The organisation was established in 1971 when a determined group of parents and community leaders formed a committee to develop a school for children with disabilities in Melbourne’s south-east. Together, they built the Urimbirra Day Training Centre on Callander Road in Noble Park, which opened in 1974. Over the next ten years, the training centre grew to become the Noble Park Special Developmental School.
In 1982, the Urimbirra Centre opened. This was a day service for adults with intellectual disabilities, next door to the original school. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, the Urimbirra Centre flourished, soon growing to include open and supported employment services.
By 1996, the organisation had joined forces with the Westernport Adults Services Providers Inc., giving us even more opportunities to help people in the community.
We became South Eastern Disability Services Inc., and our open employment services became Paramount Personnel.
With a growing demand for daytime support services in the region, we opened a new facility in Narre Warren. We began to offer individual support services, letting people make their own choices about how they wanted to be supported to participate in the community and to live their lives.
In 2003, we changed our name to Options Victoria Inc. and maintained our quality accreditation under the Disability Services Standards and continued to expand our services, through numerous locations in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs.
Under the Options name, we had a disparate range of service names and service offerings. We have now consolidated our organisation under one name:
The decision to change our name to The Bridge has allowed us to bring all areas of the organisation together, enhancing opportunities for the individuals and businesses who use our services, and encouraging new levels of collaboration and information sharing between our staff.
We are extremely excited about his new chapter of our organisation’s history and we look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of people and the success of businesses in our community.
Members of our community have made significant contributions to the organisation. To acknowledge their support, we have awarded these people with the title of Life Governor. You can read our list of Life Governors here.