Australia’s oldest person Catherina van der Linden celebrates her 111th birthday at Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) on Saturday

Catherina will celebrate her 111th birthday with family and friends at Southern Cross Care’s West Beach Residential Care home in the seaside suburb of Adelaide on Saturday (tomorrow).

She credits her outstanding longevity to her active lifestyle, which still includes twice weekly gym sessions at the facility and regular walks.

A healthy ageing approach by Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) enables staff at West Beach Residential Care to support her with a tailored exercise program delivered in the on-site Health and Wellness Centre.

“I push myself sometimes when I’m getting a bit tired and I think it’s about time to do something to yourself to see that you still have that energy that you had before,” Catherina said.

“I still go on the bike, sometimes for 10 minutes and that is a long time to spend on the bike.”

West Beach Residential Care Manager, Catherine Willoughby, said Catherina is a role model of healthy ageing for all the home’s staff and residents.

“Catherina is an inspiration to all of us, she’s still doing regular walks around the facility, opens the exit doors and around she goes, we’ve actually got a couple of other new residents that have started doing the same routine,” she said.

“Other residents really enjoy just the fact that she keeps them inspired by keeping moving, she always says it’s important to keep moving.”

Born in the Netherlands in 1912, Catherina migrated to Australia with her husband and young family in 1955 and went on to work in full-time paid employment in a variety of jobs, including grape picker, nursing assistant, typist and clerical assistant, and had an interest in fashion and dressmaking inherited from her mother and father – a seamstress and a tailor.

With four children, 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, Catherina’s birthday celebrations will be full of wonderful moments with her family and her friends at West Beach Residential Care.

Her advice for a long life: “Be happy with yourself and be content with what life gives you, sometimes it’s not very good and sometimes it’s better but you have to take the bad with the good as well and it’s possible to make living a joy.”

And of course, “keep moving, don’t sit still”.


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A special thanks to our contributors



Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.