PCYC was established in 1937 by Police Commissioner William John Mackay. It was a partnership forged with the community via Rotary and Police to provide young people with a safe and positive alternative to the streets.
William John Mackay was born in Scotland in 1885, and had grown up on the streets, in the industrial squalor of 19th century Glasgow. As a teenager, Bill Mackay discovered that the only places he could meet his friends was out on the streets. There were no organised games, activities or safe places. At age 19, William Mackay followed his father into the City of Glasgow’s police force. Looking for greater opportunities afield, Mackay immigrated to Australia and, in 1910 at the age of 25, joined the Police Force. In 1936, William Mackay, as the new Commissioner of Police, travelled overseas with a brief of “reviewing the methods of combating crime”.
In Norwich, England, he found a Police Boys Club that gave young people an opportunity to overcome some of the disabilities of their tough environment. He later visited Germany and Italy, and then the US, where he reviewed youth movements such as the Police Athletic League.
PCYC New South Wales, St Kilda PCYC, Tasmania PCYC, PCYC Queensland, and Canberra PCYC are state based entities. We share a common vision to empower young people to reach their potential. Collectively, we operate from hundreds of facilities across Australia as one of the leading youth focused organisations. Find out more about each state’s history simply by clicking on the logos below.