Congress Arrulenye has been working hard to preserve Congress’ history to make it accessible to the community in the lead up to our 50th anniversary next year, so we’d like to share some photos and facts that tell you just how much Congress has physically grown over the last 49 years.
Congress’ first clinic opened in a house that Congress bought in Hartley Street on 10 October 1975, just 18 months after Congress was founded. Services were delivered from there until the current Gap Clinic, previously called Main Clinic was built in 1988. The workers all moved there in December of that year.
Congress’ first clinic at Hartley Street
Construction of the Gap Clinic
Congress Childcare started in April 1981 in the Uniting Church manse (the house built for the preacher) where Yeperenye Shopping Centre is now. In about 1985 Childcare moved to Bloomfield Street and then to a new premises next to the Gap Clinic in 1991 where it remains.
Alukura Women’s Health Service first operated from a room in our Hartley Street Clinic. In August 1988, Alukura moved to a building owned by Aboriginal Hostels at 13 Mueller Street and then to their Aboriginal women-only place in Percy Court in 1992.
And still, Congress continues to grow and invest into the community and Aboriginal health and wellbeing.
Excitingly, plans are in place to create a purpose-built two-storey health hub at 127 Todd Street, where the Memo Club used to be. (More liquor licenses gone!) A range of client services, staff training facilities and Congress’ main administration functions will be housed here. This development is being carefully managed, and sacred sites will be protected.