About Us

Welcome to Shearwater Lodge

Shearwater Lodge operates as a non-profit institution dedicated to providing affordable accommodation for cancer, medical, and trauma patients, along with their companions and carers. We are situated adjacent to the Coffs Harbour Base Hospital at:

345A Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour

Our History

Shearwater Lodge opened in August 2005 and its construction facilitated the establishment of the much-needed Radio Therapy Unit in Coffs Harbour Servicing our region.

The prime movers of the project and founding members of Shearwater Lodge Board remain actively involved today:

Neville Hillenberg – Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour

Robert Mutton – Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour

Dr Paul Moran – Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour

Alan Mulhern – Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour

Without their drive, enthusiasm and sheer determination Shearwater Lodge would not exist today.

The construction was made possible by the generous support of Rotary International, Lions International, Commonwealth Government, Cancer Council of NSW, corporate donors, community service groups, registered clubs, Shire and City Councils, and individuals within Coffs Harbour and the wider district communities of Mid North Coast and New England.

Our Mission

Our mission is to offer a welcoming and comfortable stay for our guests. We aim to ease the burden during challenging times by providing fully serviced, air-conditioned accommodations with professional and caring staff committed to your well-being.

Testimonials: “What People Say” about our professional and caring staff.

Good afternoon Sarah and Nat,

I would like to thank you again for accommodating my stay at the Shearwater Lodge at the Coffs Base Hospital.

Having mum pass away from Cancer during my stay was heart-breaking. Finding flowers in my room following the loss of mum was a very special and kind touch you wouldn’t find at any regular motel. Being away from my loved ones during this time, meant they were the only flowers I received following mum’s death, so it was a very special and impactful gesture.

The extra effort and care you put towards your interactions with guests makes all the difference, and I just want you to know it doesn’t go unrecognised. Everyone staying at the Shearwater Lodge was going through difficult situations whether it be their own cancer treatment or caring for a loved one. The free meals provided Wednesday in the dining hall was a beautiful touch that encouraged a sense of community and connection for a lot of us who would have otherwise felt isolated and alone.

Thank you again for your thoughtful presence during a difficult time. I will remember your kindness.

Virginia

Natalie,

Please pass this on to the Shearwater Lodge Board. Members of the Shearwater Lodge Board,

We have just completed a three-week stay at Shearwater Lodge as Narelle underwent Radiation Therapy for breast cancer. It was a time of uncertainty and apprehension for us as we arrived. This certainly changed with a warm welcome from your staff and the availability of your remarkably comfortable and pleasant Shearwater Lodge accommodation. Your office managers, Natalie and Sarah, made us very much at home with their friendly, caring, and helpful manner and approach. Nothing was too much trouble for them. We can’t thank them enough.

The accommodation itself is a credit to the Board, Coffs Harbour Rotary, and Lions Clubs International. The self-contained unit is clean, comfortable, and well-equipped… a home away from home! The facilities, including the common room, add to the comfort of the unit. The grounds are spacious and pleasant to look at. The proximity to treatment is wonderful. It was certainly a more relaxing option than travelling to and from home each day.

An added touch is the Wednesday evening meal, provided by the Coffs Harbour Quota Club, in our case, and the Rotary Club, in the common room. This get-together and the atmosphere of the shared courtyard enable guests to support each other in their time of need.

We are so appreciative that this service is available to out-of-area patients during their time of treatment. Our many, many thanks go to the Shearwater organisation and its great team!!!

Narelle and Francis Kean

Current Board

SHEARWATER LODGE’S $150,000 GRANT WILL SAVE LIVES

Prostate cancer patients at the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute (MNCCI) will soon benefit from a new treatment that reduces both treatment time and waiting lists. Thanks to a $150,000 grant from Shearwater Lodge, the highly effective stereotactic radiotherapy will be available in Coffs Harbour for the first time in regional NSW.

Shearwater Lodge Board Chairman Dr. Paul Moran stated that the grant will fund a specialized project radiation therapist to introduce and manage this new treatment for local patients.

“Funds raised by the lodge should support local residents,” Dr. Moran remarked.

MNCCI Acting Manager Radiotherapy, Matthew Hoffmann, emphasized the benefit of this new treatment method: “High-dose therapy means shorter courses, often only five sessions, compared to the typical 20 to 41 sessions. Although the new daily treatment requires more preparation, the shorter courses will allow us to treat more patients.”

Mr. Hoffmann added, “The Shearwater Lodge grant makes this project possible and will greatly impact those needing radiation therapy in our region. This is a wonderful outcome for our patients and community.”

The new treatment will be available starting April 2024.