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The story of ACH Group 1952 – 2022

ACH Group is a proud South Australian not-for-profit organisation with a rich history of driving change and influencing national aged care policy. At the centre of this effort is an unwavering focus on improving care and support for older South Australians.

Below are some of the ACH Group milestones over seven decades, as published in The story of ACH Group book.
1952

May

Aged Cottage Homes incorporated. Founder Sir Keith Wilson is named Chair.

1954

November

First three units at Marden Street, Payneham opened.

1964 – 1970

Cottage homes built across Adelaide’s eastern suburbs, under the leadership of Sir Keith Wilson, including St Georges Court, Magill in 1964; James Evans Court, Magill in 1967; and Elliot Court, Campbelltown in 1969.

1971

John Pitchford begins as the first General Manager (CEO).

1974

Milpara hostel in Rostrevor opens, followed by the nursing home and therapy centre in 1977. Milpara is an Aborginal word meaning ‘company of people’.

Negotiations began with Noarlunga Rotary Club to purchase nine acres of land at Port Noarlunga. Construction of Perry Park’s independent living units, community building, and hostel completed by July 1981.

1978

The South Australian Division of the Australian Red Cross Society transfers Kapara Red Cross Home at Glenelg South to Aged Cottage Homes. $2,600,000 committed to redeveloping the home.

1980

Aged Cottage Homes employs 270 staff, provides accommodation to 1,100 South Australians, and provides rehabilitation and services through Day Centres to 300 people.

Aged Cottage Homes adopts Social Role Valorisation theory as its base values philosophy.

1981

The first computer installed at head office on St Bernards Road, Magill, due to additional administrative and accounting work generated by Perry Park.

Milpara’s renovations informed by ‘roles’ model of care and includes Australia’s first dedicated unit for people living with dementia.

1983

A community services division established with the aim of coordinating
and supporting the lifestyle of people living in independent units.

1985

Lawrie Lewis appointed CEO. Federal Government launches Community Options, Australia’s first version of home care.

1986

Partnership with Wyatt Trust established to deliver Wyatt Holidays, an option to respite in residential care.

1988

Prince Charles and Princess Diana visit the newly opened West Park Residential Care Home in Goolwa.

1990

Colton Court Residential Care Home opens in McLaren Vale.

1995

Aged Cottage Homes leads inaugural national trial of Nursing Home Options, the first version of Home Care Packages Level 3 and 4.

1996

Mike Rungie appointed CEO. Renamed to Aged Care and Housing Group Incorporated (ACH Group).

1997

Aged Care Act 1997 introduced.

It set out rules for funding, regulation, approval of providers, quality of care and the rights of people receiving care.

2000

Partnership with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs begins with a trial of home care services. ACH Group wins the contract in 2001 to deliver care assessment and coordination for 90% of South Australia’s eligible veterans.

Sydney Olympics are held and the torch visits Colton Court.

2002

Opening of Yankalilla Centre, combining residential care and independent living with a primary health care centre and community services.

2004

Partnership with the City of Onkaparinga is established to deliver home support services.

2005

Partnership with SA Health established to develop City Views, a unique specialist high level transition service based at Julia Farr Centre.

War Widows’ Guild transfers their properties to ACH Group to deliver retirement living.

The first peer review of services, known as customer impact project, is completed.

2006

Good Lives for Older People’ is adopted as ACH Group’s purpose.

Standalone catering facility established in Holden Hill.

2008

Partnership with the Cambodian community delivers social support and respite services.

2009

Purchase of Elkanah Retirement Village.

Consumer Directed Care (CDC) trial with 20 customers in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs, the first trial of CDC in aged care.

2010

Head office moves from Halifax Street, Adelaide to 22 Henley Beach Road, Mile End.

Highercombe Residential Care Home in Hope Valley opens.

2011

New logo and brand identity launches.

Expansion into Victoria with the purchase of two retirement living villages in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, Bedford Heights Estate and St Thomas Community Retirement Village.

2013

ACH Group employs 1,700 staff and 500 volunteers.

2014

ACH Group partners with the two oldest and largest Muslim organisations in South Australia – the Islamic Society of SA and the Islamic Arabic Centre – to provide residential and community services.

ViTA, a teaching, residential care home and transitional care offering, opens in Daw Park.

2015

Home and Community Care (HACC) funding arrangements transition to the current Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

2016

Ray Creen commences as CEO.

2017

South Australian media personality Jane Reilly is named as ACH Group Brand Ambassador.

ACH Group becomes a registered NDIS provider to support people with age-related neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, stroke and dementia.

Community Aged Care Packages (CACP) and Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) Packages transition to current Home Care Packages.

2018

First Health Studio 50+ opens at Glenelg Oval.

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety begins to address issues within Australia’s aged care system to improve the quality of care for all.

2019

Frank Weits commences as CEO.

Launch of ACH Group’s Connected Communities Strategy.

2020

March

The World Health Organisation declares COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic.

June

Spence on Light, an apartment style retirement living offering in Adelaide’s CBD is completed. Partnership comprises ACH Group, Housing Choices South Australia, and SA Housing Authority.

August

Frank Weits speaks at Royal Commission on the benefits of small-scale household design in residential care.

2021

February

Final report and recommendations from the Royal Commission are tabled.

June

ACH Group divests from Victoria to focus on South Australi-based operations in line with its Connected Communitites strategy.

December

Sod turning for Healthia, the residential care home, health and education hub in Elizabeth South.

Late December

Widespread community transmissions of COVID-19 cases recorded in South Australia.

2022

June

Health Studio 50+ Gilles Plains opens, replacing the community and health hub at Newton.

August

Nearly 100 members of the ACH Group community take part in the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.

ACH Group in October 2022

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Good Lives Magazine

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
1 day ago

Gratitude Post! 🤗

Last month marked Anke and Ronny's 100th Musical Melodies performance in the community.

Their first performance was at West Park, and their 100th was also here. Anke and Ronny are always working on creating new melodies and perfecting the old favourites, playing ukuleles and banjoleles.

Tammy, the Community Connector Lead at West Park, shared, “So many of us come every month to tap along and sing along to the songs. We thank Anke and Ronny enormously for volunteering their time and bringing some sunshine into our Monday afternoons.”
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Gratitude Post! 🤗

Last month marked Anke and Ronnys 100th Musical Melodies performance in the community.

Their first performance was at West Park, and their 100th was also here. Anke and Ronny are always working on creating new melodies and perfecting the old favourites, playing ukuleles and banjoleles.

Tammy, the Community Connector Lead at West Park, shared, “So many of us come every month to tap along and sing along to the songs. We thank Anke and Ronny enormously for volunteering their time and bringing some sunshine into our Monday afternoons.”

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Congratulations Anke and Ronny, you are amazing.

Congrats