The Harry Giese Centre in Darwin opened in 1977. It was run by the Northern Territory Spastics Association (Inc), formerly the Darwin and Districts Spastics Paralysis Association, and provided assessment, treatment and residential care for people with disabilities including children. By 1985 it was providing services to one third of the young children with disabilities living in the Top End of the Northern Territory and respite services for people with disabilities aged between 2 and 18 years. The Harry Giese Centre was renamed Carpentaria Disability Services around 1996.
The Harry Giese Centre was run by the Northern Territory Spastics Association (Inc). NTSA was originally known as The Darwin and Districts Spastics Paralysis Association. It was formed in 1973 following a series of public meetings in Darwin.
In 1974 the association asked the NT government for land so they could build a centre for children with disabilities. The building process began in 1977 and the Harry Giese Centre in Henbury Avenue, Darwin, opened later in that year. It included a centre for assessing and treating young children up to 6 years old with any kind of disability, including behavioural problems and a cottage for respite care. The centre's therapy programme began in 1978.
In 1980 two more cottages were built. One cottage was for child care. The other was for families in outlying areas visiting Darwin who were accessing the centre's other services. An adventure playground was added in 1981, a swimming pool in 1983, an administration block and demountable in 1984.
By 1985 the centre was providing services to one third of the young children with disabilities living in the Top End of the Northern Territory. It was also providing respite services for people with disabilities aged between 2 and 18 years. Albert Anthony House, a 5 bedroom cottage, provided a 24 hour residential respite service for 11 people. The Kath Friend House, a 3 bedroom cottage provided day respite services for 6 people. The Barrie Marcus Cottage, a 3 bedroom home for the families of children outside of Darwin had 5 beds.
The centre also ran a clinic in Katherine and visited some remote communities.
The centre was named after Harry Giese who was a Director of Welfare in the Northern Territory Administration from 1954-1970.
The centre changed its name sometime around 1996. By 2014 the Centre was called Carpentaria Disability Services and the cottages continued to provide 24 hour supported living services for people with disabilities.
1977 - c. 1996 The Harry Giese Centre
c. 1996 - Carpentaria Disability Services
Sources used to compile this entry: Cocks, Errol; Northern Territory Spastics Association and Northern Territory. Dept. of Community Services, Respite Services Provided By The N.T. Spastics Association (Inc), consultant's report, Northern Territory Spastics Association & Northern Territory Department of Community Services, Marmion, Western Australia, 1985; Leahy, S. (Sue) and Miles, L. J, Review of the Harry Giese Centre, Northern Territory Department of Health, Northern Territory, Extended Care Branch and Northern Territory Spastics Association, Darwin, Northern Territory, February 1986; NT Spastic Association Inc, 'The Harry Giese Centre - leaflet', in Harry Giese, http://www.harrychristiangiese.com.au/files/harry-giese-centre-flyer.pdf.
Prepared by: Megg Kelham, Gary George and Karen George
Created: 7 April 2014, Last modified: 12 May 2014