Aged Care - Monday, August 14, 2017

14 August, 2017

Mr BROADBENT (McMillan) (11:29):  When you get to my age, you've not only lived aged care but you've administered aged care and you've been around aged care all of your life. I had the great pleasure for nearly 20 years of my life of being in my own show band called the Trutones, with Len McGill, Johnny Cosgrove, Mick Cook, Lloyd Poole, Frank Bunt and a few others. This week, Glen Campbell was taken by Alzheimer's. My dad succumbed to the same thing. I was thinking about Tony Wright's beautiful article in The Age on the weekend. The band was together last week for their 50-year anniversary. One song came to mind that we used every night. It was based around Glen Campbell's Gentle On My Mind. He didn't write it but he made it a hit. To me, it was a love song, not only to the boys in the band but to our families who were around us, protected us and looked after us. You have to remember that this band worked four nights a week for nearly 20 years. The lyrics to the song Gentle On My Mind say:

It's knowin' that your door is always open

And your path is free to walk

That makes me tend to leave my sleepin' bag

Rolled up and stashed behind your couch

And it's knowin' I'm not shackled

By forgotten words and bonds

And the ink stains that have dried upon some line

That keeps you in the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

That keeps you ever gentle on my mind

The second verse, where there was a key change, is:

It's not clingin' to the rocks and ivy

Planted on their columns now that bind me

Or something that somebody said because

They thought we fit together walkin'

It's just knowing that the world

Will not be cursing or forgiving

When I walk along some railroad track and find

That you're movin' on the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

And for hours you're just gentle on my mind

It steps up again and continues:

Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines

And the junkyards and the highways come between us

And some other woman's cryin' to her mother

'Cause she turned and I was gone

Then there are these amazing lines:

I still might run in silence

Tears of joy might stain my face

And the summer sun might burn me till I'm blind

But not to where I cannot see

You walkin' on the back roads

By the rivers flowin' gentle on my mind

The last verse, with the last key change, says:

I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin' cracklin' cauldron

In some train yard

My beard a rustlin' coal pile

And a dirty hat pulled low across my face

Through cupped hands 'round a tin can

I pretend to hold you to my breast and find

That you're waitin' from the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

Ever smilin', ever gentle on my mind

Today we have a shared concern about aged care and moving from working life into retirement villages. There are the pitfalls that the member for Cunningham laid out so gracefully, previous to my address. We have a care that is built around not worry for our future but the full knowledge that we have an ageing population and there are different opportunities for their care. We, as a parliament and as a government, need to actually implement legislation that protects people's vulnerability in their cases.

As I said, when you get to my age, you have lived aged care. I will tell you the experience of my parents. Mum decided she would never, ever go into care, and didn't. Careful what comes out of your mouth! For my in-laws, can I say that every day in aged care was perfect or the situations they found themselves in were perfect? No, they weren't perfect, but they were very good. Basically, across Australia we don't have crooks in the system. We have good people in the system giving very good care. But a few are out of order. I understand that.

This week we lost Glen Campbell. He played such a big part in the song Gentle On My Mind. There are the songs of Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys. Glen Campbell was involved in all of those songs—the songs of the lives of those going into old age and aged care.

Stay In Touch

Please contact my office with any issue or concerns you have. I am here to listen and represent you.
Contact Us
Russell Broadbent MP
Sign up here to receive the latest news from my inbox.