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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1818

Mr RICK WILSON (O'Connor) (13:53): Last Friday, I was privileged to enjoy some amazing home baked scones with the friends of Hawthorn House, an Alzheimer's respite facility in Albany. The celebration was to honour the generous bequest of $1 million made to Hawthorn House by the late Don Brandenburg. This money will be used to build a second facility on their patch of land catering for the unmet need for short-stay respite in the Great Southern.

The late Don Brandenburg farmed in Newdegate, in my electorate of O'Connor, until 2005, when he sold his farm and moved to Denmark, on the coast. Don, who never married or had any children, realised in his senior years the challenges that face those who wish to live out their lives in the bush. In the light of these challenges, Don left his entire estate to the Don Brandenburg Foundation to be used towards improving aged-care facilities in the region. Currently Hawthorn House has two beds for short-stay respite. The generous donation from Don Brandenburg hopes to increase this capacity to eight beds as well as a family suite, catering for the needs of carers as well as their patients.

The government's aged-care reform currently being considered by Minister Wyatt will need to recognise the need for people to be able to stay in the regions and receive adequate care in their senior years. The new wing of Hawthorn House will be a long-lasting legacy for Don's family and the Great Southern community.