A Home Away From Home

A Home Away From Home by Helen Felder is the history of Emmy Monash Aged Care (formerly Emmy Monash Home for the Aged). The book was first published in 2005. The revised second edition (2010), which includes an updated timeline, a revised list of Board members and index update, is available for $25 from reception at Emmy Monash, 518-520 Dandenong Road, North Caulfield.

In the late 1930s a group of Jewish women newly arrived in Australia from Germany, found themselves in an unfamiliar environment without the network of family and friends to help in times of sickness. In 1941 they formed an organisation called The Mutual Help. They cooked meals in homes when people were ill, distributed soup to the elderly and provided companionship to those who were lonely. Their dream was that one day there would be a Home for the old and sick that was comfortable and homely. This dream was realised in 1948 when Mrs Emmy Monash persuaded a benefactor Mr EB Cohen to purchase ‘Hillcrest’, a boarding house in Caulfield and put it at the disposal of The Mutual Help.

A Home Away From Home is the story of the inspirational women who cared for residents, organised nurses, cooks and gardeners and ran the Home with the motto: “A Home away from Home”. They supplied kosher food and celebrated the Jewish festivals. When the demand for more rooms increased, they raised money and implemented building programs.

Over recent years, the Government has taken greater control of the running of aged care facilities with accreditation requirements. To its credit, Emmy Monash Aged Care has maintained its original philosophy from its small beginnings to what it is today: a not-for-profit aged care facility with a friendly and homely atmosphere. This would not have been possible without the dedication and generosity of the volunteers, including Board members and staff involved over the past 68 years. – Helen Felder