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The Pioneers Lodge has changed a lot throughout the years, but quality care has always been a core value. In recent years there have been major upgrades to facilities and services.
Who We Are
The Pioneers Lodge Limited is an independent, local, charitable organization with a mission to “provide, promote and assist with the provision of Aged Care Services to the local community of Griffith and District”.
It is incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 as a company limited by guarantee and trades under the name of The Pioneers Lodge. It is recognized by the Australian Taxation Office as a Public Benevolent Institution. All donations of $2 or more to The Pioneers Lodge are Tax Deductible.
The affairs of The Pioneers Lodge are managed by a 7 member Board of Directors. The following people make up that board: Darryl Baltieri (President), Leonie Evans, Meredith Fattore, Joseph Amato, Heather Baltieri, Tony Del Gigante & Neil Pilloni. All positions on the board are voluntary.
The Griffith Pioneers Trust Fund was set up by Stuart and Margaret McWilliam on 19 October 2012,to benefit one beneficiary, The Pioneers Lodge. All donations to the fund must remain in the fund but the income earned by the investment will be available to continually purchase and upgrade capital equipment for Pioneers Lodge. This ensures that the fund continues to exist forever, continuing to provide a perpetual valuable benefit to the Lodge. The Trust is run by a Board of 5 community members. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.
It was the late Mr. Don Isles through the Rotary Club of Griffith, who first suggested that there was a need for Nursing Home and Hostel accommodation in Griffith in 1970.
Soon after on 8th November 1971, the first public meeting was held to gather support for the project and as a result of this meeting a working Committee was formed to promote the Project.
On 10 February 1972, the Pioneers Lodge Ladies Auxiliary was founded primarily to raise funds for the project.
Between 1972 and 1975 the working Committee and the Ladies Auxiliary was busy raising funds.
In 1975, the NSW Department of Health approved the lease of approximately 0.4832 hectares of land on the hospital site, Animoo Avenue Griffith, for the project.
In December 1976, a tender from Warburton Constructions was selected for the construction of the 62 bed facility.
On 26th August 1978, the facility was officially opened by Stuart McWilliam Presdient of Pioneers Lodge Board of Directors.
The Pioneers Lodge has always been an independent organization but initially it contracted a wide range of services from the Griffith Base Hospital including management, clerical, maintenance, linen and food services.
The arrangement served both organizations well until 1997, when the newly formed Area Health Service decided to centralize and rationalize many of its services, to concentrate on “core services”.
1997 also saw the introduction of a radical funding system for Aged Care. The “deficit funding system” was replaced by a new system which funded Aged Care providers according to the care needs of their residents. The subsidy provided had an inbuilt profit margin which was meant to fund future capital needs.
With the introduction of the new funding system the Commonwealth Government also announced that new building standards for aged care would apply by 2008. Aged Care providers were put on notice that they had 10 years to meet these standards or leave the industry.
This new funding system served the The Pioneers Lodge well and by 2008 it had purchased land at 15-23 Sidlow Road, Griffith and built a new 75 bed facility.
THE NEW FACILITY
The Architect, Mr. Mark Boffa of Boffa Robertson Group, was chosen to design and manage the building project. Forlico Builders of Griffith was awarded the contract to build the new facility.
Building commenced in December 2006 and the project was completed by July 2008. The project was funded from Accumulated funds, Accommodation Bonds and a bank loan.
The new facility consists of:
- The Don Mackay Unit – 40 beds high care.
- The Curtis Chauncy Unit – 19 beds low care.
- The Stuart & Margaret McWilliam Unit – 16 beds low care dementia specific.
The new 75 bed facility is situated on a 2.75 hectare site at 15 – 23 Sidlow Road with ample room and associated support infrastructures already in place for the addition of a further 25 high or low care beds, as well as the addition of Assisted Living and Independent Living Units in the future.
The main features of the new facility are:
- It is a local community funded and managed aged care facility.
- Friendly and caring staff.
- The site is very secure with a 2 m high perimeter fence and internal fencing.
- All bedrooms have large separate en-suites.
- “State of the art” reverse cycle air conditioning system.
- Hair salon, Podiatry, and private functions room.
- Large central lounge/ dining rooms with sitting rooms at the end of every wing for use by residents and their families.
- Large central activities room opening out onto large central courtyard.
- Phone, TV and Pay TV access in every room.
- Close to City Centre (2.2 kms from the Post Office)
- Sophisticated resident night monitoring system is available to be activated if required.
- All bedrooms, lounge rooms and sitting rooms look out onto extensive landscaped gardens.
- Extensive outdoor garden areas for use by residents and their families/visitors.
- High quality furniture and well appointed spacious rooms.
- The design of the facility features great use of natural light to brighten the interior.
2017 brought about many new exciting changes and additions to the The Pioneers Lodge. 20 new beds were made available through various extensions, these were opened in August by President of the Board of Directors Darryl Baltieri. The Settlers unit opened with 16 new beds available in the new high care dementia unit. Extensions to the Mackay West Wing went ahead with 4 extra beds as well as extensions to the units dining and lounge areas coupled with a renovation of the servery. The new Gymnasium opened up as an exercising area for residents and complimentary Wi-Fi became available throughout the Facility. In November 2017 The Pioneers Lodge opened its own laundry on site. This is to ensure all residents personal clothing is given the appropriate care and attention and returned to residents rooms in a timely manner.