A survey of land ownership from 1864, showing the parcel of land owned by the Newman family, the current Fernhill site
J.M. (Malcolm) Newman in the early 1900’s
James Malcolm Newman enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. During World War I he served with the Malay States Guides and trained as an army engineer officer in Australia.
Newman House was completed and the Newman family settled in to the elegant thirty-eight room timber mansion.
The gardens of Newman House were truly magnificent, boasting a fernery, gold fish pond, Chinese sunken gardens, wishing well and a fourteenth century sundial. The grounds were a popular place for garden parties and social events.
During the Second World War Newman House was converted into Secret Intelligence Australia (SIA) Headquarters. SIA operatives used the water tower to practice parachute jumping. There were various other ranks, Australians Army and Air Force there, some of whom would lead small intelligence operations into the Japanese occupied Indonesian Islands.
In 1947 Malcolm generously donated Newman House and 11½ acres (4.7 ha) to RSL Queensland to be used as a War Veterans Home for returned World War I servicemen and women after hearing that the Kingsholm site was overcrowded.
On 24 October 1948 the RSL Federal President and Federal Congress delegates visit Fernhill for the unveiling of a plaque to honour Mr J Malcolm Newman.
Fernhill officially opens as War Veterans Home, this video shows the Veterans from the Kingsholm site moving to Fernhill.
Brochure for the opening of the RSL War Veterans Home showing Newman House and the gardens.
The difficult decision was made to demolish Newman House to construct purpose built homes to meet the growing need for aged care. This made way for a 24 bed nursing home staffed by nurses working under the supervision of a Matron. Matron Gwenda Shaw ran the nursing home for many years and was awarded an OAM.
The Recreation Hall was built providing a space for residents, family and friends to congregate for social activities. The Hall is mainly utilised today by the Retirement Village residents who enjoy parties, happy hours and other social events here.
An aerial view of Caboolture in 1979, with the prominent white water tower of the Fernhill community.
Resident and returned Veteran Sargent Duce of the 5th Light horse Regiment Division 1914-1948 taken at the Coorparoo Bowls Club.
The Fernhill Day Therapy Centre opened providing essential day respite services for members of the community and their carers. The centre has helped thousands of Caboolture locals over thirty years through physiotherapy, podiatry, massage and other allied health services.
Site of the current Fernhill Retirement Village
Visit of Prime Minister RJ ‘Bob’ Hawke where he met with staff and residents and presented the site with a cheque for $4,400 to assist the transportation costs for residents.
The old administration building was recommissioned as a Chapel, for many years residents, team members and the wider community have used this for private worship and reflection. Parts of the Chapel will be saved and incorporated into the new Fernhill.
48 Independent Living Units were opened at Fernhill welcoming in new members of the community who chose to retire there. Fernhill still has an active and social retirement community today.
A further 36 Independent Living Units were opened at Fernhill making the way for new neighbours to move into the bustling community.
Work commenced on the site
Artist impression of the completed Fernhill development
Construction begins at Fernhill in March, Site Supervisor Leigh Shervey, Fernhill Residential Manager Ram Korla and Hansen Yunken Project Manager Scott Butler.