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Henley Brae Retirement Community Celebrates 21 Years of Service

1 Dec, 2023

It’s been said that “Ageing is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and growth.”  

If you want to get a sense of what that looks like, you don’t have to go much further than Henley Brae Retirement Community in the picturesque Southern Highlands.  

Only an hour out of Sydney, and a short drive to Bowral, Henley Brae Retirement Community is tucked away at the foot of Mount Alexandra Reserve. Where quality of life meets the idyllic outdoors, this community at the gateway of the stunning Southern Highlands is exactly what people have needed to live a fulfilling retirement.  

Residents who call Henley Brae home are stalwarts in the community—retired teachers and lecturers, homemakers, businesspeople, tradesmen, doctors, community volunteers and a host of others who have spent years contributing to the fabric of our communities.  

Stunning landscaped grounds and well-maintained facilities play host to a diverse range of recreational activities, and organised social outings and events.  

Residents enjoy opportunities to engage in further learning through U3A courses covering literature, language, music, history and more. Bridge and Mahjong, Art and Sewing, Men’s social group, Health and Wellbeing classes, garden and walking groups are also popular activities in this community.  

At Henley Brae, Residents enjoy a retirement lifestyle they thoroughly deserve.  

And if that’s not reason enough to celebrate, there’s another reason to pop the bubbly, as Henley Brae has turned a youthful 21 years old.  

Celebrations at this ‘coming of age’, was a party for the ages according to residents and staff at Henley Brae.  

Guests enjoyed a High Tea-style party complete with cupcakes, finger sandwiches, mini quiches, scones and of course a glass or two of bubbly—all to a backdrop of balloons and a Spotify playlist curated by the residents themselves with favourite songs from when they were 21. 

Residents were also invited to share photos of themselves at 21 with a ‘Then and Now’ slide showcase that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. 

Dan Dwyer, CEO of Fresh Hope Communities raised a toast acknowledging the milestone and the community of residents and staff that make Henley Brae a truly wonderful place to call home. 

Residents were equally enthusiastic about the celebration and appreciative of all who made it happen: 

 “A very big thank you for a wonderful afternoon. Again you have spoilt us with all the thoughtful arrangements and very special catering.” 

 “The collection of photos on the screen of our younger selves was so interesting and fun, what a great idea!!!” 

 “The food was delightful and such a large gathering too.   Also, a thank you to the other Fresh Hope [Communities] helpers who made the afternoon so enjoyable.”

Community. Belonging. Enjoying life to the fullest. That’s what many residents you may speak with would say makes this retirement community what it is.  

Dutch immigrants, Paul and Olga, who left the Netherlands with little more than the clothes on their backs in the 1960s, have been residents at Henley Brae for the last 4 years and were amongst those who came to celebrate. They believe they are still living the dream. Paul impresses the point, “It’s true you know. We’re living the dream. Given our background, all the trials and tribulations and all we have come through, this is peaceful, it’s centrally located and we can still go out and about and do things.”   

Belinda Edwards, General Manager of Retirement Living for Fresh Hope Communities shared, “As an organisation, we exist to create spaces that cultivate belonging and places that feel like home. Henley Brae has exemplified this for 21 years and it’s testament to the staff and residents that have formed such an incredibly warm and close-knit community. It’s a pleasure to be here to celebrate this milestone with them.”  

So as this party winds down and last drinks are served, one thing is certain, Henley Brae Retirement Community is just getting started. For these youthful retirees there’s more to broaden their understanding in and contribute to, new experiences to have and more opportunities for meaningful connections.   

Age is just a number as they say.