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The history of Hartley

Hartley Lifecare Incorporated has a strong history with disability support services in the ACT. Hartley Lifecare was established in 1962 to support children and young adults living with a physical disability, to help them maximise their life potential.

Originally formed to provide a learning facility and therapy support service at The Canberra Hospital, we quickly grew to meet the growing needs of the many children with disabilities and their families through a residential and respite service. Hartley forged ahead providing a range of much-needed services that were at the time, not available elsewhere in the ACT.

Our first facility, known as Hartley House, was located in the inner-north suburb of O’Connor. In 1984, a complex of three purpose-built houses known as Hartley Court, were completed to meet the growing demand of supported accommodation services. Today Hartley Court, located in Hughes, provides 24-hour centre based specialised accommodation and long-and short-term respite care in a ‘home-away-from-home’ environment.

Families learned they could rely on Hartley Lifecare and our disability services. We have subsequently expanded again and now operate a number of residential facilities in the ACT including a house in Fisher designed to support people with an acquired brain injury. More recently we have integrated the National Brain Injury Foundation (NBIF) with Hartley Lifecare.

Our main office located in Pearce was opened on 3 November 2011 and includes a purpose built Assistive Technology Centre and Training facilities. This facility provides a more efficient working environment for staff and volunteers that will greatly assist our operations and support for people with disabilities into the future. Our training rooms are available to other members of the community for hire.

Our Timeline

1962

Parents of people with high and complex disabilities come together - the Handicap Council was formed

1965

Name changed to ACT Physically Disabled Rehabilitation Association

1966

Registration of Children & Adults Physically Incapacitated Association Inc

1969

Amalgamated with ACT Spastic Centre Council & Crippled Childrens Society

1972

Registration of name ACT Society for Crippled Children Inc

1973

Hartley Street Centre school opens as part of Turner primary school, purpose built centre with a therapy pool, offering education, physio and occupational therapy

1975

Name changed to ACT Society for Physically Handicapped Children Inc

Queen of Canberra Quest starts as new fundraising event

1976

Hartley House established in O’Connor

1984

Hartley Court opens in Hughes

1987

Commencement of Hartley Hall Markets

1990

Kent Street house established as an administration office

2000

Change of name to Hartley Lifecare and change in strategic direction

First Cycle Challenge event

2005 -2010

2010 Hartley takes on the support for five houses

2006

Outreach program started

Assistive Technology Program started

2007

Hartley opens a new facility to support people with Acquired Brain Injury

2011

New administration office established in Pearce

2012

Increase in respite support

2013

Hartley becomes part of the Intentional Community

2014

Integration of National Brain Injury Foundation into Hartley Lifecare

2015

Transition of houses from Disability ACT
- 9 Houses
- 35 new clients

2016

Pinkerton Street house opens

Successful transition of all nine Disability ACT houses to Hartley Lifecare

Today Hartley provides support to 76 individuals in 36 homes across Canberra. We also provide respite care to families by providing short term overnight support to over 100 people with disability.