Brunswick Kindergarten was first opened on 1 June 1924. There were only eighteen children enrolled. The Kindergarten was established and run solely by the parents and friends of Brunswick for the children of Brunswick. During the depression days of the 1930s many children were undernourished and at risk from diseases such as scarlet fever, diphtheria and polio. The Kindergarten helped to feed the children and to supply their clothing. Throughout these years the community of the Kindergarten banded together to help everyone.
A large tree in the children’s outdoor environment has stood there since its planting in 1931 and is a symbol of the resilient and community spirit of this era. In the 1940s the Kindergarten continued to work with the children of Brunswick as a contribution to the war effort. In 1943 the Kindergarten joined with the Brunswick Crèche and the Albert Street State School to form the Brunswick Children’s Centre for Child Care in Wartime.
The service provided a full-day program that included a two-course meal for the children, helping more than sixty mothers who were working in industry while their husbands were at war. During these times the mothers cooked, sewed and made general repairs. Fathers made the furniture, chopped wood, painted and maintained the gardens. Many local sporting clubs made donations.
The Brunswick community as a whole saw the Kindergarten as vitally important for their children’s education and well-being, so assisted where ever possible. Today Brunswick Kindergarten is still solely owned by the parent community and is run by a parental committee.
The fine mural adorning the façade was painted in 1998 and is signed "Carla van Laar". Carla is a researcher at Victoria University and is associated with the aHa Studio, Victoria University and the Art2Healing Project. She was artist in residence at Brunswick Kindergarten in the late 1990s and explored, with the children, the theme of “river of learning” as a metaphor for diversity through movement and music, produced sea creature ceramic tiles and built a mosaic seating wall, as well as the mural on the façade.
This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.