News & Events

Walk, talk and laugh in Euroa sun

February 19, 2018

For almost a decade a group of women from OCAV’s Currie Park in Euroa have gathered and walked into town for coffee. For some, walking is difficult, for others it is impossible, but that doesn’t stop them. One woman offers to push a wheelchair and another supports a resident using a walker. And along the way they welcome Pat Deller, a Euroa local who lives nearby.

The Currie Park walkers have an unwritten policy. Everyone is welcome, all walking aids are accepted and no topic of conversation is off limits. It makes the Wednesday walking sessions into town for coffee one of the weekly highlights for many in the group.


The group, made up of women from the serviced living apartments and independent units, heads off at 9am in summer and 10am in winter, walking along a footpath to a milkbar where they have a coffee and spend a while socializing. There’s a core group of about six or seven, ranging in age from 70 to almost 95 years, and numbers can drop depending on health issues.


Iren Miskolczy was one of the women who pushed for the group many years ago, keen to get some regular physical exercise. At 88 her mobility and balance are not as good as they once were, but her walker makes the weekly outing possible.


“When I was younger I was always involved in athletics clubs, running and doing high jump. So I enjoy the weekly walk,” she said.


Iren, like the other walkers has found that the walk is just one aspect of the routine. She has come to love the company and the conversations and laughs that the group shares.


“Many of us in the units are old and some have mobility problems, so it is easy to become isolated. Walking each week encourages us to get up, get organised and meet. I really love the company and the chance to laugh about life. We are good friends.”


Fellow walker Ellen Doyle-Roberts said no topic is ‘off limits’ to the group, which makes the walk and coffee stop very entertaining. “We talk and laugh about everything,” she said. “It really is a great way to start your Wednesday.”


Ellen walks with the help of a walking stick following hip surgery three years ago and then serious complications that meant she had more surgery soon after. She has knee problems but is reluctant to line up for any more surgery. Apart from the exercise Ellen agrees that the social aspect of the group is important.


“It gets people out and that’s important. Sometimes on a Wednesday I think of all the reasons I shouldn’t go and other things I need to do, but because others are part of the group, it is good motivation,” Ellen said.


“We walk past the local hospital and the other day a lady was walking out and commented that she had often seen us doing our weekly walk. We told her she was very welcome to join in if she wanted to. I think that any chance to get involved in local activities is a good idea.”

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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