86-year-old proves it’s never too late to hit the books

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While many of us reflect fondly on our time spent at university in our 20s, for one Melbourne senior, these days are just beginning.

Showing no signs of slowing down, 86-year-old Leonard Walton – a resident at Mercy Place Fernhill – has been accepted into a pathways program for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of New England, majoring in creative writing.

The army veteran and much-loved grandfather has always lived life to the fullest and believes it’s never too late to achieve new goals.

“I haven’t studied at university before, so this is definitely a challenge, but one I’m excited to tackle,” Mr Walton said.

“I’ve had a lifelong love of reading and writing, and am looking forward to improving my skills and keeping my mind active and engaged.”

Mr Walton is the toast of Mercy Place Fernhill this October, with staff and residents celebrating his achievements as part of the annual Victorian Seniors Festival.

The event recognises the significant contribution of older Victorians to local communities and encourages seniors to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Mercy Place Fernhill Service Manager, Andrew Ratcliffe said Mr Walton is the perfect example of what can be achieved at any age.

“Leonard has always had a strong passion for learning, reading and writing and I’m thrilled to see he’s chasing his dreams,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

“We’re looking forward to hearing all about his study, and are hoping he’ll share some of his new writing with us too.”

Now in its 35th year, the Victorian Seniors Festival celebrates the contribution of the state’s one million-plus older Victorians.

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