ECH Partners with SA Montessori to Deliver Intergenerational First

Construction has officially commenced on one of Australia’s first retirement villages incorporating a Montessori Early Learning Centre, thanks to a partnership between leading ageing care provider ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) and SA Montessori. ECH Chief Executive Dr David Panter said the partnership will not only see a range of intergenerational activities implemented across ECH Day Programs, it has also provided an opportunity to co-locate a new SA Montessori Early Learning Centre within the $42.5M 85 Smart Road Development.

“Construction on this one-of-a-kind vertical retirement living village will be marked on 19 November with an Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony conducted by Aboriginal Elder Mickey Kumatpi Marrutya O’Brien,” Dr Panter said. “A smoking ceremony is an ancient aboriginal custom in Australia that involves burning various native plants to produce smoke, which has cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits from the people and the land and make a pathway for a brighter future.

“The Smart Road Development will see a range of our independent living residents living and interacting with a Montessori Early Learning Centre, creating a one-of-a kind community inclusive of a range of benefits for all involved.” To be built by Sarah Constructions and designed by Walter Brooke and Aplin Cook Gardner Architects, the 85 Smart Road Development also features a community garden, café, gym, community hall / lounge and allied health services. Dr Panter said at the peak of construction up to 150 workers are anticipated to be on site at 85 Smart Road in Modbury. The development is surrounded by Westfield Tea Tree Plaza, the O’Bahn Interchange, Modbury Hospital and other community and healthcare services.

“The SA Montessori Early Learning Centre at Magill has already been hosting visits with clients from the ECH Day Program at Walkerville and feedback so far has been extremely positive,” he said. He added that SA Montessori Chief Executive Barbara Langford’s late father was also an ECH client, so the two parties have experienced a long and close relationship. SA Montessori CEO Barbara Langford said with SA Montessori celebrating its 30th year and ECH celebrating its 55th year, it was the perfect time for the two South Australian organisations to get together to further benefit the localcommunity.

“We are delighted to have found a genuine counterpart in ECH. We both share common values of ensuring that people of all ages are empowered, independent and treated with respect and dignity,” she said. “SA Montessori is proud to help expand the intergenerational experiences that will enrich the lives of children, older people and families in the South Australian community.” The new 85 Smart Road Development features innovative dementia-friendly principles and is informed by key design principles created through community consultation.


ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) is a leading not-for-profit provider of services that promote self-determination and enable people to have the best possible life as they age. ECH supports more than 15,000 people and employs about 650 staff, including home support workers, allied and other health professionals, maintenance teams and administrators.


SA MONTESSORI is a group of six early learning and care services in Adelaide. The founder and CEO, Barbara Langford, established the first of these centres 30 years ago for her daughter, Jessica, who is now a business partner in this family venture. Barbara has grown her business through her passion to provide high quality education and care for children. Two of the SA MONTESSORI centres have received the coveted ‘Excellent Rating’ twice in a row, making them the only centres in SA to receive this honour. The National Regulatory Authority ACECQA awards this rating to centres that show outstanding leadership and lighthouse practice that exemplifies the best in Australia.

For more information or to register your interest in Smart Road, click here.

Media Contact
Company Name: ECH Incorporated
Contact Person: Victoria Loughhead
Email: Send Email
Phone: 0432265219
Address:174 Greenhill Rd Parkside
State: SA 5063
Country: Australia