Colony 47 began with an idea!

An idea by Founder, Jim Colville, that a group of people could come together and be treated like real people. That young people have a lot to give, if they have the right supports.

Colony 47 opened in 1973 with money obtained from fundraising activities. The name Colony 47 was made up of two parts; the 47 refers directly to the building at 47 Davey Street, while Colony described the strength of a group of individuals drawing together to support those facing what often seemed to be a hostile environment.

50 years later, we’re still finding potential in those we meet. We’re ready to do the hard work and look for solutions.

We understand that working as a community means we can do things better and help more to believe in themselves.

Our door is always open.

I learnt that what is important is that people, who are often judged as being useless by society, have a lot to give if you tap into that potential.

Jim Colville, Our Founder

Hear from our Founder, Jim Colville on how we began:

50 years of opening doors in Tasmania


1973 Established at 47 Davey Street.

1974 Church transformation completed.

1975 Toy Library starts at Tower Road and partnerships formed with Playgroup Association and LAMDA.

1975 Educational and literacy programs set up.

1979 Money is granted to run ASPECT house, a disability respite.


1983 First Christmas lunch hosted with 14 people.

1984 Typing and sewing classes commence.

1985 Housing for Young People’s Outreach (HYPO) for under 25s commences.

1985 CASA for over 25s commences.

1986 First computer purchased.


1992 Mara House opened.

1992 First intranet launched.

1996 First email sent.

1997 Productivity Plus Tasmanian commences.

1998 Colony Assistance Service for Housing (CASH) program commences.

1998 Computer training lab set up at Davey Street for Skillshare Tasmania.

1998 Formed JobNet Tasmania in partnership with Mersey Skills Training to deliver statewide employment services.

1998 Reconnect Program launches as a National Program in response to Youth Homelessness.


2001 HYPO and CASA merge to become Colony Outreach Support Services (COSS).

2002 First website goes live.

2002 Parents and Kids Together (PaKT) commences in schools.

2002 College Unit tenancy commences.

2003 Christmas lunch feeds 200 at Masonic Hall.

2004 Began first program delivery to Palawa people.

2006 Eureka Clubhouse acquired.

2007 Allports building purchased in North Hobart.

2008 Allports building is officially opened by the former Premier of Tasmania, Paul Lennon.


2010 Social Enterprise Service re-launches under Start Fresh Services.

2011 Moved out of 47 Davey Street.

2011 $2 for change program launched.

2011 Community Central closes its doors after more than 30 years.

2012 Partnership commenced with Hydro Tasmania.

2012 Christmas lunch moves to Hellenic Hall with 400+ meals.

2013 Housing Connect opened at 181 Collins Street.

2016 Transition to Work tender obtained.

2017 Start Fresh finalists in Community Achievement Award.

2018 Housing Connect finalists in Human Rights Award for Community Organisations.

2018 Step Up program commences.

2018 First young person accessed Colville Place.

2019 Housing & Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) program is piloted.


2020 Colville Place and Create Crew hold exhibition at Moonah Arts Centre.

2020 COVID response to continue services to operate and support Tasmanians.

2020 Youth Navigators program launched.

2021 The Colony 47 Graham Flower Scholarship in Social Work created.

2022 Youth Employment Pathway Program (YEPP) pilot.

2022 Branching Out program commences.

2022 Foundation 47 created with goal of ending youth homelessness in Tasmania.

2023 Step Up program expands to Northern Tasmania.

2023 JumpStart program commences.

Now Colony 47 turns 50 + Jim Colville turns 85.

Wanna know more?

Read stories we’ve collected from the community about how we’ve helped make an impact to Tasmanians.
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