40 years of Medicare – Neil’s story

Neil Dabelstein has been assisting thousands of people for the last 40 years in his customer service role with Medicare.


My name is Neil, I work at the Caboolture Service Centre for Services Australia. Medicare is one of the programs that we do and it’s one of the services that we offer. 

I still enjoy what I’m doing. I still pinch myself that I can think that it’s 40 years since I’ve been here but I still enjoy it and it still challenges me every day. 

The Medicare program was announced and they were advertising for staff and I saw the advert in The Courier-Mail for Medicare staff, so I sent off a little letter, handwritten letter, to apply for a job as a Service Officer in the Medicare program. It’s something that I always wanted to do, serve customers face to face. I’ve got my original letter of employment. It was such an exciting time. 

We were doing our training and everything and they were still painting, putting the carpet down. I still remember the smell of the carpet. Look, it was pretty exciting, we got there probably an hour beforehand because we knew that, you know, all the big bosses, the regional managers and whatever, were going to be there because this was a brand new office. 

I do remember with one of the other full time team members, it was a bit of a race to see who could get the first person that came in and that didn’t take too long. It’s still all about the customer. It’s still ensuring that we listen to the customer and we listen to their needs and then to be able to position them to be able to get an outcome for them. 

It certainly gives you time to reflect on the reasons I wanted to be here and why I’m still here. Probably 40 years ago I would never have thought that would have been me. 

Video type:
Publication date:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.