The rooms of Nellie Melba Retirement Village serve many purposes.
They are a home and workplace to many, a place to grab a coffee with friends, even somewhere for people to get their hair cut and health checked.
But it wasn’t until 14-year-old Ying Yeo, the grandson of residents Lily and Loy Yeo, visited, that the village also became an exam hall.
While staying with his grandparents late last year, Ying, who lives in Switzerland, sat nine exams in an empty serviced apartment at the village.
Nellie Melba sales advisor Liane Kirwan said she liaised with Ying’s school in Geneva ahead of his visit so she could act as the exam supervisor.
“I met with Ying 15 minutes before each exam, took him to the serviced apartment, allowed him five minutes to read through the paper before the time started.
“Just before the end of the allocated time, I returned to stop the timer and collect the completed exam paper which I then scanned and emailed to his teacher.”
Liane says Ying and his siblings Annabelle, Isabelle and Jhonti, who also stayed at the village, added a “younger dynamic” to village life.
“I love the idea that we can provide solutions, not only for our residents and their families, but for the community.”
Ying says while he is yet to receive his exam results, he was “very happy” to sit his exams at Nellie Melba and become an honorary resident.
“I was able to use the library, a spare apartment, the billiard table, swimming pool and gym.
“My brother and sisters were also able to visit the Dandenongs, Botanical Gardens and Myer Christmas display on the Nellie Melba bus.
“Liane was a great help.
“Without her help I would not have been able to visit my grandparents for Christmas.”
Ying does not have another trip to Australia booked, but he hopes to return to the corridors of Nellie Melba, perhaps with more down time than exam time, one day.
“I would like to go back soon!
“I miss my grandparents a lot, but I’m glad they are so happy at Nellie Melba.”