Earlier this year, Cancer Council SA’s new Greenhill Lodge officially opened to support regional South Australians undergoing cancer treatments by providing an affordable, comfortable and safe place to stay in Adelaide.
Jensen PLUS is proud to have played a role in the development of this valued and critically important facility — a place that will be a temporary home for many South Australians experiencing their most challenging times.
“This was a very rewarding project to have been involved in,” says Jensen PLUS Director, Michael McKeown.
“Our team spends a lot of time working in regional communities across South Australia and interstate, talking with people about local needs and aspirations, so we know all too well that access to certain health services and facilities isn’t always locally available to them.”
Michael says that having access to a place like Greenhill Lodge is invaluable.
“It’s a service many families benefit from — including my own.
“And that’s why, as well as working on the development of Greenhill Lodge, we are proud to be giving back through donations to Cancer Council SA to support the programs, activities and facilities available to those staying at the lodge.”
A place to call home
With the majority of cancer treatment available only in Adelaide, country South Australians with cancer who require radiotherapy, chemotherapy or specific surgical procedures must travel to the city for treatment, which can last for weeks or even months.
Finding an affordable place to stay for an extended period of time adds more cost, stress and uncertainty for a person from regional Australia who has been recently diagnosed, and their family.
Cancer Council SA Philanthropy Manager, Mireille Donnarumma, says they rely on the generosity of South Australians to keep delivering their critical services.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the South Australian community and the ongoing support of generous organisations like Jensen PLUS.
“We are so grateful for Jensen PLUS’s ongoing donation which will make such a huge difference in the lives of regional South Australians impacted by cancer, giving them a place to call home while they receive life-saving treatment here in Adelaide.”
The project commenced in 2020 when Cancer Council SA engaged Jensen PLUS to assist with the design and to secure planning approvals for a new consolidated accommodation and administration facility at Greenhill Road, Eastwood.
The purpose-built Greenhill Lodge builds on the legacy of two outdated but vital lodging facilities by creating a home for Cancer Council SA’s research, prevention and support programs, alongside 120 rooms of supported accommodation.
It’s also the home of counselling, social work and other support services that are vital for supporting people from across regional and remote South Australia who are facing and navigating cancer diagnosis.
Michael says that the team provided Cancer Council SA with strategic advice on the planning opportunities at the time.
“Drawing on the team’s extensive policy knowledge and experience, we were able to identify risks and also where additional opportunities could be unlocked for the development.”
Jensen PLUS coordinated the preparation of a Planning Application for the State Commission Assessment Panel, while coordinating engagement with key agencies such as the Department of Transport and Infrastructure and the City of Burnside to ensure these stakeholders were informed and in support of the development of this important facility.
“Stakeholder engagement is a critical part of the work we do — bringing everyone along on the journey and ensuring people feel heard and included will always produce the best results,” says Michael.
In 2022, Jensen PLUS then assisted Cancer Council SA by advising on the provision of an additional car parking level at the rear of the site.
The team also put their community engagement skills to use, engaging with neighbours, providing advice on proposed designs and an opportunity to discuss any concerns.
“Through this activity, we were able to gain a good amount of local support for the proposed car park, and I am pleased to say construction for that is almost complete,” adds Michael.
“The car park will provide better access to the Lodge for patients and their visitors.”
The importance of giving back
“Community is at the heart of everything we stand for — our team are with us because we care about the people and places in which we work,” says Michael.
“We like to work with clients that have shared values, so giving back to the communities we have worked with is a logical next step.
“And corporate giving is a great way to engage your team and build meaningful and positive relationships for the long term.”
Read more about the project here.