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Peter Abbey is thriving thanks to a lifetime of participation with Scope.

His journey began 60 years ago when he started kindergarten at the Geelong branch of Scope (formerly the Spastic Children’s Society). He has since gone on to attend school and enter supported employment and is now enjoying his retirement at Waddington Court Supported Independent Living in Geelong.

“Peter’s story is really interesting,” says Amanda Handley, General Manager Social Connections. “Scope has been walking beside him the whole time. Not in front, not behind – beside him”.

A family affair

Peter’s involvement with Scope has always been a family affair. The family have been regular supporters of fundraising and awareness campaigns and events over the years. His mother Joan formed an auxiliary group to raise funds for Scope through lunches and fetes -something Peter remembers fondly.

His father Norm, a real estate developer, sat on the Board of the Spastic Society and assisted in the purchase, through the collection of community donations, and management of land for Shannon Park Social Connections. Norm also received an Order of Australia medal for his work, including establishing a Parents and Friends Association in 1963, for Scope.

Peter and his school mates (fifth from the left)
Peter and his school mates (fifth from the left)

From kinder to retirement

After kindergarten and school, Peter engaged in skills development workshops with Scope to prepare him to enter the workforce at Shannon Park Industries. He remembers his time there stamping boxes being “fun and exciting”.

After four years of supported employment, Peter retired to spend more time engaging in his other hobbies. He still enjoys cooking, attending Social Connections twice a week and working out at the local gym with his friends. He is a dedicated gym junkie, attending every Tuesday without fail. He routinely recovers from his workouts with a hot coffee and cake. He also loves a spot of shopping and can’t walk past a good bargain!

A long-standing relationship

Disability Support Worker Troy Marks, tells us Peter has always been a social butterfly. Troy has worked with Peter at Shannon Park for 22 years – more than a third of the time Peter has been involved with Scope.

“One of my favourite memories with Peter is the day he finished at Shannon Park Industries. I remember he said, ‘I’m retired now!’ He wanted everyone to know that now he was retired, he would be going to more coffee shops!” Troy said.

Reflecting on their relationship, Troy says: “I think Peter sees me as a somebody that he can rely on and talk to about certain subjects, like if he’s upset or happy about something”.

“I’ve seen Peter grow throughout his journey; he’s getting older now but he’s still the same man. He’s just as passionate and happy to meet new people and catching up with friends. He loves seeing so many people he knows, he loves going out in the community. He knows people everywhere!”

When asked about the forward journey, Troy says: “I see Peter in the future socialising with more people and making more friends. I look forward to supporting him to continue enjoying retirement life and getting out and about in the community”.

2 men are looking at the camera
2 men are looking at the camera

Scope 75 years

Now and Then – Sally Williams, House Supervisor

As we mark Scope’s 75th birthday, we sat down with Sally Williams, House Supervisor, to chat about her extensive career at Scope, and the changes she's witnessed within the organisation and disability sector.

Sally Williams

Scope 75 years

Now and Then – Mark Stainsby

Each of our histories has given us is a strong foundation for our future. As Scope marks its 75th anniversary, we are highlighting the many people who have helped make Scope the organisation we are today. Today we meet Mark Stainsby, House Supervisor.

Mark with Scope client george