Why is Lyndoch Living so scared of the community?

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In recent years, Lyndoch Living aged care has increasingly cut itself off from community scrutiny. Original photo: CuriousMax

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

A simple but unsettling question underpins this Sunday’s membership drive for Lyndoch Living: why is Lyndoch so scared of the community it serves?

Why has it not allowed one single person from outside Lyndoch to join its membership ranks in the past two years, if not longer?

A not-for-profit, community owned organisation is normally hunting like a hungry Scottie for members who care enough to at least, on a good day, turn up to the AGM.

Speaking of the AGM, here’s another curly question: why are there no annual reports available on the Lyndoch website, other than the most recent? Odd.

And why, in the past two years, has Lyndoch not advertised to fill any board vacancies as they arise?

Every single vacancy has been filled by invitation only.

Is it you?

Is it, gulp, me?

Are we so terrifying that we must be kept at arm’s length from poking around and tearing a hole in the delicate fabric of the Lyndoch Living image?

Surely the community is not that scary, after all, we are talking about the same people whose parents, aunts, uncles, friends and families helped to create Lyndoch in the first place.

Without the community, there would be no Lyndoch.

Believe it or not, the community still owns it.

Admittedly, I don’t expect to be on Lyndoch’s Christmas drinks list. I have never met the CEO and I have never received, like one journo, a string of love hearts on Facebook from a board member. I get that I am never going to be allowed in.

But YOU – as a member of the wider Warrnambool community – YOU should be welcomed with open arms.

So why has Lyndoch – metaphorically – gone and changed the locks while you weren’t looking?

Perhaps, and this is only a theory, Lyndoch is nervous of the potential power of members.

Under its constitution, members can, if they like, ask questions.

Maybe Lyndoch is also twitchy about members being able to call general meetings, where they can pass resolutions, like, say, a vote of no confidence.

Members don’t have to do these things…but they can.

Members, as a group, can be powerful.

Perhaps that’s why Lyndoch is so scared of the community it serves, because its comfort zone has become a place of total control and losing control is, well, terrifying.

If you apply to become a member of Lyndoch on Sunday, and I really hope you will, this theory will be tested.

Applying to become a member does not mean you will be accepted, and therein lies the challenge.

We shall see how many, if any, make it through.

[The sign-up will be held this Sunday, August 15, Civic Green, 11am to 1pm. No fee required. Forms provided. Bring a pen, wear a mask. You can find a membership form in advance here, and the Lyndoch constitution here.]

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