Elvira is one of Brisbane Common Ground’s original tenants. “I moved here four years ago,” says Elvira. “At first I was hesitant due to the fact that there is very limited parking available and I’ve never lived in this type of accommodation before. It’s the fear of the unknown. But I’m very happy to be living here now,” she adds.
“What I’ve found is that there are advantages. I can see the positive side. Because my immediate family are all overseas it feels as though I’ve found a second home, a second family. The support that everyone offers is really great,” Elvira affirms. “I’ve made friends and that is one important aspect of living here. I like being here. It’s another chapter.”
Elvira enjoys her independence and says with the support that she receives at Brisbane Common Ground she feels secure and stable. “It’s good to have 24 hour 7 day security – it makes a difference. I feel OK as a woman living by myself here.” Elvira also finds the building’s proximity to the city and public transport makes it easy for her to access services and amenities.
“I work as a Patient Services Assistant with a team of very dedicated doctors and nurses in a dialysis unit. I have a background in nursing and health care,” she shares. “I find that taking the bus is very convenient for me to get to work at a nearby hospital.”
Most importantly, Elvira emphasises the sense of community she has found through her involvement in the Hope Street Music Group which rehearses at Brisbane Common Ground each week. “I have a musical background. Growing up in the Philippines, music is always a part of our education from day one. My grandfather used to play bandurria and violin in a band and we were always surrounded by music.” Elvira explains she had put this aspect of her life on hold for many years after she got married and moved to Australia.
“My musical times stopped, it was a different life altogether,” she recollects. “Now as I’ve gotten older, it is good to have music again. I sing and play the guitar and piano.” Elvira believes the music program coordinated by The Hive provides tenants with a wonderful opportunity for further learning and self-expression and has given her the confidence to step out and sing in public. “The music group has grown over time and is constantly improving,” she says.
You will often find Elvira singing and playing the piano in the foyer, sometimes solo and sometimes accompanied by other tenant musicians. Their music breathes life into the building and adds a dimension of joy and soul to the Brisbane Common Ground community.