Jeanne Pratt launches book about the history of Shepparton Villages.
A commemorative book detailing the vibrant history of the region's first aged-care service, Shepparton Villages, was launched yesterday.
Historian Stella M Barber wrote The Passion and The Dream, featuring stories and photos from the organisation's founders through to present residents, employees and volunteers.
The launch at Tarcoola Village was also streamed live to residents in all three Shepparton Villages locations.
Philanthropist and Victorian of the Year Jeanne Pratt officially launched the book and announced a donation of $35,000 from the Pratt Foundation towards buying a new refrigerated food delivery van.
Mrs Pratt said it was pleasure to return to the Shepparton region, which she had a strong connection to through late husband Richard Pratt, to launch the book.
"We know we are living longer than our parents and our children and grandchildren will certainly live longer than us," she said.
"Living longer has brought its own challenges and Stella's book addresses how Shepparton Villages has changed over the years to deal with the challenge."
Ms Barber said the book was testament to the passion and drive of the people behind the village's development.
Shepparton Villages cofounder and inaugural board president Keppel Tumour said it was rewarding to see the villages grow into an community that cared for 650 people. Mr Tumour said Shepparton Villages was created from a vision of a caring village community.
"It began with the idea to provide accommodation and care with dignity and treat people with compassion and sensitivity and they can still keep their independence," he said.
Chief executive Kevin Bertram said the anniversary celebrations and book launch had been a great success.
"The Passion and the Dream captures the wonderful history of Shepparton Villages from the initial dream with all the passion, creativity and drive of many special people to where we are today - the prime aged care provider in rural and regional Victoria,'" he said.
By Jenna Bishop
As published in the Shepparton News, Friday November 15, 2013.