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75 Years of Caring

BaptistCare celebrates its 75th anniversary year as a Christian care provider. We invite you to join with us as we journey through history, but equally into our future, exploring our beginnings and where we have arrived today.

Our history and heritage is one that we believe can stand tall and ‘be counted’, as we have truly delivered life-transforming care to people in need, throughout the decades. 

Our story is your story, and we are thankful to God for the journey we have been on together, so far.

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  • Introduction

    BaptistCare’s purpose was originally articulated in 1944 as ‘Expressing the love of Jesus to those in need’.
    Today, as the organisation shifts its focus towards more transformational outcomes, its purpose is communicated as ‘Transforming lives by expressing the love of Christ'.

    The focus in the early days was on vulnerable children and women with little support. Early visionaries aspired to create a home of peace; a home in the true, Christian sense of the word. More than just a building, a home should have a friendly, kindly, sympathetic atmosphere, where everyone feels instinctively that they are loved and wanted. The organisation’s early pioneers diligently set about realising their dream, founding an organisation fit for purpose and choosing a name that said it all: NSW Baptist Homes Trust.

    In 1953, the Trust’s first aged care home, Yallambi, was opened in Carlingford. Over the next two decades the Trust grew significantly, with the opening of new facilities and services in Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle, Parkes and the Central Coast. This growth continued in the 1980s, with a strong focus on aged care, and family and community services such as counselling. The increasingly comprehensive range of social welfare services and in-home care were steeped in that sense of home as an atmosphere of belonging.

    In 1986, the NSW Baptist Homes Trust changed its name to Baptist Community Services (BCS), acknowledging its expanding range of services. From the late 1990s and into the twenty-first century, BCS grew rapidly. Staff numbers tripled and there was huge expansion in service offerings and operating budget.

    From 2014, BCS became known as BaptistCare, focusing on the care provided to all who use its facilities and services. ‘Baptist’ continues to be a statement of identity, sustaining the pillars of home, peace and Christian identity that remain integral to BaptistCare’s expression of Christ’s love.

    It is still BaptistCare’s hope and prayer that its brick-and mortar buildings, community services and in-home care will create a home-like atmosphere where people may discover holistic, transforming peace. Such peace may be physical and emotional – the transformation found in safe places of rest, security and healing.

    Now, in 2019, BaptistCare celebrates seventy-five years of service. Its many staff are thankful to God for the journey so far, and excited to move forward as the trusted name in providing life-transforming care for its clients.

  • 1944 - 1949

    In post-war Australia, significant social change was afoot, and NSW Baptists were slowly encouraging their community to engage with social action in a more positive way. The people leading this change displayed passion, hard work and skill as they set to work bringing to life the Baptist Homes Trust.

  • 1950 - 1959

    Now established, the Baptist Homes Trust entered a decade of expansion. Having been a volunteer movement until now, the first employee was appointed in 1952. But it was through the continuing support of committed volunteers that the Trust flourished. Despite some teething problems along the way, by 1959 the Trust pioneers had established two aged persons’ homes, assisted the Lismore church to open its own home and had plans approved for another. Two children’s homes were operating, as was a home for a group of displaced refugees. In addition, early ventures into social welfare were underway.

  • 1960 - 1969

    During this decade, the Baptist Homes Trust consolidated its existing facilities and expanded into rural aged care. New homes opened in Parkes, Newcastle, Canberra and the Blue Mountains, managed by regional boards of local volunteers. It was also a time of further expansion into social welfare.

  • 1970 - 1979

    Expansion characterised the 1970s: the Baptist Homes Trust upgraded its existing facilities, expanded its aged care accommodation options and reached further into regional areas. It continued to strengthen and amplify its community services.

    Plans were drafted to build four additional hostels and nursing homes in the metropolitan area, on the central coast and in the Blue Mountains. By the end of the decade, the Trust managed eighteen facilities - twelve homes and village groups for the aged, four homes for children and young people, a block of flats for single mothers and their children, and a home for ex-prisoners and men on probation. These homes offered accommodation and care to more than 900 people.

  • 1980 - 1989

    During this decade, the Baptist Homes Trust began to mature as an organisation. Its workforce was growing. It was a time of increasing professionalism in aged care, and the Trust took steps to ensure it kept up.

    Both aged care and welfare services extended throughout the metropolitan area and were developing fast in regional areas. In the face of this unprecedented change, leaders worked hard to ensure the magnitude and pace of growth did not put the original vision at risk.

  • 1990 - 1999

    This was a decade of thriving and diversifying. In 1992, the Baptist Homes Trust underwent a significant restructure, adopting Baptist Community Services – NSW & ACT (BCS) as its formal name and revising its governance structure entirely. From a council with an executive committee headed by a president, the organisation moved to a board of directors elected by company members, with a chair elected by fellow directors.

    BCS grew and matured in its vision, rigour, and reputation. Its capacity to respond to emerging trends and needs in aged care increased and it continued to try out innovative approaches. The Trust began to influence the wider sector and to engender a high level of respect as it introduced nursing training and unexpectedly found itself at the forefront of community aged care.

  • 2000 - 2009

    The 2000s was a decade for Baptist Community Services (BCS) to further review its operations in light of the breadth and depth of services it now offered. It was a time of further expansion into aged care and community welfare with fresh and innovative opportunities. In-home aged care flourished, several facilities were updated and social welfare services continued to grow.

  • 2010 - 2019

    This decade has seen the organisation expand its influence in the sectors it operates in. After refreshing its foundation statement, Baptist Community Services (BCS) reviewed its public profile. It found that while churches and the sector recognised the brand, the wider community didn't necessarily do so. The organisation decided to adopt BaptistCare as its new name and brand.

    This was, of course, its third name. The Baptist Homes Trust focused on built facilities; Baptist Community Services (BCS) pointed to services; the new name, BaptistCare affirmed the organisation’s enduring roots while highlighting the life-transforming, customer-centred care lying at its heart. The name was chosen to align with Baptist Care Australia, the national coalition of Baptist sector colleagues.

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