History of Cooinda1968

In 1954, Ald. H. G. Coates, Mayor of Lithgow, had carried out an extensive amount of research and investigation into establishing homes for the ageing population in Lithgow. Upon calling a special meeting, the mayor appointed a special committee to investigate sites for homes for the aged to be established.

  • Correspondence has revealed that a Federal Government grant of 1.5 million pounds was promised should they be able to pull together specific plans and relative details. The mayor had mentioned that the State Health Minister at the time, Mr M. O’Sullivan, was also most sympathetic and helpful to the cause.
  • Having identified the perfect land for an aged care facility to be built, the construction for the home took over two years in two stages. It was finally opened by Mr J. Finlay MBE, the committee president Ald. H. G. Coates MLA and secretary J. K. Madden on the 26th of May 1968 as a 25-bed hostel called Lithgow and District Senior Citizen Homes “Cooinda”.
  • ‘Cooinda’ is an Aboriginal word that means ‘happy place’.
  • In 1988, a piece of land was donated to construct an additional care facility called Tanderra, an aboriginal word meaning ‘resting place’.
  • Formerly an air force base camp in the early 1930s and 1940s and linked to the small arms factory in Lithgow that is still open today, Tanderra officially opened in March 1991.
  • As the years went by, the Cooinda committee of management realised that there was a growing need for more beds and upgraded facilities at the home. The planning began for a range of extensions and refurbishments to ensure residents’ comfort at the home.
  • On the 29th of October 2003, the Cooinda extensions and refurbishments were officially opened by the Minister for Ageing, the Hon. Julie Bishop M.P. Those recognised on the day for their services on the committee were the late Harold G. Coates O.B.E, the late John K Madden A.F.C and the late Reginald Gillard O.A.M. Today the two extensions are called Madden and Gillard houses. The new refurbishments at Cooinda included toilets and showers for all rooms and a function room for events, renovations to the administration facilities for ease of service and upgrades to the kitchen equipment.
  • In 2019 building began on Stage 1 of a brand new development with the new lodge to accommodate 36 new ensuite rooms with state of the art facilities. This state of the art wing was opened in 2021.