Origins of UPA

UPA was founded in Grafton NSW, during a turbulent period of Australia’s history. Still a young nation, in 1938 Australia was recovering from the Great Depression and was also suffering the aftershocks of a massive loss of life caused by WWI. It was within such a setting that the Founder of UPA, Thomas Agst developed his notion of ‘practical Christianity’, providing functional assistance to those who needed it, beginning with children in need that he and his wife, Rosetta cared for.

Today, UPA is a leader in quality affordable services for the Aged and has 71 centres and facilities throughout NSW. The centres and facilities operate across 7 regions in total – all united under one mission and structure.

About UPA Sydney

Melrose Village

In November 1944 the Parramatta District Council was formed. The Melrose site, consisting of 8 acres was purchased in July 1948 from Miss Bean and Mrs Bell, two sisters. The site also included a large two-story home.

We opened our first self-care cottage on 16th December 1948. The original brick cottages (duplex) are still standing at the front of our property and are used as part of our independent living units.

In 1952 the two-storey home was opened as Melrose Boy’s Home for 30 British boys. Many boys called Melrose ‘home’ until its doors closed in 1980. The home was demolished in 1992 to make way for the independent living units now known as Wattle Lodge.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s many small cottages were built here at Melrose and lined both of our main driveways. Theses cottages were built to house elderly residents.

The residential care facility opened on October 11th 1975 to assist 44 older persons to enjoy a quality life not available to them in their own homes.

March 1993 saw the completion of 18 independent living units, Wattle Lodge, situated at the rear of the property and in January, 1999 another 20 units known as Jacaranda Lodge were completed. These units provide a great lifestyle for those people who are still independent, but like the security and benefits of living within a retirement village.

In 2004, we opened a new wing of the hostel which comprises of a 14 bed Dementia Specific wing which is known as Lavender Wing and a 16 general bed wing called Jasmine Wing.

In 2009 a new extension to the Lodge was completed to accommodate existing residents living in the older residential care units within Melrose. The extensions provided us with 19 new resident rooms all with ensuite, individual air conditioning and internet access. It also features several smaller, intimate sitting areas, a large combined lounge/activities room leading to an outdoor balcony, internal courtyards which are directly accessible from resident rooms and the Jasmine Tea Room where residents and family can enjoy a cup of tea and a chat.

In May 2014 the Administration Hub and new Camellia Wing were completed and this added 31 new residential care rooms to the facility and increased the occupancy of our residential care facility to 80 places.

Heiden Park Lodge

The UPA became involved in caring for aged people in Fairfield in the 1950’s thanks to the generosity of Mrs Gertrude Von Heiden who gifted to UPA her property at Haughton Street that fronted the nearby Prospect Creek.

Self care cottages were constructed and occupied until 1989 when the NSW Government resumed the land due to continued flooding.

The new residential care facility was officially opened on 14th March 1992 at 16 Matthews Street, Carramar and provided care to 65 residents.

The facility today is home to 85 residents who are assisted in their daily living according to their assessed needs. The facility consists of the Goff Wing which is home to 17 of our Chinese residents, Carinya Wing which is home to 26 of our dementia residents and our 42 residents who live in our general wing.

Sydney Home Care

Sydney West Home Care commenced in November 1987 with 30 Home Care Packages funded by the Australian Government. We were granted an additional 22 packages in 2009 and an extra 30 packages in 2010 bringing a total of 82 packages.

In 2014 we were successful in obtaining another 14 packages on Level 2, 3 & 4 bringing a total of 96 Home Care Packages.

In December 2015 our team merged with UPA Sydney North & Sydney South Home Care Services, which are now run under one single Sydney Home Care Program. The main office administration and coordination functions occur from the Sydney Regional Office.

The Home Care Package program provides packages of care and services to meet high level care needs and helps consumers to live independently in their home. The Home Care Package Program allows us to tailor a co-ordinated range of care and services to help consumers meet their care needs and goals by working in partnership with a UPA Coordinator to co-produce a care plan.

We also provide private services to older people in the community. In March 2019, the Department of Veterans Affairs program, Veterans Home Care, expanded rapidly, with the release of an additional 97 places. Today, we support over 130 Veteran Home Care Consumers.

The Laurels

The Laurels is located at 45 English Street, Kogarah and is close to Kogarah and Carlton railway stations.

The original home was built in 1886 by Edward English, a pioneer in the early days of Kogarah.

UPA’s involvement at Kogarah dates back to 1950 when The Laurels was purchased to establish a girl’s home. This operation was phased out in 1978 when it was closed to make way for The Laurels Aged Care Service which opened in 1979 to accommodate 26 residents. The formal opening was held on 5th May 1979 with the opening ceremony being performed by Jim Bradfield, M.P. A respite room was added later.

The resident’s rooms surround the historic, heritage listed home.

Hillcrest Village

Hillcrest is located at 1a Railway Crescent, Stanwell Park and situated below the escarpment with picturesque views of the beach.

All of the land upon which Hillcrest Village now stands was gifted to UPA by Margaret Letitia Jane Campbell in 1961 and the first self-care cottages were built to accommodate residents later that year.

Located on the site is Hillcrest House where Lawrence Hargraves lived for six years. During this time he developed his famous box kites, conducting many of his “test flights” on the veranda of the home as well as Stanwell Beach.

Hillcrest House is used as an amenities area for residents and the local community. Regular church services are held and art and craft exhibitions have been held in this lovely venue.

In 1994 UPA and a group called the Friends of Hillcrest contributed to the refurbishment of Hillcrest House.

In 2007 plans were approved by Wollongong Council to develop the site to provide 24 self-care units consisting of one, two and three bedroom units. These units were officially opened on 19th September 2009 by Bruce Tutty, President of UPA.

In 2016 another four units were completed at the same time as the Frank & Jess Kennett Home was completed on the same site.

Frank & Jess Kennett Home

Frank and Jess Kennett gifted their holiday home located at 103 The Drive, Stanwell Park to UPA in 1968 to be used for Aged Care. It was upgraded and expanded in order to comfortably accommodate 24 residents.

This home was sold by UPA in 2016 and a new hostel building was opened on the same site as Hillcrest Village, located at 1A Railway Crescent, Stanwell Park in August 2016. The new Frank & Jess Kennett Home offers 44 large individual rooms and ensuites and can also cater for 16 residents with dementia. It also has an administration area, offices, storage areas and meeting rooms.

Careers at UPA Sydney
About UPA Sydney

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