In the late 1970s, families caring for a child with a disability on the Gold Coast had limited access to services and support. FSG Australia grew from the efforts of a small, determined and passionate group of parents who wanted better resources for their children.
Parents who were meeting in schools, playgroups and the Brisbane-based Intellectual Handicap Service/Central Assessment Clinic, began to ask questions…
- Why do we have to travel to Brisbane for specialists, therapy and support?
- Why can’t I get a clear diagnosis for my child?
- We’re exhausted – how can we get a break and know our children are well cared for?
- How can I manage the needs of my other children, and my partner?
They began to gather in lounge rooms, around kitchen tables and in school car parks, and their voices got stronger, as did their determination.
As a result, the Gold Coast Family Support Group for Handicapped Children Inc. was established in 1979, and is now known as FSG Australia (FSGA).
The values – Freedom, Social Justice and Growth are reflected in FSGA’s Mission, Vision, Values and Commitment. From every corner of FSGA, Staff demonstrate their belief in these values to ensure all of our practices uphold the rights of all people. Rights for people to live their chosen life with self-determination and in a community that welcomes and connects to everyone.
FSG currently manages a range of programs with an annual turnover in excess of 60 million dollars. Each month, approximately 2,500 people receive an FSGA service.
Below is our timeline of events since our inception in 1979.
The Gold Coast Family Support Group for Handicapped Children Inc. is established
First Service Opened – Orana Respite House
Received first grant of $60,000 from the federal government which together with $25,000 from fundraising saw the opening of the first service – Orana Respite House
Name Changed to Gold Coast Family Support Group (GCFSG)
GCFSG auspice Transcord & Volunteering Gold Coast
Received Commonwealth Respite for Carers Program funding
Received funding from Commonwealth Respite for Carers Program & Department of Family Services and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders
Child Care Program for children with a disability launched
24/7 Respite Hotline (now Respite Plus) launched
First Mental Health Program (P300) launched
‘Share Care’ Child Safety Program launched
Respite for Carers Program launched
HACC funded ‘Family Resource Program’ launched
Enrich Program launched
First Supported Accommodation Service launched
‘EnVision’ Mental Health Program launched
Encompass Family Resource Centre opened
GCFSG auspice the South Brisbane Commonwealth & Respite Carelink Centre
Initial Agency concept – now Staffing Solutions – launched
Initial concept for brokering staff to the Community Services Industry is launched by FSG Australia – this is now Staffing Solutions
Beenleigh office opened
GCFSG becomes a Registered Training and Employment Organisation (RTO)
The Green Shop launched
The Green Shop was established offering environmentally friendly personal care products to the public and employment and training opportunities to GCFSG participants.
Gold Coast Family Support Group becomes FSG Australia
Gold Coast Family Support Group becomes FSG Australia; a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee
Ipswich office opened
30 year anniversary celebrations
‘Social Housing’ & Property Management Services’ Launched
Sunshine Coast office opened
‘The Deck’ cafe and social hub is launched
Obtained GreenBiz Check Silver Certification
Mental Health Symphonics Music Program launched
FSG Australia re-affirms commitment to Social Justice and Advocacy
FSG Australia updates its values, culture, mission and branding which is embraced throughout the organisation
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Respite Hub opened
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Respite Hub and Pop-in Place and sustainable service for people living on mainland Quandamooka country in the Redlands area
Tropicana Nursery is acquired
Tropicana Nursery is acquired as an environmental initiative for training, employment and as a future wellness centre.
‘Buttons n’ Beans’ Op Shop & Coffee House in Southport is opened
CEO Vicki Batten wins International Women’s Day Leadership Award
Implementation of Self-funded service options for people we walk alongside
Connections Mental Health program launched
‘Managing together’ family services program launched
Wynnum office opened
Living in Natural Communities (LINC) program launched
FSGA becomes a member of Partners in Recovery Mental Health Initiative in Logan, Brisbane South and Gold Coast
Obtained Greenbiz check gold certification
Byron Bay accommodation hub opened
FSG Australia Merge with Ballina District Community Services Association
FSG Australia merge with The Spot Community Services
FSGA holds its Inaugural Ball
Hervey Bay Services Opened
Beaudesert Community Hub opened