Our History | Foundation Learning Centre

Our History

Our History

Wind back to 1977...

In November of 1977 the Narre Warren Drop-In Centre opened with $1 in their account and around 50 ladies on the books.

Despite only being open on Tuesdays, this Centre was a hub of activity offering a range of classes, social groups and $1 per day child care.  

Over the years their programs grew, and in 1981 they identified the need to offer their programs to the wider community, and offer a space for the community – particularly women – to come together for enhanced socialisation opportunities within what was, at the time, a remote suburban setting.

Community Centre on the left, Narre Warren library on the right.

We began in the early 1980s...

In early December of 1981, an advert was placed in the newspaper seeking a part-time Co-Ordinator, and in late December a local woman named Kay Vrieze was employed to oversee the development of what went on to be referred to as Narre Neighbours.

Kay is often credited as the founder of the Organisation we are today.

Kay worked hard to promote the Centre and its programs, and along with some of the original members of the Narre Warren Drop-In Centre, were sucessful in building an active Community House.

The Centre provided a safe, enjoyable place for local women to learn new skills and socialise.

In the beginning, 35 members were enrolled, and the operating budget was around $2700. By the end of the first year the Centre was open Tuesdays, Wednesday evenings and Thursdays and there were 10 regular classes running with 178 members.

Onwards and upwards through the 1980's...

1983 was a year of growth and development for Narre Neighbours.

The first logo was developed, the first photocopier and electric typewriter were purchased and the funding submission for the operating budget was increased to almost $9000! 

Perhaps one of the most important achievements of 1983 was the development of the ‘Funtime’ program, which offered a structured pre-kinder program to local children. This program saw 80 children participate across the year, and continued to be a pillar of our Organisation until 2019, where the program was redeveloped into Foundation Early Learning Centre.

1984 saw the expansion of the building to better accommodate the growing Community House programs. This was also the founding year of the Share & Care Program, providing a place for Over 50’s to come together for socialisation and activities. This program still runs weekly now!

The first logo of our Organisation, created in 1983

This year also saw the beginnings of pre-qualification education at our Centre, with the introduction of TOP (Tertiary Oriented Program) English and Sociology.  

Through the mid- and late-80’s, Narre Neighbours continued to develop and grow, including after-school classes for youth students, guest speakers and the introduction of Adult Literacy classes. These classes would set the foundations for our development into the, Youth Education, Literacy and Job Skills Development courses we have today. 

The 1990's weren't just questionable fashion...

Narre Neighbours was booming in the late 80’s with courses, classes and social groups to suit the interests of the entire community.

What's in a Name?

Since its inception there have been several name changes from Narre Warren Neighbours to Narre Neighbours Inc. to Narre Community Learning Centre Inc to its current trading name, Foundation Learning Centre. This lchange was instigated in 2019 to reflect a change in culture with a greater emphasis upon the provision of community learning and accredited training programs.

In 2021, our legal name was changed from Narre Community Learning Centre Inc, to Foundation Learning Centre Inc to match our trading name.

Did you know...

Narre Community Learning Centre managed an historic venue in Berwick, the Old Cheese Factory, for the City of Casey from 1 March 1999 until 30 June 2011, when management reverted to the City of Casey.