News & Events

From the Director of Nursing

February 19, 2018

International Women’s Day is fast approaching, and we take the opportunity in this newsletter to celebrate the contribution of our female residents, staff and volunteers to OCAV.

Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900s, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911. Since then it has been marked by communities everywhere – governments, companies, charities, educational institutions, networks, associations, the media, and individuals.

This year the theme is #PressforProgress, one that resonates strongly with me. OCAV was founded by Victoria’s early settlers and citizens to ensure that older Victorians in need had somewhere secure and affordable to live, support when and if they needed it, and a community in which they felt engaged.  As an association, we have been pressing for progress ever since.

Progress for older women is high on our Vision 2020 agenda. OCAV’s four villages are home to 450 older people, 79 per cent of whom are women. Eighty-one per cent of these women were single when they moved into OCAV, with 45 per cent in private rentals. As we know, single, older women are the fastest growing group of people at risk of homelessness in Australia, and private rental accommodation can often be insecure at best and inadequate at worst.

This year is an election year in Victoria, and we will be meeting with candidates of all parties to discuss how we can work together to provide housing and appropriate support for all older Victorians in need, and in particular how Government and OCAV can work together to tackle the very real problem of addressing homelessness among single, older women.

Our press for progress is not just about housing for older women and men. We recently lobbied the World Health Organisation to ensure that healthy ageing was included in its draft work program. In the first draft, there was no mention of healthy ageing at all. OCAV, along with other organisations, research institutes, and ambassadors for ageing, called for the omission to be corrected. Measurement, monitoring and understanding of healthy ageing is now on the agenda, giving us all the opportunity to press for progress on the future of health care.

Each story featured in this edition will give you insight into how our female residents, volunteers and staff press for progress and achieve great gains. We shine a spotlight on women in our four villages who make things happen in their community and staff who support them and those in need of care.


Shaaron Robilliard
Director of Nursing



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