At the beginning of 1979, Gail opened her home to help women and children in need.
Gail named her home Kiah which is a name meaning similar things in many languages:
Houses, meeting place, home and living energy.
Kiah’s role was to provide the type of home you go to when you are in trouble. The sort of place where you are accepted, fed, loved and supported without pressures. Kiah was self-supporting with donations and contributions from workshops and lecture fees to help cover expenses. It was not aligned with any particular religion, philosophy or doctrine.
Gail built some small huts on Kiah where people in crisis would often come and stay. Backpackers would come through, stop to rest and shower before continuing their journey.
It was not designed to be a continuous place to live, not a crutch or support. It was to help people in trouble to get confidence to take the next step.
In a short period of time, Kiah became well known not only for its friendly welcome, but also for the skills and information that could be learnt from the many alternative minded people that gathered at Kiah during those years. One of the most prominent memories from people involved in Kiah during those years was the wonderful feeling of acceptance that surrounded all those who visited, regardless of race, religion or chosen lifestyle. There was a genuine feeling of giving to others as well as receiving.
During those early years, Margaret Gardiner, (nee Edwards), became close friends with Gail and while staying at Kiah, Margaret was instrumental in helping to set up the many varied and informative sessions that were held there. There were weekly women’s groups held in regard to many varied women’s issues, often with guest speakers. Gail had built some small huts on Kiah and people in crisis would often come and stay in them. Backpackers would come through, stop to rest and shower before continuing their journey. Meditations were held and Gail, who practiced meditation regularly, received much of her inspiration during these times. The old Civic Centre in Nambour was used for some of the larger workshops, included in these were birthing classes, alternative healing workshops as well as domestic violence workshops.
Towards the late seventies, Gail had a vision of bridging the gap between new age and mainstream society. Gail envisioned a centre that was more accessible to the wider community while still retaining a non-threatening atmosphere. A more central base for people to meet who had a use or a need for this type of centre. Gail wrote a list of the people whom she wanted to help her set up such a centre, these were mostly friends who had been involved with Kiah through the years in some way.
So, with no funding, little money and a lot of people telling them they were crazy, this small group of people went out to turn Gail’s vision into reality. What they lacked materially, they more than made up for with enthusiasm and dedication toward their goal. It is thanks to Kiah and these people that in 1980 Nambour opened its first Meeting Place.