News & Events

Ian settles into a good life at Rushall Park

October 11, 2017

Life is good for Ian Vinnicombe. In fact, it’s better than it has been for a very long time. He has secure housing at OCAV’s Rushall Park village, access to services and city life, which he loves, and daily meals that he only ever ‘dreamt about’.


Ian, 67, moved into a serviced apartment at Rushall Park a couple of months ago after two years of insecure and difficult housing.  Before moving to Rushall Park he was living for 18 months in supported accommodation in Eltham with other people, some of whom were taking drugs and drinking and making life for other residents very difficult. Before that he lived for several months in a rooming house in McLeod, which was even worse.


“They were very disturbing places to live. Lots of noise and yelling day and night and no privacy at all,” he said. “It wasn’t the sort of place where you would want to live.”


Ian has already discovered that at Rushall Park his privacy is respected and he can take part in whatever activities he chooses. His unit has a courtyard garden and on a lovely spring day the sounds of leaves rustling and birds singing provide all the company he wants until he feels more settled.


OCAV has an operating model that was established by its original founders almost 150 years. It is committed to providing approximately 50 per cent of its housing to residents who cannot afford to contribute a one-off, means-tested donation on entry. Only 47 per cent of OCAV residents owned their home before moving into an OCAV village. The majority of the remaining 53 per cent of OCAV residents were either homeless or vulnerably housed while living with family of friends, in private rentals or in temporary accommodation.


Ian put his name down at Rushall Park at the encouragement of a friend, though he was very familiar with the place. After years of driving taxis around Melbourne he knows most spots, especially ones that stand out, like Rushall Park. He had admired it in passing, but has been surprised how lovely it is behind the red brick fence and is grateful for the gardens that everyone can enjoy.


“I like being close to public transport that gives me easy access to the city so I can go to the movies and go and listen to music. I enjoy the atmosphere of the city,” Ian said.


Living close to the city also means Ian can access health checks required after his laryngectomy surgery for throat cancer three years ago.


Though he likes his own company, Ian has already encountered the friendliness of the Rushall Park village and the many opportunities for getting involved. Each day he collects his meals from the dining room and enjoys them in his room.


“I can eat my dinner when I like. At the last place I lived, the kitchen was locked after a certain time and you couldn’t even have a cup of tea. Here the meals are great. I never dreamt I would be served meals like this. It was my lucky day the day I moved here and I hope I won’t have to move again.”

Volunteering is important to Deb, enabling her to contribute in the aged care sector. “I love it when the residents get downright cheeky. I love it when we get a bit too loud with laughing."

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