Monday 19 April 2021
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Dear sector colleague,
I’m pleased to advise that after extensive consultation, Highgate Park will be sold, and any proceeds used to help people living with disability through the trust that owns the site.
Many of you may know Highgate Park by its former name, the Julia Farr Centre. Originally established by philanthropist Julia Farr in 1879 the site has, throughout its 141-year history, supported people with disability, specifically those who have been unable to live independently without support.
For many years, there has been a commitment to move people living with disability out of institutions and into supported community accommodation. Subsequently, Highgate Park was closed, and the last resident moved out in April 2020.
An extensive consultation on the future of the trust that owns the site revealed that South Australians with disabilities want to be more involved and have a greater say in how any funds in the trust are spent. Over 360 people were consulted on the future of the site, including people with lived experience of disability from across South Australia and experts working 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. The working group is an avenue for people living with disability to have an authentic voice in how any proceeds from the sale of Highgate Park should be spent.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is inviting 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 Highgate Park site is underway.
If you, any of your employees or people that you support would like to participate, please complete the expressions of interest form by 16 May 2021.
Highgate Park holds special memories for many South Australians, and through the working group, we’ll ensure that its legacy lives on in the direction of the trust and creation of new opportunities created for South Australians with disabilities.
Ngaityalya (Kaurna: thank you)