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Childrens Centre

Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Homepage - Brotherhood timeline  | Service areas - home | Children and Families - home



Children’s Centre opened on 4 March (named the Sister Hay Memorial Children’s Health Centre  ), providing a children’s health clinic with two Nursing Sisters.  Honorary medical support provided health checks on 500 children to give a general picture of health deficiencies, along with an optical clinic. This also provided new facilities for the Clubs for Children & Youth.  Children were encouraged to make use of the showers and baths, given the scarcity of these in many homes. (BSL Annual Report, 1952, p.13; BSL 1965, Tucker & BSL HistoryDoc)



The Girl Guides Association withdrew from the Square Centre in 1955-56 due to lack of Leaders and the Children’s Centre Committee financed the staffing and provision of equipment. (BSL Annual Report, 1955, p11).



Silver Jubilee Building Appeal raises £12,000.  Construction begins on first stage of master plan for extensions to the Coolibah Club, Children’s Centre and Offices at the Brunswick Street headquarters. (BSL Annual Report, 1956-1957, p.5).



The second floor extension to the Children’s Centre completed at the headquarters building, including an open-air playground area on the flat roof to provide for basketball and “other more vigorous ball games”, financed through a special appeal (the Children’s Centre & Clinic Appeal) to Trades Unions and Business Houses. Incorporated into the building was the new Chapel of St Mark.  At this stage the Brotherhood had a staff of 25, 10 of which were trained nurses or welfare workers. (BSL Annual Report, 1957-1958, p.3BSL Annual Report, 1958-1959, pp 7,12)



Creative Leisure Centre for children opens in Fitzroy in the new section of the Children’s Centre.  During the school holidays an average of 75 children attended each day, with an average of 65 boys & girls attending after school. ("Children’s & Youth Centre section" BSL Annual Report, 1961-1962, p.7)



BSL staff and residents of Carrum Downs & St Laurence Park, Lara constitute a CAA Group.  Their contributions plus donations made to the BSL for overseas aid provide a welfare worker in a slum area in Poona and finance the visits to India of 3 young Australians to work in youth work camps organised by Service Civil International.  One of these was a member of the Brotherhood’s Children’s Centre staff who spent time in a nursery for Tibetan refugee children. "Service Civil International (SCI) is a peace organisation that co-ordinates international voluntary projects for people of all ages, cultures, religious and economic backgrounds" (BSL Annual Report, 1961-1962, pp 1, 11BSL Annual Report 1962-1963, p.20)


See the 1962 Children's and Youth Centre report on the five year plan of development, this has a brief history of Youth work at BSL from 1933 to 1962 (BSL 1962, Children's and youth centre)



The Reverend Peter Hollingworth joins the BSL, appointed as Director of Youth and Children's Work, with responsibilities including the Children’s Centre, Coolibah Club and Youth Centre.   (He began the two-year Youth Leadership Course with the Social Welfare Department in 1965) (Hughes, H M 1967, A Survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies, p.42)



David Green presented a proposal for the development of Limurru as a neighbourhood children's centre (Green, D 1981, Proposal for the development of Limurru as a neighbourhood children's centre)



Another proposal prepared for Limurru Neighbourhood Parent & Children's Centre   (November)


Review of the Sharing Centre, given the high demand by over 300 people each week,  led to splitting the developmental aspect of the project from the provision of residual support services.  An upgraded material aid service operated in Fitzroy with less discriminatory eligibility criteria, less rationing of goods and more choice.  The food shops became the Under Current Cooperative supported by the BSL and run by a community management committee. "Mary D’Aprano cited in BSL Internal Working Paper No.2" (BSL, 1972, Overview and history of income supplementation services, no. 2, p. 12



Because of changing needs of families, Limurru Child Care Centre developed as a neighbourhood centre, renamed as Neighbourhood Parents & Children’s Centre (from Child Care Centre) established as a service for single mothers living in the high-rise flats offering occasional care and parent support.  The program was expanded to provide activities and learning opportunities for parents. 



From January 1987 BSL’s service provision expanded in Limurru Neighbourhood Parent & Children’s Centre, providing sessional day care at the Cottage, occasional care at 124 Napier Street and a Drop-In Centre for the parents.  A more comprehensive service was planned with focus on child care for children from particularly disadvantaged families.  The service was managed by the parents and the constitution gave them a great deal of involvement in the ongoing functioning of the centre.



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