This page is to document certain happenings at a certain group of retirement units owned by the Laura and Alfred West Cottage Homes Incorporated and administered by Anglicare in the form of Rude Rhonda M. Callaghan. To be fair, the incidents recounted below don't form the totality of the lives of those criticised. No doubt, there are many who can recount the kind and selfless acts done by Rude Rhonda Callaghan, Deidre Knight, Patricia Buhagiar, Ben Moore and that grass cutter.
The faulty security lights were eventually fixed after more than six months of not operating properly. They were easily and cheaply fixed. All the talk about digging trenches was untrue and a symptom of slack bureaucrats. The numerous electricians who fiddled with the power box were incompetent. Even the crazy grass cutter has got a new ride-on mower and which doesn't cut the grass at dirt level.
This website is a protest on behalf of people who are little regarded by the many bureaucracies that control their lives. However...
Last month I drove a neighbour from our Laura and Alfred West Cottage Home units to the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he underwent a melanoma biopsy. (Tests later proved it malignant.)
Whilst we were away, Rhonda M. Callaghan from the Elizabeth office of Anglicare, who administer the units, used office keys to enter our units.
Rude Rhonda’s visit wasn’t simply to inspect the units to determine if repairs were required, but to see if we made our beds, washed our dishes, mopped the floor, left articles strewn about, and to examine the intricate details of our lives. She determined both units were dirty and required further cleaning.
So what was the problem with this? Well, Rude Rhonda was doing a lifestyle inspection as well as a building inspection. Anglicare now believes it has the right to monitor tenants’ lives and give instructions for change despite this not being part of the tenancy contract.
During other inspections 25-year-old Anglicare employees have given unrequested lifestyle instruction to sixty-five-year-old men and women. This bureaucratic intrusion reduces a person’s sense of self-mastery and self-respect, and to add insult to injury it is the tenant who pays indirectly for this humiliating inspection.
Anglicare is taking advantage of low-income tenants who have nowhere else to go. The heart is dying.
15 April 2015
Anglicare evicts woman
Rhonda Callaghan of Anglicare evicted a woman from her Laura and Alfred West Cottage Homes Incorporated two-bedroom unit in Elizabeth South because she married a younger man, according to her neighbour.
Anglicare said the woman was too young, anyway, to be living in the units, but it was them who rented it to her in the first place. The woman was fifty and the units are usually rented to those over 55. However, there have been others living there under the age of fifty who were not evicted.
19 April 2015
The nature of betrayal
Anglicare occupational activity officer Deidre Knight’s invitation to the residents of the Laura and Alfred West units in Elizabeth initially seemed innocuous enough: Armchair Tai Chi classes at the Midway Road Community House in Elizabeth East. Gold Coin donation. Tea and biscuits.
But something didn’t seem right as the tiny classes had more welfare industry employees making up the numbers when they should have been doing something useful. They claimed to be monitoring the increasingly unenthusiastic participants, most in their seventies.
After one class the biscuits and tea were kept back in the kitchen until the arrival of welfare bureaucrats and two State politicians, Tony Piccolo and Lee Odenwalder, and their Minders.
The three participants left in the class were outnumbered by the nine bureaucrats, politicians and their minders.
When I argued with Piccolo about the Housing Trust, Deidre Knight intervened and told him that I was her client. That was new to me. She and the two minders then began taking pictures of me next to Piccolo, for his Facebook page, and for Anglicare promotional material.
Deidre Knight then ostentatiously handed me some leaflets from Helping Hand that were inapplicable, but the act of doing so felt insulting and humiliating. It felt like a calculated multi-layered betrayal.
30 April 2015
The Case of the short grass
This minor issue shows the intractable nature of the Anglicare bureaucracy.
A number of tenants at an Anglicare administered group of retirement units in Elizabeth were unhappy about the lawn mower crew. They cut the grass so low that the roots and bare ground were exposed, and this every two weeks in the blaze of summer. This was after one tenant painstakingly watered the ground to turn the yellowed roots back to green. The cost of the water and grass cutting are paid indirectly by the tenants.
At least one tenant, an 85-year-old woman who does most of the gardening, avoids contact with the owner of the lawn mowing business since an incident where she asked him to stop poisoning the shrubs she had planted. His reaction resembled that of a bully intimidating an elderly woman. The tenants, aged from 63 to 90, stay inside their units when the grass cutting crew arrives.
I asked the foreman to cut the grass less close to the ground ― a simple request. Despite his reputation the reaction surprised me. He said he wasn’t going to allow me to interfere with his contract with Anglicare. I warned that I might complain to Anglicare, but didn’t. Nevertheless, the Anglicare housing manager, Rhonda Callaghan, was at my door the next day. “Can I come in?” she asked.
Once inside she said she was investigating a complaint the grass cutter had made against me. Against me, what complaint? She wouldn’t explain, but said he’d phoned her and she was here to say that he was doing a good job, and the grass would continue to be cut every two weeks close to the ground.
It wouldn’t have taken her any effort to tell the grass cutter to raise the blade so the grass would stay above a certain height, like the foreshore area at Glenelg, or around the military graves at the West Terrace Cemetery. But the issue with Anglicare was not the grass. It was whether the tenants had the right to expect that their simple aspirations would be shown respect. The answer was, no.
This shows the intractable nature of the Anglicare administration with its imperative to show tenants their views over such a simple matter as grass won’t be considered. And these people are disabled, elderly and affirm.
4 May 2015
Distorting the History - Anglicare-style
Two “before and after” photographs appearing in the Laura and Alfred West Cottage Homes Inc Annual Report of 2014 show the front gardens of an Anglicare-administered group of units in Elizabeth.
The “before” photograph is a patch of bare earth in the heat of summer while the “after” photograph shows woodchips and planted shrubbery. A third picture shows the staff from Aussie Home Loans who spent a day covering the area with woodchips and planting native shrubbery. These unpaid volunteer office workers were clearly exhausted after their work. It was a commendable effort.
However, the Anglicare grass cutter and quasi-gardener ignored the new plants and most of them died. Weeds sprung forth that had existed within the soil plus those that came with the woodchips. The result was an ugly mess that must have saddened the volunteers who later drove by to see the result of their efforts.
Then came along a tenant named Annette. She suffered extreme depression, but nevertheless spent twenty hours a week pulling out the weeds. When Annette moved to Tasmania, Meg, the new tenant in her unit, continued the effort to kill the weeds and nourish the remaining shrubbery. Trish also helped when she moved into unit 7 after Jane died from cancer.
But the most active gardener was Jean Porter, 85, who brought hundreds of shrubs with her from her previous residence. She also pruned the overgrown trees that were choked with weeds. She worked tirelessly for two months, putting the rest of us to shame.
As the greenery blossomed it was then that Deidre Knight from Anglicare arrived with her camera. Soon after, and the tenants weren’t told, she published the “before and after” photographs in the 2014 Annual Report, and attributed the improved gardens solely to the Aussie Home Loans Staff.
It was true, they had done a hard day’s work, but the result was singularly ineffective. It was Meg, Annette, Trish, and mostly Jean Porter who improved the gardens. But instead of acknowledging the initiative of our aged tenants, and the Anglicare grass cutter who poisoned some of Jean’s shrubbery, Deidre Knight falsified the history by attributing the improvements solely to the Aussie Home Loans Staff.
And what about Anglicare’s promised follow-up of volunteers and fertiliser to improve the gardens further? This never happened. It was Jean Porter who paid for new shrubs, fertiliser and lime for the soil.
21 May 2015
Through the looking glass:
A peephole into Anglicare's real attitude to
elderly people in Elizabeth.
The grass cutter won't accept critical suggestions gladly. When I arrived home one afternoon and was entering my retirement unit, the 30-year-old grass cutter rushed over to my car, and stood with his blower near the open window. He opened his mouth wide to display his teeth and held my stare. I checked later to see if he had actually been removing built-up leaves in the gutter, but nothing had changed. It was a show of .......perhaps, letting a bunch of old folk know who really ruled the roost.
25 May 2015