News & Events

From the CEO

May 4, 2021

What a difference a year makes. This time last year we were in lockdown, a time many of us found unsettling and difficult. As I write this, I am enjoying the sunshine and making the most of walking around without a mask, admiring the gardens, and catching up with residents and staff I have not seen face to face for far too long.

The past few months have been taken up with envisioning a new future for OCAV. These are exciting times for an organisation which has lived its mission for over 150 years, and which now has the opportunity to drive the mission further to meet the needs of contemporary Australia.

As part of our contribution to industry leadership and our mandate to assist more Victorians, OCAV has made several submissions to the Federal and Victorian governments, calling for changes to legislation and policy regarding housing, finances and retirement villages.

Our submission to the Federal Budget calls on the Government to commit to a timetable for reform, with clear milestone deadlines and associated funding for reforms to aged care. These include investing in a new Aged Care Act by July 2023 based on human rights; increasing the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance and commit to consulting on a new model; and allocate funding to social or affordable housing.

We have also contributed to the review of the Retirement Villages Act in Victoria. Our view is that any changes to the act should reflect the many ways that retirement villages operate, and that a clear purpose and set of rights and responsibilities should go a long way to protect both residents and operators.

Our final submission has been to the Victorian Government’s Ten-Year Social and Affordable Housing Strategy for Victoria. In it we argued that all levels of government have to treat affordable housing as essential infrastructure. We called on the government to produce more housing that is suitable for and available to older people at risk of homelessness, and especially older women. We noted, with much disappointment, the housing needs of older people are barely acknowledged in the consultation paper.

We also called on the government to reinvest in the Independent Living Unit (ILU) retirement village sector, such as Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria, to make changes to social housing eligibility for Victorians, and to policy to make it easier for NFPs with housing track records to become community housing providers.

Much is happening across all our villages and in Liscombe House, as you will read in this newsletter. I hope that you enjoy the read and do follow us on social media. If you have a friend who would like to subscribe, please encourage them.

Finally, this Sunday is Mother’s Day, a special day for many of us as we come together to celebrate the mums in our lives including those we have lost.  I wish all the mothers in the OCAV community a joyful day with their families and friends. I look forward to hearing about some of the celebrations.

Dorothy Clayton has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into Braeside Park nine years ago. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the Berwick village.

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