News & Events

Skyping brings friendship for Tessa and Maurie

February 24, 2021

When it comes to making friends 19-year-old Tessa Osborne has struck gold thanks to her volunteering experience at Liscombe House.

During the pandemic, she was looking around for something positive to do and approached Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria to see whether she could help out.

“I have always loved speaking to elderly people. They have so many great stories and wisdom and are so cheerful to be around. I felt the pandemic must be so hard on the residents and it was the perfect time to reach out and see if I could make anyone’s day a little brighter,” Tessa said.

She was put in touch with Maurie, who lives at Liscombe House, and who loves a chat about everything and anything.

“We talk for about 30 minutes each week by skype, and it has become a highlight of my week,” Tess said.

“Maurie is such a positive, outgoing person. He is always up for a challenge and never stops trying to learn new things and pushing himself to improve,” she said.

Tessa had never volunteered in aged care before, although she has volunteered with young children. She is a full-time student at Monash University completing a double degree in Business and design. In her ‘free’ time she plays the piano and draws.

Not that she has much ‘free’ time. She has set up a business designing debutante dresses which is something she has been slowly growing for four years. Watching her business develop has been rewarding and is what she spends much of her time doing.

Being ‘matched’ with Maurie has been eye-opening for Tessa who says she marvels at the fact that nothing sets him back despite having had an awful accident years ago which impaired his mobility.

“Every week he tells me about how he walked further than ever before or he learned a new skill on his computer. I find his initiative so motivating and his attitude to life is contagious.”

For her the friendship is such that she hopes to soon meet Maurie and deepen the relationship.

“From Maurie, I have learned that life comes with many challenges and no doubt you will be tested at times. However, it’s your choice how you choose to handle these challenges, choose to loathe in self-pity or pick yourself up and try to improve. Maurie has taught me that having resilience and being a friendly person is what truly matters and this is something I will carry with me forever.”




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