History and Definition
Dadirri Disability Services has a long history of providing supported accommodation services for people living with physical and intellectual disabilities in the NSW Southern Highlands for over 30 years. The organisation has a strong connection with the local community and the definition of ‘Dadirri’ meaning ‘inner deep listening’.
The organisation emerged from a realisation that young adults living with physical or intellectual disabilities had no specialised service or living options in the Southern Highlands after leaving special school education facilities.
Founder, Margaret McCauley became aware of the lack of service options available when confronted by the predicament faced by a friend with two children with disabilities. The family was struggling to find an answer to the question ‘where to after school’ for their adult children.
Coincidentally at that time Margaret went on an overseas trip to the United States and was introduced to an organisation successfully offering supported living and group home accommodation for young adults living with disability.
Inspired by the positive outcomes she witnessed on that visit, Margaret gathered together a group of like-minded individuals on her return to Australia and the concept that has grown to become Dadirri Disability Services was born.
The first group home, ‘Clearview’ was officially opened at the end of 1984.
For a decade from 1986 the organisation (originally known as Kerever Park Projects) successfully operated the ‘Bowral Buttery’ café in the heart of the Bowral CBD as a community training and skills program for residents and other young adults with disabilities. Over 50 young adults gained valuable work life skills through their involvement with the Bowral Buttery.
The closure of the Buttery in 1996 allowed the organisation to open a second group home and the focus of Dadirri Disability Services has since remained on expanding the quantity and quality of supported accommodation facilities in the Southern Highlands.