History of St John’s1964

Conceptualised by Bishop Theodore McCall and Frank Rickards in mid-1964, St John’s Village was created to provide aged care services in Wangaratta and the surrounding region. 

  • The acreage that the facility was built on was far from town and along dirt tracks making the establishment of St Johns a challenging endeavour with critics concerned with wasting money and the idea that elderly people should be cared for at home.
  • Despite these criticisms, Bishop McCall and Rickards persevered with their vision to establish an environment in which people may age with dignity. The town of Wangaratta and the surrounding district at this point in time offered no support to the ageing community with no district nursing, aged and disability services, respite care, aged psychiatric services and residential aged care in existence.
  • Mayor H.P. Bar however, wanted Wangaratta to become known as a wonderful place to age. In the late 1960’s in the midst of the dawn of ‘Ageing with Dignity’, the Anglican leaders and Wangaratta community had both visionaries and those with the ability to lead the way in establishing the facility.
  • To bring Bishop McCall’s vision to life, Fr James Trainer was employed to lead the project. The Anglican Church was the auspice body and the Wangaratta and surrounding community were deeply involved in all aspects of the development. The first stage was achieved in record time and consisted of 16 units to accommodate 18 people.
  • What was accomplished in those early years was a shadow of the impressive development that is St John’s Village as we know it today. There are many remarkable individuals that contributed to the development and success of St John’s, in particular, Jean McDonald who led in building the culture that underpins St Johns belief system today; Care, Compassion and Respect. Greg Hynard who further developed and handled professionalism and perfecting the quality standards, policies, procedures and regulations. Joe Caruso maintained this professionalism and continued to link back into and grow community relations as well as Neville McCormack who is recognised for providing outstanding leadership as Chair of the St John’s Village Board for many years.