News & Events

From the CEO

July 24, 2019

Welcome to our 150th anniversary, and what a marvellous year we are about to have from birthday parties for our residents, to celebratory festival days and a garden party in our villages, through to a host of smaller functions all aimed at raising awareness about our history and track record of providing housing and support to older Victorians.

The celebrations started on 23 July with a wonderful afternoon tea at Government House. Our patron, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC hosted the occasion for some of our residents, volunteers, Councillors and staff.

The Governor spoke of the long-standing relationship that her predecessors had had with the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria over the sesquicentenary. Governors such as Sir Reginald Talbot, the Earl of Hopetoun, and Sir Winston Dugan visited Rushall Park, our first village, in its early years mainly to lay foundation stones for the new cottages but also to share afternoon tea with the residents.

She spoke too, of the community that OCAV has shaped for all involved over the years. While the organisation has grown and changed over the years, she welcomed the fact that it continues to be true to its vision of providing housing and support to older Victorians in need.

Drawing on her overview of history, another early highlight of the year has been the ‘going live’ of our timeline on our website. The timeline is a lens into the history of early Victoria colonialism and the vision that our founder George Coppin had to make sure that the association was not simply a social club for the wealthy but also ensure that ‘necessitous’ old colonists were supported. The intertwining of Victoria’s early families – the Coppin, Henty, Sumner, Grice, and so on – is quite extraordinary.

The development of the timeline, from 1869 to today, has been a labour of love by our resident historians in all our villages and our communications team. They have unearthed stories about the people who played a part, the names, places and achievements that have shaped us.

One of my particular favourites is about Alexander McNaughton, who at 82, took to the wheel of a motorcar for the first time, with his new bride. According to The Age in 1929, “he declared that it was a trifling effort compared with controlling a four-in-hand Cobb’s mail coach of other days.” I encourage you to read, enjoy and get in contact if you have other information about our history.

In this newsletter, you will meet residents and volunteers who are playing a part in preparing for our festival and Garden Party events in October and November. Each of them are magnificent examples of how age does not stand in the way of contributing or learning new skills. I thank them all for their involvement.

While the focus is on celebration this year, we will not stop our efforts to continue delivering quality aged care service to our residents in Liscombe House or lending our voice to debates about aged care and retirement in Australia.

As you will read, we were ready for the new Aged Care Quality Standards which came into effect from 1 July. While we share the Government’s ambition to deliver a world-class aged care system, we also urge the Government to review funding into the system and to prepare for a doubling of the population of older Australians by 2050.

Enjoy the read, and here’s three cheers to our founders and everyone who is part of the OCAV story.

"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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