20 November, 2023

Fresh ideas for key group

AIMING to bring fresh ideas and growth into the not-for-profit, Cairns Meals on Wheels has appointed businessman Chris Van Dorssen as the new general manager ahead of the Christmas season.

By Isabella Guzman Gonzalez

New Cairns Meals on Wheels general manager Chris Van Dorssen.
New Cairns Meals on Wheels general manager Chris Van Dorssen.

After a couple of stagnant years, Cairns Meals on Wheels has seen growth in their operations in the last couple of years and Mr Van Dorssen, former owner of family business Van Dorssen’s Tobacconist and Gifts, aims to bring his knowledge and business expertise into the not-for-profit.

Mr Van Dorssen said he was excited to join the organisation ahead of his first big event, the annual Christmas party on November 21.

“I came on board four weeks ago and will be looking after our elderly clientele, volunteers, office staff, kitchen and all our operations, making sure everything’s working and to make changes if something’s not working,” he said. 

“This is an expanding business that started slow but we seem to be growing so we need to make sure we grow with it to provide the service that Cairns’ elderly need.”

“My first big event will be the Christmas party on November 21, at Cazalys from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

“I’m really excited. This year we have great attendance with 175 clients gathering to celebrate Christmas, so this a thank you from Meals on Wheels to our clientele and volunteers,” he said.

“We’ll have lucky door prizes, entertainment for the clients and we have dignitaries like Warren Entsch, Member for Cairns Michael Healy and Senator Nita Green coming.”

Mr Van Dorssen said he was  keen on the new role and hoped to bring his expertise of decades in business to advance Meals on Wheels.

“These have been an exciting four weeks for me, I’m realising how big the Meals on Wheels production is with up to 300-350 meals per day, so it’s quite interesting,” he said.

“As general manager I bring my organisational skills and my knowledge on how to run a business.

“In my role I’d like to get some school groups involved through their VET and get some experience in the kitchen and we’re always on the lookout for new volunteers, so as Meals on Wheels grow, we’ll grow with it.”


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