Highgate Park to be sold, legacy to support people with disability
The former Julia Farr Centre – now known as Highgate Park – will be released to the open market for sale and any proceeds used to benefit South Australians living with disability.
A thorough independent consultation with the disability sector on the future of the site revealed the sale of the Fullarton campus and using any proceeds to benefit people living with disability was strongly supported.
The Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink is sole trustee of the trust that owns Highgate Park.
Renewal SA will manage the sale of the site on behalf of the trust.
Highgate Park is recognised as a special place that many South Australians remember.
The decision to sell Highgate Park was made following a thorough and extensive independent community consultation with people living with disability and disability experts.
Consultation included in-depth interviews, workshops and surveys. More than 360 people were involved, including people living with disability and experts in the disability sector.
JFA Purple Orange – the non-profit disability advocacy organisation which was formed out of Julia Farr Services – will now facilitate a working group to consider the future focus of the trust and provide advice to the Minister during the sale process.
Purple Orange Chief Executive Officer Robbi Williams said Highgate Park had a long history of supporting people living with disability.
“Now the time has come to find new ways to use the asset’s value so people living with disability can take up their rightful place as active and valued members in our communities,” said Mr Williams.
“The working group is a unique opportunity for people living with disability to have an authentic voice in redefining how the trust will support people living with disability in the future.”
The Department of Human Services will now seek expressions of interest from the disability sector, particularly people with lived experience, to form the trust working group, which will begin its efforts while the sale of the site is underway.
Highgate Park fast facts
- Highgate Park was established by philanthropist Julia Farr under a charitable trust in 1879. First called the Home for Incurables, it was then renamed the Julia Farr Centre and then Highgate Park.
- The nine-storey building was built in the 1970s on a 2.85ha site in Fisher Street, Fullarton.
- Throughout its 141-year history, the trust has supported people with disability, specifically those who have been unable to live independently without support.
- No new residents have moved into Highgate Park since it was earmarked for closure in 2014.
- In line with a commitment to relocate people with disability out of institutions, all remaining residents have been supported into community accommodation. The last resident moved out last year.