50 years of improving lives in Nambour

People with intellectual disability and their families today celebrated half-a-century of growth and development opportunities at Endeavour Foundation’ Nambour Learning and Lifestyle (L&L) Hub.

Local Brian Williams has been involved with the program for 42 years and said his favourite things about the service are the staff and community access programs.

“At Nambour L&L we get to go out and do lots of things in the community,” Mr Williams said.

“At men’s shed [staff help me to] to build things and take us out in the bus.”

Endeavour Foundation’s Nambour day service was originally founded in 1969 as a school to provide children with an intellectual disability the opportunity to have an education after they were excluded from mainstream schools.

CEO Andrew Donne said the construction of the service was down to parents fighting for the basic rights of their children.

“During the 1950s and 60s, classrooms were packed due to the post-war baby boom,” Mr Donne said.

“The government of the time denied children with intellectual disability access to state school education to make room for neuro-typical children.

“As a result, some truly inspirational parents took the education of their children into their own hands and Endeavour Foundation branches were formed all over Queensland.

“Nambour didn’t have a school for children with a disability but thanks to community support and the hard work of local families, a school named ‘Sylvania’ was built.”

Half-a-century on from the construction of Sylvania, Endeavour Foundation is still investing in education for people with an intellectual disability with a focus on technology.

“Eventually, the Queensland Government resumed full responsibility for the education of children with intellectual disability and Endeavour Foundation changed to focus on post-school and adult services,” Mr Donne said.

“Today Endeavour Foundation uses innovative Virtual Reality technology and engaging new curriculums focussing on developing life and social skills for the young people and adults we support.

“We’ve come a long way in 50 years but our focus has remained constant; our mission is to imagine what’s possible for people with intellectual disability and partner with them to achieve it.”