History

History

The Gowrie Victoria story begins in 1930 with a group of Melbourne women of remarkable vision and enthusiasm.  Realising the impact of children’s early experience on their later development and wishing to extend the influence of the growing number of nursery schools, these public spirited women formed The Nursery School Committee to consider ways of furthering the new nursery school experiment in Victoria. 
1930 to 1950's
1939 The first Lady Gowrie Child Centre in Melbourne opens 
1943  The Wartime Children’s Centre Program commenced from 7am to 7pm  
  A Holiday program was also offered 
1944 The Lady Gowrie Child Centre Parents and Citizens Association was formed  
1947 Major change in enrolment policy–children did not need to be Australian born 
1951 Introduction of a ‘free program’ for 5 year olds where the playroom and playground were considered one learning space
1960 to 1970's
1961 In-service training program for teachers began
1963 Fire (electrical fault) destroyed the centre.  The Infant Welfare Centre next door was undamaged
1964 A special issue of the Australian Pre-School Quarterly celebrated the silver jubilee of the Lady Gowrie Child Centres. The original centre architects Marcus Martin & Tribe designed the new building which was officially opened 17 October 1964
1966 2000 visitors to the centre were recorded this year
1968 The Creswick Foundation granted $1498 to cover a research salary (2 days pwk) for a Monash University Dept of Education staff member. In August 120 Victorian country Teachers attended a 2 day session at the centre
1970 Short Courses totalling 36 course hours were offered at LGCC through Monash University.  30 Kindergarten Teachers College staff, pre-school advisers and practising teachers 
1973 A Mothers and Toddlers group commenced at the centre. A year long series of workshops for Kindergarten Teachers was run – 160 teachers participated
1975 71 Children were enrolled in 3 kindergarten groups and 2800 visitors learned about the Gowrie philosophy 
1977 Programs offered included 3 & 4 year old kindergarten, mothers and toddlers groups and school transition programs for 5 & 6 year olds

1980's to 2000
1983 Planning went ahead for the provision of a full child care service (long day care) as a result of a parents 
survey plus government funding rules.
1985 40 new child care centres were opened in Victoria and the Melbourne Gowrie was funded to provide 
management training for the new Coordinators. 
1991 Expansion of inservice training to include Staff Development was started to meet demands of the field and government 
1992 The staff, parents, committee facilitated by Professor Margaret Clyde revised the statement about the philosophy of the Children’s Program. The document reflects insight and knowledge about the way children learn and guides staff and informs hundreds of annual visitors to the Melbourne Gowrie During the year 1845 children’s services workers took part in the 50 education seminars offered and 670 people attended programs run in six rural areas. For the first time the government funded the production of a two part training calendar mailed to over 1500 centres 
1993 Training was actively being delivered to outer metropolitan and rural areas and introductory sessions on the proposed QIAS (Quality Improvement and Accreditation System) were held across the state. 

Participation in both accredited and non-accredited training had increased to over 2000 per year. Government Training grants enabled training of 20 unemployed youths in the TAFE certificate child care (assistant) course at a time of high unemployment
1994 Two successful tenders for Accredited Training for Youth programs enabled expansion of the training program and 1400 children’s services workers attended continuing education programs
1995 The 1000th child was enrolled Under the Government’s Working Nation Program, a number of training programs were funded.  325 long term unemployed participated in the training. 
1998 The Centre successfully tendered to deliver the Lady Gowrie Working for the Future Program placing 300 volunteers in kindergartens, child care centres and outside school hours programs across Melbourne 


2001 to 2010
2002 Work for the Dole contract awarded to Gowrie Melbourne to train 700 participants over 3 years

Office of Training and Tertiary Education gave approval for Gowrie Melbourne to conduct the Certificate IV Workplace Assessor course
2006 Gowrie Melbourne and Kathy Walker & Associates formed a partnership to develop The Early Years Program specifically designed for primary school teachers working with Prep to Year 2 children 

Collaboration with KPV (Kindergarten Parents Victoria) and Gowrie Melbourne to organise the Early Years conference, now an annual event attracting over 600 delegates
2009  A second Gowrie Victoria centre The Harbour Family and Children’s Centre opens on January 28.

Gowrie Victoria celebrates its 70th anniversary including an afternoon tea with the Governor General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC along with the other Gowries from around Australia


2010's
2010 Establishment of the Pedagogical Leadership Group (PRG) to formally provide pedagogical leadership to the organisation.  The group comprised of staff from all business units, aims to support the provision of high quality programs and services to our clients and further develop our knowledge.

Presentation of a paper on the PRG at the DEECD Innovation Showcase, and the ECA National Conference.

Mentoring Project Pilot to support 56 early childhood teachers providing kindergarten programs in long day care centres.

The implementation of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework was assisted by Gowrie Victoria developing and distributing 800 educational kits throughout Victoria (through DEECD funding).  

Funding also enabled the provision of an extended support and advice hotline staffed by Gowrie Resources and Gowrie Training rolled out 17 information sessions to 1,147 Victorian participants.

80 long day care centres achieved Start Right Eat Right awards – a program managed by Gowrie Victoria on behalf of Kids – ‘Go for your Life’.

Gowrie Victoria announced a major change called 'Vision into Practice' including a new organisational structure to ensure we continue to educate and support the early childhood community in delivering quality programs.  
2011 Gilda Howard retired as CEO after 6 years and Sue Hart was welcomed as the new CEO.

Margaret Clyde (Life Member) passed away in April.  She will be remembered for her significant contribution to early childhood education.

Gowrie Training delivered Professional Learning to over 7,300 professionals and 132 Certificate and Diploma and Advanced Diploma students graduated.

Coaching and Mentoring was provided to 110 centres (over 1,100 educators).

Partnerships established with 370 degree Traineeships and ISIK College for delivery of bilingual EYLF workshops.

Start Right Eat Right program was amalgamated into Kids: Go for your Life.  Gowrie Victoria ran the program for eight years, with awards to 280 centres thanks to sponsorship and funding by the Department of Health.

Gowrie Training successfully ran Grandfathering courses to enable long term educators to gain a qualification thanks to DEECD funding.   

The Gowrie Victoria Board revitalised plans to redevelop the Carlton North site and planning is underway recognising the value of outdoor space and providing a model demonstration centre based on leading research and best practice in the sector.  
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