Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
Northern Territory - Organisation

Australian Inland Mission Hostel (1926 - 1961)

  • Adelaide House in the 1950s

    Adelaide House in the 1950s, 2011, courtesy of Uniting Church in Alice Springs.
    Details

From
1926
To
1961
Categories
Home, Hostel and Presbyterian
Alternative Names
  • Adelaide House (Also known as)
  • AIM Hostel (Also known as)
  • Alice Springs Hostel (Also known as)
  • Australian Inland Mission Hospital (Also known as)

The Australian Inland Mission Hostel was opened in Alice Springs in 1926. Run by the Australian Inland Mission it began as a hospital and hostel. After the opening of the Alice Springs Hospital in 1939 the Hostel provided accommodation for children from remote areas of Central Australia whose parents were admitted to the Hospital, as well as pre-birth accommodation and post birth after care for pregnant women and their children. The AIM Hostel closed in 1961.

Details

The Australian Inland Mission Hostel was opened in Alice Springs in 1926 by the founder of the Australian Inland Mission, Rev. John Flynn. Run by the Australian Inland Mission it began as a hospital and hostel and was one of only two medical facilities in Central Australia operating before the first government hospital opened in 1939.

After the opening of the Alice Springs Hospital in 1939 the Hostel provided accommodation for children from remote areas of Central Australia whose parents were admitted to the Hospital. It also operated as a Hostel for 'bush mothers', providing pre-birth accommodation and post birth after care for pregnant women and their children.

The Australian Inland Mission Hostel building was designed by John Flynn specifically for the outback climate. The thick stone walls, cellar and the 'lantern top' above the main roof allowed hot air to rise and escape. Natural ventilation drew the cooler air upwards from the cellar. This process was assisted by a system of air ducts through the building.

In 1952, after the death of the Reverend John Flynn, the Board of the AIM announced plans to close the Hostel. Those involved in the operation of the Hostel opposed the closure. Newspapers of the time reported that Reverend Kingsley Partridge, stated to be the friend and partner of Rev. Flynn, resigned as a result of the decision. The Hostel remained open with Mrs Flynn, wife of the late Rev, and Mrs Mackay taking over the running of the institution.

The AIM Hostel continued to operate until 1961.

From 1961 to 1980 the building was used by the Uniting Church as a Manse, meeting place and Sunday school. The building was listed by the National Trust and was later used as a museum that was still operating in 2014.

Location

1926 - 1961
Location - The Australian Inland Mission Hostel was situated on Todd street in Alice Springs. Location: Alice Springs

Publications

Books

  • Cockrill, Pauline, Healing the heart: 60 years years of Alice Springs Hospital, Alice Springs, 1999, 143 pp. Details

Online Resources

Photos

Opening ceremony of the Alice Springs hostel
Title
Opening ceremony of the Alice Springs hostel
Type
Image
Date
1926
Source
National Library of Australia

Details

Alice Springs Hospital
Title
Alice Springs Hospital
Type
Image
Date
1926
Source
State Library of South Australia

Details

Adelaide House in the 1950s
Title
Adelaide House in the 1950s
Type
Image
Date
1950s
Source
Uniting Church in Alice Springs

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: 'A.I.M. Hostel To Close', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 26 November 1952, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47514794; 'Mrs. Flynn To Take Over A.I.M. Hostel', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 26 February 1953, p. 21, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48277568; 'Women at the Heart - How did they survive?', in National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame, Alice Springs, National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame, Alice Springs, Alice Springs, 2013, http://www.pioneerwomen.com.au/index.php?option=com_exhibition&task=showcategory&cat_id=8&Itemid=60; Cockrill, Pauline, Healing the heart: 60 years years of Alice Springs Hospital, Alice Springs, 1999, 143 pp; Uniting Church Alice Springs, 'Adelaide House', in Uniting Church in Alice Springs, 2011, http://web.archive.org/web/20150601011523/http://www.flynnchurch.org.au/adelaide-house.html.

Prepared by: Karen George, Gary George and Megg Kelham