ETU Official Opening

Bellarine Community Health (BCH) recently joined with affordable housing provider Sirovilla to celebrate the official opening of the refurbished Sirovilla Eric Tolliday Units in Point Lonsdale.

More than 60 people, including Neil Tolliday, son of Eric Tolliday, current residents and their families, Board Directors of both BCH and Sirovilla, Local Member Alison Marchant and Borough of Queenscliffe Mayor Isabella Tolhurst gathered to mark the occasion.

Under a partnership with Sirovilla, the 16 units on the grounds of BCH Point Lonsdale have been refurbished and reopened to provide secure and affordable housing for older residents.

Board Chair Kate Kerkin said Sirovilla was thrilled to support older independent community members with affordable, safe and secure accommodation.

“Our experience at Point Lonsdale so far has highlighted the need for this type of housing on the Bellarine Peninsula. We have more people on our wait list at Point Lonsdale than we do on the wait list at Anglesea which has been run by Sirovilla for over 10 years.”

The units were originally opened in two stages in the early 1980’s. Funding for the first eight self-contained units came from the Commonwealth Department of Social Security and were opened in 1982. Further funding was secured, and another eight units were opened in 1984.

BCH Board Chair Fay Agterhuis acknowledged that the redevelopment and reopening of the units had been a long and sometimes difficult process, but after community input, investigation and research into ways of achieving the best outcome, a partnership with Sirovilla had resulted in a wonderful collaboration.

“It’s a partnership with an alignment of values, people, community and relationships that now sees the site once again active, units renovated and occupied and home to its own active and engaged community within a community.”

The one-bedroom units were named 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.

Neil Tolliday congratulated all involved in the redevelopment and official opening. “On behalf of the Tolliday family I congratulate the Sirovilla team for their hard work leading to today’s achievement.”

As part of the official opening celebrations, Mr Tolliday and representatives of Sirovilla and BCH planted a tree in commemoration. The tree was donated by the Tolliday family.

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