Our history

Wesley Mission Queensland has a long history of supporting people in need and is proud of the milestones and achievements it has reached along the way. From humble beginnings it has grown to an organisation that supports thousands of people in Queensland each year.

1847

Before any hymns are sung or sermons delivered, newly emigrated Reverend William Moore, the first Methodist Minister of Brisbane, conducts his first official duty - a funeral service for a prostitute who had died penniless and with no one to mourn her. The compassion demonstrated in this act is the seed from which Wesley Mission Queensland has grown and is reflected in all that we do.

1907

The Church’s mission is formally recognised as the Central Methodist Mission and Reverend Rowe establishes Sisters of the People to provide assistance to women and children in need.

Brisbane's newspaper boys are invited to attend a supper in the local hall.

Many of them are homeless and as a result a savings plan is established to help the boys escape the cycle of poverty.

1930s

During the Great Depression the mission provides meals, shelter and emergency relief to men who have lost their jobs and are doing it tough.

In 1936, Queensland's first aged care community, the Garden Settlement (now Wheller Gardens), opens at Chermside. At the time it was considered a challenging, even daring experiment.

1964 - 1974

In 1964, Toowong Child Care Centre opens. The centre has shared in the lives of two generations of locals, with parents who were previously pupils at the centre enrolling their own children to attend.

A decade later, MailpaQ (now Wesley Industries) is established. Wesley Industries is a not-for-profit digital printing, packing and warehousing service that employs people with disabilities, equipping them with life-long skills and promoting wellbeing.

1970s

The Sinnamon Village community opens in 1977. The Village grows to include five aged care communities, independent living villas, the WMB Youngcare Apartments, a dementia respite centre, a hydrotherapy pool and health and wellness day therapy centre.

A year later the Balmoral Uniting Community Centre is established. Originally a drop-in centre for the local community, the centre has evolved into an extensive network of community care services that cater for young and old.

1981

In 1981 the Health and Wellness Day Therapy Centre opens at Sinnamon Village. The therapy centre offers residents and the public a range of services including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and dietetics. 

 

 

1985

Emergency Relief (now Brisbane Relief Hub) is established. The centre operates five days a week to help those people doing it tough by providing food parcels and emergency payments. The centre supports hundreds of people living with disadvantage every year.

1989

Jahjumbeen Occasional Child Care Centre (now Jahjumbeen Kindergarten and Child Care Centre) opens offering parents flexible child care from two hours to two weeks.

1992

Moorooka Central Kitchen and Laundry opens. The kitchen supplies 1,700 WMB residential aged care residents with their meals each day, as well as meals to Blue Care residents and a number of Queensland Health hospitals.

2002 - 2003

In 2002 Anam Cara aged care community opens at Bray Park. Anam Cara achieved full accreditation for Eden in Oz & NZ™ at the end of 2011. This resident-focused model of care promotes a holistic approach to maintaining the physical and mental health of not only residents, but also their families and staff.

A year later the Sinnamon Village hydrotherapy pool opens at what is now known as the Fulton Wellbeing Centre. The pool is purpose-built to cater for the needs of the community, clients seeking general fitness, and people with complex physical and neurological conditions.

2004

The Beenleigh Adult and Youth Service, which has been helping youth and families in the Beenleigh area since 1990, partners with Wesley Mission Brisbane. Now known as Logan City Services, the network runs 10 community services programs to support young people and families in Logan and the surrounding regions.

2005-2007

The National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service is introduced. An activity of WMQ, the service is funded by the Australian Government to provide interpreters free-of-charge to people who use sign language to communicate and would like to book an interpreter for private health care appointments.

In 2007 Wesley Mission Brisbane partners with advocacy organisation Youngcare to provide choice in housing for young people living with high care needs. The first state-of-the-art apartments at Sinnamon Village cater to the individual care needs of each resident to ensure they have the quality of life they deserve. WMB owns and operates the apartments and is proud to provide the ongoing care and support for residents.

2008

Stage one of the Wheller on the Park retirement community opens at Wheller Gardens, Chermside.

Art from the Margins, WMB's art therapy program, is created. Art from the Margins works with disadvantaged and socially isolated artists to showcase their art to the wider public.

2009

Parkview, a new state-of-the-art, 145-room aged care community opens at the Wheller Gardens site. The home represents one of the most significant building developments in WMB's history. Wesley House, a nine-story commercial building, also opens in 2009, next to the Albert Street Church.

2010

The Gold Coast Service Hub at Robina opens, supporting families and young people. WMB becomes the largest provider of youth services on the Gold Coast, offering a wide range of practical programs for vulnerable teens and young adults, encouraging and providing them with support to achieve positive changes in their lives.

2012

Wesley Mission Brisbane and advocacy organisation Youngcare open a second apartment complex at Coomera to provide choice in housing for young people living with high care needs. WMB owns and operates the apartments and provides the ongoing care and support for residents.

Beenleigh Family Centre Child Care opens bringing WMB's child care centres to four, with three home-based services.

2013

WesleyCare Tewantin, a purpose built home funded by Disability Services Qld and run by WMB, opens. The home offers six young adults living with high care needs a much needed choice in housing. WMB began working in 2007 to provide flexible supported accommodation options for young adults living with disabilities; this brings our services across South East Queensland to three.

The fifth and final stage of the Wheller on the Park retirement village opens at Wheller Gardens. The independent living village has more than 340 units and is one of the largest retirement villages in Queensland.

2015 - 2016

Clear Breeze Apartments opens in Brisbane’s north-west, a state-of-the-art apartment building that provides independent living for 14 people who experience mental health issues. The building project, a partnership between Mantle Housing and Wesley Mission Brisbane, takes a new approach to fostering personal independence, wellbeing and recovery, community engagement and inclusion.

In 2016  Asher House opens - a supported accommodation development that provides a home for life for young people living with acquired brain injuries. The home is an innovative solution to share house living for 12 residents, which includes spacious living areas and green spaces, as well as 24 hour medical and lifestyle support.

Wesley Mission Brisbane changes its name

In 2016 Wesley Mission Brisbane changes its name to Wesley Mission Queensland. The change is small but significant. Like the state we call home, we reach far and wide and we are made up of people from all walks of life; by transitioning to a name that better signifies our geographical reach, we can more accurately reflect the community in which we work and our neighbours who we support.

2016

Wesley Mission Queensland celebrates 80 years of care of the Wheller Gardens site. Originally called The Garden Settlement, Wheller Gardens was the first ever aged care community to be built in Queensland. It was the dream of Reverend Harold Manuel Wheller of the Central Methodist Mission, who wanted to create a safe, caring place for ageing people who could not survive on the old age pension and whose families did not have the capacity to care for them.

Reverend Wheller’s dream continues to this day, and Wheller Gardens has grown to become a thriving community hub consisting of four aged care communities, a retirement village, a day therapy centre, corporate office, the National Auslan Interpreter Booking Service, two cafes and Hummingbird House.

John Wesley Gardens aged care community, originally opened in 1962, reopens in Geebung in 2016 after an extensive redevelopment. John Wesley Gardens continues our strong tradition of providing quality and compassionate care to seniors in Queensland.

Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only children’s hospice at Wheller Gardens, Chermside opens. A joint initiative of Hummingbird House Foundation and Wesley Mission Queensland, Hummingbird House provides short break stays, family support services, creative therapies, and end-of life-respite for children with life-limiting conditions, and their families.  

2017

WMQ's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is launched. Developed in consultation with Indigenous elders and staff and volunteers, our RAP sits alongside our Strategic Plan and forms a public commitment to improve the way we engage, and work with Indigenous people.  

2018

The ORCA Project begins operations. This program provides school-leavers living with a disability with pathways to employment through training and work experience.  

WMQ launched Marcus Mission, in memory of 23-year-old Marcus Roberts. The program works to reduce the risk of suicide for young men aged 18-25 years through skill building, suicide prevention training and the development of a volunteer mentor network. 
WMQ’s newest aged care community at Sinnamon Village, Dovetree is completed in 2018. The development includes a new 144- bed aged care home, including day and overnight respite services, a dementia day respite centre and new therapy centre. 

2019

Two purpose-built, cottage style homes for people living with dementia open. Clear Mountain Cottages at Anam Cara aged care community in Bray Park reflect the latest thinking on the best ways to support and care for people living with dementia, highlighting our dedication to creating responsive and flexible communities for people in need. 

Rosemount Retirement Community (Stage 1) opens in Sinnamon Park, part of our long-term strategic plan to build integrated and intergenerational communities where older Australians can live and age with dignity and choice. 

Our palliative care services expanded by merging with Hopewell Hospice and Paradise Kids on the Gold Coast. These services have a long history of providing quality end-of-life care and grief and loss services for terminally ill people and their families.  

We also expanded our Mental Health Services by becoming the new operator of headspace Capalaba and a satellite centre in Maryborough.  

WMQ invested in the expansion of our specialist disability accommodation options with the opening of WesleyCare Jindalee at Sinnamon Park, and established a Home Support NDIS service to support people and provide increased opportunities for community participation. 

2020

Opened WesleyCare Wynnum Apartments, a state-of the-art supported accommodation community for people under the age of 65 living with disability. WesleyCare Maroochydore also opened, providing disability housing through five stand-alone apartments and a share-house on the same site. 

This year we recognised the contributions of CEO Geoff Batkin as he retired after 23 years at Wesley Mission Queensland and welcomed new CEO Jude Emmer as she leads the organisation in its next chapter. 

2021

Child care, family day care and in-home day care moved to Uniting Education for a holistic approach to pre-school education.

In this section

Every year we touch the lives of 100,000 Queenslanders

600 people
in need

receive a free meal, sandwich or food parcel each week.

More than
90

young adults call our supported accommodation units home.

3,500
seniors

supported to lead a fulfilling and independent life.

More than
530

retirees reside in our award-winning independent retirement villages.

More than
1,000

adults and children received youth and parenting support.

Your story is our story

Wesley Mission Queensland. Helping Queenslanders live better lives since 1907.