40 years of the gap

Starting in 1977 as Gap Youth Centre or "Sainties" as it was known back in the day, The Gap Youth and Community Centre was  founded by community volunteers from the Gap area of Alice Springs.

40 years on, The Gap has been part of life for generations of people.  With a door that's always open and strong community ties, the Gap has provided many with opportunities to connect, learn and grow, and has become a leader in the youth services sector in Alice Springs. You can learn more about The Gap and our current work on our about page.

The Gap is much more than just a place. The Gap is its people. To celebrate our 40th birthday, past and current "gappies" have kindly shared their stories. We hope you enjoy exploring our history. 

jezabelle ross, current parent

Jezabelle (1 of 1)-2 (640x427).jpg
“It’s the last place in town that the kids can come to. The kids just want a safe place that they can come down to.”

Throughout Gap Youth Centre’s 40 year history there have been linchpins that hold the centre together. Graham Ross, Geraldine Swan, Eva Harvey just to name a few. In 2017 though Jezabelle Ross is an iconic part of GAP Life.


IMG_4873 (640x426).jpg
“I always thought of this place growing up as a safe place, this is where you can come if you're ever worried upset whatever.”

Brett made the ultimate progression through Gap, spending many years as a happy Gappie before pulling on the shirt as a casual worker, and is now on the board for Gap Youth and Community Centre.

justine swan, alumni & worker

Dance (1 of 1) (640x480).jpg
“Workers, just remember you don’t realise the influence you have on the kids, because they do remember and it gives them hope.”
Justine Swan shares a familiar story graduating from Gappie to Gap worker. Justine however took her career to dazzling heights. 

James Swan, Alumni & Boxer

IMG_0560 (640x427).jpg
“It took a lot of kids off the street, most of the time they would be doing crime, I think, mostly through boredom.”

James Swan is an icon of indigenous boxing. A Commonwealth Games medalist and Olympic athlete, James got his start in boxing at GAP Youth Centre under the watchful eye of Graham Swan.

graham & Ronda Ross, first generation

IMG_0101 (640x427).jpg
Graham and Ronda Ross were the fabric of Gap Youth and Community Centre for most of its existence.

Graham and Ronda are famous along Gap Road for the work they put into the centre.

ALL GAP Stories

Gap Gallery