By Casey Neill
The only Croatian men’s group in Victoria has been forging friendships in Endeavour Hills since 2011.
Not-for-profit Australian Croatian Community Services (ACCS) co-ordinates the group, which mostly has members aged 65 and over.
ACCS CEO Franci Buljat recently received news that the City of Casey would continue to support the program with funding.
“We value the City of Casey’s commitment to working closely with the Croatian community, many of whom have low English proficiency and often do not take up aged care services such as homecare,” she said.
“Providing a culturally-specific social support program can often be an effective way to engage the community in other aged services.
Croatian Men’s Group members meet.
“Unfortunately, our community can leave things until it is too late, which places a higher burden on their families.
“Our program supports these men and their families, to access health and age care services.”
Nikola is one of the group’s original members and a regular attendee. He’s called Endeavour Hills home since the suburb was paddocks.
“We play bocce when the weather is good, and when it is raining we come inside and play cards,” he said.
“All of it is good. We have a lot of fun, especially on outings. We go in the bus and we all start singing.”
The Croatian Men’s Group also hosts men’s shed-themed activities and secured a regular spot using the refurbished facilities at Blairlogie Living and Learning.
Last year members made framed mirrors, gold gilded crosses and mosaic pots.
Program co-ordinator Darko Kotevski is hopeful they can exhibit their work.
The Croatian Men’s Group meets in Endeavour Hills on Mondays and is open to new attendees. Some eligibility criteria apply.
Call Lily Silic on 9689 5811 or 0451 989 188 for more information.