Moving out of institutionalised living
The State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to moving people with disability out of institutions and into community accommodation and is this week communicating with Highgate Park’s residents and staff about the facility’s eventual closure.
There are currently 11 residents living at Highgate Park, previously known as the Julia Farr Centre, who will gradually move into alternative community accommodation in the coming weeks and months.
Of the 11 remaining residents, five residents are being supported to move into alternative accommodation imminently.
The eventual closure has been earmarked since 2014 and no new residents have moved into the facility since then. In the short-term, services will continue to be provided to the remaining residents at Highgate Park as they are supported to find other accommodation in the community or in aged care facilities.
The government’s priority is ensuring support for both residents and staff, recognising Highgate is their home and many have lived there the majority of their lives.
At its peak, Highgate Park provided support to more than 800 people in the late 1970s but it’s now known that institutionalised care is no longer considered best practice in disability support.
Over the past few years, the department has been moving residents into community accommodation with great success giving people living with disability more opportunities in the community than ever before.
A specific closure date will not be set until all remaining residents have a place to transition to alternative accommodation.
The State Government has worked closely with affected staff and unions over the past two years following national reforms to the disability and aged care sector.
Any decision on the future of the site once Highgate Park has closed will be made in consultation with the community and meet the trust’s objectives to benefit people with disability. The Home for Incurables Trust owns the site and the Minister for Human Services is sole trustee.
The Department of Human Services will work with people with disability and other community stakeholders to prepare a business case for the future of the Highgate Park site that will be in the best interests of the trust.