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Coolibah Club

Page history last edited by Louise Segafredo 10 years, 4 months ago

 Homepage - Brotherhood timeline  | Service areas - home | Older people - home

 

1946

Coolibah Club opened:  Father Tucker “furnished a small room and opened it as a club for elderly men” to provide a place of shelter and companionship, particularly for “those living in small, drab rooms in overcrowded inner industrial areas” [1]

 

1948

Jessie Sumner began as manager of the Coolibah Club (1948-1963)

 

1949

The Coolibah Club was completely renovated and an Open Day was held on 15 June between 10 am and 10 pm [2]

 

 1954

New and enlarged Coolibah Club opened at Fitzroy  and women admitted to membership    (November) [3]

 

1957

Chiropody service at the Coolibah receives its first mention in the 1956-1957 Annual Report  [4]

 

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 [5]

 

1958

New headquarters building at Fitzroy, with ground and first floors completed in October.  The ground floor housed a new Social Service Bureau, a waiting room and Chapel, with  a shower and change room for the Coolibah Club.  The first floor offices accommodated Social Workers of the Family Service Project, along with the Accountant and Organiser who had been in rented premises in East Melbourne [6]

 

Coolibah open from 10 am to 10 pm nearly every day of the year.  Average of 160 members (figure dropped in 1958 “due to an extraordinarily high death rate”) [7]

 

1959

The Coolibah Club, “open from 10 am to 10 pm every day of the year”, reached full capacity with 180 elderly men and women members. [8]

 

1962

Jess Millott, after 11 years as a voluntary helper, took up the position of Coolibah Club manageress at the start of 1962 and Jess Sumner took up “full time welfare work amongst the aged”  [9]

 

The Youth Club “has a number of outside interests - once a month films are screened for members of the Coolibah Club, the young offenders group at Pentridge Gaol, and a Mental Hygiene Clinic” [10]

 

1963

An occupational therapist, Margaret Woodhouse, appointed to the Coolibah staff in February, worked on a report dealing with all aspects of need in the Coolibah and the local community  [11]

 

1964

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) [12]

 

1970

During 1969-1970 the Coolibah served 18,500 meals [13]

 

1972

Brotherhood offices rebuilt at 67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, including completion of stage one of the Coolibah Centre (including craft room, television and sitting rooms, showers, a communal laundry and a large dining area).  The second stage under construction will house the sick bay, clothing store, changing room with shower, chiropody section, an additional sitting room and offices. [14]

 

1973

Block of six single flats purchased in Moor Street, Fitzroy for independent living in an endeavour to increase the stock of housing for the aged in the inner city, made possible by a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.   “Although all flats recently purchased are completely self-contained, the residents who, so far, are all members of the Coolibah Centre, need varying degrees of support.  As the units are close to the Centre, the required supervision and assistance can be readily provided.” [15]

 

1974

Completion of the rebuilding of the Coolibah Centre, designed to incorporate special facilities and space for equipment of cope with the new flats and the proposed hostel (Known as Sumner House).  (March) [16]

 

1978

Coolibah Club expanded to include a Day Centre, providing support and maintenance for dependent older people who had either reached their maximum level of rehabilitation or due to loneliness need social contact.  Funded under the Community Health Program, it employed a number of paramedical staff - occupational therapist, two chiropodists, a recreational officer, and two health assistants all coordinated by a nursing supervisor.  Specific rehabilitation programs were introduced as a consequence of the Coolibah receiving referrals from the Mount Royal Hospital in Parkville, most of whom were stroke victims. Because of this, the Wandarrah workshop was established to provide activities for the people referred from Mount Royal. The BSL provided the equipment and paid the rent on the premises in Fitzroy Street, whilst Mount Royal supplied occupational therapists on a part-time basis. The products made in the workshop were sold through the BSL’s retail outlets. [17]

 

1984

St Mary’s Mission House, Fitzroy was converted into a rooming house for 25 people and renamed Millott House in honour of Jessica Millott who worked with the Coolibah Club for thirty years.  A group of long-standing Fitzroy residents moved in from the rooming houses in Glass Terrace.  [18]

 

Coolibah Club expanded to include a Day Centre, providing support and maintenance for dependent older people who had either reached their maximum level of rehabilitation or due to loneliness need social contact.  Funded under the Community Health Program, it employed a number of paramedical staff - occupational therapist, two chiropodists, a recreational officer, and two health assistants all coordinated by a nursing supervisor.  Specific rehabilitation programs were introduced as a consequence of the Coolibah receiving referrals from the Mount Royal Hospital in Parkville, most of whom were stroke victims. Because of this, the Wandarrah workshop was established to provide activities for the people referred from Mount Royal. The BSL provided the equipment and paid the rent on the premises in Fitzroy Street just behind the Centre, whilst Mount Royal supplied occupational therapists on a part-time basis. The products made in the workshop were sold through the BSL's retail outlets.  [19] Coolibah_Day_Centre_begins_1978-9.pdf  Wandarrah_Workshop_1981-10.pdf Aged_Care_Projects_1978-6.pdf  Coolibah_Evaluation_1997-8.pdf

 

1986

Coolibah Club membership increased to 192 people with an average of 60 people each day  (hot midday meal served every day). [20]

 

1993

Series of Coolibah Debates including Idealism is Good Economics (12 August)

 

Coolibah Catering Group commenced Traineeship program for young people in the Coolibah kitchen (March) with an internal catering function until June. The catering service had been restructured and extended to include the provision of meals to nearby Sumner House

   [21]

 

Series of Coolibah Debates including Idealism is Good Economics (12 August)

 

The Coolibah Centre commenced a program for people over the age of 50 with intellectual disabilities. [22]

 

1997

Coolibah evaluation completed (August-September)

 

1998

Coolibah service redesigned to operate 6 days a week (closed Saturdays) and to cease breakfast (July)  

 

2006

Unsung Heroes - Pilot of a ‘digital storytelling for social justice project’ involving Melbourne Grammar students and elders from the Coolibah Centre (October-November) [23] 

 

2007

Unsung Heroes - second program of the ‘digital storytelling for social justice project’ involving Melbourne Grammar students and elders from the Coolibah Centre

 

2008

Unsung Heroes - third program of the ‘digital storytelling for social justice project’ involving Melbourne Grammar students and elders from the Coolibah Centre - featured on ABC-TV Stateline on May 30 and in The Age newspaper on May 31 [24]

 

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Footnotes

  1. BSL Annual report 1959-1960 p.7 (no numbering)
  2. BSL Notes June 1949 No.76 p.3
  3. BSL Annual Report 1955 pp.5 & 18
  4. BSL Annual Report 1956-1957 p.6. The service later extends to visiting people who are ‘home-bound’ - see eg BSL Annual Report1959-1960 p.7 (no numbering)
  5. BSL Annual Report 1956-1957 p.5
  6. BSL Annual Report 1957-1958 p.3.
  7. BSL Annual Report 1957-1958 p.4
  8. BSL Annual Report 1958-1959 p.8
  9. BSL Annual Report 1961-1962 p.5
  10. BSL Annual Report 1961-1962 p.7(
  11. BSL Annual Report 1962-1963 p.18
  12. Helen M. Hughes A Survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies, The Church of England Social Service Advisory Council 1967 Pt.1 p.42
  13. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.2
  14. BSL Annual Report 1971-1972 p.3
  15. BSL Annual Report 1973-1974 p.2
  16. BSL Annual Report 1973-1974 p.2
  17. BSL Annual Report 1977-1978 p.10
  18. BSL Annual Report 1983-1984 pp.2, 5
  19. Brotherhood Action June 1978 (No.220) and Brotherhood Action September 1978 (No.221) [Coolibah_Day_Centre_begins_1978-9.pdf]; BSL Annual Report 1977-1978 p.10 (no numbering) and BSL Annual Report 1978-1979 p.2 (no numbering). See also Brotherhood Action October 1981 (No.237) [Wandarrah_Workshop_1981-10.pdf] and [Aged_Care_Projects_1978-6.pdf] & [Coolibah_Evaluation_1997-8.pdf] and also Brotherhood Action August 1984 (No.254) p.1.
  20. BSL Annual Report 1985-1986 p.3
  21. Memo from Catering Program Management Group to All Directors & Department Managers (23 June 1993)
  22. BSL Annual Report 1993 p.16
  23. ‘Unsung Heroes’ The power of digital storytelling in English and community services - David McCallum, Melbourne Grammar School, Alberto Rizzo, Melbourne Grammar School.
  24. See Building Better Lives, September 2008, p.5

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