Eric Tolliday Units to reopen under new partnership with Sirovilla

Bellarine Community Health (BCH) and retirement village provider Sirovilla have today announced a new partnership to reopen the Eric Tolliday Units (ETUs) located on the BCH site in Point Lonsdale.

Sirovilla is an established and trusted provider with retirement villages in both Geelong and Anglesea. The organisation plans to renovate and reopen the vacant Eric Tolliday Units as affordable housing for independent low-income seniors.

BCH CEO Garry Ellis described today’s announcement as a great outcome for the local community.

“This partnership aligns with the aims and objectives of Bellarine Community Health to support the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities on the Bellarine,” he said.

“We are really pleased to have a partnership that allows the reopening the Eric Tolliday Units to provide additional housing options for our communities.”

Sirovilla Board Chair, Dr Kate Kerkin, said the renovations will get underway within the next few months.

“We are very pleased to partner with Bellarine Community Health and to bring the Eric Tolliday Units back to life’, she said. “Each of the units will be given a refresh and we look forward to providing safe, secure and affordable housing for independent seniors in a community environment similar to our existing villages at Highton and Anglesea.”

The Sirovilla partnership will not impact current arrangements for the existing residents in the units. During the transition to Sirovilla taking over operation of the units, BCH will continue to support the current residents and assist them in any way required.

The Sirovilla partnership follows BCH’s establishment of a Community Engagement Reference Group (CERG) to review potential models of operation for the units.

The BCH Board committed to reopen the units in good faith, but after reviewing the capital costs required for renovations, determined it was beyond the financial scope of BCH. 

The CERG investigated several operational models and presented a discussion paper to the Board recommending the affordable housing model as the most likely to meet community expectations for future use of the units.  It also suggested that BCH consider a partnership arrangement with another community retirement village provider.

Sirovilla will finance the refurbishment of the units and manage their ongoing operation.

Sirovilla was first established as the result of a great vison and enthusiasm amongst the CSIRO Division of Textile Industry Social Club in Highton, Geelong, who saw the need for secure and affordable housing for senior residents. Sirovilla has expanded throughout the 1970’s, establishing further residences in its Highton retirement village through the Victorian Government’s Social Housing Program and in the 1980’s acquiring the previous Anglesea Lions Village properties.

The 16-unit village at Point Lonsdale will be called the Sirovilla Eric Tolliday Units in honour of Mr Eric Tolliday (deceased) who gave over 30 years of service to the local community as Treasurer of the Queenscliff and District Memorial Hospital Society and the Queenscliff and District Community Health Centre.

Queries in relation to eligibility or to register interest for the Sirovilla Eric Tolliday Units need to be directed to Sirovilla on 03 5241 1517 or email [email protected]

A public information session in relation to the units will be held at 5:00pm on Tuesday 29 March, 2022 at the Point Lonsdale Primary School Hall. The hall is located at 29 Bowen Road, opposite the school. Parking is available near the hall.

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