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Hindmarsh Women's Community Health Centre (1974 - 1989)

From
1974
Hindmarsh, South Australia, Australia
To
1989
Hindmarsh , South Australia, Australia
Occupations
health service
Alternative Names
  • Mary St (subsequent name)
  • Welling Place (abrreviated name)
  • Women's Community Health Centre

Summary

Hindmarsh Women's Community Health Centre was the first women's health centre in South Australia. The Women's Liberation Movement recognised the need for a separate women's health centre from the number of health related calls and personal enquiries it received and lobbied the government for assistance. Funding was granted in 1974 and 6 Mary St, Hindmarsh was offically open in 1976. The Health Centre became a teaching centre for women's health in late 1975 and produced pamphlets on both general and gynaecological health. The Rape Crisis Centre evolved from the Health Centre.

Funding came through the state government and as a result there were some clashes between the bureaucracy and the feminist executive over how the centre should be run. This was further complicated by the clashing politics of the various feminist groups involved in the centre, which was run by a feminist collective. Conflict with the State Health Department eventially lead to the withdrawal of funding.

After the intervention of the Women's Adviser to the Premier, who argued the case for the need for specialised women's health services, the centre was moved to North Adelaide and became Women's Health Statewide. The Centre then became known as the Welling Place, providing alternative health including a vegtable patch for the community. 6 Mary St was demolished in 1989 to make way for the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Details

The work of the Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement of the 1970s called for a separate women's health education centre to inform women about basic gynaecology, reproductive health and psychological health. A group called Body Political put out a newsletter on women's health and presented a program 'Our Body Ourselves' on radio 5UV at Adelaide University. The submission for funding was made in 1974. Funding was granted in 1974 and 6 Mary St Hindmarsh was offically open in 1976. Hindmarsh Women's Community Health Centre was the first women's health centre in South Australia. With the public funding of the Centre there was a struggle between what the feminist wanted to achieve and the South Australian Health Commision with its limiting rules. The feminists wanted to teach women about their health but because they were not an accreditied institution they had to be granted the right to teach. The Centre produced pamphlets on both general and gynaecological health. They did become a teaching centre for women's health for a time. Because funding was through the state the feminist way of running the centre as a collective with members of the centre and the bureaucracy and its requirements often clashed. This was further complicated by the feminist groups involved in the centre. The conflict with the Health Department eventually led to the withdrawal of funding. With the intervention of the Women's Adviser to the Premier the need of Women's Health Centre was argued and the centre was moved to North Adelaide and became Women's Health Statewide. Hindmarsh Women's Health Centre continued with the Medicare payments to support other work of the centre. The Centre then became known as the Welling Place, providing alternative health including a vegtable patch for the community. 6 Mary St was demolished in 1989 for the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The Rape Crisis Centre evolved from the Health Centre. Some of the women involved include Margaret Mc Donald, Mary Nettle, Vicky Papadopolois, Karen Weir, Maria Radoslovich, Sylvia Kinder, Trish Leigh, Helen Bock and Silver Moon.

Related entries

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia

  • Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement, November 1969 - May 1989; State Library of South Australia. Details
  • Hindmarsh Women's Community Health Centre , 1975 - 1989; Hindmarsh Women's Community Health Centre (1974 - 1989); State Library of South Australia. Details

Kathleen Bambridge

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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