BCH firsted opened in 1975 Founded by the local West Heidelberg Community members, Heidelberg City Council Social Worker Mary Morgan and our first CEO Bill Newton, the West Heidelberg Community Health and Welfare Centre was situated in the Administration Block of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games Village, West Heidelberg.
The space was converted into a series of consulting rooms and community rooms to form the new Community Centre.
The service grew, and incorporated services such as GP’s Dentists, Legal Service, Social Work, Youth Work and Nursing. The lively Community Centre became the centre of activity for many local people in West Heidelberg.
By the 1990’s the facility was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, to meet the demands of the community and the growth of the agency. Cracks, leaks, hot summers, cold winters and inappropriate space for the many health professions now working led to a call for some strong advocacy and leadership from the Board.
A concerted campaign was devised with the need for a new purpose built community health facility in West Heidelberg. The facility would demonstrate to the community just how important the Board considered their health.
Riding the bumps of several political budgets, the announcement of funding for the West Heidelberg redevelopment came in May 2004. Community members and staff were elated that West Heidelberg was being recognised and given the resources it deserved.
The uncertainty of where and when the building should be built was settled and the project underway.
Two years of construction led to services being offered from portables, rented houses, disused office blocks and shop fronts. The resilience and patience of the West Heidelberg people was unwavering. They knew what they wanted.
On September 26th 2007 the doors opened to the immaculate new Banyule Community Health, West Heidelberg Centre. Flush with five medical suites, an eight chair dental clinic, community rooms and a wide range of specialist areas the building made a statement about the importance of the West Heidelberg community.
A journey worth taking!