News & Events

Generosity helps plant the Children’s Garden

August 8, 2019

Plans to create a children’s garden at Liscombe House are going full steam ahead thanks to the generosity of everyone who donated to our tax time appeal.

The donations together with funds from the Hazel Peat Perpetual Trust, will enable the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria to turn a neglected courtyard into an outdoor garden for children and their grandparents.

“Now the only place for children to play when they visit Liscombe House is their grand- or great-grandparent’s room, and that is not ideal,” CEO Phillip Wohlers said.

“We have been thinking about creating a special garden for children here for a while, and now thanks to everyone’s generosity we can,” he added.

The purpose-designed outdoor garden will be created by OCAV’s maintenance team with the pro bono help of Carolyn Lunt, an early education specialist and landscaper. Carolyn, who is on the Rushall Park waitlist, contacted the organisation after receiving the tax appeal.

“This is my gift to the organisation, and I am delighted to offer my experience to support what will be a much appreciated are for older and younger people alike,” she said.

The internal courtyard will be designed to be a playground which will have fun features for all generations.

“We anticipate the garden will become a hub for families, and more children will be keen to visit their grandparents or great grandparents because they will have somewhere special to go,” Phillip Wohlers said.

The importance of children’s gardens with aged care homes has been highlighted in evidence-based research which shows that older people with close intergenerational connections consistently report fewer depressive symptoms, better physical health and higher satisfaction with life.

According to Phillip Wohlers, many older people have regrets about not spending enough time with their children or in making mistakes along the way. A grand- or great-grandchild offers a chance to start afresh.

Research also shows that children feel special when they spend time with their grand- and great-grand parents, they receive the undivided attention that their parents are often too busy to provide. This kind of unconditional love is not easily found elsewhere.

“Children and the elderly do have a remarkable connection with one another that can be described as magical, and this garden will make that connection even more so,” he said.


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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