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Just less than 80% of our residents are single, older women, the fastest growing group of people at risk of homelessness in Australia.
News & Events
Robyn happy with her move ‘home’
October 11, 2017
Robyn Graf was almost 70 when she decided it was time to go home. Once she had made the decision to return to Melbourne, a series of coincidences and unexpected detours led her ‘home’ to Rushall Park a couple of years ago.
Robyn was born in Essendon and spent more than 30 years in Melbourne before moving to the Gold Coast where her second son was born. Her parents followed and so did her brother and his family. But as the years passed Robyn realised she wanted to head south and settled for Katoomba in the Blue Mountains for a while, all the time knowing Melbourne was her eventual destination.
“I put my place in Katoomba up for sale and was visiting Melbourne when a friend suggest I come and visit her friend at Rushall Park. I had never even heard of the place, but she assured me there was something really special about it,” Robyn said. She realised her friend was right.
She was accepted and while waiting for a cottage to come up, she moved to Ballarat and then to Tasmania to help renovate part of a friend’s house until her Rushall Park cottage was renovated and ready for her.
Already she is making lifestyle changes to suit her new environment. Robyn decided she no longer needs to have a car that she rarely uses because of the public transport options nearby. She uses public transport of go into the city for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra events that are performed in the Arts precinct.
Her love of music also attracted her to the fortnightly music group at Rushall Park where she has made new friends and heard some beautiful music. Each gathering a resident presents a program of music for the group. Robyn is also an enthusiastic member of the poetry appreciation group.
While Robyn, who is a keen walker around the Clifton Hill area, is making adjustments to her life, she is not ‘pulling up the crochet rug’ – the stereotype often given to people who are ageing.
“This place is wonderfully social and fun with beautiful neighbours. And there is a great creative energy and love of life and enjoyment here,” she said.
Robyn misses her two sons and four grandchildren, but is happy she made the move back to Melbourne and a visitors’ cottage at Rushall Park means they can stay near her when they too visit Melbourne. “To me home is where I grew up and where most of my important milestones happened – this is where my strong sense of identity was created.”
“I have never been fazed by change and moving to a new place. In fact, I see it as an opportunity to start a new chapter.” The new places and people are also material for the stories and poems Robyn loves to write.
“Writing for me is my way of painting a memory and holding onto certain moments.”