New hospice to boost for end-of-life care and respite

Diana Taylor, Sarah Henderson, Professor Iain Martin, Christine Couzens, Bob Gartland and Darren Cheeseman. Picture: Pam Hutchinson Photography

Construction has begun on Anam Cara House Geelong’s new $22 million purpose-built community hospice at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.

In a ceremonial sod-turning last Friday, the not-for-profit’s chair Diana Taylor announced Nicholson Construction would complete the project by the end of 2022.

“This is a momentous day for not only the hardworking, dedicated, tireless staff, volunteers and supporters at Anam Cara, but also for the region who has a very real and growing need for greater choice in end-of-life care and carer respite,” she said.

“Recruitment for medical staff, administration and volunteers needed to operate the expanded hospice services in the new facility will commence in the coming months.

“The new facility will provide a significant boost to local hospice services and access to more respite care in the community.

“It will also deliver employment opportunities within the trade and healthcare sectors.”

Federal and state governments each contributed $5 million to the project.

“We have undertaken a significant amount of work to get to this point, supported by generous individuals and businesses in the Geelong community,” Ms Taylor said.

“We are overwhelmed and very grateful for $7 million of philanthropic support from the community which has recognised the need for this service.”

With construction underway, Anam Cara House Geelong is now planning for the expansion of services in time for completion.

“We are delighted to have recently signed a research and teaching agreement with Deakin University,which will result in an ongoing hands-on teaching partnership,” Ms Taylor said.

“We are incredibly appreciative to Deakin University for enabling us to bring to life this service and benefits for our Geelong region in an incredibly beautiful, but also convenient, location.”