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Bachelor of Education






In 1982,83 a report was commissioned to examine services for the aged and disabled services persons within state care. This report became known as the 'Richmond Report' after its chairperson, Mr. David Richmond. The major thrust of this report was a recommendation that, where possible, long-term disabled residents of state institutions be relocated in small groups into community houses, where under the supervision of a small core of permanent care-takers, they can partake of a far more normal life style.

The paper argues that two basic philosophic positions underlay this recommendation. The first was a commitment to an improvement of the quality of life of institutional residents. The argument behind this was that quality of life relates to personal autonomy, a more involved social interaction with the greater community and a more relaxed home like atmosphere in the residence. The second philosophic position related to the benefit of decentralised organisation and management.

As a result of the acceptance of this report and despite some vocal community disapproval, a number of houses in the Newcastle district were bought in late 1985,6 and prepared for residents of Stockton Hospital who were being trained for the transition from the large institution to the residential home. The major appendix to this paper is a video-taped case study of one of those who made the transition- Miss Robyn Clifford, a resident of a community home in Mayfield and permanent voluntary worker in Mayfield Nursing Home.

The tape demonstrates the fact that after some thirty years of institutionalisation, Miss Clifford thoroughly enjoys her new life. For more than a year her attendance record at work has been impeccable, she is valued by her co-workers, and revels in her freedom, guarded though it is.


Research Project: Avondale

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