'It's about time we promoted positive ageing' 

30 May 2015

Revellers came from all over Melbourne to kick up their heels and their wheels at the Celebration of Life at Collingwood Town Hall on Wednesday 25 May.

Manager of the Brotherhood of St Laurence Sambell Lodge aged care residence in Clifton Hill, Paul Brophy has organised the biannual event since 2006. It draws together residents, staff, volunteers, family and friends from Sambell Lodge and about 20 aged care organisations each time it is held, attracting 300 people this time round.

The theme of this Celebration, Rio Carnival, evoked the vitality of the carnival and the triumphant spirit of the Olympics set to take place in Rio later this year.

‘It’s a big collaboration. I work with people from aged care organisations far and wide. This year we had people from Preston, Northcote, Camberwell, Balwyn, South Melbourne, South Yarra, St Kilda…everyone wants to get on board when they hear about it,’ Paul said.

‘It’s also a chance to bring together people from different cultural communities - the Greek community, the Chinese community, the Indigenous community.’

Larger than life celebrity priest Father Bob Maguire opened the event, with warm words of welcome, while Sambell Lodge friend, Len Miller lit the room with good spirits, power- walking in with the “Olympic torch”.

‘Len’s brother lived at Sambell Lodge, and even though his brother has passed away, he still volunteers with us,’ Paul said. ‘It just shows the sense of community.’

City of Yarra Mayor Roberto Colanzi acknowledged Traditional Owners and paid respects to their Elders, past and present. Then 27-piece big band, the Huffers and the Puffers got people up on their feet, their walking frames and in their wheelchairs to the dance floor.

‘It’s about time we got on the front foot and promoted positive ageing, and there’s no better way than people in wheelchairs dancing,’ Paul said. ‘There’s a tidal wave of baby boomers who are retiring and are about to enter aged care residences, so it’s important to recognise that and support them to age well.’

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes