What is the Connie Benn Centre?

The Connie Benn Centre is a family and children’s hub located in the heart of Fitzroy.

Connie Benn Centre was originally established through a partnership between Yarra City Council, the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Lentara Uniting Care. The City of Yarra has assumed management and operational control of the Connie Benn Centre since July 2013.

The Connie Benn Centre aims to build an integrated and inclusive Centre for children 0-12 and their families living in Fitzroy. It has a strong focus on children’s rights, education, health and wellbeing.

The hub is named in honour of Connie (Concetta) Benn, (1926-2011) a social worker whose innovative work with the Brotherhood of St Laurence and government helped families who experienced poverty and disadvantage. Her work in Fitzroy changed the community development and welfare models of social work across the country.

In 1995, she was awarded the Order of Australia, followed by the Centenary Medal in 2003. Connie is also a life member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

What services can you access at the Connie Benn Centre?

The centre offers a range of services for young children and their families.

Services include:

  • Early Learning Centre with kindergarten program, long day care and occasional care
  • Maternal and child health service operating Monday to Friday
  • Immunisation sessions every first Tuesdays of the month
  • Community Playgroups
  • Parent Information Sessions
  • Parent Activity Groups
  • Storytime Sessions
  • Access Yarra counter for other Council enquiries, payments and information

What other activities happen at the Connie Benn Centre?

The Connie Benn Centre also partnered with other organisations to deliver family and health services. The Brotherhood of St Laurence provides:

  • Parenting Programs – Tuning into Kids/Teens provides parents with an opportunity to learn new ways to parent with a focus on supporting their children to understand and manage their emotions.
  • Parent School Connect Program - This program aims to reduce barriers between schools and families from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds in Fitzroy and surrounding areas. It provides support to parents to engage with their child’s school and learning, as well as support to schools to engage with families from diverse backgrounds.
  • Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) – This is a 2 year home-based program that empowers parents to support their child’s learning (4 to 5 year olds) in preparation for starting school.
  • Breakfast Club – Provides a free and nutritious breakfast and before school activities for primary school-aged children, and their families
  • Saver Plus – Assists people to strengthen their financial skills, develop a savings habit and save for educational expenses.
  • Supported Playgroups – for more information about playgroups.
  • Homework Club – A study support and homework assistance club for secondary school students, providing access to computers, a quiet study environment and experienced tutors.

Additional services are also provided by cohealth and Save the Children including:

  • Cokids is a drop in clinic facilitated by cohealth running every second Monday of the month
  • Toy Library available every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month 1pm to 3pm from 28 June 2017 

Connie Benn Centre Meeting Rooms

There are meeting spaces available for hire on a regular or casual basis. Access to meeting spaces is prioritised for programs, services and events for children aged 0-12 and their families. A number of affordable, accessible and modern spaces are available for hire.

How do I book a meeting room? 

Would you like to know more about the Connie Benn Centre?

If you wish to find out more about the services and programs at the Connie Benn Centre, you can: