Who We Are…
In Gladstone in 1977, a small group of parents and interested community members formed the Gladstone and District Combined Handicapped Association. They shared the vision of meaningful and community life for their sons and daughters with disabilities. There were no services available in Gladstone for people who had a disability and families were being told to leave Gladstone to obtain services for their children. Some left and some stayed. A few years later, the Gladstone and District Combined Handicapped Association formed a sub-committee, namely the Gladstone branch of the Endeavour Foundation, and a sheltered workshop was established. The group continued to lobby and eventually some educational services were provided by the government.
In 1992, another sub-committee was formed to investigate the availability of respite for Gladstone families. From this the Gladstone and District Respite Care Association was formed and after lobbying the government, funds were obtained to build Mainstay Respite Care House.
In 1994, the name of the organisation changed to the Gladstone Community Linking Agency (GCLA) and became an incorporated, not-for-profit body and was then able to receive funding and provide services. The first office was a small room in the Neighbourhood Centre in Toolooa Street, Gladstone. Once GCLA outgrew the office in the Neighbourhood Centre, it moved to the shopping centre at the corner of Boles and Breslin Street.
In 2001, the office relocated to 13 Herbert Street, Gladstone, in which it still operates today. GCLA provides up-to-date information on subjects related to people with a disability which has led, over the years, to the agency evolving into a vital community resource.
In 2009, GCLA was successful in winning the tender to manage the Gladstone Community Hub.
In 2012, GCLA and Gladstone Respite Care Association merged and GCLA became responsible for the management of Mainstay Respite Care House.
In 2015, GCLA and Port Curtis Day Respite Centre merged and GCLA became responsible for the management and provision of services within the aged care sector.
In 2016, GCLA was approached by Gladstone Aquatic Therapy Association (GATA) to incorporate this service under the banner of GCLA.