Merger best way forward

The owner of two Latrobe Valley aged care facilities, Grace Bruce Homes, recently announced it will amalgamate with not-for-profit aged care providers, Benetas.

The amalgamation will mean Grace Bruce’s Dalkeith Hostel and Dalkeith Heights Retirement Village in Traralgon and Hazelwood House in Churchill, will become services of Benetas.

Grace Bruce board chair Ray van Poppel said the board investigated a range of options and “decided an amalgamation was the best way forward for Grace Bruce”.

He said the decision was shared with residents, families and staff at the time.

“Residents can know their homes are safe and secure for many years to come,” Mr van Poppel said.

“It also ensures ongoing employment to current Grace Bruce staff.

“Our volunteers will also continue to have an important and ongoing role within our community.”

Mr van Poppel said the settlement date for the amalgamation has yet to be finalised, but has anticipated it to be in early December.

Established in 1948, Benetas operates as a not-for-profit organisation employing more than 1400 staff and 400 volunteers across Victoria.

Benetas chief executive Sandra Hills said all staff employed by Grace Bruce Homes at the time of settlement will be offered employment and transferred to Benetas on the same terms and conditions as they currently enjoyed.

“Support services will stay exactly the same, from the same staff members, and resident and unit agreements will stay the same – there will be no changes to these,” Ms Hills said.

Mr van Poppel and Ms Hills announced the amalgamation at a series of resident, family and staff meetings last month.