On October 8th, 1975, a public meeting was organised and held by Mrs. Marlene Gazis. Under discussion was the possibility of setting up a community organisation staffed by volunteers. The meeting agreed there was a need in the community and approximately 50 people offered to provide various types of support services as members of the proposed organisation.
At a subsequent meeting on October 30th 1975 a foundation committee comprised of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, along with seven committee members was formed. Marlene Garzis was foundation President and held the role for 19 years. Rose Briggs was foundation Treasurer also retaining the position until 1994. Ruth Krieg was the foundation Secretary for 2 years. Joan McIver became secretary in 1979 and Edna Turner, a businesswoman, became Vice-President in 1979 until 1994. The name chosen was Northam Share and Care. Approximately 8 months later a formal constitution was drawn up.
The range of services provided by Share & Care grew as community needs were recognised. Rapidly expanding demand for service delivery placed enormous amounts of pressure on volunteers and in January 1979 Government assistance was sought and obtained.
This funding allowed the opening of the Emergency Accommodation for those in crisis. In 1980 funding was obtained from Department of Community Development for the establishment of a Neighbourhood Centre.
In 1981 from Lotterywest funding was made available to purchase a bus. The bus was staffed completely by volunteers initially. In 1985 HACC (Home and Community Care) funding allowed for a paid driver.
In 1989 Sue Taplin was briefed to investigate the feasibility of a Family Day Care operation in rural WA. In July the Family Day Care Scheme commenced. In 1982 the Social Security Department funded a part time handyman/bus driver position. A small bus was obtained with Lotteries fund assistance. In 1986 Health Department funding (HACC) was obtained for the formation of a Regional HACC ‘Service was incorporating the York, Toodyay, Goomalling town areas as well as Wundowie.
In 1994, subject to a management consultant examination, the HACC funds were redistributed to the local Shires for single operation outside the Northam Shire area. At the same time the State Government began privatizing services from the Department of Community Development and Northam Share and Care won the Financial Counsellor’s Position.
From this time on, Share & Care continued to grow to supply the demand in the communities.
It could be said that the success of Share & Care in achieving their original goals came from the passion and efforts of all those involved as volunteers. Today we have passionate volunteers and employees.
Mrs. Gazis noted that the receipt of Government funding, whilst not changing the ideologies of Share & Care most certainly brought about greater responsibilities in Governance and accountability and a shift in the community perceptions.
Today Share & Care have a very accountable, transparent and empathetic organisation, whose core passion and determination to be a quality service provider to the communities remains unchanged.