I enjoy organising the singers and the outings to see shows and plays because I get to see so many people having so much fun, Barbara says. I always go home from the Monday concerts feeling happy.

The Aspendale Senior Citizens Club is affectionately known by its members as The Happy Club. The club’s weekly Monday afternoon concerts easily attract around 100 members, many who hit the dance floor – to twist, Hokey Pokey and waltz or show their line dancing skills from the club’s Thursday classes.

Club president Jim Lancaster says the senior citizens clubs rely on a band of volunteers to keep them open. Jim says that some senior citizens clubs have closed over the years because they were not sustainable without dedicated volunteers. He says The Happy Club is lucky enough to have a group of 14 dedicated volunteers on the club’s committee. One of those volunteers is Barbara Atkinson, 74, who spends a big chunk of every September booking singers for Monday’s concerts for the following year. Barbara took on the role four years ago, and has expanded the role into organising group bookings for club members to see musicals in Melbourne and productions by the Mordialloc Theatre Company.

I enjoy organising the singers and the outings to see shows and plays because I get to see so many people having so much fun, Barbara says. I always go home from the Monday concerts feeling happy. Barbara also volunteers at the Epilepsy Foundation’s Epilepsy Op Shop in Parkdale the Mentone Community Assistance Bureau, and really enjoys the Victorian Seniors Festival. In 2017 she went to more than 20 Victorian Seniors Festival events!