Celebrating 75 Years of Sylvanvale
It has been an exciting time for Sylvanvale, as we celebrated our 75th year in operation.
Our Proud History
It was on 28 September 1947 that a group of parents in the Sutherland Shire united to form Sylvanvale. They created the organisation as they wanted to give their children access to education and social inclusion, like anyone else could expect to have.
As their children grew and the demand for Sylvanvale’s services increased, the supports Sylvanvale offered adapted to meet the needs of the community.
Today we support over 750 children and adults across our services from a range of cultural backgrounds throughout Sydney and the Blue Mountains to live and participate in their community as they choose.
Sylvanvale’s growth from the outset was testament to the outstanding support of fundraisers and volunteers such as the Ladies Auxiliary, which were instrumental in generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for Sylvanvale.
We are very fortunate to continue to benefit from the generosity of others – including 2023 Sutherland Shire Citizen of the Year, Ken Warburton, who directs Sylvanvale’s annual Pre WWII Car Show. Ken is the son of founding members Norma and Alan and the brother of Carol Warburton – who was one of the first children ever to attend Sylvanvale.
Future Focused and Grounded in the Community
From humble beginnings, when The Baptist Church at Flora Street in Sutherland allowed this group of families the use of their hall to start the Sylvanvale School – to our 40 plus locations today, Sylvanvale’s very core was, and is, the community.
We work in partnership with the community to improve outcomes for people with disability, promoting inclusion and changing society’s attitudes. As a founding member of peak body Alliance20, we help shape the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) so that it meets the needs of the people we support and remains a viable and sustainable scheme into the future.
Over the years, Sylvanvale has won many awards and accolades for our high-quality services and focus on inclusion. We continually work on building and maintaining our relationships, investing in our systems, listening to the people we support and their families and developing innovative projects. This approach has also enabled us to successfully manage enormous change and challenges throughout our 75-year existence – including the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), devastating bushfires and storms, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
75th Anniversary Celebrations
We celebrated the significant milestone of our 75th anniversary through a number of events and activities throughout the year. We kicked off our 75th year with a celebratory reception at Government House hosted by our patron, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales, on 29 September 2022.
From November to December, Sylvanvale sites hosted an event of their choice for participants, families and staff to take part in. In the early months of the year, members of our Executive Team visited each of our sites for a small get-together and tree planting ceremony. And to share memories from the past and help preserve our proud history for the future, we created an online 75th anniversary photo gallery with each person who uploaded a photo receiving a special gift.
Our enormous thanks to all the people we support, families and carers, staff and supporters for being an integral part of Sylvanvale’s proud history. We look forward to continuing our exciting journey with you.