News & Events

The gift of philanthropy

April 8, 2020

When it comes to palliative care, the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria is leading the way by supporting Liscombe House residents to stay in their ‘home’ rather than go to hospital.

Last year 20 residents chose to stay at Liscombe House and to be supported by the aged care health team. Families, too, have appreciated being able to visit their loved ones in a friendly environment.

The service is set to be enhanced thanks to a grant from the Marion and E H Flack Trust which has been spent on palliative care equipment.

According to Shaaron Robilliard, OCAV’s Director of Nursing, the grant will make an enormous difference for any resident going through palliation.

“We have been able to buy special beds fitted with special sensors which will prevent falls and are very comfortable,” Shaaron said.

Other equipment includes syringe pump systems to provide continuous pain relief, trolleys and a ‘hover matt’ system that will enable staff to transport residents more safely from their beds to bathrooms and elsewhere in Liscombe House.

“Together, these initiatives will dramatically minimise and relieve the pain that many palliative care residents experience,” she said.

The power of philanthropy is also being felt with the completion of the first stage of the Children’s Garden in Liscombe House.

Funded through the Hazel Peat Perpetual Trust and donations from the 2019 end of year tax appeal, the once neglected courtyard has been transformed into a colourful, safe and fun play area where children and their grand and great grand parents can meet and have more quality time together.

Mandy Williamson, Lifestyle Coordinator, said the plan to open the garden this month in time for the Family Fun Day was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have, thanks to our wonderful maintenance team, been able to have completed demolishing parts of the courtyard, paint the walls bright colours, and extend the artificial grass.”

The next stage will see the kitchen garden beds filled with new soil and plants, old-fashioned games like hookey installed, as well as a water feature.

“When children are allowed back into Liscombe House, we will be led by them to create wall art and other features in this wonderful playground,” Mandy added.

The outdoor garden has been designed with the pro bono help of Carolyn Lunt, an early education specialist and landscaper. Carolyn, who is on the Rushall Park waitlist.

The importance of children’s gardens with aged care homes has been highlighted in evidence-based research which shows that older people with close intergenerational connections consistently report fewer depressive symptoms, better physical health and higher satisfaction with life.

Research also shows that children feel special when they spend time with their grand- and great-grand parents, they receive the undivided attention that their parents are often too busy to provide. This kind of unconditional love is not easily found elsewhere.


"There is nothing I would change that would make my life any better. I have two loving sons and family and I thank God every day that OCAV took me in when I had nothing," said Jill Dale, Braeside Park resident.

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

Enquire Now