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Kath Dickson Family Centre

Serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975

serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975

Kathleen Dickson

Meet the inspirational educator and tireless champion for children behind our organisation.

Born in 1910, Miss Kathleen Dickson’s early childhood was spent on their property outside Tenterfield. The family later moved to Warwick, and Kathleen was one of the first pupils to attend the Presbyterian Ladies College in this town. 

Kathleen Dickson

The Dickson family moved to Toowoomba, and Miss Dickson continued her education at Fairholme College where she was head girl and dux of her year in 1927.

Having decided to enter the teaching profession, she was one of the first groups of teachers to graduate from Teachers’ Training College in Brisbane, spending her early days in the far west of Queensland.

When World War II began, Miss Dickson was on the staff of the Toowoomba South Girls and Infants School. She joined the V.A.D.’s, that later became the Australian Army Medical Women’s Service, and rose rapidly to the rank of Captain.

With the return to civilian life, Miss Dickson resumed her teaching profession and was appointed Principal of the Infants’ School at Mackay West, followed by the role of Principal at the Rockhampton Central Girls’ School. 

In 1960, Miss Dickson returned to Toowoomba as Principal of the South Girls and Infants School where there was an enrolment of nearly 800 children. 
For the next 15 years, Miss Dickson played an important part in the education of children in the city of Toowoomba. She recognised children’s needs over and above academic accomplishments, and encouraged a love of music and art in her young students. Extra curricula activities involving her natural initiative and drive saw Miss Dickson emerging as a figure of great compassion in the community. 

The 1960s and 1970s brought with them the emergence of ‘latch key’ children in the community. This was of concern to Miss Dickson who voluntarily extended her own working hours in order to provide interests and, in turn, protection for these children.

Retirement in 1975 coincided with the emergence of the Family Day Care Scheme introduced by the Whitlam Government. Miss Dickson was instrumental in establishing family day care in Toowoomba and the surrounding region. 

For the next 17 years, Miss Dickson worked tirelessly in a voluntary capacity to maintain the high standard of care available through the Kath Dickson Centre. 

Kath Dickson died in November 2003 aged 93.

Today, more than 1,000 children on a daily basis receive child care through the Kath Dickson Family Centre, Queensland’s first family day care service.

Thanks to her vision and determination, the Kath Dickson Family Centre has earned a reputation as ‘leaders of excellence’ and now manages Queensland’s first family day care scheme as well as operating three early education centres, running community programs including playgroups and a toy library, and training the future generation of educators through the Kath Dickson Institute.