RetireAustralia t-shirts running the bar; it was fantastic. The residents get so involved and they love you like you are part of their family,” she said.
Keeping community connection alive is Lexi’s focus at Boambee Gardens, which often means she seldom gets time for herself, but is precisely the drive she needs to keep going.
Between managing RetireAustralia’s Boambee Gardens, caring for her severely autistic son, planning special themed events for residents at the village and performing in her own band Magic Mojo, Lexi is not afraid to admit she is stressed.
“If you saw my desk, you wouldn’t believe extreme organisation is part of my life. I’ve had a goal to clean my desk for the past two weeks and it still hasn’t happened,” the Coffs Harbour resident said with a chuckle.
It is no surprise then she calls Coffs Harbour home. For the past 22 years, the tranquil seaside destination has offered her solace – counteracting her busy schedule.
“Everything is beautiful here in Coffs Harbour. We’ve got a great hospital and fabulous doctors and amazing restaurants,” she said.
The life and soul of the party
And just six minutes away is her workplace Boambee Gardens – where there is always an excuse to have a party; when there is one coming up, residents know exactly who to count on for a fun-filled night – Magic Mojo.
Not surprisingly Lexi is the lead vocalist of the versatile band. She played her first gig 24 years ago, and since then the band has notched up over 600 performances singing classic hits – from ACDC to Suzi Quatro – across Coffs Coast pubs.
Lexi is also famous for planning themed events at Boambee Gardens, which have been described as legendary.
“For our last birthday party, it was a 1970s theme. We decorated the walls with vinyl records, so the residents could reminisce about the music they used to buy from that era.
“They (residents) all got dressed up in 1970s apparel – plenty of bell bottoms and love beads, it was fantastic.”
Connections through COVID
Her innovativeness and ability to think outside the box provided a stabilising force for the village during COVID and earned Lexi the coveted NSW Village Manager of the Year in 2021.
From painting pebbles for Easter and hiding them around the village at night; acting as an elusive “chalk bomber”, leaving inspirational messages on village pavements to encourage residents to get outside and be active; and writing and producing a weekly Covid Chronicle during lockdown, complete with puzzles, crosswords, and colouring in, residents never felt isolated.
Family is everything
It is hard to contemplate four years ago Lexi almost did not take up the Village Manager role – out of fear; not because she could not do the role but because she couldn’t fathom how she was going to ‘juggle’ her life tasks in addition to work.
But thanks to a motivational push by her husband, Lexi took on the role and as they say, the rest is history.
Last year was big for Lexi. Her son Tom, 18, who is non-verbal, graduated from high school – news she undoubtedly shared with her Boambee family.
“The residents aren’t getting much out of him (Tom) in return. We taught Tom how to fist pump and he remembers some of their names – their faces just light up and it’s a wonderful feeling,” Lexi said.
“This is why I love working here. The residents celebrate with me, they show concern for me, and they worry about me. Where else would I want to be than right here in Coffs Harbour with my family from Boambee Gardens.”
A vibrant and supportive community
Boambee Gardens offers the perfect balance of relaxation and connection. The village’s laid back, holiday feel and vibrant social community offer something for everyone.
Located just moments from beautiful beaches and sweeping headlands, Boambee Gardens is close to cafés, shops, public transport and local clubs.
With a strong focus on connection, Boambee Gardens is characterised by an active, social community and welcoming environment. Choose to get involved in any one of the range of social events and activities from our extensive calendar; relax in the privacy of your own spacious home; or enjoy a stroll at one of the nearby beaches.
Boambee Gardens offers a range of living options and support services to meet your individual needs. Whether that means living independently in your own unit or seeking daily support in one of our care apartments, there is an option to suit you. Should you ever face health challenges, rest easy knowing you can access additional care and support if you need it.
It is a place to feel right at home – both now and in the years ahead.