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A century not out, telling the tales of a fascinating life

AT 100 years old, Willaura’s Alma Sloper has been recognised as part of the Victorian Government’s Recognising Senior Victorians initiative, celebrating notable Victorians living in aged care.

The initiative is designed to celebrate the diverse and interesting lives of 50 Victorians living in aged care across the state, following a tough year caused by the global pandemic.

Staff and volunteers will also be recognised, with ‘shout outs’ for those who have gone above and beyond while working in Victorian aged care facilities last year.

Disability, ageing and carers minister, Luke Donnellan said the awards were a chance to recognise the resilience shown by aged care residents and staff during the pandemic. 

“(Last year) was an incredibly challenging year for Victoria’s aged care residents and staff, which is why it’s more important than ever to recognise the lives of seniors in aged care, and the efforts of aged care staff who have worked so hard to keep them safe,” he said.

“Recognising senior Victorians celebrates the lives and contributions of Victorians living in aged care by capturing and sharing their enduring life stories, which enriches us all.”

Alma grew up on a sheep farm in Ellerslie and said she didn’t have the opportunity to go to high school due to her remote location.

“I used to walk a mile to (primary) school every day and I’d get chased by clubbers (birds),” she said.

“I stayed at school until I was 14 and then had to work as a babysitter and house cleaner because there was no bus to the high school in Warrnambool.”

Alma’s daughter, Rosemary McIntosh, said girls were lucky if they got an education in that time period.

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