Old Spring Street Residence
The Melbourne Church of Scientology was first established in 1955, growing out of several smaller Scientology and Dianetics groups that had sprung up around Melbourne.
Owing to its size and popularity the Church, then called the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI), was headquartered in Spring Street, Melbourne, directly across the road from the Victorian Parliament building.
The first gathering of Australian Scientologists was held later in 1955 to a crowd of over 70 people. This was a milestone as the first large scale organized meeting of Scientologists from all over Australia. And it was only the beginning of one of the largest Scientology Churches across the planet at that time.
From these beginnings The executives in Melbourne worked to open up Scientology offices in other cities around Australia called “City Offices”, notably in Sydney and Perth.
With the formation of the official Melbourne Church Publication, Communication Magazine, the Melbourne Scientology parishioners were united, sparking a huge interest in Scientology all over Victoria and Australia. The fresh, emerging culture of 1950s Australia was wide open for change, and Scientology was at the cutting edge of that change.
A letter from one of the Melbourne Church executives to L. Rion Hubbard on the 14 April 1959 stated, “Perhaps the difference in Aussie is there is a lot of hope and many possibilities of succeeding in the game down here than elsewhere – perhaps – and also no hidebound old culture bogging them down – tradition, etc., (not to pooh-pooh tradition where they are useful and go ahead) but sitting on past glories (and failures) is no good. They don’t do that in Aussie.”
And so it was that The Church of Scientology of Melbourne was formed, and along with it, hundreds of people discovering for themselves what Scientology and Dianetics had to offer them. Groups were formed up – so many in fact that the Church Headquarters of the time had difficulty in keeping up with them all. Scientology was flourishing.
The Old Russell Steet Residence
The Melbourne Church of Scientology is located in Russell St in the Melbourne CBD, in what is known as the Paris End of the city. It has been at this location since 1980.
The Church today operates its main administrative activities and delivers Scientology services to its parishioners from this location. The Melbourne Church is broken up into two different shifts of staff – Melbourne Day mans the Organisation on Monday to Friday from 8 am until 6 pm, while Melbourne Foundation cares for the evenings until 10.00pm and the weekend days from 9 am until 6 pm.
Weekly church services are held on Wednesday and Sunday. A graduation is held every week also on Friday at 5.30pm. The course rooms at the Melbourne Church can hold up to 150 students at any one time, while the auditing rooms cater to 10 public at any one time. A full sauna facility on the top floor is used to deliver the Purification Rundown.
The Melbourne Church of Scientology is responsible for the delivery of Scientology across all of Victoria and Tasmania, and so its staff frequently travel around selling books on Scientology, and delivering the services of Scientology. They can be frequently seen in Country towns and local events in the famous yellow Volunteer Ministers Van or the Dianetics Truck.
Anyone is welcome to come in to the Melbourne Church. If you would like to come in and find out about Scientology please drop by.
The Future: Ascot Vale
The Melbourne Church of Scientology has purchased a new property to house the Melbourne Headquarters of the Church in the Melbourne inner-suburb of Ascot Vale.
The property represents what we refer to as an “ideal organisation”. It has enough room to adequately deliver the services of Scientology in, as well as provide facilities for the administration of all of the Church’s social betterment programs, including the Volunteer Ministers, anti-drug programs, The Way to Happiness and others. The property has grounds for parishioners and local residents to relax in. It is envisioned that the new Church of Scientology in Melbourne is not just a center for Scientology in South-Eastern Australia, but an important hub for the local community.
Additional facilities at the center will allow anyone to enter the church building and understand the basics of Scientology through unique audio-visual displays that are designed to impart the fundamentals easily.
While the planning is on-going for the building in Ascot Vale, the Melbourne Church of Scientology continues to operate out of its premises in Russell St. Melbourne.
Refurbishment work is due to start in a very short time, with all of the prepatory work already done including massive work to update all files and increasing the staff number and staff training to man up the new organisation.
Meanwhile various permits and architectural work has laid the foundatin for what is to be a property available for everyone.
Photos of the property as it currently exists are below. Any enquires regarding the Church’s property in Ascot Vale can be directed to the Estates Manager on (03)9654-8655.