History

In 1957 the Richmond Nursing Home Committee was constituted under Mr Sid Norman as president.

In 1976 the Nursing Home Committee was given pre-approval to extend the nursing home by 24 beds and to receive a 2 to 1 Federal grant of $242,000 providing they raised $121,000 themselves.

In 1977 the Trust, incorporating Hawkesbury District & RSL Homes Trust decided to build a retirement village of 14 units and the RSL club donated $30,000 to assist with the 24 bed extension. The trust then also decided to buy the site for the retirement village. By September that year the trust had raised all but $2,000 of the funds they needed so the RSL held a fete auction to raise the final funds. February 1978 approval was granted from council to build the 24 bed extension. In the same month the go ahead was also given for the construction of the retirement village.

In March 1978 the Ex Servicemen’s Club conducted fundraising bowls days to raise funds for the Nursing Home and subsequently the Club donated another $2,666 towards furnishings for the Nursing Home.

After two years of fundraising efforts the building of the 24 bed extension commenced in July 1978.

In August 1978 the R.S.L. Sub Branch advanced $74,000 to assist Returned Servicemen to gain occupancy of four of the Norman Court Retirement Units. December that year the Trust launched an appeal for a two year interest free loan or donations.

In September 1981 the Trust held the official opening of Norman Court Retirement Units and in October 1981 a further extension to the Nursing Home of 24 beds was proposed. All through this time the Richmond RSL Auxiliary played an integral role in fundraising and holding events for residents of the Nursing Home, as did Richmond Rotary and Lions Club.

In November of 1982, Don &Gloria McEwan were farewelled from the district. Don was a trustee for Hawkesbury Community RSL Homes Trust was on the Board of Directors of the Ex Servicemen’s Club and worked untiringly towards the expansion of the Nursing Home, the Club and was a constant influence for the betterment of the community. Gloria was the Publicity Officer for The Hawkesbury Community Homes Trust.

In 1983 the Sub Branch funded a loan of $300,000 with the plan to build a new Nursing Home in March Street where it is today. 25 August 1991 was the official opening of the new nursing home. During 1994 the Hawkesbury Community & RSL Trust became a company, but was trading in years of on and off debt

During 2000 Kimberley Talbot, General Manager Richmond Club held a position on the board as part of community work.
Losses that year reached $189,000.

2001 Richmond Club donated $50,000 for a bus for the residents to go out in.

2004 the Nursing Home lost accreditation and had only $27,000 in the bank and needed a new compressor costing $25,000, the Club’s Board paid for the compressor and Kimberley Talbot then President of the RCHL put a proposal to the Board that

  1. Baptist Community Services take over assets and continue operating at a loss or
  2. Merge with Richmond Club and the community property would remain the communities.

In 2005 the two entities merged officially and the assets remained in the community with the Club pledging $3.1 million of backing & development over a period of 10 years.

The concept of Hawkesbury Living was formed. Hawkesbury Living gained an additional 6 licenses as the need for beds in the area was high. At the time Chesalon Anglicare had held the approval for a number of years of 40 licences, which blocked more allocations. Soon after they transferred them out of the area and Hawkesbury Living applied for more licenses to extend facilities. Hawkesbury Living was granted the 24 licences and commenced work to redesign the existing facility and extend with a 3 stage master plan.

Occupancy rate was and still is operating at 99.8%. Renovations were completed to the foyer lounge and the facility was painted throughout. New equipment from computers to linen and curtains were purchased and a dementia specific ward was opened for the first time in the Hawkesbury.

A General Manager was hired in 2006 forthe Nursing Home, however due to economies of scale and the retirement of the long term Director of Nursing the facility was trading in a “profit before person” manner prior to General Manager commenced but it has traded appropriately since.

During 2007 a DA was approved for 12 bed extensions and was opened by Barry O’Farrell in February 2009 at a cost in excess of $1 .5 million.

In December 2009 a DA was lodged for 10 bed memory care suites to be built. The building works commenced 9 August and will be handed over January 2011 to be named the Don McEwan Wing.

There are many people to thank for not only the building of the first Nursing Home, but the second one also and the Retirement Village. Don Shaddick, patron of the Hawkesbury Living, was also crucial to the history of these great community features that will remain the community’s forever.

 

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Hawkesbury Living