Beris Collins is popular at Achieve and with her community so thankfully we could throw a party between COVID lockdowns fitting for a 90th birthday celebration.

It was all smiles at the Asquith Golf Club in March 2021 when Beris Collins celebrated her 90th birthday.

A client for more than 60 years, Beris’ parents were among the first founders of Mt Own in the 1960s - one of the first to create housing for people with disability located within the community. The home went on to become Hornsby Challenge and later Achieve Australia.

Beris also enjoys staying connected to her community. She is highly regarded and valued by her long-time housemates, neighbours and church group. The Hornsby local has many friends in the area who know her well and enjoy catching up for regular chats each day.

All this means Beris’ birthday was attended by many of her Achieve family and friends who celebrated at a special lunch just for her. And the fun started in the lead-up to the big day.

“I was excited for quite a few weeks before and loved getting dressed up in my best party clothes and special hat,” Beris says. “I was thrilled to see all the decorations, especially the balloons, and my friends on the day.”

BerisJoAnne

Senior Achieve staff including CEO Jo-Anne Hewitt (pictured above with Beris) were there too along with her many friends. Everyone wrote a message for Beris in a keepsake book.

Linda Rose Archer supports Beris at home where she receives 24/7 daily living services. 

“Beris was really happy to see all her friends at lunch. We even had a surprise visit from an old staff member who Beris was very close to and she became quite emotional as she hadn’t seen him for some time,” Linda explains.

“She loved everyone singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her, joined in the singing herself and posed for many photographs.”

Jacqueline Goody was a Service Coordinator in the Hornsby area at Achieve Australia at the time of the party. She is now a Service Coordinator, Drop-in Support.

“Everyone knows and loves Beris in the local area. She loves to have everyone around her, so her birthday was really special,” Jacqueline said.

“Even at the age of 90 she is still very energetic and has a spring in her step!”

"I like living with my friends and seeing my staff come every day to help me,” Beris says. “And I love to help with chores around the house and spend time sitting in the sun, writing in my books and doing beadwork.”