News & Events

From the CEO

May 24, 2018

The recent Federal Budget contained a suite of measures affecting older Australians, many of which were pleasing from our point of view.  We are especially pleased to see the start of reframing the nation’s attitude to ageing which focuses on the need to view our older population as an opportunity, not a burden.

Investment to support workers aged 45 to 70 to adapt and remain in work; and the creation of a Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers program is indeed welcomed, enabling us to harness and recognise the extraordinary wealth of experience and knowledge that our elders offer.

Nevertheless, we are concerned that there is no increase to the Newstart Allowance to help job seekers, including the significant number of unemployed people over the age of 50.

We look forward to having Dr Kay Patterson, Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner at our Rushall Park village in late June to talk about her views on why we should retire retirement. This topic is very dear to all of us at OCAV where at least half of our volunteers are our residents, and the majority aged 80 plus.

Funding for mental health is crucial if we are to tackle the growing incidence of social isolation, loneliness and depression which affects so many of our elders. As you will see from our newsletter, ensuring OCAV is a happy and vibrant place to live and work – critical for the wellbeing and mental health of our residents, volunteers and staff alike – is a major platform for action. Through the work of each village’s residents and activities committees, our residents have access to many different programs, including the chance to participate in research that will guide future national and state policies.

We are also pleased to see the increase of the Pension Work Bonus and that the Pension Loan Scheme is being extended. These two changes should provide financial flexibility in retirement, and is welcomed.  However, no new measures to assist older Australians in housing stress and at risk of or experiencing homelessness is of increasing concern to us. We continue to advocate for more social housing, specifically configured for the needs of older people, and have begun work to seek funds and land for a new village.

We know how much our residents, people on our waitlist and other stakeholders support the creation of a new age-friendly village. Indeed, as Bev Ward – the face of our winter appeal – says: “Doesn’t everyone deserve to live in a place like this?”

We will continue to advocate for the needs of older Australians and look forward to reporting back to you on the outcomes of many of the initiatives outlined here.

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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