A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
KINGSGROVE COMMUNITY AID CENTRE INC.
The Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre was launched at a public meeting held on the 16th April 1967.This meeting was convened by participants in the Church & Life Movement Study Groups held in early 1966. Members & Leaders of these groups in our area met together on 24th July 1966 and appointed a working group with the following aims:
“To investigate the establishment of a community aid service as an expression of Christian concern for the community and that it be established on as wide a basis as possible –not denominational in form.”
After about 8 meetings & extensive investigations with Social Service Agencies, Professionals, and close personal contact with leaders of all local Church Groups and Service Clubs, a Public Meeting was called for the 19th February 1967.
At the meeting there was a representative attendance of 80 people who voted to establish a provisional body to investigate the establishment of the Centre.
The first year was spent in preparing a Constitution, training volunteers & visiting other Community Aid Centres. Permission was granted by the Health Department for KCAC to set up in one room at the Baby Health Centre in Smith Park. Financial Membership in the first year was over 150 people.
The Centre office opened for business Monday 19th February 1968 as one of the first Community Aid Centre in NSW and staffed totally by volunteers. It was not until 1970 that we employed our first paid Director.
Although the KCAC was there to provide general information, sub-committees were formed to cover transport, visiting, publicity and general household help for the elderly. Regular transporting of clients to day clinics at Broughton Hall Psychiatric Hospital at Gladesville, and St. George & Canterbury Hospitals as well as shopping trips made up a large part of the transport workload. More than forty elderly people were visited on a regular basis.
During the first few years, we helped establish several other new Community Aid Centres in Sydney, while at the same time working to expand our own services.
Over the years the Centre remained in its current location at 30 Morgan Street Kingsgrove expanding on its services to the local community.
The Neighbourhood Centre Funding was established in 1970 which also expanded services to families with young children, women’s support groups and programs to the elderly funded by the State Department HACC funding.
Although the services and programs were expanding to meet the growing needs of an emerging community unfortunately the state of the Building at 30 Morgan Street was no longer conducive to housing those programs. Riddled with severe construction deforms the building required a major revamp.
In 1999 through the efforts of the centres CEO with the local community began the lobbying process to Hurstville Council to have the venue redeveloped to build a state of the arts facility to house the centres growing programs.
After much deliberating and meeting with local residents and stakeholder groups the council voted to support the Community Centre with the development of a new building.
In 2010 the first meeting regarding the building structure and layout was held.
By 2013 the foundation was laid and the construction was begun.
The Centres CEO staff and Board was involved in all the developments of the structure and layout ensuring that the centre would be suitable for the current programs offered as well as future programs and expansions.
Today the centre employs around 35 staff with 50 volunteers and hundreds of supporters. It provides an array of services to the local community which includes information services, Seniors Day Care Programs, Podiatry Allied Health Services, Supported Play Groups and Playgroups for Indigenous community, Family Support Services to vulnerable families, mental health support to mothers suffering from post-natal depression, support to people with disabilities as well as childcare Out of School Hours Care(OOSH) services provided in local schools supporting the working families.
On any one day the centre can experience serving over five hundred individuals across its service programs. Its greatest strength is in engaging the local community and working with those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).
Fifty years of dedication to the community is a great milestone, here’s hoping that the centre will continue to operate and serve its local community for the next fifty years.