The Spastic Centre was the first organisation of its type in the world. The McLeods assembled a group of parents to set up their first centre, at 6 Queen Street, Mosman, a house borrowed from Arthur Sullivan. The parents believed their children needed specialist support and treatment to achieve normal lives. They felt their children should not be housed in traditional disability institutions. Working with trained staff, they merged medical treatment and therapy with education.
The demand for the Centre was so great that it quickly became obvious that the Queen Street would not be large enough. In 1946, the parents started work on a medical centre on land they had bought at Allambie Heights. A pilot hostel was started in Mosman in 1948, with 12 country children. The schoolroom was added to the Allambie buildings and officially opened in 1954. The Country Children's Hostel, McLeod House, was built by voluntary labour over three years and opened in 1957. A Centre Industries factory was added in 1961.
Through extremely clever fundraising, such as a relationship with the Miss Australia Quest/Awards that lasted from 1945 until 2001, and government support, The Spastic Centre has become a substantial organisation. It is a leader in Australian services for cerebral palsy. It has conducted a wide range of research into therapies, early intervention treatments, equipment and causes of cerebral palsy, as well as supporting children and adults.
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24 July 2023
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE01579
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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