This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 2 July to 31 July 2020. Find out more about the consultation process. Below is a record of the process.
The Fullarton Campus or Highgate Park site was established by Julia Farr in 1879 and it is still owned by the trust that ran the Julia Farr Centre on site (HFI Trust). Since 1879, the site has been a residential facility for people with high level physical and neurological disabilities and complex health needs.
Portrait of Julia Farr
The facility housed both adults and children, with diseases and injuries that were considered 'incurable'. In 1981 the Home was renamed the Julia Farr Centre. Staff also lived onsite, and the former nurse’s quarters are currently used as student housing.
By 1928, 142 patients lived in the Home. This number increased to 400 in the 1960s. Further extensions in the 1970s led to the demolishing of the old 'gothic' east wing in 1973. A new East Block opened in 1977 and by the end of 1978 there were over 800 residents.
In 2006 the Julia Farr Centre became part of the former Department of Families and Communities and was renamed Highgate Park. It continued to provide residential care for people with disabilities from the age of 15 years and up. It also included an aged-care facility.
The NDIS now provides accommodation for people in community settings.
In April 2020 the last residents moved out of the Highgate Park building. This now means a decision needs to be made about the future of the Fullarton Campus (Highgate Park) and the trust that owns it.
The Minister for Human Services, Michelle Lensink MLC is the sole trustee of the trust. The future of the site, and the trust as a ﬁnancial entity, is the trustee’s personal decision, to be made in the best interests of trust beneficiaries. The Minister and the Department of Human Services wish to ensure that South Australians and especially beneﬁciaries, speciﬁcally people who are unable to live independently without support, are consulted and involved in formulating options for the future of the trust.
Independent agency Think Human has been engaged to undertake the consultation. This engagement is not about master planning. The Highgate Park site is the primary asset of the trust, and if it is decided that having no presence on the site is in the best interests of trust beneficiaries, land disposal will be part of a separate process.