The State Heritage listed building on Mellor Street started its life as a Maternal and Child Welfare Clinic in 1926.
The photos show how it looked over several years and includes the original plan. There is also a 1964 plan for a proposed extension which never happened.
It forms part of the Gympie Town Hall Reserve Complex and is protected under the State Heritage listing. Reasoning for listing is:
“The former Gympie Maternal and Child Welfare Clinic (1926) is important in demonstrating the pattern of Queensland history concerned with improving maternal health, which was part of the Australia-wide movement to educate mothers in infant and domestic hygiene. It is one of ten standard design baby clinics constructed in regional Queensland that resulted from implementation of the Maternity Act 1922, which used funding from the state-operated lottery, the Golden Casket.
The Gympie Maternal and Child Welfare Clinic, which served the Gympie district for 66 years, is representative of Queensland’s response to the Australia-wide endeavour to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal health during the 1920s.”
“The building, which cost £2,355, was opened on Saturday 24 April 1926 by the Minister for Works, James Kirwan. He referred to the clinic as the ‘Temple of the Babe’, an analogy first used by the Assistant Home Secretary Mr Brennan at the opening of the Toowoomba Baby Clinic in December 1923. Kirwan reiterated the government policy promoting motherhood and child welfare, indicating that the clinic had already begun operation prior to the official opening. Nurse McGrath had already begun her rounds of the district, visiting 83 babies, and 25 mothers had consulted the clinic. He said the building, was a beautiful structure which was an architectural adornment to the city of Gympie. When the Director of Infant Welfare, Dr Jefferis Turner wrote his first annual report in June 1927, he indicated that the Gympie Clinic had a good relationship with the local maternity nurses, and it had outperformed some older ones in the state, in terms of the numbers of new born babies visited by the clinic sisters.” [taken from State Heritage Register]
In 1992 the Maternal and Child Health Clinic services were transferred to the Gympie Hospital.