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Ian Rollo Currie – philanthropist whose legacy continues

May 13, 2019


Ian Rollo Currie’s name appears in each of OCAV’s four villages. The influence of the Victorian grazier at OCAV began in 1962 and continues today.

A great deal of development and improvements in the past 50 years is due to his generosity and the continuing philanthropy of the Ian Rollo Currie Foundation.

His greatest legacy is Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa, and Braeside Park in Berwick, which were built in the 1970s with money from his estate. In 1978 twenty independent cottages at Euroa were built with support from the Commonwealth Government. In the 20 years that followed the Ian Rollo Currie Foundation has added to the village with a community room, lounge and eight Assisted Living Apartments. In recent years many of the cottages, built in 1977 have had a makeover with new kitchens and bathrooms.

In 1975 his philanthropy saw the new village at Berwick built. Twenty cottages were built by OCAV with support from the Ian Rollo Currie Foundation and the Commonwealth on land donated by Mr and Mrs Morris, Mrs Ripoli and the Richardson family. In 1999 the Foundation contributed to the building of the serviced apartments.

Ian Currie’s generosity was felt across the Euroa region. He bought the Seven Creeks property near Euroa when he was 25. It was a considerable tree change for the young marine engineer who received money after his family sold their shipping firm. He held the property for sixty years.

He could have lived as landed gentry, but instead Ian Currie O.B.E immersed himself in community life and service.  He was popular and not afraid to take on some challenging tasks. For 44 years he served as President of the Euroa Hospital and it was a family affair with his wife holding an annual garden party to raise money for the hospital.

When he died in September 1972, aged 85, the extent of his commitment to OCAV and the elderly of Victoria became apparent, with a $2 million estate left for the care of the aged.

Currie Park, or The Ian Rollo Currie Estate, as it was known when built in 1978, provides independent cottages for 20 people. Today, the village is a thriving community of men and women, many from different parts of the state and many having sought safe and secure housing through OCAV.

The addition of the eight apartments was according to Frances O’Neill, in her book, A Place of Their Own, “a new venture for the Old Colonists’ Association and represented a recognition that the needs of the aged vary from total care in a Residential care along a continuum to independent living in cottages.”

As well as making the Currie Park and Braeside Park village a reality, Ian Rollo Currie Foundation contributed to the following:

Rushall Park
Liscombe House of the Lodge (then the Residential care) in 1987.

Leith Park
The Phoebe White Wing (The Ian Rollo Currie Suites) reconstructed in 1979
Two Ian Rollo Currie Cottages.

Today, the Ian Rollo Currie Foundation is still a generous contributor to the work of OCAV. Most recently, the Foundation has funded Ever Greening Euroa to upgrade kitchen and bathroom facilities in five residential units at Currie Park to improve the safety and well-being of residents, and Enhancing senior wellbeing through virtual reality to understand where virtual reality can reduce social isolation and strengthen engagement in an aged-care context.

Dorothy Clayton has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into Braeside Park nine years ago. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the Berwick village.

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