HILLVIEW AGED CARE
The first approach to providing and Aged Care home was when Ruth McDonald and Garfield Cherry grower/ volunteer Mrs Mary McIlroy attended a seminar held at Traralgon where it was stated that Gippsland region was short of Aged Care beds. Ruth went ahead and wrote up a submission pointing out that Bunyip and Gippsland shared a boundary. The Bunyip River.
And the rest is history.
Hillview Bunyip Aged Care Inc came about with support the then local federal member parliament for the seat of McMillan, Barry Cunningham. Ruth McDonald at that time was working out of the underutilised Bunyip hospital delivering District Nursing services. Ruth pointed out that there were other donated lands around and including the hospital building which had also been the site of Bunyip primary school.
Further adjoining land was procured with donations by the Colliver brothers of Garfield, retired farmers. Lenard Colliver subsequently became one of the first residents.
The Bunyip Hospital, built and opened in 1960 had by 1993 ceased receiving in house patients the kitchen was providing a meals-on wheels service delivered by volunteers.
Ruth McDonald encouraged by local identity and businessman Bill Pearson made a grant application for the original 30 bed/unit facility and she was successful on obtaining a $900,000 grant.
Donations were sought from local citizens to prove that there was great support throughout the local government area. A number of working bee weekends, by many, cleared the site ready for building. A triumph!
In 1994 an evening meeting was held at the hospital with aim of forming a steering committee. This meeting was very successful 12 people being nominated and keen to get on with the cleaning up the site. An executive was elected to further the process of design and awarding the contract to build. S & B Lamble builders, of Bunyip, won the tender to build.
Steve Lamble being the son Mr Lamble Snr who built the original Bunyip Hospital and that family has continued their association building subsequent additions.
The first elected president being Graeme Brenchley, rallied his supporters Vice president, Gerard Collins, treasurer, Bill Pearson secretary, Alan Cole and in particular, property manager, John Marsh, a local plumber who just happened to understand plans and in particular where all the plumbing was located.
Hillview opened for business October 6th 1995?? Using management from Pakenham Aged Care who assisted with advice and interviewing potential staff. Two registered nurses were employed to oversee Hillview giving 24 hour service.
Marg Adams continued as cook/chef working out of the old hospital kitchen trollying meals down a long corridor for the 30 residents. The very first resident was Percy Palmer and wife who gained fame as resident gardener and who lived with us for 15 years .
The incoming fee for the early residents was $30,000. A small fortune when interest rates were 12 -17 %
The next building phase added 28 beds/units, nursing stations and offices and the marvellous Hill Centre. The Hill Centre was funded by a late Bunyip Chemist who left a bequest of somewhere in the region of $700,000. And, at last, an in house purpose built kitchen situated underneath which required a lift to bring meals up into the dining area.
Added service is now provided in the 25 residential units which wrap around the main facility of which leaseholds are sold as required.
Gerard Collins, a retired Real Estate agent, as overseen and valued these units and his continued service is greatly appreciated
Further plans are afoot to expand and grow this wonderful facility.