Our Story.

The Sargood Story.

The Past

Sargood on Collaroy


Sargood on Collaroy has a long history of providing respite and care, stretching as far back as 1918. In this year, Frederick Sargood decided to donate his beautiful waterfront block and sandstone beach house to The War Chest, with the purpose of providing respite to injured servicemen who returned from The Great War.

Sargood on Collaroy

Between 1923 and 1959

The Tuberculosis and Polio epidemic saw the need for a place for children to be cared for and nursed back to health, and so the Sargood site was gifted to the Royal Alexandra hospital, and with help from donations from the local community, the Collaroy Children’s Convalescent Home opened.

With the successful introduction of vaccines for Polio and TB in the late 50’s, the Collaroy Children’s Convalescent Home was declared “surplus to requirements”, and the NSW Disabilities Services were given use of the site to run a day centre for people with intellectual disabilities.

Sargood on Collaroy


The Sargood Foundation was formed (originally called The Collaroy Community Group) to raise funds and procure the land from developers who intended to put apartments on the site. The locals were committed to its vision to return the land to its original purpose as a place of healing. This support swelled for the next 11 years, leading to the Foundation raising more than $20M to fund the design and construction of the new facility.

Sargood on Collaroy


To ensure the site would not risk being lost to developers in future, the land is transferred to the NSW Lifetime Care and Support Authority (now iCare) for the sole use of Sargood on Collaroy, to be governed via a unique partnership between iCare (50%), a Private Benefactor (25%) and the Sargood Foundation (25%). This partnership is formally known as The Sargood Centre.

The Present

Sargood on Collaroy


The Sargood Centre identified there was a need to deliver ongoing services to those with Spinal Cord Injury after attending rehab. To explore how this could be delivered, a tender process began , with the successful applicant to become the operator of Sargood on Collaroy. When Royal Rehab General Manager, Delia Gray, began her pitch with “imagine you roll into a hotel that has been purpose built for you. Fully accessible, with care, equipment and services all provided and tailored to your needs”, it became clear that the Sargood Centre board had found their operator, and from 2014, construction and collaboration between Sargood Centre and Royal Rehab began.

A group of consumers with SCI was created to help inform accessibility of the site, and give their experience and frustrations of holidaying as someone with a permanent injury…all the things Sargood on Collaroy must address.

Sargood on Collaroy


Jess Allen (OT background), Alex Renkert (physio background) and James Dakin (hospitality background) were employed to design the service and build the team to ensure clinical excellence, accessible programs and recreation, delivered in a warm, resort-like environment. We needed to recruit Guest Attendants to provide personal care, and we were not looking for people with prior experience. No, we wanted people with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and deliver high quality care, with a sense of fun! Trained by Rita Cusmiani (Clinical Nurse Consultant with 30 years spinal experience…and the biggest smile in the business), we were confident our staff would be exceptional!

Soon to follow was Seb van Veenendaal and his adapted recreation program, and David Simpson as our OT and assistive technology expert.

Sargood on Collaroy

March 2017

Our doors opened to our first guests! Since opening our doors, we have hosted more than a thousand individuals with SCI, and their families. We will always continue to deliver new activities and courses to guests, regardless of their level of injury. The core team that were there at the beginning remain, and we love turning up each day to do what we do for our guests!

We are Accessibility Reimagined.

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