150 Years Stories

150 Years of Stories

Many people and events have made up OCAV's 150 years. We would like you to meet some of the people and find out about the events that helped shape the organisation.

Jane Glynn, receptionist at Liscombe House, has had her dream come true: winning a competition that has seen the creation of a stunning communal garden for residents at Leith Park.

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The weather in July 1869, as now, was rainy and cold but it certainly did not dampen the spirits of old colonists’ Judge Pohlman, George Coppin and J B Were who travelled from Queen Street to North Fitzroy to lay the foundation stones of the first two cottages in what was then known as the Old Colonists’ Almshouses.

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Graham Papworth first heard from his regular taxi driver, Tony, that a unit might be free at Leith Park. He didn’t ask how his taxi driver knew, but he believed him. Graham and his wife, Georgina, followed up the lead and last year moved into Unit 60 at Leith Park in the area known as The Glen.

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Creating garden sanctuaries at Braeside Park has become a passion for Kristy Smyth. She helps some residents look after their existing gardens and also creates new, lovely garden spaces for residents who can no longer dig and plant, but who still love to see flowers blooms and smell the roses.

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Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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Capturing the essence of artist Lou Anderson would confound any portrait artist. Should it reveal the teacher, the renowned ceramicist, the resilient parent or the 1980s hipster who helped establish galleries and artistic communities in Victoria?

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Since the foundation of the Old Colonists, residents have enjoyed a mix of independence and care. Free to live their own lives and come and go as they wished, while knowing that if they needed care or nursing, the nurse or carer would be aware and care would be unobtrusively available.

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Behind every successful Association are rules and regulations. The Old Colonists’ was no exception – with a total of 23 rules laid out in its first annual report.

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Daniel Harvey Patterson’s will, which dedicated money to build nine cottages in Rushall Park in 1993, is the most substantial donation to elderly Victorians that the Association has enjoyed. Together with the donation by John Hunter Patterson, his brother, to build two cottages in 1925, the Patterson Brothers’ philanthropy was both quiet and important.

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Built in 1880, the Clarke Cottage was endowed by Ernest Clarke in memory of his parents, William and Elizabeth.

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CEO Phillip Wohlers has overseen some big changes at OCAV. But their model of personalised care and community building is something that won't change under his 'watch'.

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