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14 January 2019

Melbourne adventures

Once a week, generally on a Monday morning, the Surrey Hills Community gathers early at the café near the front entrance. There is an air of anticipation as they look forward to another day of adventure, food, friendships, perhaps a game of snooker, some shopping or even a history lesson.

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Needless to say bus trips are a highlight on the weekly calendar. As one person put it, ‘It gives you a sense of independence and yet makes you feel that you are not alone.’ When asked why she especially enjoys attending the Morning Melodies program, Antoinette replied, ‘It makes me forget that I am in aged care.’

Indeed the monthly outings to Morning Melodies at a local hotel are a hot favourite among the community and often there is a wait list for those who wish to attend.

As one of the longer outings, the group sets off for a local hotel at 9:30am. Upon arrival the group enjoys morning tea before joining other members of the community in singing along and even dancing to the live entertainment provided.

Marie, who initiated these particular bus outings, comments, ‘We all have our moods lifted by music.’

When things quieten down, clients tuck into a pub lunch, relaxing and chatting over their meal. Depending on who attends there is always time for a game of snooker before they head off at around 2pm.

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Recently the group ventured over to the Abbotsford Convent and stumbled upon a gem! With buildings over 100 years old that form a rich part of Melbourne’s history, this is now one of the largest arts precincts in Australia and home to over 100 different artists.

Seated outside at the convent bakery, clients enjoyed their cake and coffee while watching young children laughing and playing, dogs waiting wistfully at their owners feet, and cheeky birds darting in to steal some treats while no one was watching.

In a bid to find some more information team members discovered an app on their phone which enabled them to take clients on a small self-guided tour. Reflecting on a sombre piece of history and filled with appreciation for the heritage that they had discovered, clients returned home sharing stories of their visit with the rest of the community. Before the day was out, requests for further outings there had begun to pour in. A sign of a successful day!

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