Date: 31 December 2019

Whiddon and Pioneer House in Mudgee, have entered into a partnership agreement for the two organisations to work together to explore a potential ownership transfer of Pioneer House to Whiddon.

Whiddon shares a strong benevolent history and common values with Pioneer House. Pioneer House celebrates a long and proud history of providing care to older people in the Mudgee region since it first opened in 1965. Over the years, the aged care home has grown from offering 16 residential aged care places, to its current offering of 81 places. Like Whiddon, Pioneer House has always been committed to keeping the people they care for connected with the community they love.

Whiddon CEO Chris Mamarelis said that Whiddon is honoured to have been selected as the preferred organisation to partner with Pioneer House and the community of Mudgee.

“In the current aged care landscape, many smaller providers are facing challenges around financial viability. As a large provider with a long and proud history, and a strong track record in regional communities, we are grateful for the opportunity to be part of a journey with Pioneer House and we recognise that great consideration has been given to ensuring residents, employees and the wider community are best served now and into the future.”

“We are committed to working in collaboration with Pioneer House to begin a consultation process with families, residents, employees, local stakeholders and the community, to explore a potential transfer of ownership in 2020. We have a deep appreciation and respect for the strong linkages that exist between Pioneer House and the local community and are looking forward to taking this journey together.

“As an organisation that operates in regional, rural and remote locations, we are often at the very heart of our local communities, both as an employer and provider of care services. We operate 19 aged care homes, 9 community care hubs and 12 retirement villages. There is a distinct Whiddon experience that is based around the way we care for and support our residents, and how we value and continually invest in our people, communities, homes and services.”

“Should the transition of Pioneer House to Whiddon be approved, we recognise that there is no one-size fits all model. The journey of bringing a new home and community into our organisation is not one that we undertake lightly. From experience, we understand the support and resourcing that a successful transition requires,” Mr Mamarelis said.

The timeframe for any transfer, should both the Pioneer House and Whiddon Boards approve for it to take place, is anticipated to be in June 2020.

A change of ownership would see residents of Pioneer House having access to Whiddon’s award-wining model of care, and wellbeing and creative ageing programs and employees would have access to a number of wellbeing and professional development programs, including our scholarship and leadership programs, to encourage and enable personal growth and career development.

Whiddon is committed to working closely with the Board of Pioneer House and the management team, along with residents, families and employees, to understand and communicate the next steps of the partnership.