Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury’s History

Beginnings 

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury commenced operation on 4 December 1967, in an old house in Hornsby kindly provided by Hornsby Council. Over the course of the next twenty years, the organisation slowly but steadily grew, although right from the outset it was almost entirely reliant on volunteer effort. By the early 1980s, operating under the name ‘Hornsby & District Life Line & Community Aid Services’, the organisation was providing 24-hour telephone counselling, training, transportation, food parcels, and handyman services – all with a full-time staff of just two, plus over 250 fully accredited volunteer telephone counsellors.

By the time it reached its Silver Anniversary in 1992, the organisation – now ‘Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Lifeline & Community Aid’ – was also supplying counselling services and had played a critical role in providing counselling support to State Emergency Services workers in the horrific Cowan rail accident of May 1990, and again the following year in the aftermath of the severe storm that hit the Hornsby area in January 1991.

Past and Present

In 1994, we won a tender with Ku-ring-gai Council to occupy a building that was previously the Gordon Library. A community campaign was run, with the support of local media, to refurbish the old library into a Lifeline centre with sufficient suitable spaces for expanded telephone and face-to-face crisis support services. In 1996, the transformed building was ready and the organisation moved into its present home at 4 Park Avenue, Gordon.

Since 1996 Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury has grown from a relatively small centre, operating a telephone counselling service, to a large centre providing a wide range of crisis support, suicide prevention services as well as face-to-face counselling services and programs. Specific Government funding for Community Building Partnerships has enabled us to carry out further refurbishments, both at our Gordon centre and at one of our Book Depots, providing more suitable facilities for our growing number of crisis support services and our expanding book sales business.

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury at Gordon is an independent Lifeline centre, managed by a small number of dedicated staff who are also responsible for coordinating around 700 variously-skilled volunteers. Our volunteers provide support in all areas of our operations, including services, administration, retail and fundraising. We simply would not be able to continue our potentially life-saving work without the support of our volunteers.

Lifeline's History

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