Tamar Krebs is the epitome of #PressforProgress for International Women's Day
As a young girl Tamar realised that she had an affinity to older people and aged care. Tamar was very close to her grandfather. When he passed away, he had his entire family at his bedside. In his final moments, as he looked around the room, his eyes fell upon Tamar and he fondly spoke his final words, “I love you, Doll”. Though still in her pre-teens at the time, Tamar never forgot this poignant moment and remembers that Sam experienced ‘a beautiful death’.
This event fuelled an ambition to work in the area of caring for older people for whom her affinity and affection had been nurtured in these formative years.
Tamar faced many challenges. As a Rabbi's wife, she was expected to remain in her orthodox role as a Rebbetzin. She knew that this role was not her life purpose and bravely stood up to the community and board members to resign from the role. This shows how she stands up for herself as a woman and her right to choose her career and vocation.
After working in aged and dementia care, she realised that she had been wearing rose tinted glasses. Older people and especially those with dementia were sedated, locked away and treated as if they were in what she calls a 'human warehouse.'
Tamar realised that she had to change this... but how was one woman going to change such a huge, old-school industry.
Tamar found a model that worked successfully in many first world countries such as the US, The Netherlands and in the UK. Tamar wanted to bring this model to Australia. She pitched her dream to 38 investors. She went to 64 meetings. Only after the 38th pitch, did she find a team of private investors that believed in her and her dream of distorting aged and dementia care, as well as palliative and respite care....
Tamar #pressedforprogress and persevered. She never gave up. In 2012, the first Group Homes Australia home opened it's doors in Sydney. The model which is to care for people in a home that looks, feels, smells like and is a normal home and the philosophy which celebrates life, focuses on abilities, keeps people in their local communities, has been so successful. There are now ten homes in NSW and the company has started [email protected] which cares for people using the same philosophy but in their own homes.
Tamar has overcome many challenges:
1. Resigning from her role as a Rebbetzin (Rabbi's wife and traditional communal role)
2. Distorting an old-school industry that does not like change and tall poppies
3. Persevering to find an investor
4. Becoming a founder and CEO of one of Australia's most innovative care companies
Tamar implemented policies at Group Homes Australia so that where possible staff can have flexibility. Working women and mothers can choose flexible working hours, bring their babies to work, bring their kids to work in school holidays etc.
Tamar lives in Sydney with her four children, including twin girls) and a large dog.