Celebrating 45 years of service in 2017, Melba was established in the early 1970’s out of a need for a day service for children with disabilities. Melba also provided a support network for parents who had nowhere to go and no one to turn to for advice and help. Addressing a need in the community, and through the generosity of community members, a congregate care facility was built which was used until the late 1990’s.
As society changed, so too did the views on providing supports to people with disabilities. Congregate care facilities dissolved and houses located in the general community were purpose built; adult training day services became places where people could come, not just to learn life skills, but be assisted to make meaningful connections to their community through employment, volunteering and developing friendships. The focus moved away from ‘care’ and towards the provision of support to achieve outcomes for each person, centered around each individuals likes, dislikes, dreams and desires. Today, and throughout its long history, Melba has held a reputation within its field as progressive, forward thinking and always a provider of quality services.
There have been many people throughout Melba’s history who made a significant and positive impact on the organisation; in particular, those volunteers in the early days who worked tirelessly to raise funds, lobby government, secure land and build facilities, all in the name of creating a service that people could come to and be happy at. These people were not only hard workers, but visionaries. People, who in a time when disability wasn’t talked much about and families endured awkward conversations with people about their child with a disability, recognised that social change was needed and took every opportunity to make a difference.
Melba recognises the efforts of those exemplary people and their significant contributions, by appointing Honorary Life Governors.
Above are some of our life governors celebrating Melba’s 40th anniversary in 2012.
Our Life Governors are: