21 Years of Age Care

March 19, 2013

Come help and celebrate at Naroo’s birthday party and fete on  Saturday 13 April 2013.

Naroo Hostel situated in Long St Warialda was opened on the 22  April 1992.  The Hostel was funded through a federal funding grant and significant community fundraising.  The community raised in excess of $100,000.

When the Hostel first opened it had ten rooms, six residents and four staff.   It was officially opened by Senator Susan West.  Yallaroi Shire was the administrative body who managed the facility with a committee appointed to oversee the facility’s operations.

Wheeler Rice & Associates of Armidale was the successful tenderer for the construction of the original building.

Mrs Jill Reeves was the first supervisor and the facility was fully occupied soon after opening.  However, it is noted that Mrs Teena Green was the initial licensee.

A bequest by, the late, Mrs Alma McKenzie in the sum of $73,000 was a large boost to Naroo’s reserves and was the foundation for a subsequent extension.

These extensions occurred in 1998  with another five rooms being added to the facility.  The Honourable Bruce Scott, Minister for Veterans Affairs opened these extensions as his Department had contributed $52,847 to the project. Again the community greatly assisted by raising funds. Plans and specifications for this extension as well as the original plans were completed by Barbara Hinkson. The building contractors were R & L Robinson of Inverell.

In February 2002 a capital grant of $68,400 was obtained for further improvements. These improvements included a new laundry and fire safety equipment such as sprinklers.  Naroo was before its time as provision of such fire safety equipment is now mandatory.

2004 also saw a change in the administration body following the amalgamation of Yallaroi Shire and Bingara Shire Councils.  The newly formed Gwydir Shire Council retained a committee to oversee operations at Naroo.

2009 saw another extension to Naroo with another five rooms, an extension to the common areas and an enlargement of the kitchen. This extension was funded through a grant from the Federal Government, a substantial contribution by Gwydir Shire Council.  This project would not have proceeded had it not been for the incredible community support and fundraising.  This extension works were undertaken by O’Donnell & Hanlon.

Now it is happening again, an extension bigger than anything previously imagined: 15 rooms, a new laundry and additional minor renovations. The local Dementia Building Support Group have been madly fund raising and to date have raised in excess of $50,000.

Naroo has had the continued support of the community since opening its doors  21 years ago.  The community is to be commended for all of the time, effort and funds which it has given.  Naroo Hostel truly is a fantastic community asset. It is a wonderful residential facility which has always been known for providing high quality care to all of its residents.

Over the past 21 years Naroo have accommodated more than 110 residents with many more coming in for a week or two of respite.  At the moment the Hostel has 20 permanent residents and one person enjoying respite. 

On the day of the birthday party there will be wall of history listing the names of past residents. It would be appreciated if you could let Naroo management know if you notice anyone missing. There will also be a photo display – please take the time to look at Naroo’s history.

Naroo Hostel is  a major employer through the Gwydir Shire Council. There will also  be a display of current and former employees; if you have worked at Naroo and you would like to be included on the history wall please let management know.

On Saturday 13 April Naroo will be hosting a day of celebrations in the form of a fete.  There will be stalls, entertainment and things for the children. At 3pm the cake will be officially cut to celebrate Naroo’s “coming of age”.

Please come and join in the festivities.  There be conducting guided tours of the existing building and displaying plans for the new extensions.