Our History



1981

Bernie Leeman October 17, ADEC project becomes an independent organisation, and Effie Meehan meet at the International Year of Disabled People 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 held at Carringbush Library.


1984-85

ADEC survives on seed funding from the Commonwealth 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 none 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 computer purchased.
First ADEC newsletter produced.
First Home and Community Care (HACC) project commences.
ADEC’s mental health program begins as the ethnic access psychiatric project.


1991

Gabriel Maligeorges promoted to Director with Maria Cesarello as chairperson.


1992

ADEC restructures and adopts generalist advocacy model.


1993

10th anniversary celebration.
ADEC 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.


1994

First HACC Social Support group for carers commences.


1995

Constitution reviewed. ADEC memberships doubles.


1994-96

ADEC facilitates the establishment of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA).


1996

ADEC relocates from Brunswick to 13 Munro Street, Coburg.


1997

A Statewide and a Northern region HACC Equity and Access Projects 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.
ADEC now delivers 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. "Fighting for equality: The story of ADEC" written by Meyer Eidelson is published.


2009

Effie Meehan receives an award for her long term contribution to ADEC.


2010

ADEC's legal name remains as Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities but our trading name becomes: ADEC - Advocacy, Disability, Ethnicity, and Community.
ADEC becomes a Registered Training Organisation.


2011

ADEC create a partnership with the Immigrating Museum and presents the "Fighting for Equity" Exhibition.


2012

ADEC opens the first Digital Respite Program for 6 to 17 years old.
Keith Hitchen appointed as the new Executive Director with Sophie Holmes as Chairperson.


2013

Access and Support Unit commences.
ADEC opens a Dandenong and Werribee Offices.


2015

ADEC reaches 1200 clients and launches the ADEC Newsletter.


2016

ADEC becomes a registered NDIS provider.


2017

Melissa Elston appointed as the new Executive Director with Sophie Holmes as Chairperson.


2018

ADEC support a record 2,363 clients from 45 nationalities.


2019

ADEC purchases its first property at Dandenong.


2020

ADEC reaches 100 clients in our Aged Care Program.