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Julie O'Bryan

chats with Nicky Vanderaa
“I just want to be in control of my own life!”

Finding Julie O’Bryan should have been easy. After all she lives at Princes Court Homes. She used to have an independent living unit in Princes Court Village but has moved to a room in a wing of the Aged Care facility. She has her own bedroom and bathroom and shares a living area with up to five other residents. The first time I call, I naively expect her to be in her room, but the office tells me that she may or may not be. They ring the nursing staff to see if they know where she is. Nobody knows, until, by chance someone mentions this is the day Julie goes to TAFE. The office promises to make an appointment for me. But again, wires cross, and when I arrive Julie has gone off to a country music concert at the Independent Living Village. I am beginning to wonder if this meeting will ever eventuate, but I don’t need to worry. Julie never misses an appointment she has made herself. She is reliable and organised and can manage her own life. She keeps track of her appointments in a Quilter’s Diary. She and her oldest sister Christine both have the same diary. I have visited Christine in Melbourne and admired the log cabin quilt she made by hand as she travelled around Australia on a camping holiday with her family. It is Christine who made the pretty blue and pink quilt on Julie’s bed. I ask; “What makes you mad, Julie?” A look of alarm passes over her face. I hastily rephrase my question.

Other Stories

Mallee Living Histories

The Mallee’s Living Histories full editions are available for purchase from Princes Court Community Living Shop.