BULIMBA COMMUNITY CENTRE – Our History

In 1973 Babs Shields, a retired nurse, saw a need in the community for a dedicated centre for Senior Citizens to help combat isolation and loneliness within the community. For the next 12 years she worked within the Eastern Suburbs to make that happen.

The new Bulimba Senior Cits Club started operating in 1977 from the St Johns Anglican Church hall. This was done with the support of the Bulimba Council for the Aging {COTA} Babs was voted in as Foundation President. There was a weekly meeting on Wednesdays with lectures, bingo and concerts along with outings and bus trips on other days. To this day, the Seniors Club still meets on a Wednesday.

From then till 1984, the members, who at its height numbered 170, worked at raising funds for a purpose built centre. They held regular garage sales, fetes, bingo and raffles to raise $67,000 towards the Centre.

In early 1984 with grants from the Federal and State Governments, plans were approved for the Bulimba Senior Citizens Centre, in its current location. It was officially opened in December 1985 by Bill Hayden, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Vilma Ward OAM became President at a time of great change. Bulimba as a suburb was changing and retirees in the community had a different outlook on retirement than the earlier members and were also retiring much later in life. During a time when many other Seniors Clubs were disappearing due to declining membership, Vilma steered the Centre towards becoming a Community Centre. She saw the need to embrace the entire community recognizing the risk of isolation for many of the locals – not just the elderly.

It is because of these changes and the support of volunteers, local politician and grants that the facility remains up to date and accessible to the Community. It is currently home to 11 community and 4 commercial groups while dozens of local businesses and individuals use our spaces on a casual basis. We welcome any newcomers with open arms.

The Bulimba Community Centre, in it’s 42 years, has been lucky enough to count among it’s executive two wonderful ladies, Vilma Ward and Bab Shields.We remain dedicated to continue the aims.