AFL legend compares stories with Lendlease residents across Melbourne

Iconic Hawthorn Football player and AFL royalty, Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico visited six Lendlease retirement villages in September 2016, to share stories about his impressive football career, but admits he was more eager for “a cup of tea and a great chat” with residents, whose fascinating stories proved to be his favourite part of the experience.

“I always begin with the question, ‘has everyone been to the MCG?’” says Dipper, who guarantees such a simple question provides the most interesting responses.

“Some of the ladies said they were there after the war. One even told us how she snuck a kiss from a soldier while her mother searched for her across the stadium,” he said.

While an afternoon of tea and tales gave residents the chance to recount some of their favourite memories, the Brownlow Medallist says that it’s life within these villages which really provides opportunities for people to continue creating more great stories.

“When I walked into a village, everyone seemed to be doing something. There were art classes taking place, people were playing bocce, others were painting or playing cards. I went on some tours and really enjoyed what people showed me,” he says.

The unique and often diverse interests of residents is what makes Lendlease villages so desirable, as they have been designed to cater for everyone’s needs. Among the selection of villages Dipper visited on his tour, amenities included everything from vegetable gardens to Men’s Sheds, as well as bridge clubs and village buses - connecting residents to nearby suburbs and cities.

For Dipper, staying active in the community is the key to creating more cherished stories in life. He spoke to residents about how he does this, including his involvement in the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

Dipper has been an ambassador of the charity for 14 years and at the time of his talks was preparing for the charity’s 250km Cambodia Challenge.

The challenge, which Dipper completed in November 2016, along with the foundation’s founder, Walter Mikac, and a host of others, included trekking and cycling through the Cambodian country side over seven days.

The challenge – which raised just under $90,000, with Lendlease Retirement Living residents contributing to the total – gave Dipper time to reflect on his most important memories and stories, reiterating how important it was to create stories with a community of people around you.

“It’s all about being with other people,” he says.

Begin your journey with Lendlease Retirement Living today and continue to create stories that define your life. Click here or call 1800 550 550 to book a personalised tour today.

Dipper visited the following villages as part of his September 2016 ‘Afternoon Tea & AFL Tales’ event: Caesia Gardens, Classic Residences Brighton, Fiddlers Green, Port Phillip Village, Tannoch Brae and The Village Williamstown.