History of Emmerton Park
From humble beginnings in 1966, as a small organisation to look after Circular Head’s elderly, Emmerton Park has grown to become one of the most successful community based organisations in Tasmania.
1964 Harry Emmerton bequested 14,000 pounds to Smithton Hospital for the purchase of equipment – the hospital Board led by Arthur Ambrose proposed the money be used to establish housing for the elderly of the district.
1966 The name of the organisation was registered as Emmerton Park.
1969 The first independent living units were built with the aim to provide low cost, quality affordable housing to Circular Head’s aged residents.
1974 Investigations began into the possibility of building a hostel facility in Smithton in order to assist those persons who were unable to manage by themselves at home or in a unit.
1976 At a special meeting it was unanimously agreed that the greatest need facing the elderly in Circular Head was for hostel accommodation.
1976-1977 A massive fund raising program was undertaken, approximately 150 representatives from organisations in Circular Head coordinated by a special fund raising committee gave so generously that the target of $107,000 was exceeded by $8,000 in 7 months.
The design of the Hostel was undertaken with tenders for construction received in September 1977. Discussions were held to consider an offer to purchase the old Wybia Motel (behind the current Woolworths site); regulatory bodies found the site satisfactory and the motel was purchased for conversion to an aged care Hostel. An existing building was chosen because it was affordable whereas a new building would have required a large loan to finance.
The Emmerton Park Auxiliary was formed to assist with the setting up and conversion of the former Wybia Motel to the Emmerton Park Hostel. Much of the early work of the auxiliary was manual work including the weekend voluntary cooking at the Hostel. Fundraising became more important as the years have passed.
1978 Emmerton Park opened fully refurbished as a 26 bed Hostel facility.
1980s Hostel running at $40,000 per year deficit and in danger of closing however the community and volunteer groups rallied again – to save Emmerton Park which at this stage was without Federal Funding. Community groups, the RSL and individual donations helped expand the independent living units. The funds from these helped to support the Hostel.
1989 The Hostel courtyard was enclosed and converted into a games room.
1994 Seven rooms were added and the Hostel now catered for 31 permanent and 2 respite residents.
2000 A feasibility study conducted by Emmerton Park resulted in a preferred model for a new purpose built 60 bed nursing home on a green field site. Considerable lobby of politicians of both State and Federal Governments over a period of years eventually resulted in the project proceeding. It was supported by the Circular Head Community and the Circular Head Council with local fund raising $900,000 in just over 12 months. In addition, the Federal Government contributed $2.5 million, the State Government $1 million and the Circular Head Council $1.4 Million. The State Government agreed to transfer nursing home beds at the Smithton Hospital's Ambrose wing to Emmerton Park.
2006 Building commenced on the Senior Drive site.
2008 The new nursing home was completed and opened on 29 April 2008. The facility costing $8.5 million has 61 beds incorporating both high and low care beds with the ability to expand further in the future to 80 beds.
2011 Walkway through the internal gardens and courtyard opened in February 2011. Emmerton Park awarded Tasmanian Aged Care Organisation of the Year and Media Award for the positive portrayal of the elderly and aged care services.
2012 Emmerton Park awarded Tasmanian Aged Care Organisation of the Year and Better Practice Award for innovation in Leisure and Lifestyle for our live radio program (EP Radio). Our Ladies’ Auxiliary were highly commended in the Can Do Community awards.
2013 Winner of National Aged Care Organisation Award, the highest honour in Australian aged care.