Our History

Interact Australia has a history that is so vastly different from other Companies that its origins, history and linkages would be interesting to many. The history of Interact Australia (1991-2008) has been recorded in detail by Mr William Westgarth.

Interact Australia came about because of the closure of the Kew Cottages Special School. This School had been opened because there was such a place as Kew Cottages, also known as “Children's Cottages Kew” which had been opened in 1887 as a residential unit for children with a disability. From the time of its opening it was known that there was a need for people who lived there to obtain an education or a form of training that would help to improve their quality of life.

During July 1991 the State Cabinet made the decision that the Kew Cottages Special School would terminate at the end of the 1991 School year.

Out of the closure of the school developed the Adult Training Support Service in 1992. On 16th November 1995 an application was made under Corporations Law for a Company limited by guarantee.

The Company Interact Australia (Victoria) was formed with the main objective:

  • To provide direct assistance to people with a disability and other disadvantaged persons.

The application was approved on 24th January 1996.

The three main stages of the development of the company; 

  • the education/training of the residents of Kew Cottages 1887 to 1991
  • The time of the Kew Adult Training Support Service 1991
  • Interact Australia (Victoria) Limited 1996

The 24th January 1996 became the official start of the Company now known as Interact Australia

1998 – Interact Employment was established to deliver effective and customer focused employment
placement services 

1999 – Interact Learning Services moves to Fairfield, Victoria.

2001 – Interact Learning Services opens in Balwyn, Victoria.

2004 – Interact Australia purchased the Management Rights of the Marrakesh Apartments on the
Gold Coast, Queensland. 

2005 - Interact Learning Services opens in Croydon, Victoria 

2006 – Disability Services 9Recreational Unlimited) commenced on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. 

2006 – Interact employment Services commenced the Personal Support Programs
in Ballarat, Victoria. 

2007 - Established the Employment Services Division 

2008 – Interact Australia was granted Registered Training Organisation status in both Victoria
and Queensland. 

2008 – Interact Arts was established to enhance the educational opportunities of adults with disabilities
in areas of fine arts, theatre arts, multimedia, music, dance, communication and self-representation. 

2008 – Additional services (Futures Unlimited) commenced on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. 

2008 – The Stepping Up Consortium formed in 2008 (the combination of four not-for-profit agencies;
Interact Australia, Odyssey House Victoria, TaskForce and Youth Projects). The Stepping Up Consortium
has significant experience in working with marginalised people with complex needs such as people with     
Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) problems, Mental Health issues, Intellectual Disabilities, Acquired Brain Injuries,
Families, Job Seekers and those involved with the Criminal Justice System, pre and post-release. 

2008 – Interact Australia purchased the management rights of Silver Shore Apartments on the Gold Coast, Queensland. 

2009 – Australian integrated Employment & Training Services was established to provide Job Services
Australia (JSA) employment services 

2009 – Bridging The Gap commenced in South East Queensland – A 3 year pilot project to support offenders
with cognitive impairment to transition back into their communities. 

2011 – Interact Australia in partnership with Churches of Christ established the Nambour Men’s Shed, Queensland. 

2012 – Brisbane Disability support program commenced, Queensland