Milroy Lodge is located in Shenton Park and was originally opened as Cottage Hospice on 1 March 1987. Established by A.H. Crawford Cancer Treatment Society, Rev Dr Douglas MacAdam and the Cancer Foundation of WA.
It was later redeveloped and opened as Milroy Lodge on 11 February 2009 as a home away from home for country cancer patients travelling to Perth for treatment. Milroy Lodge added to the accommodation and vital support services offered at Crawford Lodge, which opened in February 2000. You can read more about the history of Crawford Lodge and The A.H. Crawford Cancer Treatment Society here.
In 1980, Rev Dr Douglas MacAdam moved from the UK to Perth to become a Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia’s new Department of General Practice. Douglas was an early participant in the new movement to provide better treatment for palliative care patients.
Pictured above: Dr Douglas MacAdam (left). Clive Deverall and Joy Brann (Founding Director of Cottage Hospice)(right).
His idea was to set up a service for the terminally ill involving the Silver Chain Domiciliary Nursing Service, interested General Practitioners (GPs) and supported by appropriately trained volunteers.
Working with a number of palliative care pathfinders, including Clive Deverall, Director of the Cancer Foundation of Western Australia (a forerunner to Cancer Council WA), Joy Brann, a Senior Lecturer in nursing at the WA Institute of Technology (now Curtin University), and later with Dr Rosalie Shaw, who had independently set up the first terminal care unit in WA at the Hollywood Repatriation General Hospital.
Douglas later became a Senior Lecturer in palliative care in UWA’s Department of General Practice. It was also his intention to establish a hospice care facility in Perth.
With help from the Cancer Foundation of WA, the A.H. Crawford Cancer Treatment Society, a public appeal to raise $1 million and a grant of land from the WA State Government, they began to build Cottage Hospice.
Work started on Cottage Hospice Shenton Park in 1986, with earthworks donated by Raymond Hinchliffe of Hinchliffe Brothers.
Pictured above: Cottage Hospice construction
Honorary Architect, Ian Watson, designed a building which was to be “a home away from home”. A Y-plan was adopted to shorten the corridors. The atrium garden at the apex of the Y, the colour scheme and furnishing created a relaxed atmosphere. Full length windows in the bedrooms and patients’ loungers allowed maximum views of the gardens which were carefully landscaped to blend with the surrounding bush. This building work was undertaken, free of charge, by the late George Barnard.
Opening on 1 March 1987, Cottage Hospice was Australia’s first purpose-built hospice, providing up to 28 beds for patient care. This was expanded in 1988, with a second wing opened by WA Premier Peter Dowding.
Further expansion continued on the Shenton Park site in September 1995 with the opening of the Crawford House Day Hospice. The A.H. Crawford Cancer Treatment Society was also a major donor to this project. Raymond Hinchliffe of Hinchliffe Brothers donated his time again, to clear the site for Crawford House Day Hospice.
Pictured above: The late Doreen Crawford breaks the soil at the start of work on Crawford House Day Hospice (left). The opening of Crawford House Day Hospice (right).
During 2005, the State Government established Health Reform Committee, stated that purpose built palliative care facilities should be attached to a number of general hospitals, reducing the demand for Cottage Hospice services. Cancer Council WA endorsed a comprehensive examination of what additional services may be provided at Shenton Park.
In April 2006, Cottage Hospice and Crawford House Day Hospice closed. Redevelopment commenced at Shenton Park in September 2007, for the hospice to become a lodge. The lodge aimed to offer regional patients accommodation whilst they received cancer treatment in Perth.
Crawford House Day Hospice became Gordon Basford House after the opening of Crawford Lodge to avoid any confusion. Named after Gordon Basford, a founding member of the A H Crawford Cancer Treatment Society. Gordon Basford House is now used as a storage facility for Cancer Council WA. Our Life Now Program also run meditation and mindfulness free cancer support courses in this facility, which enables people affected by cancer to experience the benefits of keeping mentally and physically active.
On 11 February 2009, Milroy Lodge was officially opened by the Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency Dr Ken Michael, AC. Named after A.H. Crawford’s farm in Brookton. Milroy Lodge opened with 26 units and a seminar room to educate and support health professionals.
During 2017, renovations took place at both Crawford and Milroy Lodges, meaning an extra 300 country cancer patients could be accommodated each year and waiting lists were significantly reduced. The funding for these renovations was secured through a $1.5 million Lotterywest grant, $300,000 from Dry July fundraising and other private donations. After the initial refurbishment there were 26 units, increasing to 29 after the 2017-2018 refurbishment.
Pictured above: family room and bathroom at Milroy Lodge.
Milroy Lodge today
Cancer Council WA Lodges provide vital accommodation for country cancer patients when they need to stay in Perth for treatment.
Each year, our Milroy and Crawford Lodges record over 5000 check-ins from country cancer patients and their carers.
As well as providing much-needed accommodation close to treatment centres, our Milroy Lodge offers a range of support services designed specifically for country cancer patients This includes guidance from a Cancer Support Coordinator, complementary therapies, Wig Service and transport to treatment.
Each year, 1712 Transport to Treatment trips are provided from our Crawford and Milroy Lodges at no cost to regional cancer patients and their carers.
Staying at Milroy Lodge is so much more than a bed to sleep in, it’s a place of vital support, safety and most importantly, a sense of community for every country cancer patient and carer who stays with us. Our guests mention time and time again that their stay has dramatically improved their mental and physical health whilst undergoing treatment in Perth.
For more information
- To make a reservation at one of our Lodges, please call 08 9489 7333 for our Crawford Lodge or 08 9382 9333 for our Milroy Lodge.
- To find out more about our cancer support services and programs, please call one of our cancer nurses on our 13 11 20 cancer information and support line.
- You can adopt a room at our Crawford or Milroy Lodges for a year with a generous donation.
- Have you stayed at our Lodges and would like to share your story? Share your experience.
- Learn more about Life Now programs.
- The Crawford family’s incredible history has been documented by family member John Crawford in a book, The Crawford Legacy – How It Came To Be, which is available for purchase at our Lodges. Continuing in the Crawford family’s philanthropic spirit, all proceeds from the sale of the book are donated back to Cancer Council WA.