The Retarded Children's Welfare Association (RCWA) was established in Hobart in 1952 to raise funds for better premises for Talire, a volunteer run school for children with intellectual disabilities. The Association also aimed to set up more schools for children with intellectual disabilities and hostels to enable country children to attend them. The RCWA became the Retarded Citizens Welfare Association in 1982.
Harold Gigney, whose son had Downs Syndrome, was a driving force behind the foundation and consolidation of the Retarded Children's Welfare Association.
From 1958, the RCWA's involvement in the Miss Tasmania Quest greatly augmented its funds.
The RCWA had a decentralised structure that caused it difficulties. After its establishment, parents and friends in localities outside Hobart formed similar groups and affiliated with it to create branches throughout Tasmania. This structure meant that the different branches did not share the funds that they raised. Branches with hostels that needed funds could not access them even though money was lying idle in accounts elsewhere in the RCWA. The structure also meant that practices and procedures varied between facilities. There was no consistency in staff training and recruitment.
1952 - 1982 Retarded Children's Welfare Association
1982 - 1992 Retarded Citizens' Welfare Association
1992 - 2011 Oakdale Services Tasmania
2011 - Veranto Lifestyle Assistance
Sources used to compile this entry: Alexander, Alison, From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow: the history of Oaks Tasmania, Oak Tasmania, Glenorchy, Tasmania, 96 pp.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 18 January 2012, Last modified: 14 March 2014