Charity doubles staff and premises in Hurstville

Expanding: Benevolent Society executive director disability Jo-Anne Hewitt (right) alongside fellow staff members at the Hurstville office. Picture: John Veage
Expanding: Benevolent Society executive director disability Jo-Anne Hewitt (right) alongside fellow staff members at the Hurstville office. Picture: John Veage

Australia’s oldest charity has expanded its premises in Hurstville – doubling its staff and office space.

The Benevolent Society’s office in Hurstville is now its biggest centre in Australia with well over 200 staff.

The society focuses on helping people with disabilities, the elderly, as well as children and families through a range of services.

The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) recently transferred many of its disability staff and services over to the Benevolent Society. As a result, about 110 staff joined the Hurstville office late last month including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, and clinical nurse consultants.

The society will also shift its Bankstown and Rosebery offices into the Hurstville hub this year.

That means the office will go from housing 100 staff to about 250 staff across two floors, located on The Avenue.

Benevolent Society executive director disability Jo-Anne Hewitt said the hub would care for a huge region across southern Sydney.

“It is exciting for us and I hope it is exciting for the people that we support,” she said.

“Hurstville will be our one point of call [for people living in the region].

“We have a support centre here and no matter what service our clients are looking for they can ring the 1800 number and they won’t be passed around from pillar to post.”

She said it was one of four major hubs across Sydney with the other main offices located in Liverpool, Chatswood and Kingswood.

The Benevolent Society has been running since 1813. It serves mainly NSW and ACT but also has centres in Queensland and Victoria.

Benevolent Society chief executive Jo Toohey said they were roughly doubling in size across the entire organisation. 

“Because we’re doubling in size in terms of both staff members and clients, we’ve upgraded or refurbished or moved to new sites pretty much across the state.

“This is to provide better working conditions for our staff members, offering them locations that are convenient – like this one at Hurstville – as well as easier access for our clients.”