News & Events

Peter leaves million dollar budget to support older men

February 20, 2017

Peter Lee, volunteer at Liscombe House

Peter Lee’s sense of ‘work’ satisfaction has changed dramatically in the past year. As a Tattersall’s executive for many years Peter had goals to meet and a $40 million budget and 200 staff to manage. These days he is focussed on a smaller group of people and ensuring they have a good time at their fortnightly men’s group.

 

Peter began volunteering at Leith Park’s aged care facility this year and each fortnight he helps Lifestyle Assistant Adrian Onofrio to run the men’s group. They encourage men from Liscombe House’s high and low care and dementia units to join the group – and many do. Activities are designed to engage the men, regardless of their state of health and agility. The current project is the setting up of an extensive model train kit that has been donated by the family of a resident. Recently, Peter bought in racing pigeons to show the men, which created a lot of interest and conversations.

 

There are 80 residents at Leith Park’s aged care facility and only 16 are men. About 12 of these men come to the men’s group but numbers ebb and flow depending on health issues or other commitments. The men’s group provides an important service for men to discuss things they may not want to discuss in the various recreation spaces shared with women.

 

Once the men’s group finishes each fortnight, most of the men join the women for a happy hour and Peter is only too happy to help them move to the happy hour area or to pour them a glass of beer or soft drink.

 

Spending time with older people in various stages of agility and health is nothing new to Peter. His own parents are elderly and his father lives with dementia.

 

And there are not many people management issues he hasn’t had to deal with in his work. He was General Manager of The Technology Division of Tattersalls from 2000 to 2006, responsible for all the information technology activity of the company Australia wide. He left Tattersall’s after it merged with Unitab to form the Tatts Group.

 

Peter has also taken up a part-time position as a member of the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board of Greyhound Racing Victoria. As the greyhound racing industry emerges from dark days in Victoria and with a ban now in place in NSW he expects this role to become increasingly demanding.

 

His professional life is a far cry from his volunteering at Leith Park, close to where he lives in Wattle Glen.  While he has had no personal connection to Leith Park, he was drawn to the organization this year as he looked around for a volunteering opportunity.

 

“I felt the need to get involved in the local community in a voluntary capacity so that I could contribute something, give something back,” Peter said.

 

“I just make it a bit easier for some of the fellas to get to the men’s group and to participate in the activities. Then I help them to get to happy hour and join the ladies who come. It’s great that these people are still able to participate in activities that they enjoyed when they were younger and perhaps more able bodied.”

 

Peter agrees that volunteering at an aged care facility was a ‘leap in the dark’ but it has paid off for all concerned. “I have to say that I get a bit of a kick out of it.”

 

 

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.

Enquire today about securing a position at one of Melbourne's longest established and highly reputable independent living estates.

Enquire Now