Our History

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 training room. 


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


Name changed to ACT Physically Disabled Rehabilitation Association


Registration of Children & Adults Physically Incapacitated Association Inc


Amalgamated with ACT Spastic Centre Council & Crippled Childrens Society


Registration of name ACT Society for Crippled Children Inc


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


Name changed to ACT Society for Physically Handicapped Children Inc

Queen of Canberra Quest starts as new fundraising event


Hartley House established in O’Connor


Hartley Court opens in Hughes


Commencement of Hartley Hall Markets


Kent Street house established as an administration office


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


Outreach program started

Assistive Technology Program started


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


New administration office established in Pearce


Increase in respite support


Hartley becomes part of the Intentional Community


Integration of National Brain Injury Foundation into Hartley Lifecare


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


Pinkerton Street house opens

Successful transition of all nine Disability ACT houses to Hartley Lifecare