50 years of care at Fassifern
On Saturday 17 September, the Elliott Road campus will be alive with festivities including live music, food trucks, and market stalls, with the local community invited to join in with the story of how this critical community service came about.
Half a century ago, Boonah locals saw a gap in the care for seniors in their community. There was a dire need for accommodation for pensioners and older people, with the closest retirement living and aged care 50km away in Ipswich. As with other rural areas, family members grew up and moved away, increasing the need for ongoing support and care for aging residents. It was evident that a services was needed in town that could offer both retirement living, and a higher level of care so that older people in the community could remain close to home.
A pioneering committee from the community; the Boonah Shire Council and Boonah Church of Christ, took on the challenge and started the ball rolling with some funds, then engaged with all levels of government, rallied community support and gained financial backing from several sources to start the project. Fundraising efforts such as a Beard Growing Competition and Mardi Gras raised a portion of funds, along with a generous land donation from local resident Henry Moller and government subsidies made up enough money to get the project off the ground in 1971.
It was no mean feat, taking five years to come to fruition. At the opening, local Boonah Shire Council Councillor Harold Stark said “The care of aged persons is a very important obligation in any community, and we Councillors are very proud to be associated with this wonderful project. It is in fact a five-year dream that has come true. We shared the dream with the Churches of Christ Social Services Committee, and with the excellent co-operation of two other local committees, and the tremendous generosity of the people of our district, this dream has been fulfilled.”
The original facility catered for eight aged care residents, and 16 residents in the retirement village. Over time, with many renovations and much growth, Fassifern now caters for 105 aged care residents, and 57 residents in 47 retirement village units. Continuing to provide much needed care and accommodation, there are also 156 staff employed, creating jobs for the local community.
Churches of Christ CEO, Gary Edwards, said that the continued support of the community had been the driving force behind the continued success of the Fassifern services in Boonah.
“We are immensely proud to be a part of the Boonah community. Through our Boonah Church of Christ, we have had a presence in the town for almost 130 years, and in celebrating this milestone of 50 years providing outstanding care to local seniors, it cements our ongoing commitment to the Boonah community,” Mr Edwards said.
“This celebration marks a milestone for Churches of Christ. Fassifern was one of the earliest aged care services we established, and to see it growing with residents thriving has been seen as a huge success and testament to the staff,” Mr Edwards said
“It would be hard to imagine a more fitting tribute to the early pioneers of our district, than to provide such an excellent service to the aged folk of today and tomorrow.” Cr Stark said in 1971. Fitting words to celebrate the community spirit that lives on at Fassifern.
The staff and residents of Fassifern look forward to celebrating with the community on 17 September from 10 am – 1 pm at Churches of Christ Boonah Campus, Elliot Road, Boonah.
For more information please contact:
Communications and Stakeholder Relations
P 07 3363 1849 M 0407 371 688