By the start of the decade the effectiveness of drug treatment for control of tuberculosis in WA was well established and the increasing shift from inpatient to outpatient treatment resulted in hospital beds in the Perth Chest Hospital becoming available for non-tuberculosis treatment. Early in 1961 the Perth Chest Hospital became a general hospital and was renamed Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Activities at Linley Valley were wound down in 1960 and the Association now concentrated its activities at the FCB Factory. Due to declining numbers of tuberculosis rehabilitees, the sheltered workshop facilities were made available to other rehabilitees. By the middle of the decade around 30% of the workers suffered from chest complaints other than tuberculosis (asthmatics, bronchitics and cardiac patients). By the end of the decade the Association’s constitution would be altered to broaden the scope for rehabilitation to physical disabilities due to accident or illness.
Typically up to 40 ex-patients would be employed making lightweight boxes for industrial houses, shops and chicken farms and printing invitation cards, labels and pamphlets. The purchase of a large new Heidelberg cylinder printing press with the assistance of State Government and Lotteries Commission grants was a major step forward and resulted in increasing business and more employment time available for ex-patients.
The Association actively maintained a public profile to promote continued awareness of tuberculosis. They arranged exhibitions on tuberculosis in Perth and Fremantle with a mobile X-Ray unit provided for free testing. They also exhibited at the Homes Exhibition and Industries Fair to display Federal Cardboard Box Factory products, and to promote the link between the Association and the FCB Factory. At this time the Association was also becoming concerned at the lack of tuberculosis screening of fully fare paying immigrants including those from the UK. They lobbied the National Tuberculosis and Chest Association on this issue and ultimately the loophole was closed via an amendment in the Quarantine Act in Federal Parliament. The National Tuberculosis and Chest association also started leading a move against smoking, especially in young people.
Tuberculosis continued to be of worldwide concern, leading the World Health Organisation to declare 1964 to be TB Year with the slogan “No truce for Tuberculosis”. There was also growing concern that the tubercle bacillus bacterium was building up resistance to the available treatment drugs, and the Tuberculosis Association campaigned for research into new drugs. The Tuberculosis Association also started sponsoring migrants who had been infected with tuberculosis. In one instance they provided assistance to a Greek seaman who was removed from his ship docked in Perth due to tuberculosis infection, with the Women’s Auxiliary providing financial support.
Throughout this time the Women’s Auxiliary provided a huge amount of support including fund raising, financial assistance and catering for special events. In 1967 the Women’s Auxiliary decided to break their association with the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as their original objective of caring and providing for tuberculosis patients had been gradually taken over by the needs of a general hospital. The hospital responsibilities were handed over to a new Auxiliary formed by the SCGH Matron, while the Auxiliary refocused their activities on the rehabilitation of patients and provision of amenities for the sheltered workshop. The Women’s Auxiliary had performed an outstanding service for SCGH, having operated the canteen on a voluntary basis from its opening in 1959 until 1967 as well as running the library facilities and a trolley service for much of this time.