A Look Back in Time

14 March 2017

We realised that people are not always aware of the scope of services and level of support offered for children who are deaf or hearing impaired by the Cora Barclay Centre. For the next 8 weeks we are going to give you a detailed look at everything that happens around the Centre.

And what better way to being than by taking a trip back in time to where it all began.

Black and white photo of young boy wearing old hearing aid headphones Martin Peters

In the early 1940’s a Rubella epidemic was sweeping through South Australia and significant numbers of children were born with a hearing loss. Elizabeth Forwood’s daughter Tiffany was one of those affected.

When Tiffany was born Elizabeth wanted to ensure, like any parent, that her daughter had no limits in life, and she believed that to make this happen Tiffany needed to speak.

In October 1945 Elizabeth took the first steps towards making her vision a reality by forming a provisional committee and beginning to raise money to create a kindergarten for those affected by the Rubella outbreak. In February 1946 the first 16 students of the SA Oral School began to learn to speak.

Cora Barclay was involved with the SA Oral School, as a parent, from the beginning and following extensive overseas training, Cora began principal of the School in 1952.

In her nearly 40 years as Principal Cora helped the School weather many changes, but the guiding philosophies of excellence in delivering the best outcomes for children who were deaf remained, as they do today.

In 1990 the SA Oral School was renamed the Cora Barclay Centre for Children with Hearing Impairment Inc. in honour of the impact made by Cora in the lives of so many children and families. Today, the organisation is known simply as the Cora Barclay Centre.

Many changes have taken place over the last 7 decades, however the most important things remain the same; an unrelenting drive to ensure that children who are deaf or hearing impaired are given the same opportunities as hearing children. 

Cora Barclay Centre timeline 1940s to 1950s


Cora Barclay Centre Timeline 1960s to 1990sCora Barclay Centre Timeline 2000s to 2010s


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