News & Events

Mim can sleep in peace at last

November 19, 2019

It’s taken more than 70 years for Mim Dale to find a safe, secure and loving home. After she moved into OCAV’s Braeside Park village in Berwick two years ago, her nervous nights ended and she found the sanctuary she had been hoping to find since she was a child.

Mim doesn’t complain or dwell on her life marred by family violence, but it has taught her the value of friendship, love and family. She has found a lot of friendship and respect in the village, and two loving ‘adopted’ families outside the village.

Over the years she befriended young Indonesian and Laotian families living around Hallam, where she lived before moving to Braeside Park. They had young children and Mim soon became mother and grandmother to the families who she loves and who love her.

“They are my real families and I am so happy to have found them, even if it was when I was older. Sometimes you are born into a loving family and sometimes they find you through your life,” Mim said.

Mim put off coming to Braeside Park when a vacancy first came up several years ago. Now she doesn’t know what she was thinking.

“The best thing I ever did was moving here and I wish I had done it earlier. I love the peacefulness of the village and the friends I have made. We visit each other for a coffee, but it’s okay if you don’t feel like doing that, people don’t care and they respect your privacy and peace,” Mim said.

“If someone needs help in the village, there is always someone who will put their hand up to help. It’s a lovely place to live.”

Mim was one of the ‘welcome party’ at the village’s recent 150th anniversary open day and answered questions from visitors about village life. She was happy spruiking the delights of the village.

Braeside Park has given Mim a home and safety from something she doesn’t talk much about and that’s a life of family violence starting with her father.

Before moving to Braeside Park she was living in a unit and was fearful at night of visits from a violent family member. Those fears are now in the past and Mim enjoys the security and safety she ‘longed for’ for many years.

She loves being part of village life, attending community meetings when she can and has strong connections in the area through her ongoing involvement with the Narre Warren Senior Citizens. Her ‘adopted’ grandchildren come and stay with her and she is a regular granny at school pickup time.

Her Indonesian family took her on a trip to Indonesia so she could meet their families and her Laotian family is keen to take her to Laos for a holiday in December if she is feeling well enough.
Mim says her life is boring and not worth writing about, after all she says, ‘it has only just started’ now that she can give the love to others that she was never given.

I love the ‘magimix’ of people who make up the community and that it is a safe and happy place to live. - Jo Portlock

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