When independent living is out, try farm life

The vision of the late Molly Browne, granddaughter of a pioneering European settler family in Queensland’s Darling Downs region, has finally been realised.

In her will, the retired teacher requested that her family’s 48-hectare dairy farm near Toowoomba be developed into a retirement village and aged care home.

A faithful member of the Highfields Baptist Church, Molly lived frugally but was concerned for other people suffering old age and loneliness.

In 1995, 10 years after Molly’s passing, a purpose-built residential lifestyle community for retirees opened on the farm, managed by Carinity, an outreach of Queensland Baptists.

Gloria Phillips was the first resident of Brownesholme retirement village at Highfields, an independent living community. Gloria shared Molly’s vision for an aged care home in Highfields and bequeathed $50,000 to Queensland Baptists to help realise that dream.

Now, at last, a brand-new aged care home has begun operating on the former farm – and it’s gorgeous.

Since its opening in late July, 20 residents have moved into The Residences at Brownesholme, a stunning $32-million aged care community that has been decorated in a country style and offers rooms with exceptional views of the surrounding landscape.

This week Baptist ministers, chaplains and staff celebrated the opening of the nursing home with a special dedication event, blessing it for the work of the Lord.

Aged Care Executive Manager Jacinta Geraghty said 96-bed facility is Carinity’s 12th residential aged care community in Queensland and represents a major milestone.

“We dedicate these residences to the work of the Lord and give thanks for all the love, generosity, genius, skill, hard work and commitment that brought us to this day,” Jacinta said. “As we rejoice in the settlement of our first residents here, it is our prayer that The Residences at Brownesholme will be a great blessing to them and to all who will follow through in coming years.”

She described the new home as beautifully furnished and laid out, with lovely outdoor areas.

Jacinta paid tribute to Molly Browne, who attended school in Highfields and managed the family farm after retiring from teaching, praising her for her foresight and generosity.

The Residences at Brownesholme is the first stage of a $67 million expansion of the Carinity Brownesholme seniors’ precinct which includes the existing adjacent retirement village. For pictures, click here.