The Good Shepherd Home celebrates 50 years of caring for Townsville seniors and families

The Good Shepherd Home — the region’s largest and longest-standing residential aged care home — is celebrating 50 years of supporting the Townsville community in November.

This milestone sees The Good Shepherd Home (TGSH) continue to lead the way in responding to the needs of Townsville’s ageing population. TGSH carries the torch in upholding its not-for-profit mission: to deliver compassionate, high-quality aged care services.

An independent organisation, TGSH was established in 1972, when forward-thinking volunteers took up the call to deliver much-needed support for the aged in our community. With the backing of local organisations, they raised nearly half a million dollars to build what would become TGSH, bringing accessible residential aged care to older Townsville locals.

‘This anniversary is really about acknowledging our community, where we’ve come from and our vision for the future’, says Brian Matthews, CEO.

‘In particular’, he says, ‘I would like to acknowledge our outstanding staff and volunteers. I see the invaluable impact their dedication has for our residents and their families. It’s been a difficult few years with COVID, but I’m so proud of the resilience of our Home. In particular, our residents who surprise and inspire us every day, make us laugh and challenge us to make the Home the best it can be.’

‘This milestone is also our chance’, says Matthews, ‘to thank the multitude of community members and local businesses — who have supported us through donations of money or equipment over the past 50 years.’

TGSH continues to forge ahead with new developments. This year TGSH has launched a landmark Frailty Reduction, Implementation of Exercise, Nutrition and De-prescribing FRIEND Program, conducted in partnership with University of Sydney and James Cook University. Through the pilot program, TGSH residents benefit from improved mobility, increased independence and a higher quality of life.

Looking to the future, TGSH is focused on making more services accessible to residents, their families and the broader Townsville community. Through a masterplan for TGSH’s long-term future, the Home seeks to expand short term respite care, introduce a co-located health services clinic, and is in early discussions regarding the establishment of an onsite early childhood centre.

These innovative developments are part of TGSH’s ongoing commitment to support and care for local community, helping older people to live their best lives.

Peter Honeycombe, newly appointed Chair of the Board and Managing Director of one of Queensland’s foremost development companies, comments, ‘I’m so proud that TGSH has had such great community support over the past 50 years. Like so many in our region, I’ve had a lot of family and friends who’ve been at TGSH including my grandmother. The home provides essential services. Everyone has an interest in ensuring the aged are well cared for and I am grateful to be able to do my bit to make sure the facility delivers the best outcomes.’

The Good Shepherd Home’s 50th birthday celebrations run from 7–13 November and include a series of COVID-safe events for staff, residents, volunteers and an evening to thank key supporters, which will take place on Tuesday 8 November.

Fast facts

  • The Good Shepherd Home is a residential aged care provider with a long history in Townsville. Established in 1972, we have been proudly serving locals for 50 years.
  • The largest residential aged care provider in Townsville, TGSH cares for up to 240 older people across a broad range of accommodation options.
  • TGSH stands on the site of a former potato farm that had been sold back to Townsville City Council.
  • Since 1972, The Good Shepherd Home has been home to more than 3000 residents.
  • TGSH’s landscaped grounds look onto the beautiful Ross River and the Palmetum, Townsville’s famous botanical garden featuring 300 species of palms.
  • Residents recently voted their most popular activity as golf buggy rides through the Palmetum.
  • TGSH opened Riverview House in 2006, Townville’s first premium aged care suites providing extra services.
  • In 2016, TGSH opened Pinnacles House, a 90 bed facility over three storeys including a 30 bed dementia support unit.
  • The findings of the innovative FRIEND Program, referenced above, will be published by researchers from the University of Sydney, with the aim of introducing similar programs throughout Australia.
  • Founded by members of the local Anglican diocese, TGSH’s logo, designed by local artist Bette Hayes in 1969, represents the Christian symbols of the fish, the shepherd’s crook and the circle — a beginning without end.
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