NSW Government NSW Health
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
nsw health

Garrawarra Centre

Garrawarra Centre   Sensory Garden

Garrawarra Centre is an accredited Residential Aged Care Facility and has a capacity of 120 Dementia Specific beds.

Located in Waterfall, approximately 43 kilometres south of Sydney and 44 kilometres north of Wollongong, in a natural bush setting, the Centre is one of the few purpose-built, dementia specific facilities in New South Wales.

Person Centred high level care is provided for people with a primary diagnosis of Dementia who exhibit challenging behaviours and cannot be accommodated in a main stream nursing home, and require a safe and secure environment. Residents may remain with us on either a permanent or respite basis.

Our teams complete specialist dementia training, equipping them with strategies to enhance quality of life. This training teaches them to put the resident first. We refer to this as person-centred care and it ensures that the resident is treated as an individual.

Residents are housed in one of four purpose-built cottages. Each cottage has 20 bedrooms, 10 single and 10 double, and can house a total of 30 residents. The living areas are comfortable comprising two lounge rooms, two dining rooms, two courtyards a kitchenette with a central garden connecting the wings of the cottages.

We endeavour to maintain a home-like appearance and atmosphere where residents are free to move around as they wish. Security of cottages is maintained by a discreet electronic locking system, which is activated by a keypad. All cottages have air conditioning for heating and cooling, to enhance comfort in Summer and Winter. All rooms have an Ensuite, with each Cottage having two master bathrooms.

The Centre employs a half time Geriatrician, in partnership with The Sutherland Hospital. General Practitioner’s visit three times a week, the residents are also free to use any General Practitioner they wish.

We have a Physiotherapist and an Exercise Therapist employed to enhance the quality care of the residents and to identify any residents that are a potential falls risk.

Garrawarra Centre has an extensive Diversional Therapy Program that provides residents with a range of recreational and social activities to suit their individual interests and abilities. Activities are implemented in groups or on an individual basis and include; bus trips, sensory garden walks, sporting activities, arts & crafts, monthly entertainers and special events such as ANZAC day Services and cultural celebrations.

Garrawarra Centre is accredited to provide the Music and Memory program. The Program helps create connections with people. It is a powerful way for family and friends to share music together, to remember stories and experiences.

Music and Memory Accreditation Facility


A variety of religious services are held onsite which includes both group services and individual one on one time.

The Carers Garden has been developed as a picnic area for Residents and their families. The garden houses play equipment for children, the Centres beloved chickens and rabbit, and men’s shed for tinkering. Pets are always welcome, and you often see the family dog enjoying the beautiful garden walks.

Hairdresser available on site, you can make an appointment with our hairdresser or use your own hairdresser.



Why work with us?

Garrawarra will appeal to nurses who have a particular interest in working within the complex specialty of Dementia and who are committed to person centred care. Within a multidisciplinary team framework, nurses specialise in the safety, management and care of our residents in the end stages of this disease and work closely with the residents' families and friends to ensure the highest possible quality of life. The unique working environment successfully combines contemporary clinical practice with a family-friendly approach to care. The teams of skilled and dedicated enrolled and registered nurses, and assistants in nursing, work together in a spirit of support and cohesiveness. This positive work culture contributes greatly to the environment of the Centre.


Features of our staffing model include:

  • Full time, part-time or casual work options
  • Flexible hours including 10-hour night shifts
  • Rotating rosters

We have joined together with The Sutherland Hospital to provide a Transitional Registered Nurse programme, which comprises of two six month placements one at Garrawarra Centre the other at The Sutherland Hospital.

This programme has proven to be very successful and has developed Clinical Nurse Specialist’s in Aged Care and also gone onto management and Education positions in Aged Care, which has enhanced the quality outcomes for our residents.

The Nurse Education Team provides clinical education and support for on-duty nurses. Sharing of information, discussion, debate and networking are facilitated through the regular forum held with Management. Limited accommodation is available on site for staff.

Education and research

Garrawarra Centre believes in providing and facilitating ongoing education for its staff including:

  • continuing relevant professional development
  • various health industry courses
  • mandatory education
  • quality and research activities
  • may be eligible to apply for scholarships to assist with Post Graduate studies

Study leave for relevant external professional and higher education courses, conferences and seminars is supported on an individual merit basis. Nurses are encouraged, assisted and supported in all aspects of their career planning and development whether through the pursuit of further education, conference attendance or skills acquisition, presenting at conferences and undertaking research since these are recognised as important strategies for personal, professional and organisational growth at Garrawarra Centre.

Students and trainees

In recognition of our ongoing responsibility to support nurses of the future and promote dementia care using a multidisciplinary approach, we regularly host nursing students from various Universities and TAFEs for the clinical component of their undergraduate degree or diploma. Garrawarra Centre is recognised as an Aged Care Teaching Facility to the following education providers: Western Sydney University, University of Technology, University of Wollongong, University of Wollongong College and Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW.

Garrawarra is a host organisation for trainee assistants in nursing and over the one year program these staff obtain excellent experience in aged care and dementia specific nursing care. Many seek to further their nursing career following this program by commencing enrolled/registered nursing courses.

Choosing Garrawarra Centre

Applications for Graduate Nurse positions in the NSW Public Health System are to be lodged with NSW Health. Graduates indicating their preference for a position at Garrawarra Centre will be invited to undertake interviews around August each year.

The 4 positions available at Garrawarra Centre will be one Registered Nurse per cottage.

The Registered Nurse Transition Framework

The goal of the transition framework at Garrawarra Centre is to nurture and encourage new registered nurses so that they develop and reach their full potential.

The framework includes:

  • Rotation six months at The Sutherland Hospital and six months at Garrawarra Centre.
  • Dedicated study days/time within the rotations during the transition, this includes off site study days enhancing networking.
  • Specialised orientation to the organization and clinical setting.
  • Structured orientation including allocated supernumerary time.
  • Fully supported using the preceptorship model – preceptored by a Registered Nurse, Clinical Educator, Clinical Nurse Consultant as well as the Nurse Unit Manager.
  • Access to in-service and continuing professional education facilitated by the Staff Education Department. A high priority is placed on the importance of continued education and lifelong learning opportunities are available for nurses to enhance knowledge and clinical skills.
  • Monthly graduate in-service and debriefing.
  • A certificate upon completion.
  • Support and assistance with career planning and ongoing employment and educational opportunities towards the completion of transition.
  • Access to professional counselling services.
  • Free on-site staff parking
  • One intake per year

General Services Staff support the residents by maintaining the cleaning, laundry and food services for the Centre. There is a Cook Chill System on site for the resident’s main meals; this system maintains freshness and nutrition for our residents. There are three hot meals a day, inclusive of morning; afternoon and supper are also severed. Newspapers are available in common areas.

Smoking - We are a State owned facility and as such are governed by NSW Health Policies, inclusive of the No Smoking Policy on site.


For all enquiries:

Phone: 8545 4700

Fax: 8545 4741

Or go to My Aged Care Website: www.myagedcare.gov.au