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History

Lady Gowrie Child Centre (Hobart) Incorporated was established in July 1939 at the Battery Point site. The Centre was established by the then Commonwealth Government as a demonstration, training and best practice model for early childhood professionals across a range of multidisciplinary services – education, care and health.

At this time a Gowrie Centre was established in all States in what was then low socio economic areas where it was felt that families needed the most support in education and caring for young children. Each Centre was built using similar planning formats, equipped in a uniform manner with programs provided on a consistent basis.

Her Excellency, The Lady Zara Gowrie, wife of the Governor General, was a strong advocate and supporter to the establishment of the Gowrie Centres and did much to bring about a quick approval of the scheme. Because of the inspiration provided by Lady Zara Gowrie, it was decided that each of the six centres would bear her name – The Lady Gowrie Child Centre. During the years 1939-1940, Her Excellency personally opened each of the Centres at a public gathering with the Lady Gowrie Child Centre in Battery Point opened in July 1939.

Over the years the role of Gowrie has altered, however, the focus remains the same – supporting the education, care and well being of young children and those who educate and care for them, their families and the broader community.

The Chief Executive Officers of each Gowrie meet on a regular basis to network, develop proposals and submissions, and provide collegial support. Similarly, educators from each Gowrie connect regularly via technology to share research findings, to collaborate on best practice and innovation and undertake professional learning. Gowrie Australia publishes a quarterly early childhood magazine “Reflections” which is distributed widely to the early childhood education and care sector nationally and also to government agencies and individuals.

Lady Gowrie Child Centres across Australia have changed significantly. More specifically Lady Gowrie in Tasmania has grown into a multi-faceted organisation offering a range of services to the community. These services have been developed in response to community need and are delivered by a team of staff committed to providing opportunities for families and individuals to participate in community life.

Our history in the early childhood field and the value of early education and care is still very strong today, and is demonstrated consistently throughout the range of services developed and provided to children, families and early childhood professionals.