Anyone that knows Lynette, knows that each day she gets off the taxi at The Hub she will ask, “Coffee, cake, horse? “ with the anticipated response of staff saying ‘Yes, it’s horse riding day.’
Lynette joined The Bridge in 1992, after the closure of Caloola Institution, Sunbury.
Caloola commenced in 1864 as an Industrial School and was redeveloped in 1879 as a Lunatic Asylum, with substantial growth from 1891 to 1914; Caloola was maintained as a psychiatric hospital. Later in 1962, Coloola was reformed as a training centre for the intellectually disabled, housing and supporting people with a disability, after the closure of Caloola in 1992, Lynette and 2 participants moved to a purpose built DHHS house in Noble Park, where she still lives today.
When Lynette commenced with The Bridge, her behaviour was reflective of someone who had spent the majority of their life in an institution. Fiona Curran, Connects Area Manager remembers, “Lynette was in my original core group and I vividly remember the baby steps I had to take to even introduce her to making basic life choices. Choosing between tea and coffee was a difficult task for Lynette and she became overwhelmed.” “Lynette has a can do attitude, she is exceptionally considerate and compassionate, which is evident in the way she cares for others around her.” Fiona says.
At home Lynette is described by her housemates as the ‘mother hen’ and is always keen to help out.
Finally horse riding day does arrive at The Hub, Lynette is so excited because she gets to go to McDonald’s for her coffee and chocolate muffin and then gets to go to RDA at the Balmoral Equestrian Centre Narre Warren to ride her favourite horse, Lilly.
Lynette can be heard singing her favourite hymn, Kumbia My Lord, while riding around the arena impressing the staff and Volunteers with amazing ability to sing and ride a horse simultaneously. When not singing Lynette will be welcoming everyone into the arena with a hearty “Hello Darl”, like everything Lynette puts her mind too, her horse riding skills have gone from strength to strength.
Fiona reflects on the past and time spent with Lynette, “The lady we see today is exceptionally different to the person who joined us over 20 years ago from an institutionalised setting. She is a strong willed, independent woman, who advocates her wants and needs in every aspect of her life, bringing joy and laughter to everyone around her.”