News & Events

Dorothy enjoys part-time retirement

August 1, 2018

Dorothy Waddington retired a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean she wants to stop working. Like many residents across OCAV’s four villages, Dorothy retired from full-time work but enjoys picking up some part-time work when she can.

Dorothy loves the social networks she has created within the workplace and the friendships that have developed. Many residents, like Ted Hulley also at Leith Park, enjoy working part-time to pay for holidays and other ‘extras’.  And more than 80 residents across the four villages do unpaid work, volunteering within the village or in the community.

OCAV has ‘retired retirement’ officially from its admissions policy. OCAV’s CEO Phillip Wohlers said the decision to allow residents to continue in employment was influenced by several factors. “We know that for many of our residents, living off the pension alone is difficult. They need to work. We know that many of our residents want to work. They love working to save up for a holiday, to meet people, to impart their knowledge and experience, and because they love working. We know that many don’t want to be paid to work but they do want to continue contributing, which they do in so many ways,” Mr Wohlers said.

OCAV’s decision to change the admissions policy was applauded recently by Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson. She told Conversations for Change, an OCAV initiative, that as Australians live longer, healthier lives, there is an ever-increasing opportunity to harness the contributions of older people across all segments of our society.

“For example, a mere three per cent increase in workforce participation by the over 55s would generate a $33 billion annual boost to the national economy.
It seems to me, however, that as a society we are not capitalising on this opportunity,” Dr Patterson said.

Dorothy, 75, has been at Leith Park almost six years and enjoys getting out with friends and family. Once or twice a month she gets called to work a shift on reception and switchboard at the racing and sport radio station RSN in the city and she jumps at the offer. She bakes the night before her shift and goes in armed with cakes and slice for the staff and broadcasters.

She worked at RSN when she was in her 50s and left to take up a job at Monash Hospital and retired from there a few years later. A friend from her radio days asked if she could come out of retirement and do the odd shift.

“Most of the staff from years ago are still at the station so I love going in and food is a great way to bring people together. It gives me a lot of pleasure to see people enjoying the food I take in,” she said.

“Keeping a part-time job keeps me motivated and connected to people from a different part of my life.”

Ted finished his most recent job, a part-time school-crossing supervisor, at the end of last year. He is keen to pick up more work but knows that finding a job at 76 will be difficult.

Ted has been at Leith Park for almost 10 years and before that at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa. The last decade of his working life was spent teaching English overseas, particularly in South-East Asia. An adventurer, Ted rode his motorbike around a lot of Asia whenever he moved to a different province in Thailand to teach or had a holiday.

“I get itchy feet and want to get away and travel. Working makes that possible financially. I like to go away a few times a year. This year I have been to Bali, Fiji and Darwin and I have India in my sights,” Ted said.

In recent years he has also had contract work teaching English at a private language school in Bangkok doing six-week stints every few months. Closer to home he has sold furniture at a store near St Helena and also worked at the local Bunnings for a year.

Ted, a man of many talents, is keen to find some part-time work but isn’t staying at home waiting. He goes to the gym three days a week, walks about 5kms each day, walks to do his shopping and spends hours outside each day in the garden. His current stint of full retirement has meant turning his attention to the garden and beautiful flowers, herbs and vegetables, now surround his cottage.


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