History of ADEC


1981: Bernie Leeman and Effie Meehan meet at the International Year of Disabled Persons event. They and others of the Committee of Ethnicity and Disability undertake a research project through the Ethnic Communities Council to determine the needs of communities.

1982: Funds are received from the Commonwealth Schools Commission Severely Handicapped Children’s Program to commence an ADEC project.

1983: October 17, ADEC project becomes an independent organisation.

1984: November, first AGM at Carringbush Library.

1984 -1985: ADEC survives on seed funding from Schools Commission, grants from trusts and Commonwealth Employment Program funding.

1986: ADEC in financial crisis. Director Silvana Scibilia secures emergency funding from Federal Government for nine months.

1987: ADEC secures funding from Commonwealth and State Governments for a four-year demonstration project. ADEC relocates with ten staff to 123-125 Sydney Road, Brunswick.

1988: Director Liz Papanicolaou commences to implement restructure and three-year plan.

1989: First ADEC newsletter produced; first computer purchased. First Home and Community Care (HACC) project commences. ADEC’s mental health program begins as the ethnic access psychiatric project.

1991: Gabriel Maligeorges, who had been employed as the Psychiatric Ethnic Access worker, was promoted to Director in with Maria Cesarello as chairperson.

1992: ADEC restructures. Adopts generalist advocacy model.

1993: 10th anniversary celebration. Hosts the first national conference of its kind in Melbourne, 'The Impact of Disability in Ethnic Communities; Meeting the Challenge'. Education and Training Unit is formed. New State Government (1992) reduces funding to agencies.

1994: First HACC Social Support group for carers commences.

1995: Constitution reviewed. ADEC membership doubles.

1994 – 1996: ADEC facilitates the establishment of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA).

1996: ADEC relocates from Brunswick to 13 Munro Street, Coburg.

1997: Two HACC Equity and Access Projects: Statewide and Northern Region are now operating.

1999: ADEC has completed over fifty research and service development projects since 1989. Maria Cesarello, Effie Meehan and Bernie Leeman awarded life memberships.

2000: Licia Kokocinski commences as Director with Patrick Testa as Chairperson.

2002: HACC Social Support Program increases to 11 carers groups across three regions. Multicultural Family Respite service commences. Community Reference Group established.

2004: ADEC relocates to Preston after Coburg building is damaged in storm.

2005: ADEC launches five-year strategic plan 2005-2010. First annual ArtAbility Exhibition held at Gasworks Park.

2006: ADEC receives funding for Northern Region Network Coordinator. Education and Training Unit program expands in partnership with Mediquest. Mental Health program expands with new community development program. There are now four mental health support groups.

2007:  Statewide conference on ethnicity, ageing and mental health is held. Individual Advocacy program expands to Western suburbs. Carer and Mental Health self-help groups expand to sixteen.

2008: ADEC receives federal funding for respite services. 25th anniversary celebration at Coburg Town Hall. North West Partnership launched. History of ADEC published.