Our History

Geraldton Regional Community Education Centre (GRCEC) merged with Ngala to become Ngala Midwest Gascoyne in August 2016.


The Geraldton Regional Community Education Centre (GRCEC)  is a non government, not-for-profit, incorporated community organisation. It has operated in the Mid West Gascoyne and Murchison regions of Western Australia, delivering a diverse range of programmes, since 1975.

As a result of the 1974 Karmel Report deficiencies in the education system were highlighted and funding was increased to address the issues. GRCEC was established and constituted on 14 March 1975 and Forrest Lodge was purchased, renovated and furnished through a capital grant of $118,860.

Some key dates in service history include:

1977 – Regional Education Office established on site

1977 – branch of the University of WA Rooney Library on site

1979 – Teacher Induction Program commenced

1985 – Out of School Child Care Activities Association

1986 – Regional Music Coordinator appointed

1987 – Department of Education Employment and Training (DEET) took over the administration of GRCEC.

1988 – Library closed and DEET directives were for GRCEC to become more active in the delivery of training programs and the School Support Program with the emphasis on prevention, targeting at risk youth 11-14 years of age. Edith Cowan University (ECU) ran the Teacher Assistant Course , Primary Education, Aboriginal/Intercultural Studies, Migrant education and English classes.

1993 –Aboriginal Community Arts Project Officer appointed

1991 – the Forrest Lodge cellar was converted to a student common room

1992 – GRCEC acquired the Jose Trefusis building for community education and skills development purposes.

Since 1975 GRCEC has delivered many programs and services across the Midwest Gascoyne region with the majority of these programs being State and Federally funded. Initially GRCEC was a support network and resource for local educators and over the years has delivered programs such as:

  • Skillshare
  • Migrant in Aid
  • Indigenous Language Centre
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
  • Career and Transition Services
  • Abilities Plus
  • Effective Young Parenting
  • Flexible Learning Leaders
  • Family Skills Development
  • Green Corp
  • Phoenix Technology
  • Phoenix West Training Company
  • Geraldton Greenough Youth Advisory Committee
  • Jobs Pathway Program
  • Jobs Placement Employment and Training
  • Transition to Work
  • Personal Support Program
  • Job Network
  • Community Work Coordinator
  • Phoenix West Vocational College
  • Youth Pathways
  • Local Community Partnerships

GRCEC has also either led or had representation in numerous regional projects, committees and networks over time.


The Geraldton Regional Community Education Centre (GRCEC) operates from a number of premises of which two are State Heritage listed. GRCEC is committed to the Conservation and Management Plans of these buildings and their cultural significance within our community.

Forrest Lodge

Built in 1875 and originally known as ‘Trefusis House’, Forrest Lodge is located at 24 Gregory Street. Original building owner   Martin Hosken established the ‘Trefusis Aerated Water Factory’ on these premises and waters were drawn from the well.

Hosken passed away in 1881 and the premises were managed by his estate from 1881 -1938 as a residence initially then it was advertised for sale. The tender advertisement read residence with 11 rooms, large cellar, stables, loft, carriage house, harness room and other outhouses. It sold in 1923 and had various occupants up until 1939 when the Anglican church took ownership and converted it into a hostel for regional boys attending secondary school in Geraldton. Forrest Lodge closed as a student hostel facility in 1968.

There have been additional buildings added on site to facilitate service provision as occurred in 1977 with the State Education Department’s Regional Education Office tenanting for a period of five years.

Jose Trefusis Aerated Water Factory

The Jose’s Trefusis Aerated Water Factory was purpose built in 1886 and is located at 132 Augustus Street, on the corner of Gregory Street. GRCEC currently refers to this premise as the Annex of GRCEC.

  • 1886-1925 Operated as the cooldrink factory
  • 1931-1945 Crayfish cannery
  • 1948-1951 Original headquarters of the former Geraldton Building Company
  • 1951-1970 Sandovers & Harris Scarfe storage
  • 1971-1988 Golden Gleam fish processing factory
  • 1988-current   Geraldton Regional Community Education Centre
Other GRCEC premises

The Outside School Hours Care – OSCCA building in Ramshaw Place was originally the caretakers cottage from the Geraldton Senior High School, cut in half and transported to site. The building was demolished to make way for a new purpose built centre with the support of Royalty for Regions funding, GRCEC and Lotterywest which officially opened in 2011.

GRCEC leases an office in Carnarvon at Lotteries House and leases out a building adjacent to the main office to the Taoist Tai Chi Society Association.