Updates from the Ryman community

Nellie Melba

Nellie Melba sisters stick together

Written by Margot Taylor
on May 03, 2021

Margaret and Mary Seenan are sisters who have generally led life together.

Embarking on their newest adventure, a move to a stunning two-bedroom apartment at Ryman Healthcare’s Nellie Melba Retirement Village in Wheelers Hill, has been no different.

“What’s important to us is at Ryman the support is here to keep us together,” Mary says.

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“Our doctor has said it’s the best 20-year plan she has seen.”

From both qualifying as teachers in Glasgow, teaching in Australia, owning businesses together and living together for the past 34 years, the sisters have a special bond.

Ryman Healthcare’s continuum of care, from low care and high care to specialist dementia care, will enable this to continue.

“We have many memories of growing up in Glasgow, and we have all of the memories from further down the road in Mulgrave, and now coming in at this age together allows us to make memories here,” Margaret says.

Having dedicated their careers to education, they chose their spacious second-floor apartment in the village’s new Violetta building enjoying its proximity to nearby schools.

“We can hear children, which is wonderful, but don’t have to teach them!” Margaret says.

Margaret and Mary retired in 2018 having spent the past several years opening and operating three tutoring businesses.

“We both started teaching in Glasgow and the children were great,” Margaret says.

“Most of the students and their parents valued their education because they saw it as a way out, they saw education as a way to move up the ladder.”

The sisters never lost their passion for the sector, but retirement, and the prospect of moving into Nellie Melba, had been a welcome new chapter.

“We lived down the road, so we saw the village going up and something appeared in our letterbox with people we knew from our parish in the advertising,” Margaret says.

“We certainly cornered one of the people we knew here and said ‘ok, tell us about it, are you happy? Would you do it again?’

“The feedback was that it was very good.”

Ryman’s proactive response to COVID-19, including moving vulnerable staff into the village, was further confirmation the move was right.

“One morning during lockdown we walked past here, and people were doing an exercise class from their balconies and everybody was just having fun,” Mary says.

“In time to come when people are deciding about aged care, people will be looking at the history of how a place coped during COVID, and everything we know about what Ryman did was excellent.”

“I think the fact staff moved in is testament to the quality of people that work here,” Margaret says.

Having settled into their new home, Margaret and Mary are enjoying and gradually participating in all the village has to offer, including a swimming pool, café, bowling green, cinema and weekly Happy Hour get togethers.

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