History of Cohuna Village1989

On 1st April 1969, Cohuna Lions Club convened a public meeting to seek support for a proposal to build a retirement village in Cohuna after having identified the need for accommodation for elderly people in the community so that they can stay in familiar surroundings.

  • The committee aimed for a total of $40,000 but in November 1969 it had been announced that a total of $122,745 had been pledged over 5 years and combined with the Government Grant on a two-for-one basis, the hostel building was completed 2 years ahead of the given period.
  • In 1972, a total of twenty hostel units were completed and in 1974 three independent living units were built. In 1975, two extra rooms were added to cater for the growing need for accommodation and in 1984 two double units for married couples were completed, making a total of 26 rooms.
  • In 1981, the Village Auxiliary was formed and has provided the residents with many of the ‘comforts of home’, kitchen requirements, new furniture and more. The work of the Auxiliary is ongoing and very much appreciated by families, residents and staff alike. The Auxiliary provides us with dressings, doonas, blankets, drapes and other equipment to enhance the comfort of the residents.
  • By 1998, there was a waiting list of over 50 people for Cohuna. The Management Committee decided to build a further 9 rooms plus a craft room. A lounge room was also incorporated into these renovations to leave the dining room free for meals instead of the former lounge room as well.
  • An appeal was conducted and thanks to a very caring community, the fund was oversubscribed in a month. The building began in February and was completed in October 1998.
  • In November 1998, the kitchen was renovated and building extensions comprising a staff room, utility rooms, offices and a multipurpose room were completed. The fitting of a fire sprinkler system throughout the whole of the Village was completed at this time to ensure the safety of our residents.
  • In 2002 the committee decided to build a dementia unit due to the ever increasing waiting list and the need for a special care unit. In October 2004, an 11 bed Dementia Unit was opened at a cost of $1.5 million and the Village became an Ageing-in-Place Facility.
  • This was made possible thanks to a Government Grant of $300,000 and various donations and borrowings. The unit was named ‘Merle Hipworth House’ after Merle Hipworth, a lifetime member of the committee who was known for her hard work and dedication to the Village.
  • The Village was initially meant as a place where the frail and aged go to live their twilight years in comfort, but there is now a greater need for more complex care and an increasing demand for dementia care in the local community.
  • In 2005 The Village was chosen as the Best Business Community Service Business in the Gannawarra Shire Excellence Awards – a fitting honour to a Community Managed Facility run for the community.