News & Events

CEO on belonging

December 16, 2018

As we count down to the festive season, I am reminded how important friends and families are, as well as the sense of belonging to a community.

It is true to say that the importance of community is keenly felt by all our residents, staff and volunteers. For some, the arrival at OCAV has brought them renewed purpose of life; for others, they have made new friends or rekindled old friendships; for almost all our residents they have a community to which they belong.

This sense of belonging has always been an essential aspect of living at OCAV. I’ve recently been re-reading A Place of their Own, our history written by Frances O’Neill. Every page is a constant reminder of how, from its early days to now, belonging to a village – regardless of being a resident, donor, staff or volunteer.

One of the most fascinating chapters is Living Together which regales us with tales of residents coming together to play cards or enjoy a musical evening. The love of gardening by many residents – some growing vegetables to give away to other residents, or for the troops – is still very much alive in all our villages.

We also learn that throughout the early years, residents at Rushall Park looked forward to a special Christmas treat with “Christmas puddings, baskets of eggs, tobacco, cases of cherries or plums, and bottles of stout arriving” from donors. Today, all villages enjoy a Christmas party put on by the residents. The rhythm of life continues today.

This year has been extraordinary for all of us. We have made important strides in many different areas from our new developments at Leith Park and Rushall Park, our contribution to industry leadership through Conversations for Change, or our being awarded a sought-after Aged Care Quality Agency best practice award.

But for me, as I reflect on the year, it was the findings from our social impact evaluation Living Communities Age Well which was the highlight. It found that every dollar invested in OCAV creates over $7.41 of value for residents, the community and the Federal and State Governments. That was just the start.

We also learned the impact that this investment has on people’s mental and physical health, and their sense of identity is quite extraordinary.    At its base, being able to reduce our residents’ fears of anxiety, lessen their depression, relieve their families of concerns, provide meaningful volunteering experiences comes down to the fact that OCAV is a community that everyone is proud of being a part of.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy festive season, a peaceful New Year, and I look forward to 2019, which will be an exciting and historic year for us.

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

Enquire today about securing a position at one of Melbourne's longest established and highly reputable independent living estates.

Enquire Now