The first Queensland Lifeline service, the 24-hour Crisis Line, began in Brisbane in 1964. The service was first established in 1963 in Sydney by Reverend Alan Walker.
One night Rev. Walker received a distressed phone call from a man who, three weeks later, took his own life. Determined not to let loneliness, isolation or anxiety be the cause of other deaths, Rev. Walker launched a crisis line that operated out of the Methodist Central Mission in Sydney.
Within the first hour of operation, the phones began to ring. Today, thousands of volunteer telephone counsellors based in 42 Lifeline Centres across Australia answer the call. In fact, Lifeline answers a call every minute of every day.
In 2002, 10 Queensland centres and the UnitingCare state-wide family and disability programs merged to officially form Lifeline Community Care Queensland. This client-focused collaboration has seen each centre diversify and work together to operate more closely and build relationships of mutual benefit to both the community and the organisation. Lifeline Community Care Queensland is also a Registered Training Organisation and operates the Telephone Counselling Training Course as well as other professional development training opportunities.
On August 15, 2011, Lifeline Community Care Queensland changed its name to UnitingCare Community. The name change simply better reflects who we are as an organisation. Lifeline Community Care has developed a reputation for delivering professional and compassionate services to Queensland communities and we look forward to continue to grow and develop our services as UnitingCare Community to better meet the needs of the people we work with every day across the state.
Our services that align with Lifeline’s national focus of suicide prevention have not changed. They have stayed as Lifeline services; services such as telephone counselling – the 24 hr Crisis Line, 13 11 14; our suicide bereavement services; and our suicide prevention programs have stayed the same, with the same people continuing to support those who need some help. Our Lifeline Shops continue to operate under the Lifeline name to support these and other UnitingCare Community programs.
It is our other services such as the work we do with families and children; refugees; foster carers; people with a disability or those affected by domestic violence, to name a few, which have moved to the UnitingCare Community name.
We have not changed ownership; since 2002 Lifeline Community Care Queensland has been part of UnitingCare Queensland – the health and community services provider of the Uniting Church. As part of the UnitingCare Queensland service network, we share the values of compassion, justice, respect, leading through learning and working together. It is these values that form the basis of our work and guide us in how we work with our clients and their families and carers and all our stakeholders.