Our Story – Maroba Aged Care
The man who tended the horses dared to dream!
Viv Cork, was an Ostler but he also had a dream and a vision to bring about change in the aged care system to provide dignity to older people in care.
Viv’s vision became a reality in 1954 when together with two other members of Maitland Road Baptist Church they mortgaged their homes to purchase a property and pursue their collective dream of opening an aged care home specifically for elderly widows and spinsters.
A 10 bedroom maternity hospital in Buruda St, Mayfield was purchased in July for 3600 pounds from Nurse Wells and re-named MAROBA Rest Home for Elderly Ladies. MAROBA being the first two letters of Maitland Road Baptist Church.
A grant of land
Maroba received a grant of land from the government at Edith St, Waratah. A new nursing home was planned across 2 stages.
The Cowen Wing, named after the builder and foundation Board member was opened, housing 33 residents. A separate Matron’s Suite was also built and occupied by a staff member. The property in Buruda St Mayfield was subsequently sold.
The Lindgren Wing, named after another founding Board member was opened in 1971 almost doubling capacity. MAROBA now cared for 77 residents including 11 men and was renamed Maroba Rest Home. There was 45 employees that included nursing, domestic and secretarial workers.
1977 The Board confirmed the final payment had been made to the bank on the loan secured to complete the second stage of the rest home. Happy days!
Maroba footprint expands
In response to demand for hostel type accommodation, plans for the Lodge were drawn up and The Lodge was officially opened in September 1993, catering for 43 residents.
The Waratah wing, Maroba’s first dementia specific care area was opened as an extension to the nursing home. The Matrons Cottage was demolished to make way for the new wing.
The purchase over the years of residential housing in Myall Road led to the opportunity for Maroba to build and open self-contained villas. The location of the villas is ideal being adjacent to the main facility where support services are available if needed. The 23 villas opened in the same year a time capsule was buried under the pergola to celebrate “International Year of the Older Person’. The time capsule will be opened in 2049.
Braye Park Wing was added to The Lodge as Maroba’s low care dementia unit.
In early 2000’s government accommodation requirements in aged care changed, and it became apparent that ‘no amount of modifications to Cowen and Lindgren wings would enable us to meet the new regulations’ for the nursing home. (‘Ground Breaking Ceremony, A. Gibbins).
The Board and staff began to dream some more and in consultation with EJE Architecture and Viv Allanson, CEO they put in place plans to re-develop the existing site to construct a modern aged care home.
Broad Constructions was awarded the contract to build The Manor. The official ‘dig’ to replace the 48 year old nursing home occurred in October.
The construction of The Manor was completed in two stages. Stage 1 was a 52 bed facility (now Nobbys & Waratah suburbs) plus administration and kitchen facilities.
Residents moved into Nobbys & Waratah suburbs in June. There was some disappointment with residents as everyone of course wanted to move into the new facility!
The Lindgren wing was demolished shortly afterwards to make room for Stage 2, a 48 bed facility which is now The Hill and Honeysuckle suburb.
The Project Manager from Broad Constructions was interviewed at the time and asked about his role. ‘The residents are very interested in the new facility. Our organisation has acquired a number of additional site managers. We had some difficulty initially as the residents would stand in the entrance road to the facility to watch construction, so we constructed a viewing platform to allow them to watch the works from undercover and out of danger.’
The Manor complex which is split across two floors with 4 suburbs including communal areas in each wing, large lounge area, Chapel and gymnasium was opened by the Lord Mayor, Councillor John Tate on 23 May.
Current refurbishment plans
Plans progressed for the refurbishment of The Lodge hostel which is nearly 30 years old.
In April, the Braye Park Wing was decommissioned as a Dementia unit, and is now a designated area to manage potential infections outbreaks.
March 25 was the day of the official dig for the refurbishment of The Lodge.
The facility will receive a much deserved facelift. The refurbishment will occur over several stages with the key objective to enhance the lifestyle of residents by providing more functional areas for social programs, gatherings and improved living and service environments such as a new café and outdoor seating area that will overlook a children’s play area.
The project will be completed by December 2021.
And so, almost 70 years since Viv Cork’s dream of bringing about change to the care and dignity to the elderly, Maroba has a proud history of going from strength to strength due to the dedication and commitment of staff, executive and Board, who carry Viv’s vision and always have the needs of the residents firmly in their hearts and minds.