Social program gives Sandra new lease on life

Sandra talks to Linda about the joy of creating art.

Sandra Neuling, a retired Psychologist was looking for social interaction after the loss of her best friend.

Reaching out to My Aged Care, Sandra was delighted to find ACH Group’s widespread offering of social experiences.

“My friend and I did everything together and when she died it was like ‘what do I do now’,” she said.

“I just needed something as a social outlet, I didn’t need anything physical – just social.

“My Aged Care linked me into ACH Groups social program, which you can try for free, and I haven’t looked back since.”

On 30 April 2024, Sandra met with ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt at her weekly Art in Focus class at the picturesque Partridge House in Glenelg.

Artist Sandra shows her painting to Linda, ACH Group CEO
Artist Sandra Neuling and ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt

Sandra said to Linda that the art program had been a standout social experience for her.

“In school I was told I can’t do art and that had kind of stayed with me all my life,” she said.

“The teachers here are so great though; they are very clear that the purpose of the class is to have a good time and you don’t have to produce something that needs to be hung on a wall every week.

“We’ve been exposed to charcoal, water colour, acrylics – a huge range of different styles and as my confidence has grown, I’ve found that I have a bit of a flair for art.

ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt said Sandra was a perfect example of what ACH Groups extensive social program was aiming to deliver .

“Our social program is all about making as many outlets as possible for older South Australians to build their skills and connect with their communities,” she said.

“The most common feedback we get about our social program is that the social aspects are valued most.”

“People who attend these programs make friendships that last well beyond the class.”

“It is really special being able to meet people like Sandra and see the significant impact our social program is having in enriching lives.”

New research by Professor Susan Magsamen from John Hopkins has shown that the cognitive impact of doing art can extend a person’s lifespan by up to 10 years.

Learn about ACH Group’s range of social experiences, and how to access them.

Shaping Tomorrow, Together: ACH Group launches strategy

ACH Group has today launched its new strategy Shaping Tomorrow, Together to deliver on the vision of Good Lives for Older People.

Shaping Tomorrow, Together represents a bold new strategy to invest in ACH Group’s services, people and assets, ACH Group Chair Imelda Lynch said.

Ms Lynch said, “Shaping Tomorrow, Together positions ACH Group at the forefront of aged care in Australia. Partnering with customers, building connections to support people to age the way they want, how they want,”.

“Truly knowing people, taking the time to listen and understand what is important is at the heart of this strategy.

“I am confident that here at ACH Group we have the people and the plan to be leaders in aged care service delivery in South Australia.”

ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt has spent the past three-months presenting the Shaping Tomorrow, Together strategy to the workforce across 15 sites.

“Our people are the ones delivering timely and compassionate care every day to residents in aged care homes, customers in their homes and older South Australians in the community,” she said.

“It is vital that our hardworking people see how the work they carry out every day contributes to the overall strategic direction of the organisation. After all, they are central to supporting good lives for older people.

“We want our workforce to be empowered to get to know each customer and help them maintain genuine connections within the community as they age.”

ACH Group Residential Care Personal Trainer, Julie Grundy said understanding ACH Group’s strategy for the coming years had been invaluable.

“It was just so refreshing to hear what the future holds for ACH Group,” she said.

“It’s exciting to know about the big projects we have coming up, the innovations and how the work I do keeping residents strong and mobile fits in to that.”

Ms Feldt said work on the practical initiatives, timeframes and responsibilities of the strategy had begun and would soon begin rolling out across ACH Group.

The six key pillars of the Shaping Tomorrow, Together strategy are:

  • Elevate Customer Voice
  • Deliver Person Directed Care and Living
  • Strengthen Connected Communities
  • Build One Workforce
  • Provide Full Service Aged Care
  • Advocate Good Lives

Learn more about the Shaping Tomorrow, Together strategy.



About ACH Group

ACH Group is a not-for-profit community organisation promoting opportunities and services to support older people to live good lives since 1952.

As well as accommodation options across Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula, the group offers a range of health, wellbeing, respite, and support services, help at home and social experiences.

Our 1900 specialist staff and hundreds of volunteers share the belief that older people should be valued and respected, connected to their communities and in control of their lives.

For further information or comment, please contact Julie Anderton on 0414 382 854 or [email protected]

Media release published 5 June 2024

Photo caption – Yankalilla sessions: (left to right) Fiona Fulton, Hotel Services Team Leader, Rosslyn Price, Community Connector Lead Group Planner, Julie Grundy, Personal Trainer, Chief Executive Linda Feldt, Tania Frankenburg, Workforce Team Leader, Laura Willcocks, Care Manager and Mel Heyeke, Home Manager.

Home Care and Community Consumer Advisory Body

Consumer Advisory Body - two people looking at a laptop screen, discussing feedback

Express your interest in joining

We are committed to providing the best possible service and strive for continuous improvement at every opportunity. ACH Group’s Home Care and Community Consumer Advisory Body provides an important platform for customers and representatives to share their voice and contribute to positive change at ACH Group.

What’s involved?

The Home Care and Community Consumer Advisory Body will be asked to comment on information collected through our existing customer experience surveys and feedback processes, and provide feedback and ideas relating to ACH Group’s Home Care service. The collective view of the Consumer Advisory Body will be provided to the ACH Group Board and governing committees for their consideration and response.

Importantly, the Consumer Advisory Body does not replace ACH Group’s existing ways in which you can provide feedback at any time.

You can find more information on Consumer Advisory Bodies here.

Expression of Interest

Expression of interest to join the Consumer Advisory Body does not guarantee selection; all expressions of interest will be reviewed to ensure diverse representation. Prior to submitting your interest please read the Terms of Reference.

UPDATE 24 JUNE 2024 – All expressions of interest are now being reviewed.

Students put cherry on top of ACH Group menus

Graphic design students at Central Kitchen Holden Hill with Amy White, Operations Manager

The finishing touches on a visual overhaul of ACH Group’s residential aged care menus have been applied by graphic design students.

Students from the University of South Australia’s Bachelor of Design (Graphic and Communication Design) course have been working with ACH Group since the beginning year on elevating the menus.

The menus have been graphically treated to include a photo of the meal as well as easy to understand icons highlighting the main ingredients in meals.
On 16 May, the students visited ACH Group’s central kitchen to get some ‘hero’ shots of the kitchen in action for the covers of the new menus.

ACH Group central kitchen operations manager Amy White said the redesigned menus would make a significant difference to residents.

“These new menus mean that residents can see visually what is in their meal and what their meal will actually look like,” she said.

Amy said it had been chalk and cheese having budding communication design students create a menu using professional expertise, rather than her.

“I can do anything with a knife but not a computer,” she laughed.

Four students, Josh Gregory, Kim Verhulst, Eleanor Makins and Charlotte Brookes, from the UniSA have been working on the project that will form part of their course work.

Josh said the project had been incredibly rewarding and hoped the updated menu made a difference to residents.

“The great thing about this project is that it has given us real world experience,” he said.

“We’ve been able to get a brief from a client and deliver on that brief which will help us immensely as we look at moving into the workforce.”
Amy said the students had met the brief perfectly and looked forward to seeing the final product delivered.

ACH Group student placement program manager Sian Aston said this was just one example of the organization offering career pathways to students in South Australia.

Sian said ACH Group has a robust student placement program that gives students “real world” experience in aged care while continuing their studies.

“We have about 800 students come through our placement program every year,” she said.

“ACH Group employs people across 200 distinct role from graphic design, to nurses and carers to personal trainers and administrators.”

ACH Group’s central kitchen is manned by 30 staff delivering more than 1600 meals to aged care residents every day.

Interested to learn more ?

Students and training providers can register their interest via our Student Placement Program page or by emailing [email protected].

Photo ID: SA Uni students Josh Gregory and Kim Verhulst visited ACH Group central kitchen operations manager Amy White to apply the finishing touches to new aged care home menus.

Students start aged care journey

Getting started: Taylor Angelikas, Bethany Harker, Eva Toogood and Jack Brunato began their student placements with ACH Group this week. Pictured with ACH Group Student Placement Program manager Sian Aston (front)

Bright-eyed and bushy tailed South Australian students were welcomed by ACH Group this week as they embark on two-week placements working in aged care.

The 16 students will be placed at ACH Group residential aged-care homes where they will get a hands-on introduction into caring for older South Australians.

ACH Group student placement program manager Sian Aston said the placement was fantastic experience for the students and provided a true insight into the joys of working in aged care.

“We have about 800 students come through our placement program every year,” Sian said.

“During their placement they are supported by senior trainers who will help them develop their practical care skills in a real-life environment.

“The program gives the students the mandatory training that they require and for us we hope that one day these enthusiastic newcomers become part of the ACH Group family.

“We also encourage our students to get a start by applying for casual work with us once they’ve finished their placement.”

For SA TAFE enrolled nursing student Taylor Angelikas, aged care has a special place in his heart.

“Growing up in Adelaide my Nan used to volunteer at residential aged care homes and I would go with her after school,” he said.

“We would keep the resident’s company; organise games and social events and it is just a fond childhood memory for me.

“My Nan was a naturally caring person and my Mum works in aged care, so this is a placement that I am really looking forward to.”

The students are completing a mix of qualifications from nursing to occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

During their placement they will learn about care plans, dementia care, the correct use of personal protective equipment and other key skills for working in aged care.

Interested to learn more ?

Students and training providers can register their interest via our Student Placement Program page or by emailing [email protected].

Photo ID: Getting started: Taylor Angelikas, Bethany Harker, Eva Toogood and Jack Brunato began their student placements with ACH Group this week. Pictured with ACH Group Student Placement Program manager Sian Aston (front). 



Why today is ‘a lot about mateship and all about respect’ – with a veteran penning a reflective poem

Anzac Day at Highercombe Residential Care Home - Steven, Fred and Samuel.

Samuel McKim, 90, grew up in Scotland and enlisted in the National Service, when he was just 17 – serving in the British Royal Air Force in the Suez Canal, Egypt.

On Thursday, he will proudly read a reflective poem during an Anzac Day service in Highercombe Residential Care Home in Hope Valley.

“We remember the sacrifice made,” he wrote in his poem.

“Of the dead and the wounded row on row.”

“In the fields that are silent where red poppies grow.

“We say please!! Let us not forget!!”

When Mr McKim travelled around Scotland for work after his time in the RAF, he would send letters to his wife from every place he visited – and after they got married he continued the tradition.

“I always put a verse in those letters,” Mr Mckim Said. “For 65 years we’ve been married and I’ve always been writing poems for birthdays and anniversaries.

“I wrote a poem for Remembrance Day last year and people seemed to enjoy it, so I got asked if I could write a poem again for Anzac Day. Now, I’ve become a well-known around ACH Group for my poetry – people that I haven’t even met know my name.”

During his tme in the RAF Fayid, Mr McKim worked as a clerk in the air traffic control department and afterwards he undertook 19 months of voluntary service with the air force and began work in road transport. Eventually, he went on to train in real estate and ended up owning his own real estate business.

In 1958, he met his wife Nancy at a dance in Glasgow and the two married a year later, before moving to Australia in 1970 with their six children. “After the war, we decided to come to Australia for a better life. Before we left Scotland we decided on Adelaide for its location,” he said.

“We came to Australia by plane in 1970 – costing us 25 pounds – it was my wife and six children. My eldest daughter was 10 and youngest child had just been born.”

Another ACH Group resident, Fred Jackson, 88, was born in Adelaide and attended Peterborough Primary School as a child.

He enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces cadets when he was just 14 and soon progressed to National Service where he was stationed in Woodside and Port Augusta – working in artillery.

“I wanted to do something,” Mr Jackson said. “I wasn’t going to sit idle.” When he returned from his initial three months’ service, Mr Jackson continued to serve for a fortnight each year.

He then started working in a service station before becoming a spray painter and, eventually, he started his own business.

Speaking on the importance of Anzac Day, Mr Jackson said it was “all about respect”. It’s a lot about mateship and all about respect,” he said. “For all those who have and are serving, we have to show them respect.”

Stephen Monks, 93, was born in Ireland, and enrolled in the British royal Air Force when he was 21.

He served in Borneo in operations and returned home after three years, before eventually moving to Australia after he became good friends with some Aussies during the war.

“When I was in Borneo I served with the Australians and made good friends with them,” Mr Monks said. “They were good people. They told me all the time when we finished I should come to Australia to live, so I did.”

Mr Monks migrated when he was 36 and worked as a buyer for a large furniture firm.

ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt said Anzac Day was “significant for many within the ACH Group community”.

“ACH Group is very proud to support many veterans as they age, including Sam, Stephen and Fred,” Ms Feldt said.

“Among our residents, customers and workforce, you will find ex-service people, war widows, widows, parents, children of service personnel and many others who have a personal connection to our defence forces.

“Anzac Day will be marked with services across the ACH Group Community to pay respect.”

This article was published in The Advertiser, page 20page 21, Thursday 25 April 2024.

ACH Group builds new health and wellbeing hub and more housing options for older South Australians

Leading South Australian not-for-profit aged care services and retirement living provider ACH Group has begun construction of a $5 million advanced health and wellbeing hub at Rostrevor as well as a new $1.6 million retirement living village at Hope Valley.

The developments are part of ACH Group’s strategy to boost the wellbeing of older South Australians through positive health outcomes and independent living.

“Supporting South Australians to stay physically active and connected to their communities is critical to their wellbeing and quality of life,” ACH Group Interim CEO Linda Feldt said.

“We see both developments providing widespread benefits to the community.

“The Health Studio is in line with our strategic vision of creating connected communities by incorporating community, health, residential care, and retirement living all within one hub in the northeastern suburbs of Adelaide.

“The new retirement village at Hope Valley will also help meet increased demand for quality housing options for older South Australians in the local community.”

ACH Group Health Studio Rostrevor

With a focus on positive ageing, the Health Studio Rostrevor will have a similar offering to ACH Group’s other Health Studios at Glenelg, Christie Downs, and the temporary site at Gilles Plains for people over 50.

Services will include Allied Health provided by qualified practitioners, including physiotherapy, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, podiatry, dietetics, massage, and personal training. For those who prefer to keep active and fit in a group setting, multiple exercise groups and wellness groups will be on offer, such as Life Exercise, Tai Chi, Mobility and Balance classes.

Barbara and Michael Hill, who attend ACH Group’s leased Health Studio at Gilles Plains, said they are “very excited” about the Rostrevor health and wellbeing hub opening.

The Felixstow couple, who have been married for 57 years, started at the studio nine years ago after Michael had “very serious” surgery and experienced post-surgery complications.

“I mainly do balance work on the steps but I love the bikes,” Michael, 83 said.

“We mix with people our own age. We just enjoy the company and it gets us out the house. Once you’ve been once or twice you really get into it.

“Barbara is very competitive and I’m not far behind her.”

Mrs Hill believed the secret to ageing well “is mental and physical”.

“There is a benefit for us to come to the classes and exercise together,” the 79-year-old explained.

“You feel like you are doing something constructive to keep you as well as you an in your ageing years.”

Mrs Hill said she was looking forward to attending the new studio at Rostrevor.  “Because it’s local we could take public transport to the gym if we need to,” she said. “I think it will be exciting to have brand new equipment too…it’s a little bit more special.”

The development will also include office spaces for ACH Group’s Health and Community staff, allowing for a growing workforce.

The new ACH Group Health Studio will be located on the vacant land adjacent to ACH Group’s Milpara Residential Care Home, on the corner of St Bernards Road and Sparks Terrace, Rostrevor. Construction is expected to be completed by October 2024.

Hope Valley Retirement Living

Committed to providing more quality housing options to the local community, ACH Group is building a modern village of four independent living two-bedroom units on Grand Junction Road, Hope Valley. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2025.

“Older people want to remain independent at home as they age but want to stay connected, feel safe and be empowered at the same time,” Ms Feldt said.

“An independent retirement living community provides them with peace of mind, engagement opportunities and the ability to establish new friendships with like-minded people. Due to a strong traditional property market, demand is rapidly growing for more community retirement living options – the new Hope Valley retirement village helps address the need for more housing for older people in the northeast.”

The Hope Valley development will grow ACH Group’s retirement living community to 39 villages across Metropolitan Adelaide and the Fleurieu, providing more than 680 residents with a vibrant and socially connected lifestyle.

About ACH Group

Founded in 1952, ACH Group is a trusted South Australian not-for-profit organisation supporting older people to live good lives.
As one of the state’s leading, full-service, aged care providers, ACH Group supports over 11,000 (over 9,000 customers and 2,000 employees) people in South Australia. ACH Group has a wide variety of accommodation offerings, including more than 586 independent retirement living units and nine residential care homes located across metropolitan Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula.

ACH Group also provides older South Australians with a wide range of help at home, health, wellbeing, respite, and social experiences.

For more information, contach ACH Group’s Communication Team on 0471 856 361 or [email protected].

End of year message from ACH Group

Hi everyone,

With the festive season upon us and Christmas only a few days away, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all ACH Group customers, residents, families and wider community for your continued support.


I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy festive season, and truly look forward to catching up with many of our ACH Group Community in 2024.


Interim CEO

Find information on opening hours and services over the festive period or contact us today.

Opening hours and services over the festive period

Thank you for being part of our community as we continue to support older people to live good lives.

From everyone at ACH Group, we wish you a very happy and safe festive season.

Contact us

Our dedicated staff are on hand to take your call on 1300 22 44 77 between 7am – 6pm (ACST) every day, even on Christmas Day.

Health Studio 50+

ACH Group Health Studio 50+ clinics and groups will be closed from Saturday 23 December 2023, reopening on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Social groups and experiences

All regular  social groups and experiences will pause from Wednesday 20 December 2023, recommencing Monday 8 January 2024.

Rescheduling services

If you would like to cancel or reschedule services over the festive period – please call 1300 22 44 77.

Making payments

To make payments during this time, call 1300 22 44 77 with your credit card details.

Contact us for more information.

$40 million aged care, health and education hub officially opens

Healthia official opening group photo
ACH Group’s $40 million aged care, health, and education hub that reimagines aged care and will improve the health outcomes of the local community officially opened on 20 September 2023.

Healthia, featuring a state-of-the-art residential care home and GP, nursing, and allied health clinic, sits within the Playford Health and Wellbeing Precinct in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

The hub developed by the South Australian not-for-profit aged care provider brings together the University of South Australia, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), and City of Playford.

ACH Group’s 96-place residential care home has adopted an innovative small household-built form comprising eight purpose-built single-storey houses in a village setting. The houses feature 12 self-contained resident rooms with ensuites; a large open plan living, kitchen and dining area; and features commonly found in traditional houses so residents can participate in the daily house activities if they wish.

NALHN will occupy 24 rooms within the care home to help transition older people from hospital to their home or more suitable accommodation.

The co-located UniSA Health Clinic, an integrated GP, nursing, and allied health clinic, will provide services to residents and the surrounding local community with a combination of professional and lower-cost student-assisted services.

ACH Group CEO Frank Weits said the aged care provider was proud to lead the powerful cross-sector partnership.

“Healthia will improve health outcomes for the local community, support the hospital system, and reimagine aged care,” Mr Weits said.

“The residential care home responds to a generation shift in expectations and the Royal Commission’s call to action to rethink aged care.

“We know most older people want to stay in their own homes, however, for many this is not possible due to increased care needs. What makes Healthia different is the person-directed care model and the unique built form.

“Healthia is the first care home in Australia to implement the U.S.-founded Green House Project model of care, which is informed by person-directed care principles and supports residents to have increased input into their everyday living.

“The unique built form has taken into consideration what would be seen in someone’s own home to capture a homely environment and sense of familiarity for residents.”

Pro Vice Chancellor: Teaching & Learning at UniSA, Professor Esther May said the partnership is part of the University’s commitment to supporting educational opportunities, health services, and the health workforce in the northern suburbs.

“As a registered NDIS provider, the clinic will provide additional adult and pediatric NDIS services in the northern suburbs. Nursing and allied health students will undertake placements in the residential care home and the clinic, providing them with vital practical learning experiences during their degree and preparing them for the health workforce.”

City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the vision for the Playford Health and Wellbeing Precinct was shaped over a decade ago.

“Council and the community want world-class health, education, rehabilitation, and research facilities in our precinct. These services complement an expanding Lyell McEwin Hospital which supports our rapid population growth in the northern region,” he said.

“As part of delivering this vision, City of Playford worked closely with ACH Group to repurpose a portion of Council-owned land to accommodate Healthia. This would enable our community to access a service that was identified as a need within the Playford Health and Wellbeing Precinct.

“The opening of Healthia marks a significant milestone and we look forward to continuing our partnership with ACH Group and other stakeholders to foster a thriving Precinct.”

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton MP, said Healthia would be a great addition to the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

“This facility will better support older South Australians and their care needs,” he said.

“Healthia provides a new approach to aged care and is the first care home in Australia that implements the Green House Project model founded in the US.

“We are also thrilled with the partnership that will allow older patients at the Lyell McEwin Hospital and Modbury Hospital to leave hospital sooner, and continue their transition to home at Healthia.”

Mary Patetsos and Frank Weits

Healthia was officially opened on 20 September 2023 by the Government of South Australia, Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton MP, and ACH Group Chair Mary Patetsos.