News & Events

Patricia’s new life is in full swing

December 11, 2016

When Patricia Benedict moved into her unit at Currie Park in Euroa eight years ago, her new life began. Free, after 48 years of abuse and harm, Patricia changed her name and settled into her new life in the country. Within days she knew she would never go back to Melbourne.


Even though she had escaped a lifetime of domestic violence and found a safe home at OCAV’s Currie Park, Patricia kept looking over her shoulder, frightened that she would be found. All that changed early this year when her estranged husband died. At 76 she could breath easily.


No wonder Patricia is happy to spruik the charm of Currie Park and all that Euroa has to offer. Her move to Currie Park, she believes, saved her life.


“I started my life over again when I moved here. I had finally got away and friends helped me get here. The OCAV people made it easy and it happened very quickly. I left with nothing, not even any identification and on my first night I only had enough money to buy a blanket and a stretcher bed,” Patricia said.


Patricia threw herself into life at Currie Park once she had settled in. She has made close friends, participated in activities, started a few things and got to know people beyond the village. She was overwhelmed by the friendliness of Euroa folk and still loves going to the shops and encountering so many familiar faces.


She volunteers regularly at the community second-hand book shop. Within the village she runs an armchair exercise class each week and along with fellow resident and friend Ellen Doyle-Roberts she runs DVD afternoons and takes Currie Park residents to hospital visits, doctors appointments, shopping trips or out for afternoon tea. She also began a craft group for residents though this is not currently running.


Patricia’s immersion in life at Currie Park follows the pattern of her earlier life. She was always involved in the community and spent 31 years as a scout leader including a stint as a state commissioner. In fact, before moving to Euroa eight years ago her only contact with the town was a pit stop for lunch on long scout trips.


Patricia recently participated in the OCAV 150-year anniversary-planning meeting in Melbourne. She hopes the milestone will provide the opportunity to showcase all that Currie Park has to offer. She has captured the interest of a local historian who is also keen to trace the village’s 34-year history.


“Everyone has a story to tell and so does the village. I love it and the life here is wonderful. I have a lot of life to catch upon and I am enjoying each day as it comes along,” Patricia said.


She rarely returns to Melbourne and the only thing that draws her back to the big smoke is her great loves – her two ‘wonderful’ sons.


Sanctuary is how artist Gillian Coates describes her home at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa. “When I go to Melbourne and I am heading back to Euroa, I can’t wait to get home to the peacefulness of this place. It is like a sanctuary for me."

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