Feb 05, 2024

Remembering Australia’s oldest person who died at 111

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SA Premier Peter Malinauskas with the late Catherina van der Linden. [Source: X]

The aged care facility that housed Australia’s oldest person, Catherina van der Linden, has confirmed she passed away at 111. 

The supercentenarian and oldest living Dutch person lived in Southern Cross Care’s West Beach Residential Care home in South Australia since 2019. The provider said Catherina “gently went into the night” on January 26 in a statement.

“Catherina, who was Australia’s oldest person, gently went into the night at West Beach Residential Care on Australia Day surrounded by her loving family and supported by our compassionate staff,” it read.

“Catherina is survived by her four children, 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. She will be lovingly remembered by her family and by all in the Southern Cross Care community.”

Speaking to HelloCare just after her 111th birthday in August 2023, Catherina credited her long life to an active lifestyle even after entering aged care, engaging in regular walks and twice-weekly gym sessions which inspired other residents to keep moving.

“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 at the time.

Catherina was born in the Netherlands in 1912 and migrated to Australia with her young family in 1955 where she worked as a grape picker, nursing assistant, clerical assistant and Meals on Wheels SA volunteer. 

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The van der Linden family after arriving in Australia in 1955. [Source: Supplied]

In the news of Catherina’s passing, South Australia’s Premier Peter Malinauskas sent his condolences to the van der Linden family.

“I met Mrs van der Linden last year on her [111th] birthday, who was Australia’s oldest living person,” he said on X.

“It was one of the greatest moments to be able to meet Mrs van der Linden and to hear her story — migrating to Australia from the Netherlands and raising her beautiful family.”

Her body will be donated to the University of Adelaide’s Body Donation Program to “advance medical science through research”.

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