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 Child Centre was established in each Australian capital city in low socio-economic industrialised areas in an effort to improve poverty and poor health outcomes for children in these areas during and after the Second World War. The Gowrie Child Centres were nationally consistent in terms of architectural features, educational equipment and education programs for children and parents.
Her Excellency, The Lady Zara Gowrie, wife of the Governor General, was a strong advocate and supporter to the establishment of the Gowrie Child Centres and did much to bring about a quick approval of the scheme. Due to Lady Zara Gowrie’s dedication and inspiration, 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, including Lady Gowrie Child Centre Battery Point 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 entity in Australia meet on a regular basis to network, develop proposals and submissions, and provide collegial support.
Similarly, educators from each Lady 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 and to government agencies and individuals.
Lady Gowrie Child Centres across Australia have changed significantly since their establishment and more specifically, Lady Gowrie 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 quality programs to the community that promote the best outcomes for children, families and early to middle childhood professionals.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania’s name is synonymous with quality education and care and 2019 saw the milestone achievement of providing 80 years of quality education and care services to the Tasmanian community. Countless children and their families have been a part of the Lady Gowrie Tasmania story with many families using services across generations.
To learn more about our history and to view a copy of the Lady Gowrie Tasmania ‘Celebrating 80 Years: 1939 – 2019’ publication please click on the link at the bottom of this page.
‘Things come and go, but Lady Gowrie Tasmania doesn’t and that’s a really great thing. From where it started it’s really kept its focus on children. Right in the beginning it was for children and it still is!’
Lorraine – Former Employee
Lady Gowrie Tasmania is a community owned organisation whose core business is the provision of quality programs to the community that promotes the best outcomes for children, families and early and middle childhood professionals.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania puts ‘Children First’.
We provide high quality programs, advocacy and leadership for all children, their families and communities.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania has a rich heritage and strong values. While each program offers something different, they have all been established to achieve one thing – to give children the best start in life.
The organisation has a simple philosophy – ‘Children First’.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania is a community based not for profit organisation. Any surplus is reinvested to support the provision of the best standard of service delivery.
Ultimately it is about a partnership, Lady Gowrie Tasmania works with families, early/middle childhood and allied professionals and the broader community to support the development and implementation of responsive and innovative programs that support children achieve optimal development and families to undertake their parenting role.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania – ‘Children First’.
- Families are supported;
- Children reach their full potential and are at the centre of all practice;
- Early years and middle childhood education and care services are valued and supported;
- Quality and experienced early and middle childhood educators are vital;
- Ongoing professional learning and development enhances practice;
- Quality matters; and
- The community benefits.
Commitment to Reconciliation
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO COUNTRY
Lady Gowrie Tasmania acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Australia and pays our respect to the longest living cultures and Elders both past and present. We acknowledge and celebrate the resilience and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures today and acknowledge and respect their deep connection and relationship with Country and Community and commit to working together for a united Australia that values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and provides justice and equity for all.
RECONCILIATION VISION STATEMENT
Lady Gowrie Tasmania’s vision is for a reconciled and united Australia through;
- a genuine commitment for reconciliation to come to life in our services and programs
- fostering equality and equity
- culturally inclusive programs and curriculum
- development of deep knowledge and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania acknowledges the history of Australia and specifically Tasmania (our state) and its impact upon past, present and future generations. By listening and learning, and sharing our stories, we will deepen our understanding and celebrate Tasmanian Aboriginal cultures and engage in authentic community consultation to develop genuine partnerships.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania will actively work to deepen the organisation’s cultural awareness and competence, and respect for First Nations Australians through advocating against racism and discrimination. Lady Gowrie Tasmania’s corporate governance will support the organisation to achieve our commitment to action and help us to work towards a united future.
OUR RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN (RAP)
Lady Gowrie Tasmania is building on its leadership role and taking action through the development of a structured Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) that provides a genuine commitment to building our organisation as a culturally aware, competent and inclusive workplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Through developing and implementing this RAP, we will increase and build our people’s cultural competence through specifically acknowledging our First Nations Australians and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families, the past and current injustices and realities for them around Australia.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and acknowledges that they have been nurturing and teaching children on this land for many decades and we continue to honour and respect that role.
For further information about Lady Gowrie Tasmania’s Reconciliation Action Plan (October 2019 – October 2020) please click on link at the bottom of this page.
‘We wish Lady Gowrie Tasmania well as it takes these first critical steps in its reconciliation journey. We encourage the organisation to embrace this journey with open hearts and minds, to grow from the challenges, and to build on the successes.’
Karen Mundine – CEO Reconciliation Australia
Governance and Management
Lady Gowrie Tasmania is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. The Board is the legal entity and as such is responsible for the overall direction of the organisation. Board Members are selected for their skills, knowledge and experience. The Board of Directors are committed to good corporate governance and adhere to the legal, fiscal and mandatory duties of an incorporated association.
The Annual General Meeting of the Organisation is conducted in November each year to report the activities of the organisation and to distribute the audited financial reports. The current Board of Directors listing is displayed at all sites. The Senior Leadership Team, led by the Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organisation.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania’s strategic direction 2017-2020 was developed to set clear goals and priorities for the current three year period. These goals and priorities were structured around four goals and have driven the development of operational plans and budget processes since 2017. The organisation is currently finalising the Strategic Plan 2021-24.