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Map showing Adelaide House & John Flynn Memorial Church


(08) 8952 1856

Now under the protection of the National Trust, Adelaide House is one of Alice Springs oldest remaining buildings. In Todd Mall, next to the John Flynn Memorial Church, this impressive building was designed by Flynn in 1916-17 and opened as a hospital-hostel in 1926. The design was amended three times during the seven year construction period although the basic concept remains the same.

The idea for the centre came from Sister Jean Findlayson, who came to Alice Springs in 1915 as a representative of the Australian Inland Mission, established in 1912 to provide services in outback areas. She was the first nursing sister in Central Australia and initially operated from a small desert oak building at the corner of Wills terrace and Hartley Street. Until this small surgery was set up patients had to travel hundreds of kilometres to Oodnadatta by wagon to have their ailments attended to.

The design of the building shows ingenuity and a good knowledge of local conditions. Wide verandahs all round provide shade, and the raised roof over the central area allows hot air from the building to escape. This was replaced by cool air drawn from the cellar which passed along a stone passageway hung with wet hessian to cool it, through a

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