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Barwon Health officially launched its $2 million aged-care hostel refurbishment at the McKellar Centre on Thursday.
The two-year project gave new life to the organisation’s four Percy Baxter Lodge hostels – home to 80 residents – Aged Care Director Ben Maw said.
“We’ve got four very individual hostels now, when things could have been very cookie cutter and looked the same,” he said.
“The big success was the resident engagement and the family involvement, working with us to swap facilities and move rooms.”
The upgrade works included replacing carpets, painting walls, improving lighting and commissioning Aboriginal paintings to feature in each lodge.
Mr Maw said the “overdue” refurbishment improved the facility’s liveability and prepared it for the future.
“It gives the residents a friendlier, spruced-up area and it’s certainly more inviting when you walk through the door.
“We’ve given them a blank canvas and it’s quite special that they can personalise it themselves.
“The launch coinciding with National Close the Gap Day was perfect in the context of being able to celebrate what we’ve achieved.”
Indigenous artist Nathan Patterson created a mural and four new artworks for the project with lodge residents and Hamlyn Banks Primary School students.
“It was a privilege working with a lot of these elderly residents, sharing my story and hearing theirs as well,” he said.
“One thing I thought was important was that sharing of knowledge with the older generation.”

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