History of Amaroo Village
In 1969 a local committee was formed (under the then Commonwealth funded Aged Persons Homes Act), to address the lack of accommodation for senior citizens in the Shire of Gosnells; hence, the concept of ‘Amaroo’ was born. The name ‘Amaroo’ was suggested by founding Board Member, Lucy Wilkinson and is a Nyoongar Aboriginal term meaning ‘beautiful resting place’.
The Shire of Gosnells granted one and a third acres of land towards the Amaroo project with adjoining land also acquired; and, in 1971 the State Governor, Sir Douglas Kendrew, officially opened stage one of Amaroo Village with 18 residential units. In 1982 the district’s first Hostel was also constructed. The William Buckley Hostel, named after former Board Member and benefactor Bill Buckley, initially provided 37 beds with extensions in 1991 adding a further 24 places. Two more ‘exempt’ places were added in 1997. Now named Amaroo Village Buckley Caring Centre, the Hostel expanded yet again in May 2002 with 18 Federal Government low care licenses granted, these being officially opened by His Excellency, Lieutenant General John Sanderson, AC, Governor of Western Australia.
It was not long before community pressure would see the development of Gosnells City’s first nursing home. With 40 government-funded places and the generous support of the Lotteries Commission WA, His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery, AC MC, Governor of Western Australia, officially opened Amaroo Nursing Home on March 18, 1995. The facility was renamed Amaroo Village McMahon Caring Centre in honour of the hard work of the McMahon family and long-serving Board Member, Keith McMahon in memory of his late wife.
In 1987 the efforts of a fundraising committee comprising of representatives from local organisations, saw completion of the much-hyped Nancye Jones Centre, a social venue for recreational and community-based events. Refurbishment and extensions to the Nancye Jones Centre was completed in 2001 with the financial support of the Amaroo Foundation and Lotteries Commission WA. Again with support from the Lotteries Commission WA, a workshop was built to house maintenance equipment and a 10-seater bus and 17-seater bus with wheelchair hoist were purchased. The generosity of a late resident saw the historical Winifred Jones Cottage added to Amaroo’s growing list of facilities and a major refurbishment in 1996 provided residents with a wood turning workshop, dry and wet craft areas and a cafe for sharing lunches and morning teas with family and friends.