We received an enquiry during the week from a colleague in the sector to see what our views were on continued to do something on Australia Day in retirement villages.
It was a conversation they were struggling with given the public debate around changing the date for our national day.
It is a debate that needs to be had, respectfully.
Respectfully means that in our role as Village Professionals if our residents want to celebrate Australia Day, then it should be encouraged.
We have written in our newsletters and openly discussed at our networking days the important role social engagement plays in keeping residents healthy and active. Australia Day is a day on a Village’s Activity Calendar that many residents continue to look forward to, with many having deeply rooted traditions.
These are traditions of residents coming together and being social in community centres. Of barbeques and long lunches. Of a happy hour that lasts for hours.
We must always remember that we have the privilege of working in someone’s home. That is an important word – home. They say home is where the heart is. In a retirement village, a healthy beating heart is the social environment we foster and encourage.
So long as our residents do not do anything to disrupt the quiet enjoyment of others – then why shouldn’t they be encouraged to continue their traditions. Even if the debate happens within our communities, keeping it respectful won’t disrupt this beating heart.