Lady Gowrie

Lady Gowrie
Lady Gowrie
Children's Service-FORTITUDE VALLEY, QLD
Children's Service-Fortitude Valley, QLD
The name Lady Gowrie enjoys a strong heritage in both Queensland and Australian early childhood education. They were named after Lady Zara Gowrie, wife of the Governor-General of Australia, ..
228 St Paul's Tce, Fortitude Valley, Qld, 4006.
228 St Paul's Tce, Fortitude Valley, Qld, 400..
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The name Lady Gowrie enjoys a strong heritage in both Queensland and Australian early childhood education. They were named after Lady Zara Gowrie, wife of the Governor-General of Australia, Alexander Hore-Ruthven, Lord Gowrie from 1936-1944, who was awarded a Victorian Cross for bravery during a battle in Sudan.
The name Lady Gowrie enjoys a strong heritage in both Queensland and Australian early childhood education. They were named after Lady Zara Gowrie, wife of the Governor-General of Australia, Alexander Hore-Ruthven, Lord Gowrie from 1936-1944, who was awarded a Victorian Cross for bravery during a battle in Sudan.

Lady Gowrie was tireless worker organising concerts and Government House fetes raising money for the war effort. She set up a soldiers' club in Canberra and lent her support to the establishment of what became known as the Lady Gowrie kindergartens.

The Lady Gowrie Child Centres are located in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart. They were established in 1940 by the Australian Commonwealth Government as demonstration centres for children's programs

Lady Gowrie described the Brisbane centre as a paradise for children and arranged for jacaranda trees to be planted along the front of the building and in the grounds. The extensive playground of the centre was originally planned as an extension of the playrooms where young children would spend most of their playtime out-of-doors.

The Brisbane centre opened to children on the 17th June 1940. Seven two-year-old children and ten four-year-old children began at the centre on that day. By November of that year there were 57 children enrolled. As well as teachers, a registered nurse and a social worker, the centre employed a secretary and cook-housekeeper. Hot meals and a dessert were provided for the children each day.

During World War II the centre was temporarily closed by government decree. The Centre at St Paul's Terrace still has the air-raid shelter as a reminder of these times.

The centre re-opened in 1943 and reached a full complement of 100 children aged from 2 to 4 years. All children lived in close proximity to the centre. However, as housing in the inner-city area began to be replaced by businesses, families began to come from further afield. Today families come from all areas of Brisbane in order to use the services of the centre.

In 1944 the Brisbane Lady Gowrie Child Centre became a training centre for students. Students from the Brisbane Kindergarten Teachers Training College attended the centre four days a week. Today, the numbers of visitors and students visiting the children's programs is large and the centre continues to play a very important demonstration role.

Parent education also formed an important part of the centre's role. A Parent library was established and Parent/Toddler Groups were first offered in 1974. These groups were primarily set up to support parents in understanding the early development of children and to provide a place where parents could meet. Along with this, a Parent Education Program was introduced as a service to the wider community.

The centre was a foundation member of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Preschool Association (now the Australian Early Childhood Association) and continues to play a role in this organisation.

A Family Day Care Scheme was established by the Brisbane Lady Gowrie Child Centre in 1975. One of the aims of this Scheme was to provide registered home-based child care for parents in the workforce.

In 1983 a centre based child care program was opened at the St Paul's Terrace building enrolling children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age.

Over the years the Brisbane Lady Gowrie Child Centre gradually shifted its focus from providing parenting programs to offering professional development workshops to practitioners working in early childhood. Day, evening and weekend workshops were initially offered in the Brisbane area and were later expanded to cover all areas of Queensland.
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