Humble Jim steps down from Foundation dedication

After 25 years of devoted service, Jim Barham is stepping down from his role as a Stawell Hospital Foundation trustee.  

His retirement marks the end of an era filled with unwavering commitment to enhancing healthcare in our community. The ‘almost retired’ Stawell real estate agent is far too humble to discuss his achievements over his tenure but anyone who knows Jim, knows he doesn’t run on idle.  

When asked about his achievements Jim wanted to talk about the Foundation colleagues who inspired him.  

“I joined the Foundation when it was in its infancy and back then we had a regular notice in the paper keeping the publicity going so people were conscious of our importance all the time,” Jim said.  

“As soon as we informed them of a project, we would be getting all sorts of big donations of up to $20-25,000,” he said.  

“Our biggest advantage was the professional people we had on the committee like solicitor Bill O’Driscoll and accountant Kerry Rosenow.  

“They ensured a very high standard for the Foundation to operate and that made things run a lot smoother.  

Jim said the loyalty of the Foundation members also inspired him to continue for this long.  

“Bill O’Driscoll moved to Ballarat when he retired but he still travelled back to Stawell for the Foundation meetings. Our current chair Graeme Ellen moved to Torquay but he’s continued on with us also.  

“It’s been such a great group to work with.” 

Stawell Hospital Foundation is well-known for its dedication to championing innovative medical equipment. As a testament to the foundation’s success, an astounding $1.4 million has been raised since its inception in 1989.  

Jim has been instrumental in furthering these goals.  

“I appreciate having been given the opportunity to serve and assist the Stawell Hospital and the various deliberations we have had as a group in determining how we might support the hospital.  

“It is a most important asset to the community and in my view the Foundation has greatly assisted the hospital in many ways.” he said.  

As Jim embarks on this new chapter, he leaves behind a remarkable legacy of dedication and compassion.  

The Stawell Hospital Foundation will continue its vital work, with the impact Jim has had on healthcare at Stawell being felt for generations to come. 

Foundation chair Graeme Ellen said Jim’s ability to balance business acumen with genuine empathy is what has made him a remarkable trustee. 

“His retirement will leave a void that will be challenging to fill.” 

The Barham family owned and operated the Marnoo general store from 1922 to 1974, a business that included services in real estate, stock and insurance. Jim sold the general store portion and moved the other services into Stawell in 1987, managing it until it was purchased by Elders Ararat in February 2021.  

For more information about joining the Stawell Hospital Foundation, please contact Grampians Health Stawell on 03 5358 8500.