Ryman Healthcare name Melbourne village after Indigenous leader: Deborah Cheetham AO

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Ryman continues to lead in its marketing of retirement communities.

They have selected Deborah Cheetham AO as the first Indigenous Australian to have a Ryman Healthcare retirement village named in their honour.

The name of the renowned Yorta Yorta soprano, composer, and educator is on the New Zealand-based company’s new retirement community at The Dunes in Ocean Grove, the seaside town 99km south-west of Melbourne’s CBD.

Ms Cheetham joins Weary Dunlop, Nellie Melba, John Flynn and Charles Brownlow as having their names of Ryman Healthcare’s retirement communities.

A member of the Stolen Generations and the LGBTQI community, Ms Cheetham has been an influential advocate for First Nations people and a powerful public voice in the fight against all forms of discrimination.

Ms Cheetham was among the more than 120 people who attended the unveiling of the village’s name on 7 July.

“In my conversations with Ryman I discovered a level of understanding, a duty of care to its residents and a welcoming heart,” she said.

“Ryman are pouring their understanding of country and their willingness to learn further into the bricks and mortar of their establishment.

“I’m so incredibly proud to be associated with them in this way.”

Ryman Healthcare’s Victorian Sales and Community Relations Manager Debra Richardson said it was fitting the announcement of the first Indigenous Australian to be honoured in this way took place during NAIDOC Week.

The village will be home to around 280 people when complete. The first residents moved in in December last year, and more will join them as the rest of the village is completed.

Pictured: Ryman Healthcare Australian CEO Cameron Holland, Victorian Sales and Community Relations Manager Debra Richardson, Victorian Marketing Lead Kiely Buttell, Deborah Cheetham, Victorian Construction Manager Martyn Osborne, HR Manager Emma Hogan and Victorian Operations Manager Paul Sutton.