A Blast From the Past

At Home
Antonio and Rosalba


A gem of a book arrived in our office this week.

“At Home – A Celebration of Victoria’s Public Housing Community” was produced in 1999 to simultaneously mark Housing Week and the International Year of Older Persons.

There are 18 profiles of public tenants, mostly aged over 80, including Eva from Warracknabeal who was 101.

Eva was interviewed with her friend and neighbour Ruby. “She’s a good neighbour and friend; we look out for each other. Ruby and five of my closest friends – of course they’re a lot younger than me! – go down to the local hotel for a counter meal and a bit of a natter when it’s someone’s birthday or on special occasions. I do enjoy the occasional beer.”

Another highlight is the profile of Frank and Rhonda from central Victoria. Frank was born at Framlingham and worked as an Aboriginal Crime Prevention Officer. Together he and Rhonda took in and cared for 34 foster children, on top of raising their two daughters.

“Through a friend, we were asked to help out a baby girl who needed a home for a few weeks. Months later we were asked to assist another child. It was then we discovered that we weren’t registered. So, after a four-week training course, we became foster parents. Well, that was six years ago…. and here we are 34 children later! We enjoy giving these kids a safe, secure, friendly and homely environment and we’d have to say they give us just as much back. Rhonda is wonderful with them.”

Thanks to Peter Soper for sharing his amazing archive with us.