Southern Cross Care (Broken Hill) Ltd (SCCBH) – as it is now known – was founded in September 1974 as a branch of New South Wales Southern Cross Homes Inc., by an Order of Catholic laymen known as The Knights of the Southern Cross (Branch 14, Broken Hill) (KSCBH).
A Committee of KSCBH members was formed on 17 February 1972 to investigate the need for and the feasibility of building and operating aged care facilities in Broken Hill. A feasibility study of the city was conducted through various organisations: religious, service Clubs, pensioner groups and the Broken Hill City Council. The need for varied accommodation for the aged in housing, hostels and nursing homes soon became obvious. On 18 August, 1974, Kevin Ryan, the Chairman of Southern Cross Homes, N.S.W. came to Broken Hill and recommended that the KSCBH undertake the building and operation of retirement homes.
The KSCBH formally adopted the building of a 40-unit retirement village, which was subsequently named the Con Crowley Village, as a Branch project on 15 September 1974. Consequently the Investigation Committee became the Southern Cross Homes (Broken Hill) Committee of Management. The building of a Community Centre saw the completion of the Village in 1982.
St Anne’s Home of Compassion, a 51-bed nursing home, became part of SCCBH on the 3 June 1984 when the Sisters of Mercy were no longer able to continue running the Home. Likewise, when the University of New South Wales planned to vacate the premises of its WS & LB Robinson University College site, the buildings were acquired by SCCBH and conversion to a 60-bed nursing home began in April 1985. To assist with funding, the city adopted the conversion as a centenary project. Residents were admitted to what became Centenary Nursing Home in October 1986. A further 10 beds were added later. On 17 November 1998 SCCBH merged with the War Veterans Hostel Inc, a 27-bed low care hostel.
In 2003 it was decided that the two nursing homes – St Anne’s and Centenary – should be combined into one modern building. This project for the construction of a New St Anne’s Nursing Home commenced at the beginning of 2005 and the 121 residents moved in on 12 August 2006.
Also in 2003 Aruma Lodge was finding that it was too small a facility to be viable in the long term. An approach was made to SCCBH regarding the possibility of a merger, which was formalised in 2004.
A decision was made in 2009 to build a new 40-bed hostel to replace the 27-bed War Veterans Hostel and to add an extra 13 beds allocated by the Government. The first sod was turned on 21 October 2009 and the official opening was on 16 April 2011. The home was named The Harold Williams Home after one of the KSCBH Members who was also a former SCCBH chairman. The old War Veterans Hostel was converted into independent retirement living units and named War Vets.
As part of the assessment of the long term future of SCCBH operations it was decided that SCCBH should look beyond Broken Hill for opportunities to secure its future. An opportunity presented when SCCBH was informed that the 119-unit Vines Retirement Village in Mildura Victoria was on the market. After a due diligence study was carried out the Village was purchased in 2011.
In 2013 an approach was made by a member of the Board of Oasis Aged Care, which is located in Irymple, asking if SCCBH was interested in a merger of the two organisations. This merger took place in June 2013.
This is but a brief timeline of the History of Southern Cross Care (Broken Hill) Ltd. However, a much more detailed history, written by Rhonda Rigg, is available from the Administration Office of Southern Cross Care (Broken Hill) Piper Street.