A strong beginning

On 20 October 1970, a group of keen and committed community members met in the Supper Room of City Hall in Springvale. Their vision was to form a group that would build a centre for local people with a disability. The grassroots movement was led by local parents and Councillors and staff at the City of Springvale. In the early years, the support of the City of Springvale was crucial to securing funding and land in Callander Road, Noble Park. The Springvale Jaycees, the Ladies’ Auxiliary and the local Apex Club were also key fundraisers and motivators for the community.

‘The Council came behind it and it was a very strong funder…the community were wonderful and the service clubs…They reached out to the schools. The schools got behind it and pupils participated in the walkathon and it raised tens of thousands of dollars…it was absolutely wonderful.’
Colin Dickie, founding Committee Member and Life Governor, 2020 Oral History interview

In this building phase, much went on behind the scenes, culminating in the opening of the school in 1974. As the decade wore on, the school grew, the scope of activities increased, and the committee made plans for an Adult Activity Centre.

‘Anyone who’s taken part in the development of Urimbirra can feel immense pride in what they’ve provided for the children…I haven’t seen a better centre anywhere. I have great pleasure in declaring it open.’
Premier Rupert Hamer, The News, August 1974