About Us

who we are

byron shire respite services

BSRS was founded as a day respite service to provide support for both clients and carers.
The day respite program remains the heart of the organisation, as does treating clients and carers as one.
We also deliver in-home respite, social support and community access.
Clients have been assisted to engage with community groups, create art, make life story books and much more.
Clients and Carers have been provided with a much needed “welcomed break”.

management committee

The Management Committee guides the strategic direction of the Byron Shire Respite Service, a community-based organisation which has been caring for the people of the Byron, Ballina, Tweed and Lismore shires for over 30 years. The role of the committee includes:

  • managing the association’s financial affairs and maintaining its financial viability
  • ensuring the association acts in accordance with its objects or purposes
  • meeting all legal requirements.
  • A robust Management Committee is vital as Byron Shire Respite Service navigates the ever-changing aged care sector and maintains its integrity as a high-quality service provider.

Management Committee members are elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Association held in November each year. Since Management Committee members are drawn from the Association membership, it is important that we have a strong membership base with a range of knowledge, skills and experience. Apart from an interest in Aged Care and in particular dementia care, people with knowledge, skills and experience in the areas of health, NDIS, communications, marketing, IT, governance, finance, legal, insurance, human resources, Indigenous and LGBTIQA+ would strengthen and support the Association. Whilst valuing our current dedicated membership we are always looking for new members.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the association, please click here:


Byron Shire Respite Service’s leadership is comprised of a core group of dedicated and highly experienced individuals. With qualifications and experience in: aged care, dementia care, governance, finance, disability care, business administration, change management, WH&S, program development, community development and graphic design.
The leadership team helps steer operations and client care in an innovative and positive way, ever progressing to meet the increased demands for client care across the region.

Peter Devine

General Manager

Karen Harborow

Care Manager

Emma White

Senior Care Coordinator

Courtney Will

Care Coordinator

Jemima Janda

Operational Coordinator

Rakhshi Momtazian

Centre Facilitator, bus outings

Sonya Will

Centre Facilitator

Skye Ray

Centre Facilitator, WH&S Officer

our purpose why - we are here

Our service not only to support people to remain in their own homes, by providing respite for carers, social interaction,
transport and but is best described by our organisation’s integral values of:

our purpose statement

On May 27th 2021, Byron Respite’s Management Committee, staff and volunteers gathered together for the first ever Vision Planning Day.

There were several goals for this day; team building, professional development
and gathering together for a common purpose, to define a new Mission Statement and our values. Byron Respite, which is fortunate to be comprised of many
long-term staff, have been living and delivering service based on underlying values and a shared mission. After eight hours of intense workshops, meditation and fun activities we gathered a wealth of content about.

What we do? Why we do what we do? How do we do what we do? & most importantly, Why do we do what we do?

After our Vision Planning Day, our President, Hanne Brown and General Manager Peter, then compiled all the findings and consulted with staff and the Management Committee. As a collective we agreed on a new Mission Statement and Values.

Our journey



In August of 1991, Michael Scarrabelotti and the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Social Services and Colin Munro established , Byron Shire Respite Day Care Service. Delivering Service in Ocean Shores.



The service was now providing support to the townships of Ocean Shores, Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby and Byron Bay. Its day program opened 3 days per week and support workers were employed to work at the day program as well as assisting people to access the community and attend medical appointments



In 2001, the Brunswick Valley Community Centre opened and Day Respite Services begin being delivered in the new fit-for-purpose Centre. After a few successful years, the organisation was renamed Byron Shire Respite Service Inc. and the service extended to the Ballina and Lismore Shires. In-home support was now provided to clients and families in addition to the centre-based program.



In July 2004, The newly named service begins to provide specific services to people living with Dementia and their carers. This would begin the service down a positive service deliver path that would shape the organisation for years to come.



In 2009, local comedian, Mandy Nolan conducted the first comedy workshops with for older people at Byron Shire Respite Service. It culminated with as comedy show in a cabaret MC’d by Mandy Nolan.



The service, with the help of a few successful grant applications and the support of the Management Committee, began its Digital Transformation and Change Management Process. Both would equip the service to gain major efficiencies and prepare for the upcoming Aged Care Reforms.



2020 was a year of external and internal changes. In July 2020, after nearly 30 years of Service, Colin Munro, Co-Founder and long time Service Manager retired.



In 2019 Barbara Chambers, who commenced as Care Manager in May of 2008, retired. Barbara was pivotal in embedding person-centred care and co-founded the Challenging Behaviours Program.



Between 2015 and 2018 there were significant changes to the national landscape of aged care and disability supports. In 2015 the nation wide Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) was introduced. Byron Shire Respite Service adjusted very well to changes in legislation and continued to provide its person-centred care.



In 2010 Hannah Grace began volunteering at the centre and still brings support and joy to both clients and staff every Tuesday



Due to the COVID pandemic restrictions and two flood events, Centre Services were shutdown for 18 weeks across the year. Despite these shutdowns, the service continued to provide service in the community. When the big flood event happened in March 2022, 100% of staff were seriously flood effected and the service utilised its financial reserves to pay all staff for the time directly after flood, despite being able to work. We are very proud of this.

BSRS Elders group


A dream came true. The service expanded and established another Centre Based Service in the Ballina region, reaching a whole new cohort of Carers and Clients. The service also includes an Aboriginal Elders Day.

BSRS clients with view 2

2024 & beyond!

Our vision for 2024? To continue supporting and enjoying the company of our fabulous clients and carers.


Byron Shire Respite Service practices “good governance” and aligns its policies, procedures and practices with the Aged Care Quality Standards (Standard 8, Organisational Governance). Policies are the bedrock of Byron Shire Respite Service, with 25 detailed Policies and Procedures that ensure we provide compliant and safe service delivery for our clients and a healthy supportive environment for staff and volunteers. Policies are not written once and forgotten about. Byron Respite reviews Policies on a yearly basis to consider changes in New South Wales and Commonwealth Governments legislation and current practices in the aged care and disability sector and requirements of the.

Policies include (but not limited to) Corporate Governance, Regulatory Compliance, Continuous Improvement, Risk Management, Safe Environments, Client Review, Privacy and Confidentiality, Complaints and Client Feedback, Behavioral Support, Abuse and Neglect and Food Safety. All policies are managed and reviewed by our Compliance Officer, distributed/shared through SharePoint to staff members and regular education and training sessions are conducted with all members of our team.

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