Aged care facility to become an Aboriginal health and wellbeing centre

The former Japara aged care facility

Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Services recently bought the now vacant Japara aged care facility in Mardi, with plans to transform it into a health and wellbeing centre.

The new centre will house all services, except the dental clinic, currently available at the Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Service in Wyong.

CEO, Belinda Field, said the purchase was self determining and hoped the fitout of the new centre would be complete in two years.

Yerin’s Business Manager, Paul Hussein, said it would be an advantage to the community, allowing the organisation to expand their services.

“We will be relocating our staff to the new facility, this includes our general practice, mental health clinic and our drug and alcohol clinic,” he said.

“We’ll also have our family preservation program, our recently acquired homeless support program, as well as our NDIS community programs at the new centre.”

Hussein said that the largest obstacle so far was acquiring funding to complete the move, which he expects will cost between $2M and $3M.

“We’re looking for support to help fund this move,” he said.

“We’re currently going through the development application process and we’re working with the local state and federal Members of Parliament, and the State Government will put in a bit too.

“We’re excited to get the new centre up and running as a lot of people know the Japara aged care home and have had family members live there.

“They have fond memories of the clinic and we’re proud to make it an Indigenous owned facility for our community,” Hussein said.

The Japara Aged Care Facility closed in August 2020 due to the building’s design limitations and operational challenges.

Beds from the disused aged care facility are being sent to Fiji as part of a project between the new owner and Wyong Lions Club.

35 beds, mattresses, side tables and wardrobes are being shipped to a charity in Nadi for distribution to various hospitals in Fiji.

Harry Mulholland