The Slow Learning Children's Group (SLCG) began in Perth in 1951. A group of parents whose children had intellectual disabilities created an organisation that resulted in educational and training programs, appropriate residential facilities, meaningful employment and pathways to independence for all Western Australians with intellectual disabilities. In 1989, the SLCG changed its name to Activ Foundation.
The Slow Learning Children's Group ('the Group') was established at a public meeting on 10 October 1951 after about three years of groundwork by parents, teachers and supporters of the Education Department's kindergarted class for disabled children at the University of Western Australia.
By April 1953, the Group was incorporated and able to receive government and Lotteries Commission funding. Between 1952 and 1954 it set up Minbalup (an occupational centre for older children), a diagnostic and testing centre, an assessment board, speech therapy clinic and a parents' discussion group.
The Group established and ran Hawkevale farm colony from 1954.
In 1961, the Group's diagnostic and assessment centre became 'Irrabeena'. In 1964, the assessment centre functions were taken over by the government. Irrabeena became part of the Mental Health Department.
1951 - 1989 Slow Learning Children's Group
1989 - Activ Foundation
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Commerce, 'Activ Foundation', AssociationsOnline, Government of Western Australia, 2012, https://associations.commerce.wa.gov.au/associations/public/publicHomePage.jspx; Gillgren, Christina, 'Once a Defective, always a Defective: Public Sector Residential Care 1900-1965', in Errol Cocks (ed.), Under blue skies : the social construction of intellectual disability in Western Australia, Centre for Disability Research and Development, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, 1996, pp. 53-91. p.77.; Hunt, Heather, Our Children: A History of the Slow Learning Children's Group of WA, Activ Foundation, Perth, 1989. p.9..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 29 April 2013, Last modified: 23 June 2014