Yes, Fifty-Plus is back!

Hello everyone and welcome to the new chapter of the Fifty Plus News story. It is a great pleasure to be able to bring this publication back to its loyal readership. I would like to thank Margaret and Scott Riddle for their unstinting generosity of time and knowledge during this journey to get the April edition, the first for 2014, out on the stands. My immense gratitude also goes to our wonderful advertisers who have come back on board so quickly. Please support them because without them we cease to exist.

You will notice some slight changes but rest assured the well known and loved features will stay but there will be some new and hopefully interesting additions. The integrity and spirit of Fifty-Plus News is assured and my aim is to make this publication the first place 50+ Victorians go to for information, use as a resource and most importantly thoroughly enjoy reading. This last is most important and one of our aims in the next few months is to enhance the digital footprint of Fifty-Plus News so that it is more accessible to those who use tablets and smartphones.

I’d also like to encourage you to have your say. Please write in and let me know what it is you love about the paper, possible improvements or new areas to cover. This is your paper and it is important it reflect your interests and concerns. Whether you use email or snail mail your communications will be most welcome.

Finally our first edition is issued in April 2014. 100 years since the commencement of the First World War, which was supposed to be the war to end all wars, if only that were so. The commemoration of Anzac Day on April 25 is a time to not only reflect on what has gone before but where we want our future to be. So to those who have served in the past, to those who continue to serve and to their families who serve in their own way, Fifty-Plus salutes you. Lest we forget.

Until next month,



April 7, 2014   No Comments

It’s farewell from the Riddles

This December 2013 edition is the final issue of Fifty-Plus News to come to you under the control of the Riddle family.  The decision to cease publication has not been made lightly, because we are aware that many groups and individuals find the newspaper a useful addition to their lives as older people, in a media environment that does not always bring them the news and information they need.  However, the time has come to ‘move on’ as they say in the world of politics  — or perhaps “to zip”!

Producing Fifty-Plus News for almost 23 years has been a fascinating journey and, as with most journeys, when it comes time to reflect, it is the people you engage with on the way that form the best memories.

Countless people have made important contributions to our positive recollections: people we have employed over the years; a succession of government workers and advisers dedicated to the cause of positive ageing; the hardworking and indomitable organisers of a variety of seniors’ groups; our regular contributors, many of whom have been providing excellent copy on time and with aplomb for decades; our printers, distributors and others who have provided exemplary service; our extraordinary regular advertisers; and, of course our loyal readers.

Our heartfelt thanks to you all; it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve you and to know many of you as friends, relationships that will continue in years to come.

It is possible that Fifty-Plus News will continue in 2014 under new ownership, so look for it at your usual outlet in February, just in case.  Any news about continued publication will be posted on the website

Our very warm wishes to all for a safe and joyful festive season and a stimulating, satisfying 2014 and beyond.

Margaret Riddle

Scott Riddle

(Other members of the Riddle family have been involved over the years — Cathy, Malcolm and Matthew in particular — and our special thanks go to them and to the rest of the clan who have been supportive in other ways.)


December 10, 2013   No Comments

Variety is the spice of senior service

Victorian Senior of the Year, Pat Smith, with  Hon David Davis, Minister for Ageing.

Victorian Senior of the Year, Pat Smith, with
Hon David Davis, Minister for Ageing.

Recipients of this year’s Senior of the Year awards were recognised for exemplary service to their communities in an illuminating array of inspirational, constructive and worthwhile projects and ventures.  

The 14 award winners are involved, frequently as leaders and innovators, giving their time and energy in a wide variety of ways:  pastoral care, education programs, support for veterans, instigating and guiding multicultural programs, building and nurturing seniors’ groups, giving practical support and comfort to the ill and the needy, tutoring young immigrants as well as important volunteer roles with meals on wheels, community visiting and the like.

Geelong resident, Pat Smith, who received the award of Victorian Senior of the Year, devotes an enormous amount of volunteer time to Uniting Care, providing pastoral care and support for vulnerable people.  Notably, she established the Education Assistance Program, which helps vulnerable students and their families to ensure the students continue schooling, assisting as many as 437 students in the past year.

“Within the Geelong schools network, she is known as the person to turn to when seeking to help a young person continue their education,” said Minister for Ageing David Davis, who presented the awards at a special ceremony at Government House.

Other awards went to:

Graham Malloch of East Bentleigh: Veterans Community Award.

Jane Hansen of Spotswood,: Healthy and Active Living Award.

Jill Pattenden of Swan Hill: Promotion of Multiculturalism Award.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria Senior Achiever Awards:

Pamela Adams of Wodonga; Bruce Coller of Berwick; Barbara Dohle of Dunkeld; Lindsay Doig of Southbank; Beryl Logie of Ashburton; Javad Macsood of Templestowe; Janice Morris of Anglesea; Elsie Mutton of Doncaster East; John Nicolaou of Reservoir; Heather Wheat of Southbank.

November 6, 2013   No Comments