Our History

The story begins in 1987 when a group of Wynnum First Nations people (mostly related) came together to address housing issues in the community. Building on the success of other First Nations groups at the time, in health, legal and housing services, they formed a group to focus on housing for our people. In the beginning the group met at each other’s homes.

The Cooperative was formally registered in August 1990 with the generosity of a fellow organisation Kambu donating $100 to assist in the registration of the Corporation. The group set out to support their community primarily through engaging with ATSIC (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission), and other funding bodies to purchase housing and provide housing and accommodation services as an affordable housing provider.

The journey of Winnam commenced with assisting individuals in finding homes and navigating the rental market, evolving to establish an essential housing portfolio.

The organisation chose the spelling of ‘Winnam’ as it is the Aboriginal word for the Pandanus Palm that was once abundant in the Bayside area.

In 2006, Winnam obtained the first three (3) commercial shops in Florence Street, Wynnum, and three years later secured the remaining three (3) commercial shops totaling six (6) commercial offices.

A significant milestone occurred in 2011 when the title deed for Georgina Margaret Davidson-Thompson Hostel was entrusted to Winnam, solidifying their commitment to providing high standards of hostel-type of accommodation for First Nations people.

Recognising the evolving needs of our aging population, Georgina Hostel responded by establishing a ten-bed facility dedicated to First Nations aged Care at the rear of its premises. Over the course of thirty-four years, this commitment to service has remained unwavering.

In 2024, Winnam embarks on an exciting new chapter marked by the acquisition of the former Wynnum Hospital site. Completed in April 2023, this transfer symbolizes a monumental opportunity aiming to repurpose the land to meet the increasing and varied needs of First Nations people. It signifies not only the expansion of our organisation but also the creation of a First Nations space, to be a Wellbeing Precinct Centre of Excellence.

 In collaboration with other First Nations groups and community-controlled organisations, the precinct aspires to serve as a wellbeing hub of comprehensive support. Winnam endeavors to integrate a purpose-built Aged Care Facility, Housing, with Health and Medical services, Allied Health, Early Childcare Centre, and Land and Sea Management catering to the needs of First Nations peoples and the broader community in the guiding purpose of “Keeping Our People”.

We thank all those including the broader community who have supported us on this journey thus far, and we invite you to join us as we continue to celebrate heritage, culture inclusivity, working towards a future where every individual feel warmth of community and the embrace of their culture.