Seton Villa; Leia’s Place; Opening ceremony; 20th April 2022

Seton Villa has opened two purpose-built homes for women with intellectual disabilities as part of its $11 million investment to develop Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in Ryde, Sydney.

The new homes were opened by the NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello and NSW Disability Services Minister Natasha Maclaren-Jones. A special guest was Sr Ellen Flynn, Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, Province of Rosalie Rendu, who was visiting from the UK. “Seton Villa has listening, consultation, shared decision making and subsidiarity central to its service model,” she said. “These beautiful purpose-built homes, together with the model of care, are demonstrative of the Daughters’ spirt and value today, which is shared by the greater community that have contributed to the vision.”

According to Minister Maclaren-Jones it takes a partnership with the philanthropic and private sectors to build homes like these. “There always work to do and the key thing is to get out and talk to the community about disability,” she told F2L. “It is Important to acknowledge the work being done for disability accommodation and the state government needs input from the private sector to achieve this. Disability and healthcare keep evolving and it is critical to have NDIS support for people to live in the community where they can lead long and healthy lives.”

Seton Villa CEO, Peter Gardiner said “the smiles say it all”. “This isn’t just about bricks and mortar, it’s also about helping enhance our residents’ confidence and independence. The homes are also the springboard to further strategic growth to support others in our community.”

The first two homes were opened in early 2021 and the newest architect-designed homes Lavender Cottage and Leia’s Place, are the third and fourth residences, with three more SDA homes to be constructed this year. And if you were wondering how the naming for Leia’s Place came about you can thank one of the residents, Michelle, who is ….yes, a Star Wars fan.

Lea’s Place is a five-bedroom home with specialist equipment such as electric hoists in the fully accessible bathrooms and a semi-independent two-bedroom apartment.

Caption: Minister Maclaren-Jones with Leia’s Place resident Julie.