Aura welcomes the Older Women's Network
All Aura Holdings’ villages strive to build strong relationships with their local communities. We believe our residents and the community benefit from these shared experiences.
We welcome community groups who share our values to come into our villages to provide opportunities for our residents to stay active and engage in a range of activities.
The group is part of a national network promoting and supporting the needs and interests of older women. As change-makers and advocates, members of the Older Women’s Network are committed to the rights, dignity, wellbeing and healthy ageing of women. Members range in age from 40-something to 90-something! There are 11 branches established around Queensland.
Queensland President and President of the Sunshine Coast branch Lee Hodgson (pictured above) is passionate about the work undertaken by the Network. “We help put a focus on women of the older generation. After working two jobs and raising a child on my own and working from the age of 18 to 69, I wanted to give back to the community and do something worthwhile for other women so I became involved in the Older Women’s Network,’’ Lee says.
“But it’s not all about advocacy, most of our branches get their members out and about socially so they are not isolated. It is important not to sit around and look at four walls but to have connections with others. Our members make friends, share their stories, gain skills and have new experiences. Regular guest speakers are invited to our meetings on topics relating to our lives.’’
Lee says the Maroochydore branch had been meeting at the local Neighbourhood Centre but outgrew the space. “We were kindly offered a room to meet at The Avenue. And we just love it in this big, new space in a central location. We are getting more members since moving here and we just love the people who live and work at The Avenue. Several of the residents have become our members.’’
The Older Women’s Network established a Lutwyche branch in August 2021 and meets monthly at The Atrium Lutwyche on Brisbane’s northside.
Leonie Swainston, the Queensland Co-ordinator of OWN, (pictured far left) said Aura Holdings and The Atrium’s sales consultant Rebecca Simpson had been very supportive in the establishment of the new branch that already has 18 members.
“I just love seeing lifelong friendships being formed after women come to our meetings. I know several lovely stories of women who had been feeling quite low but then they came along to a meeting and discovered a sense of belonging. Feeling valued can change their perspective and turn things around for some women,’’ Leonie says.
“I love that the Older Women’s Network is able to raise an awareness of issues affecting older women and give them a voice. We also recognise women’s achievements and provide information to suit their stage of life.’’
Leonie hopes OWN can expand into more of Aura’s communities. “Aura has been a delight to work with. I have really enjoyed the working relationship with Aura.’’