Endeavour Foundation celebrates 60th birthday with launch of official history book

On 14th June 1951, a small group of determined families gathered in Brisbane to form an association to support children with a disability.

From this meeting grew Endeavour Foundation.

To mark the occasion of its 60th birthday Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley, AC Governor of Queensland, and Endeavour Foundation are launching a book entitled An Ordinary Life…the First 60 Years of Endeavour Foundation at an official ceremony at Government House this Tuesday, 14th June.

An Ordinary Life… is a story of human resilience at its best, revealing the powerful story of clients, families, volunteers and staff dealing with a myriad of challenges over the past six decades.

Endeavour Foundation CEO, David Barbagallo, said the book is a commemoration of the immeasurable efforts made by the organisation’s many benefactors and supporters.

“Endeavour Foundation could not be what it is today without the dedication and tireless work of people like Sir Fred Schonell and his wife, Lady Eleanor, and the Hooper, Moxon and Pribbernow families,” David said.

An Ordinary Life...is so much more than a history of an organisation.”

The efforts of Endeavour Foundation did not go unnoticed, and Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, wrote the foreword to An Ordinary Life..., praising the organisation’s work.

“After 60 inspirational years, Endeavour Foundation has much to celebrate.” said Her Excellency.

“I salute your [Endeavour Foundation’s] commitment to empowering people with a disability through support and opportunity then, now and in the future.

In a truly regal event, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, patron of Endeavour, will be presented with the first copy of An Ordinary Life...on Tuesday 14th June.

Today, more than 3,350 people are supported by Endeavour Foundation.

The family-based association spread from Brisbane to Toowoomba, Rockhampton, and Townsville then Bundaberg, Buranda, Cairns, Mackay, Mt Isa and Maryborough followed in the fifties and sixties. Nambour, Kingaroy, Ayr, Dalby, Home Hill, Roma, Gympie, Sunnybank and Geebung followed through the seventies.

By 1986, Endeavour Foundation operated 25 schools for people with a disability and at that time they became integrated. The state government took on the administration in a move towards normalisation.

Today, with respite care, post-school services, tertiary computer literacy, residential services and paid employment opportunities across more than 220 sites, Endeavour Foundation has come a long way in 60 years, all in support of people with a disability.

Founding President, Sir Fred Schonell, said in 1955: “Although they may differ from others in the development of their mind or body, people with an intellectual disability are not one jot different in wanting to be loved, in wanting to be accepted, and in wanting to get a place in the sun through success in some activity.”

According to current CEO David Barbagallo, prominent among the current challenges is the Productivity Commission report to government recommending a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to provide appropriate support and services to the 1.4 million people with a disability.

“People with a disability deserve to participate in every aspect of our community the same as everyone. We aim to provide the support that can be necessary for people to lead an ordinary life”

To lend your support, to donate or volunteer go to www.endeavour.com.au


David Coles Media & Communications Officer

P (07) 3908 7109
M 0419 248106
F (07) 3253 7271
E d.coles@endeavour.com.au