Celebrate 65


Celebrating 65 years servicing the community.

April 26th 1957, is the day we recognise the first official GROW group gathering in Hurstville Sydney, Australia. Fast-forward 65 years, GROW is now operating in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the USA. April 26, 2022 a special global online event was held to commemorate the occasion. 

Download the Souvenir program HERE.

Just click the links below to enjoy viewing some of the great entertainment from the event:

The event was captured beautifully by the Sketch Group, in a souvenir poster.

Event Resources:

Download the event poster.

Download Celebrate 65 Doodle Art page – just for fun. 


HOW IT ALL STARTED …. in a nutshell

‘Memories – happy, sad, touching, funny, but most of all unutterably dear and fraught with untold thankfulness.’ These are the words of Con Keogh, the unsung hero and founder of what is now known as GROW.

GROW started  with a group that met in Hurstville, NSW on 26th April, 1957, as an offshoot from Alcoholics Anonymous. At the time there were no support groups for former mental patients recovering from a mental breakdown.  AA offered a way to recover for many ‘non alcoholics’ who also were looking for way forward.

‘We got the idea of a special group of our own to work more systematically on our own special problems of rehabilitation’, said Con. With a few of his closest alcoholic friends, the group became known as Recovery – to emphasis the goal and the solution rather than the problem. It was agreed that the group would try to identify and record and keep the things that they found successful.

Out of that first group have come the hundreds of groups around Australia and around the world. And by staying faithful to that initial resolve to preserve what was learned around the three essential features:

  • the Program of Personal Growth (affectionally known as the Blue Book) based on the natural rules of healthy living and proven steps of recovery and personal growth
  • the Group Method for problem solving and mutual education that enables ordinary people without professional training to run their own groups
  • the Caring and Sharing Community a network of friendship and trustworthy helpers

GROW is now one of the largest voluntary work organisations in mental health in Australia.

To a more detailed history of GROW please read the following paper written by Dave McLoughlin HERE.

Learn more about GROW’s history timeline to see our progress.