History of VCACS

The idea of a Croatian aged care facility goes back to 1979 when the Australian Croatian Association of Geelong conducted a survey of needs of Croatian elderly in Geelong and produced a report in 1980. This report clearly forecasts a growing ageing migrant population and a lack of aged care facilities to meet those needs.

Many ethnic communities in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s built their own ethno-specific aged care facilities, including the Slovenians, Ukrainians, Hungarian, Dutch and Russian, but this was not the case for Victorian Croatians.

The Croatian community in Victoria has a strong and proud history of pooling their resources together to build churches, church halls, sporting centres and cultural associations. This has provided a valuable resource for the Croatian community to get-together, to maintain their language and continue their customs.
The planning and design of the Croatian specific aged care facility in Geelong is well underway and this community resource will soon benefit Victorian Croatians.

Project milestones:

- The Australian Croatian Association Geelong passed a motion in November 2006 to set up a separate entity to commence planning for a Croatian aged care facility in Victoria.
- The Victorian Croatian Aged Care Services (VCACS), was established on 13 November 2006, to undertake this work. VCACS became a charity with deductable gift recipient status.
- In July 2008, VCACS obtained a grant of $30,000 from the City of Greater Geelong for the development of a business plan for the age care facility.
- In 2009 a thorough business case was undertaken that led to a 100 bed facility being selected as the size to be financially viable.
- In May 2010 VCACS received approval from Federal Government to run an aged care facility.
- In July 2013 VCACS was granted a licence to build a 100 bed residential age care facility and a zero interest loan of $13,350,000 from the Federal Government.
- In August 2014 VCACS signed an agreement for the lease of land of 10,000 m2 in Barton Street, Bell Park for 65 years, on which the age care facility will be built. This land, valued at more than $2,000,000 was negotiated with the State Government of Victoria at a peppercorn rate per annum.
- In July 2016 the Australian Croatian Association Cardinal Stepinac Geelong approved VCACS the loan of $1,000,000 and the Croatian Cultural Association Geelong fundraising group donated $155,000 toward the project.
- In 2016 the ANZ Bank approved the loan of $6,500,000.
- In 2017 an architectural and project management firm were appointed to advance the building of the facility.
- 16 August 2017 the President of Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic officially launched the project.
- In August 2017, the application for a town planning permit was lodged with the City of Greater Geelong.

Current expectations:   
  • VCACS has obtained building permit.. 
  • The construction of the Facility is to start by the end of July 2019
  • Expected operations will start in September 2020….