History of Avonlea1959

In 1959 the Apex Club of Nhill conducted a survey to establish the need and community support for a home for aged care residents in Nhill and the surrounding district. The survey results demonstrated a significant level of enthusiasm and a positive attitude towards the concept and a community meeting was subsequently convened. The commitment to pursue the establishment of such a facility expressed at that meeting resulted in the establishment of a planning committee, a fundraising subcommittee and appointment of trustees.

  • To help bring the vision to life, the committee received a donation of three thousand five hundred pounds from Mrs. Ruben Anderson during the development of the home’s first stage. To honour this significant contribution, Avonlea is named after her and her husband.
  • Although planning of the home commenced immediately, the committee was faced with considerable challenges due to lack of relevant expertise and comparable facilities in the area which could provide guidance. Minimal architectural support was available, and the ‘institutional’ type facilities inspected by committee members and the advice received were considered inappropriate and unacceptable.
  • However, a recently completed motel in Nhill with well-appointed rooms, ensuites and courtyard caught the imagination of the Committee. It was decided to utilise this concept for the design of the hostel and an architect sympathetic to this idea was engaged. The ‘motel type’ design has remained a feature of the hostel throughout the various stages of development.
  • The successful management of the initial logistics of constructing, furnishing and staffing of the hostel represented a great community achievement. All residents’ rooms were in fact endowed by clubs, organisations, and individual members of the community.
  • Avonlea is proud and grateful to acknowledge the continued support and assistance of the community over the forty years since its inception. Indeed the gifts and many large endowments have, except from one other fundraising drive since the original community meeting, provided Avonlea with the strong financial position it enjoys today.
  • Following construction of the original nine bed hostel Avonlea has grown to provide residential aged care to 45 residents today. This development was achieved in four stages, concluding with construction of 12 bedrooms in the main building. The ‘staged’ development facilitated complete utilisation of the property and a financially viable organisation.
  • Avonlea continues to maintain its close links with, and base in the local community.