A building which once offered children’s services to the Bundaberg community in the 1920s has been renovated to provide a space for four businesses to continue their mission in supporting local families.
The unique and quaint building has a 99-year-history in the region, featuring an extensive connection to childhood services.
Towards the end of the 19th century, children under five accounted for more than one in 10 deaths in Queensland.
At the time, Queensland’s champion of infant welfare Dr Alfred Jefferis Turner, whose efforts in disease control had a huge impact on the health of children, established the state’s first baby clinic in Brisbane in 1908.
Ten regional clinics followed and the building at 5 Maryborough Street was established in 1923.
From then it was used as a child and maternal welfare clinic, according to Queensland Heritage Council.
With a compact tile-roof, the one-storey reinforced cement plaster building was of attractive design and contained a waiting hall, doctor's room, treatment room and nurses’ rooms with a water closet, lavatories and storage space.
It was a contemporary building for the era, with modern fittings and furnishings used throughout and a septic system provided for conveniences.
Now, that same purpose in offering children's services in the one space will continue on under the recent refurbishment.
The revitalisation of the space came about last year after Jasmine Harris from Connections Play Therapy and Consultancy was eager to find the right place to operate.
“When I took the lease on for the building, I already knew I would like to have other businesses join the space, as I did not need to utilise all the rooms,” she said.
“Elissa from Functional Family Solutions was already interested in joining me and what she offers supports the play therapy model I provide to children.
“This will give families the best outcomes if they are able to access support in parenting while their child is on their play therapy journey.”
Jasmine said Angela Twyford and Gayle Reynolds from Wide Bay Kids and Kara Watson from Evolve Integrative Wellbeing also joined the hub after falling in love with the space upon inspection.
“It all came together organically, and I just love that we have services in the space that support children, families, individuals and community,” she said.
“The building has a rich history in children’s health, and I love that it has been revitalised and is now offering services to children and families again.”
Elissa eager to start new business in Maryborough Street hub
Elissa Woolley started Functional Family Solutions in November and she said the move to Maryborough Street was beneficial on more than one level.
“I saw this as such a great opportunity – not only from a business perspective but for families as well,” she said.
“When you can combine support for children and support for parents in the same space – we end up with better outcomes for families as a whole.”
Elissa said Functional Family Solutions would help parents cope with the demands of raising children, and provided a framework for compassionate and effective behaviour guidance techniques.
“My ultimate goal is to help parents form lasting, meaningful relationships with their children and create a functional home environment,” she said.
“Equipped with the right skills parents can guide their children into becoming confident, autonomous problem solvers.
“If you are an exhausted parent – or have concerns about any of your children's behaviours, we are the place to see.
“I am really excited to be working along-side a group of women who have the same passion for helping families as I do.
“Being a new business in town, I have been so humbled by the support and encouragement I have received. I hope this new move provides a safe space for many families to come and feel supported, educated and empowered.”