Independent Living Centres have been operating successfully in Britain since 1970 and similar centres are to be found in Scandanavia, Canada and USA.
The setting up of Independent Living Centres in Australia followed the recommendations set out in the Woodhouse and Meares Report of 1974, as a Whitlam Government initiative. When the government changed, the Australian Association of Occupational Therapists, concerned that the concept would be lost, encouraged its State Associations to support the idea and develop plans to ensure such a service eventuated.
The planning of an Independent Living Centre for New South Wales began officially in 1976 with the formation of a sub-committee of the ACROD NSW Liaison Committee on Aids and Information Services.
In 1978, the Board of the Royal Ryde Rehabilitation Hospital agreed to make premises available for the Centre, and the Northern Metropolitan Health Region of the Health Commission of NSW agreed to finance two positions, one full-time Occupational Therapist, and one part-time Clerk/Typist.
In September 1978, Ruth Grayson was appointed to establish the Centre, assisted by Joyce Westoby. The task of researching and documenting information then commenced.
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