News & Events

From the CEO

November 3, 2020

It has been a long year for all of us but as the days grow longer, and we embark on the road to COVID-19 Normal, there is renewed sense of energy around all villages, and some welcome news too.

We were delighted to receive the results from an independent COVID-19 benchmarking survey of Liscombe House residents showing that they have been 100% confident that they will be kept safe in an outbreak of the virus, and supportive of the efforts that we have made to keep them connected with family and friends.

These results, together with the many messages from families, are a testimony to the hard work of everyone at Liscombe House. Nothing has been too hard or problematic to work through and find solutions. Everyone at OCAV should be proud.

While much of our work has been focused on ensuring we are as COVID-safe as possible in all our villages, we have also been pressing on in many ways to ensure that life retains some normalcy.

Cottages are being renovated in Rushall Park and Currie Park, plans are afoot to show people around the wonderful new apartments at Leith Park, and the gardens are looking glorious in all villages. There is nothing like a well-kept garden and beautiful blooms to lighten the mood.

We have been successful with philanthropic grants. One is enabling us to introduce a new music for wellbeing program at Braeside Park. Funded through the City of Casey, this program will see volunteers and residents come together to sing and make music. We cannot think of a more joyful way of celebrating the start of summer.

It would be fair to say that our impressions of the 2020 Federal Budget were that it is a mixed package for older Australians and that far more investment was needed to have the best possible housing, care and support for seniors, and for women in general.

The additional $8 billion investment in aged care is welcomed but it is merely a down payment on what needs to happen. The Royal Commission has highlighted deep structural problems with funding for aged care, and a major transformation is required to ensure that aged care is fit for the future.

We are disappointed that no money is forthcoming for a social housing-led economy recovery, and will continue working with the Everybody’s Home campaign to see this come to fruition.

We have made a submission to the Victorian Government calling for a Wellbeing budget to be introduced. This approach is like those delivered in New Zealand, Scotland and Iceland where all branches of government are responsible for improving community wellbeing through budget priorities, policy-making and reporting.

By adopting a Wellbeing Budget, Victoria would continue to lead the nation in social policy and the State would finally have a bold and overarching framework to direct investments in housing, justice and family violence and elder abuse, ending the digital divide, healthy ageing – all of which underpin areas of ongoing government reform.

I look forward to telling you how we progress this much-needed industry leadership work for the benefit of all senior Victorians.

In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys the lifting of restrictions and I thank everyone for their help, care and support of each other and our staff as we have worked through these challenging times. It is important though to recognise that we are still in a pandemic, however remote it now feels.

With kind regards

Your hand-washing, physical distancing and mask-wearing

Phillip Wohlers.

P.S. I thought I would share just one of the many messages we have received from Liscombe House families:

“We would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the staff (both day and night), to management and the nursing staff for the wonderful job you have all done under extremely difficult circumstances. We feel relaxed and confident that my mum and all the residents are safe and well cared for. You are all heroes.


"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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