News & Events

From the CEO

December 9, 2019

What a wonderful year the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria has had. While our focus in the last half of 2019 has very much been on our 150th anniversary, the year has been peppered with triumphs as well as ongoing advocacy to assist more older Victorians needing housing and support; promoting our leadership in aged care through submissions to the Royal Commissions into Aged Care Quality and Safety and Mental Health; and ensuring the wellbeing of both residents and our staff through programs funded through philanthropy and the superfund HESTA.

Like many, I am still very much on a high from each of the 150th events. I relished the fact that each event had its own flavour but each contained the same elements – the bunting lovingly made by residents in Rushall Park and Leith Park, a focus on gardens, house tours, the exhibition Beyond the Gate, and art and music. These elements are all very much a part of our history as well as OCAV today and, I have no doubt, in the future.

At each event, we welcomed old friends and made new acquaintances. Interest in living in one of our retirement villages was high, with many visitors remarking about the sense of community, friendship and fun that was evident. These are OCAV qualities we should all be proud about.

These values, as well as the security we offer and the continuum of care, were a major contributor in our being recognised by our peak body, Leading Aged Services Australia, as the Victorian/Tasmanian organisation of the year in its 2019 Excellence in Age Services Award.

Further evidence of the quality of our resident care was the reaccreditation of Liscombe House for a further three years, another great achievement by our team.

This past year we welcomed new residents into our multi-million dollar architecturally designed apartments at Leith Park. We are well on our way to opening our Rushall Park apartments, and finishing stage 2 of our Leith Park expansion. By the end of our 150th anniversary, we will have delivered 81 new independent living apartments and housed 100 elderly Victorians.

Many of these triumphs and more are highlighted in our annual report, a reflection of a wonderful year despite the environment of constant reform which is creating uncertainty for consumers, their families and providers.

We continue to urge government, both Federal and State, to deliver strategies and funding that ensure quality housing and care. We all need a pathway that provides certainty for all stakeholders, while ensuring protection for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, our elders.

May I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their contribution to making OCAV a happy and vibrant place to live and to work, for their outstanding efforts to deliver fabulous 150th events, and all the other achievements we have enjoyed.

I wish you all a happy festive season, and a peaceful and productive 2020.

"I love the fact that Rushall Park residents and volunteers are so active – contributing to life in the village. The sense of the community is strong which is why I put my name on the waiting list" - Maggie Birkett.

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