Dr Rodney Jilek: why I had 50 applications for jobs in one day for Canberra’s first independent dementia home

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Dr Rodney Jilek has opened Kambera House, a six-bed home in Canberra for people under 65 years who are experiencing the onset of dementia, and is approved for funding under the NDIS.

As we reported here, Dr Jilek announced the launch of Community Home Australia with his partners last November, bankrolled by $1.1 million of his own money.

“There is no service like this in the ACT and I am still to come across a service like this in the country,” he said as he explained the house was at capacity in five days.

The residents of Kambera House receive care rather than go into an aged care facility. Being under 65, they qualify for NDIS.

Dr Jilek wanted to talk about his staff at the house in Tuggeranong, which is 29km south of Canberra’s CBD.

“I had 50 applications in a day. We are really Not For Profit,” he said.

“All money received is channelled back to the residents and staff. They are paid 15% above the award rate, receive 12% superannuation and four weeks’ paid leave a year. As the staff cook the food for the residents they can eat it too, so there is free food while on duty.

“I don’t own a bloated head office.”

Dr Jilek said it cost $1.4 million to open Kambera House and he is already working on expansion.

‘We have to wait and see if Kambera House is going to work but I have been contacted by investors who would like to see the process of expanding speeded up,” he said.

“There will be a much bigger operation in the centre of Canberra.”

Dr Jilek is also Managing Director of Aged Care Consulting & Advisory Services Australasia which donated more than $500,000 to a myriad of charitable and community support services two months ago.