Our History

The Emmanuel Centre was developed in 1981 which was the International Year of Disabled Persons by a committee of Catholic volunteers with a background in social work. This committee asked Archbishop Goody to establish a centre for people with disabilities/people with other abilities and their families.

The Emmanuel Centre officially opened on Sunday the 6th of December 1981. The centre is currently home to a few organisations and initiatives working together to make life easier for people with disabilities/people with other abilities.

1981 – The old St Francis Xavier School in East Perth was given to the Emmanuel Centre for use, and a grant of $15,000 given to the Emmanuel Centre to finance the operation.

1982 – Renovation was completed. It includes the creation of an office and a space for running programs.

1983 – First house for accommodation was bought in Yokine.

1984 – Two houses next door to Emmanuel Centre became disability accommodation housing. Eventually there would be 3 houses in East Perth, 1 in Yokine, 1 in Bassendean.

1988 – Catholic Association for Special Education Support (C.A.S.E.S.) set up with Archbishop Hickey to support and integrate Catholic children into Catholic schools.

1990 – Catholic Committee for Psychiatric Concerns (Catholic Mental Health Support) set up.

1992 – Emmanuel Centre supports a profoundly deaf man to take Telstra to the Human Rights Commission because Telstra failed to provide him with a usable phone. “Scott vs Telstra”.

1994 – Emmanuel Prayer Group started on Saturdays.

2000s – Scholarships provided for parish staff and volunteers to be trained in Mental Health First Aid.

2020 – New accommodation called the Emmanuel Community House begins construction next door.

2021 – Ms Barbara Harris resigns after some 40 years with the Centre, Mr Joe O’Brien takes over as coordinator.

2022-Emmanuel Centre put together resources to support the “Do Not Be Afraid” Guidelines to Mental Wellbeing.

2023-Emmanuel Centre recorded and published Year A and B Gospels in Auslan for use in parishes as well as social media.

2024- Emmanuel Centre closed down the Activities group for people with disability and moved office to 21 Victoria Square.