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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Brisbane aged care facility celebrates 50 eventful years of caring for seniors

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A Brisbane aged care community set on land donated by pioneering European settlers is celebrating five decades of caring for local seniors.

Carinity Brookfield Green is marking its 50th anniversary, having been officially opened as ‘Resthaven’ in May 1972.

Carinity CEO, Jon Campbell, paid tribute to the thousands of staff who have helped to care for seniors at Brookfield over the past five decades.

“Every day for 50 years, our dedicated nurses and support staff have displayed a determination to care for our most vulnerable. I praise them for the legacy of professional care they continue today,” Campbell said.

“The perseverance of our people at Brookfield has been inspiring, from rebounding from a severe storm which demolished buildings in 1973, to being cut off by floodwaters on numerous occasions, and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gwen Billing started working with Carinity one year after Brookfield Green opened as Resthaven, and supported seniors during 45 years of dedicated service as an enrolled nurse.

“I enjoyed my work in aged care and I just love to care for the elderly,” Billing said.

“I didn’t ever ask for any praise, it was my job, my duty. I’m sure I have made a contribution to aged care, and I feel proud about it.”

Gwen Billings started working at Carinity Brookfield Green in 1973 and cared for the aged there for 45 years.

Largely funded through public donations, the Resthaven ‘home for the aged’ was built on land at Gold Creek Road acquired by noted Baptist contributor Samuel Dart in 1869.

Samuel and his wife Eliza helped start the first church in Laidley with subsequent generations of their family involved in Baptist endeavours.

Their great great-grandson, Steve Dart, pictured top holding a photo of Eliza, currently works for Carinity.

The late Dr John Leslie Dart gifted 34 acres of land to the Baptist Union of Queensland in 1964, on which Carinity Brookfield Green is set.

Self-contained retirement units were built adjacent to the initial aged care home in the late-’70s, with the on-site Resthaven Chapel opening in 1981.

“Carinity is proud of its strong links to Brookfield and is honoured to continue the legacy of the Dart family which has served the Baptist Church over several generations,” Campbell said.

A severe storm back in 1973 decimated some of the buildings of Resthaven, now known as Carinity Brookfield Green, one year after the aged care home opened.

The original Resthaven nursing home dwellings were replaced by the $30-million state-of-the-art The Residences at Brookfield Green aged care building, which opened in 2018.

Carinity Brookfield Green residential manager, Vijay Autar said residents and workers alike love their facility.

“Brookfield is a wonderful place to live, and we are delighted to have provided a comfortable home for so many older residents who love this leafy area of Brisbane.

“We offer the best in aged care with a relaxing and safe lifestyle, with all the warmth and comfort of home,” he said.

The 50th anniversary of Brookfield Green is one of a number of special milestones for Carinity services in 2022.

Carinity Wishart Gardens aged care and Carinity Education Southside, a special assistance school in Brisbane for young women, both turn 25 this year.

Earlier this month Carinity Illoura in Beaudesert marked 30 years as a counselling centre, while Carinity took over the operation of Colthup Manor aged care and Elim Estates retirement village in Ipswich 20 years ago.

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