Endeavour (organization)

Endeavour (organization)

:"See Endeavour for other uses."Endeavour Foundation is a Queensland-based, non-Government, not-for-profit organisation that is in the business of providing services and support for people with disabilities and their families through a range of flexible services, including residential accommodation, in-home support, adult education and life style support, and supported and open employment placement.

The Endeavour Foundation is one of the largest non-government organisations in Australia supporting and providing opportunities for people with a disability.

Endeavour supports around 3000 people with a disability through a mix of services and businesses at over 220 locations in Australia.


Endeavour Foundation was founded in 1951 by a group of parents of children with intellectual disabilities seeking educational and support services. Initially named the Queensland Sub-Normal Children's Welfare Association, the group received the patronage of Sir Fred Schonell, the first Professor of Education and later Vice-Chancellor of the University of Queensland. Sir Fred Schonell, Endeavour's first President, extended his research interest in education for people with disabilities by creating the Remedial Education Centre (now known as the Fred and Eleanor Schonell Special Education Research Centre), one of the first of its kind in the world.

In its first two years of operation, the organisation registered 300 children with intellectual disabilities. The Association's first school and support group were established in a member's home, but moved to a large property in Bowen Hills in Brisbane in 1955. Endeavour's Head Office, one regional office and a non-vocational day service remain based at the location, now known as Schonell House in Jordan Terrace.

By 1954, the Association had grown beyond Brisbane, with the formation of the first regional sub-committees in Toowoomba and Ipswich. The organisation continued to expand rapidly, opening its first service for adults, a sheltered workshop in Bowen Hills, and its first accommodation service in Toowoomba in 1964.

In 1982 the Association voted to enact a change of name from the Queensland Sub-Normal Children's Welfare Association to the Endeavour Foundation, reflecting a change in societal attitudes towards people with disabilities and the organisation's growth.

By 1984 the organisation had grown to provide services to 3440 people in 19 non-vocational day services for adults, 25 schools, 12 sheltered workshops, 6 farms, 34 adult residentials, 24 group homes and 13 clinics across the state. In 1986 the provision of education to children was taken over by the Queensland Department of Education, and Endeavour's focus moved to services for adults.

Through the 1980s and 1990s Endeavour continued to grow, despite recognition that the organisation was losing thousands of dollars per week through the provision of services to people without indiviualised funding packages by the Queensland Government. This resulted in the shedding of major property assets by the organisation, and the movement and closure of some services.

Currently, Endeavour is divided into five geographical Areas for administrative purposes, North (incorporating Far North Queensland down to Townsville), Central (Bundaberg down to Gympie), Sunshine Coast, South East (including Brisbane and the Gold Coast) and South West (from Ipswich west to the Northern Territory border). The organisation is governed by an elected board.

ervices provided

Endeavour currently provides services to 4500 people throughout Queensland, with 1780 staff. Most service users are adults with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, Fragile X syndrome and non-specific intellectual disabilities. Endeavour is the largest non-government provider of direct community services (to any group) in Australia.

Disability Services

The Disability Services arm of Endeavour supports people to live in residential accommodation and group homes (housing three to 26 people), respite accommodation, with home and community support (supporting people to live semi-independently in their own homes), and in non-vocational day services (providing activities and education in life skills).

Business Services, manufacturing and retail operations

The Business Services arm of Endeavour supports people to find and retain integrated employment in the general workforce and through the provision of specialist employment and training in segregated business services (supported employment). People with disabilities in Endeavour Business Services are involved in the manufacture of timber furniture and other wood products, sheet-metal fabrication, agriculture (through nurseries, farms and orchards), mailing and packaging services (including food packaging), and rag-making.

Employees with intellectual disabilities were granted coverage by the [http://www.wageline.qld.gov.au/awardsacts/awardTree.jsp?_store=Awards&_id=E0472 Endeavour Foundation Enterprise Award] in 2005, receiving equitable pay and conditions of service for the first time.

Endeavour also run a chain of Op shops (charity shops/thrift stores) called Endo's.

Criticism and controversy

Endeavour has been subject to some criticism for its large size, conservatism, and influence on government policy. Since 2000, the organisation has also been shedding property assets and closing some services, while executive management received large remuneration packages.Fact|date=June 2007

In 2000 and 2001, Endeavour attracted major controversy when it decided to cut case management services, with some staff discovering their positions had been made redundant through the press. In 2004, Endeavour was again [http://labor.net.au/news/1098427402_19553.html subject to criticism] for its decision to cut the Specialist Services team, an innovative service supporting staff to support service users with challenging (aggressive and assaultive) behaviour, only to announce in October 2005 that it would be reinstating the staff support service in a reduced form (though the employment of Disability Advisors) and combining abuse response and advocacy functions.


Endeavour holds several high-profile annual fundraising events (such as the [http://great.endeavour.com.au Great Endeavour Rally] ) and raffle several [http://prizehomes.endeavour.com.au/ prize homes] throughout the year.

ee also

*Social model of disability
*Social role valorization

External links

* [http://www.endeavour.com.au/ Official website]
* [http://www.dpi.org/en/resources/current_news/10-14-04_centres.htm 'Disabled centres facing closure' 8 October 2004]

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