22 June 2023

Cooma nursing home's new name reflects respect for proud history, culture

| Gail Eastaway
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nursing home

Cooma’s principal nursing home has had a name change. It is now Hudson House. Photo: Gail Eastaway.

Following community consultation and a public vote, Respect has announced that the Sir William Hudson Memorial Centre’s name will be updated to Hudson House.

Earlier this year, SWHMC became the 20th aged-care home to join Respect, a 100-year-old organisation dedicated to serving older people across Australia, through its high standard of care and community involvement.

As part of the integration, Respect recently reached out to the home’s staff, residents and their families – as well as the Cooma community more broadly – seeking their input around the prospect of updating and modernising the home’s name.

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Respect managing director and CEO Jason Binder said the updated name not only signalled an exciting new chapter for the home, but it also acknowledged and honoured the home’s history and culture.

“We reached out to the community because we wanted to modernise the name, with the utmost respect to the legacy and history of Sir William Hudson,” Mr Binder said.

“With this in mind, we encouraged modernised name suggestions from staff and residents that referenced Sir William Hudson, and we then called on all stakeholders, including the local community, to have their say through an online survey.

“It was important, too, that we gave survey participants an opportunity to vote for the home’s existing name as well.”

Mr Binder said the most pleasing thing about the endeavour was the buy-in from the local community and being able to put them at the forefront of leading the change.

“The whole renaming process was a great opportunity to engage with our residents and their families, staff, as well as community stakeholders, and put them at the centre of the decision-making process,” he said.

“However, regardless of its new name, we appreciate what the home has come to represent for the Cooma community and broader Snowy Monaro region. First and foremost is the service provided to residents, and we recognise the important role that the home has played for so many families across the community.

“We’re committed to continuing that culture of care and respect, and we look forward to ensuring Hudson House remains a wonderful place for our residents to live.”

Former chairman of the Sir William Hudson company board, Roger Norton, who oversaw the change of ownership, said he was impressed with the amount of community input Respect had sought for the name change.

“It’s different, but it seems to have been well received,” Mr Norton said.

“I’m impressed with the effort they made to get feedback from the community.”

The centre opened in 1984 after years of fundraising and support from the local community. It has a capacity of 72 residents.

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As part of the aged-care providers’ merger earlier this year, Respect announced that it would be embarking on a significant redevelopment of the home, which would transform it into a contemporary facility, with the investment significantly updating resources and capacity.

For more information about Respect and its work, go to respect.com.au.

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Modern name for Sir William Hudson Memorial Centre? Piffle! It’s just more republicanism by stealth!

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