• I am over 50
  • I am struggling to make ends meet
  • I want a quality affordable home
  • I want help when I need it
  • I Want A Good Life

Bryan keeps his connection with the land – Online

Bryan with iPad
by Gary, Recreation Coordinator – McLean Lodge

Bryan made Wintringham’s McLean Lodge residential aged care home in Flemington his new home in February 2020, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions impacted the lives of people living throughout Melbourne.

It didn’t take Bryan long to get involved in the different recreation activities conducted at McLean. In particular, Bryan loved going out on country drives and BBQs with the other residents, connecting with his rural roots and enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of the bush. Bryan was brought up on a dairy farm with his parents Margaret and Richard and 2 sisters in Yarram, East Gippsland, which had a population of about 2000.

Bryan has fond memories of his time on the farm and particularly remembers the hay cutting session. Bryan said that this arduous task was usually done on the hottest day of the year and they would head out early in the morning and not return until dinnertime. Byran said he never felt so sore and he looked like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz when he returned, full of straw and dust. He had cuts and blisters on his hands and his skin would be red from sunburn. Bryan’s parents retired and sold the farm and Bryan moved to Lilydale to be a farm hand on a goat, beef and dairy farm. Bryan has now retired and settled into his new home at McLean, a far cry from his roots in Yarram.

Living under the COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne has had its difficulties for Bryan. Bryan said that going on drives and having BBQs in the country was a great way for him to connect with his past and that he really misses these outings.

As part of Get Online Week, the recreation team got together with Bryan to explore ways for him to connect to his farming roots through the use of online technologies. Soon Bryan was using his iPad to search YouTube for footage of farming machinery days, the Royal Melbourne Show events, farm sheds and old farming tractors. He has also installed the ABC iView app so he can watch regional TV shows like Back Roads, Outback Ringer, Landline, and Australia Remastered at the press of a button.

Bryan said that although these shows will never replace the feeling he gets when he is out in the bush, they do make him feel happier and keep him connected and in touch with his farming heritage. He even listens to the sounds of the birds in the bush on his iPad and brings in some gum leaves in his room to make it feel authentic. If you walk past his room you might just hear kookaburras laughing and smell the sweet perfume of eucalyptus.

Thank you to the Be Connected Network for providing Wintringham with event grants for Get Online Week.

How Can We Help You?
If you are over 50, struggling to make ends meet, want a quality affordable home and help when you need it. If you want a good life then contact us on 03 9034 4824.
Who We Are

Wintringham is a not-for-profit welfare organisation created to address the scourge of elderly homelessness. Wintringham Housing is registered in the state of Victoria as a Housing Association.

How Can You Help Us?
Wintringham values the critical roles of staff and volunteers. We also welcome donations and the generosity of philanthropic partners.
Back To Top