Australian Council of Women Affairs (ACWA) Inc was founded in 1999 by a group of working women who wanted to help those less fortunate members of their community integrate into Australian Society. Their aim initially was about maximising the independence for migrants and refugees from Arab backgrounds residing in Western Sydney, however it has since extended its focus to helping adults with an intellectual disability.
Early efforts focused on supporting families navigate the Australian social system to be able to find accommodation; child services; employment; education; skills redevelopment and financial services. ACWA also became deeply involved in providing monthly social outing opportunities for the elderly who were isolated in their homes and had no means of social interaction. ACWA’s programs included an intensive skill development program supported by its members and volunteers to empowering women with the right skills to be able to establish a home for their families in Australia.
From these humble beginnings, ACWA expanded to provide services to families taking care of a person(s) with unique and varied intellectual abilities. ACWA now has a specifically built centre in Birrong where it conducts day programs for adults with unique abilities while also providing support to their families. Through the establishment of My Home Disability Services, ACWA was able to offer services such as: day program; flexible community participation support; support coordination; recreation programs and learning and life skills development.
ACWA’s commitment to providing and enhancing opportunities for disadvantaged people and people with disabilities is the underlying force of our success. We have worked alongside families to re-educate them and train them in how to support their child or children with disabilities to allow them to give them more independence and more choices. ACWA is helping adults with unique abilities to be able to venture outside their family home and experience life as it should be experienced – without obstacles and restrictions.
2015 brought change to the sector, with the introduction of the NDIS, which ACWA is now a registered provider of supports for. However, we remain steadfast and true to our charitable origins and will support people with disabilities to the best of our capacities and resources regardless of whether or not they are an NDIS Participant.