News & Events

From the CEO

April 15, 2018

Recently the UK government surprised many by appointing a Minister for Loneliness. Some laughed, and others were cynical. There was bewilderment and some degree of denial that the issue could have grown to such a proportion and scepticism that the concept of ‘loneliness’ was something a government could, or should, tackle.

But as an insightful article by Australian Senators Louise Pratt and Andrew Leigh pointed out, creating this unconventional portfolio makes sense. Inequality is rising; the strength of community is waning, and loneliness is a problem we must tackle together.

Their article struck a chord with me. It resonated with OCAV’s mission and values in working with older people in need. We have long recognised that many of our residents, whatever their reason for coming to OCAV, have or are experiencing loneliness and isolation.

Our tagline is Living Communities, and that is what we aspire to offer: the chance for every resident, if they wish, to be a part of a safe, living community where they can forge new social connections and relationships, and rebuild old ones.

One of our Platforms for Action is ensuring OCAV is a happy, vibrant place to live and work. This includes focusing on the wellbeing of residents through new and existing physical and social activities; recruiting volunteers to support residents across all ages while also giving volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills, gain new friendships, and make a difference in their local community; and to improve job security and career pathways for our staff.

In this newsletter, you will read the many ways in which we are working to achieve this. On the industry leadership front, we have contributed our thoughts to the national aged care workforce strategy.

On assisting more Victorians, we are delighted to be collaborating with the Little Sisters of Poor to enable older Victorians to access quality housing at either of our two villages in Fitzroy North and Northcote. We are also supporting the national campaign Everybody Needs a Home and have joined the call for Victoria to have a bipartisan agenda on ageing.

On ensuring OCAV is a happy, vibrant place to live and work, we have delightful stories from Braeside Park, Berwick on the close friendship formed between resident Ali Gwyer and volunteer Meredith Pankhurst, marking Anzac Day across all villages, and the intergenerational program between Rushall Park and Fitzroy High School, to name just a few.

We are looking forward to celebrating Volunteers Week in May with a special morning tea at Rushall Park, afternoon tea at Leith Park and also a five day focus on volunteers on our Facebook page. At the moment, we have 181 volunteers, 94 of whom are OCAV residents.

May I thank of all you who contributed to our survey recently. It has been overwhelming to learn of your commitment to OCAV’s work and support for older Victorians. We could not do it without you.



“Our home has always been a place where family and friends are welcome.  Our cottage at Rushall Park is no different and the community of friends here is important to us and that’s why their work is part of my art box,” Jennifer Barden said.

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