News & Events

Everyone has a story

May 4, 2021

Everyone has a story to tell, and no one more than Liscombe House resident Don Simpson. Ever a true gentleman, Don is a quiet achiever who rarely talks about himself. We are honoured to tell his story for him.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk.  Don is one of the original Rats of Tobruk, serving in the 2/32nd battalion. The 2/32nd was created from two disparate groups – originally formed from Australians sent to defend England, where they had taken part in the Battle of Britain – and supplemented by men who had gone straight to Egypt from Australia. The decision to blend the two groups wasn’t popular at the time, but it achieved the desired result and the 2/32nd went on to become one of the great Infantry Battalions of the Second World War.

Don was wounded at El Alamein and repatriated to Heidelberg. He became a sign writer and for many years specialised in painting the ‘fancy scrolls’ on toy prams. Don and his wife Betty moved to OCAV’s Leith Park retirement village in the 1990s. Betty died in 2016.

Don was joined by Liscombe House residents, many of whom have served in wars, at the annual Anzac Day service. Our other villages, too, held services and events, each distinctly different but common to each, was the quiet reflection of the extraordinary contribution each person had made to Australia – whether on the battle grounds, as doctors and nurses, or in their own community as farmers, teachers, and much more.

We thank them all.




Josephine Katite may be a long way from Kenya, where she was born and lived until 2005 but the experience of looking after her elderly grandparents is very much with her every day in her work at Liscombe House.

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