Media Release; Oakfield Lodge Official Opening

21 June 2016

We say “Connecting Care with the Environment” for very good reasons…

On Tuesday 21 June 2016 we came together to celebrate the official opening of Oakfield Lodge in the presence of The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove.

Our welcome to country was provided by Ivan P. Copley O.A.M. JP, a local to the area as his Great Grandmother on his Father’s side was born near Womma-uk-urta - (Mt BARKER).

We were also officially welcomed into his new home by Mr Jack Carr.

Mr Carr is one of the first arrivals to live with us at Oakfield Lodge. He shared with us at the Official opening ceremony,

When I first came in, I was leaving my home of 9 years. It was a big change from where I was living on my own, but with the help of my daughter Sandra, I went from living in a house to living here. Now that I’m here, it’s my home and I get on very well with everyone.“


Oakfield Lodge was declared officially open by The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove in front of well over 200 guests, including residents, their family and friends, local and industry dignitaries:

  • His Grace, the most reverend Philip Wilson (Blessing)
  • Ivan P. Copley O.A.M. JP (Welcome to Country)
  • Mr Jack Carr, Resident (Speech)
  • Brendan Bowler AM, Southern Cross Care Board Chair (Speech)
  • Andrew Larpent OBE, Southern Cross Care CEO (Speech)
  • Sherry Larson, Southern Cross Care Residential Services Manager
  • Mr Bruce Gallasch (previous family landholder)
  • St Francis De Sales College Student Band
  • Mr Greg Van Mourvik, Chairman Southern Cross Care Australia


Southern Cross Care CEO, Mr Andrew Larpent OBE, said at the Official opening,

“Southern Cross Care built this beautiful facility for South Australians and the Mount Barker Community, and we hope it becomes a welcoming centre to this Adelaide Hills community, to keep people connected to the life they love.

He then shared some of the history of the site and how Southern Cross Care came to settle on the name “Oakfield Lodge”.

In summary, he said “keeping connected to the land and its history was a thought process used throughout each stage of development and construction, ie even down to the naming of the building as Oakfield.“

Oakfield was the name of the Farm the property originally formed part of; the original name of the Auchendarroch House nearby was The Oakfield Hotel and there is still an Oakfield Inn B&B in the town. The house names in Oakfield Lodge are named after persons of local and prominent interest, all of whom have streets or roads already named after them. 

There will be six houses which will operate as three wings.

  1. Dumas (started the local Courier paper and his son was knighted and ended up Managing Editor of Advertiser Newspapers Ltd);
  2. Gallasch (past family name of owner of the site and well known local name);
  3. Howard (Amos Howard discovered the local clover that caused the local dairy industry to blossom);

The remaining three names were from the key members of the first party to ascend Mt Barker in 1837. They are Hack, Morphett and Stephens.

Southern Cross Care Chairman, Mr Brendan Bowler AM, said at the Official opening,

Oakfield provides 80 new bed places catering for a range of resident needs, with flexibility enough to allow for future trends in aged care requirements. This is the first stage as we hope to expand and provide additional needs for those reaching retirement age as well in the future.”

He continued, “The retirement phase will add 180 dwellings across our site with a mixture of 2 to 3 bedroom homes becoming available. We hope to also include a community centre and additional respite service. It’s a perfect location with easy access to the town Centre or to the park and ride. However, we are here today to celebrate Oakfield Lodge.”

Brendan congratulated the ‘State Of The Art’ aged care site which is already exceeding expectations with Sarah Constructions, and in particular Dean Veldhuyzen (Construction Project Manager for Oakfield Lodge), mentioning  their award from The Australian Institute of Building for High Commendation for Professional Excellence in Commercial Construction Category $10m to $50m.

Brendon congratulated staff for the excellent work achieved settling residents in for the next chapter of their story. He commented, it is worth noting this important development has, “already created more than 100 jobs for registered and enrolled nurses, hotel services staff, administration, lifestyle, allied health, maintenance and importantly, care workers.”


At the event we showcased Adelaide Hills produce;

  • Udder delights Chevre “En croute” with Oakfield lodge red onion confit
  • Kanmantoo bacon and Heysen blue cheese Tartlet with quince and rosemary 
  • Smoked Adelaide hills Rainbow Trout on Rye Toast with Honey and mustard seed Mayonnaise     
  • Bald Hill olives, Crudités, Oakfield Lodge Dips and Peppered Lavosh  
  • Orange and Almond Cake with Beerenberg Marmalade  
  • Petit Dark Chocolate Tartlet with Salted Caramel Popcorn