The history of Mt La Verna Retirement Village and of St Theresa’s Church tells of development of market gardens around the swamps of Gwelup, and the building of a Catholic Church late in 1936.

Following an approach to Archbishop Foley for permission to build an aged persons complex on land at 14 Ufton Street in Gwelup a steering committee was formed in August 1984 to investigate the possibility of building a retirement village.

The project was sponsored by the Parish of St Lawrence and Mary Immaculate, Balcatta where Father Hrdina, of the Capuchin Friary, was in charge.

After considered planning Stage I was completed on 10th May 1996 which included 11 independent living units and a 41 bed low care residential aged care facility. Stage II was opened on 20th April 1999. Stage III was finished by September 2001 and all 33 independent villas were fully occupied by September 2002.

In keeping with the connection to the Capuchins, the Village was named Mount La Verna after St Francis of Assissi’s retreat in Tuscany, Italy and the residential aged care facility named St Francis Hostel. One position on the Board is reserved for a member of the Lay Franciscans.

Today Gwelup suburb is a quiet tree filled suburb built around Lake Gwelup, with a real sense of community.


Mt La Verna Retirement Village (Inc.) became an Incorporated Association in 1991 and is operated by a Board of Management formed through a constitution approved by the Archdiocese of Perth.

The Board consists of several well qualified, dedicated individuals which includes a number of accountants and a pharmacist and meets each month to oversee the management of the Village. Some of the Board members have served the Village for many years with Mr Fred Cicci being one of the original Board members. The current Chairperson is Mrs Judith Wallace.

Day to day management is vested in the CEO, Mr Lee Hare and the Care Manager, Ms Brenda Hughes.

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