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Early history of ACH Group

It all started 70 years ago

Sir Keith Wilson, a Senator for South Australia from 1938 to 1944, and Federal Member for Sturt from 1949 to 1966, was the founder and first Chairman of ACH Group (formerly known as Aged Cottage Homes).

In his 20s, Sir Keith developed an interest in housing and services for those less fortunate, which he identified as including War Veterans and War Widows experiencing homelessness.

On 20 May 1952, Aged Cottage Homes was incorporated. Less than two months later, on 5 July, it was announced in the local newspapers that a scheme to build cottage homes for the aged was being launched that day, with Aged Cottage Homes appealing for £25,000, with £730 already raised, mainly from door-to-door collecting.

The first Aged Cottage Homes were completed in 1954, with the homes built on land in Payneham.

Residents of the homes were charged low rents.

Sir Keith’s work inspired movement at a federal level with the Aged Persons Homes Act 1954 introduced by the Menzies’ government.

Prime Minister Robert Menzies became interested in Sir Keith’s efforts to build cottage style accommodation for older people, as the government insisted that it was preferable to have these homes built and managed by religious or philanthropic organisations rather than by governments.

The Aged Persons Homes Act 1954 provided incentives for organisations to build homes for older people with grants towards capital costs.

Here’s to 70 years of ACH Group.

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