Our History

Robert Strike AM

Disability Community Educator recognised in 2017 Australia Day Honours List.

Robert received a Member of the Order of Australia on the Queen’s Honour List, 26 January 2017.

For more information click here.

Robert Strike at event

Self Advocacy Sydney  History

In July 1982, Dale Maddock from the NSW Board of Adult Education held a conference for people with intellectual disabilities at Nambucca Heads NSW. The theme of this conference was increasing awareness of the role of people with intellectual disabilities in the community. 41 participants attended, and Robert Strike was a guest speaker. At the conference, people were given the chance to speak of their experiences – without being censored by service providers or carers. This built their confidence and gave everyone the belief in their ability to speak their minds.

Robert found the experience so positive that he approached the NSW Board of Adult Education for support to set up a group for people with intellectual disabilities. This resulted in the forming of the Western Region Rights Committee. Their role was to advise on the educational needs of adults with a disability in Western Sydney. They helped to organise and run conferences on quality of life issues effecting people with disabilities.

Robert Strike at event with another memberThey planned and ran a Parramatta Conference in July 1984. This was attended by 96 participants with 10 speakers. From this conference it was decided to set up a self advocacy group based in Sydney. Other Self Advocacy groups were also planned for the upper Hunter, Lismore and Wagga Regions.

This group identified the need for an organisation in Sydney to help people with intellectual disabilities learn about their rights and develop the confidence to speak for themselves. A delegation, made up of Robert Strike, David Gant OAM and Dale Maddock approached the Department of Community Services. They were successful in gaining funding as a “demonstration project”. The name of Self Advocacy NSW (SA-NSW) was chosen and an office in Pitt St Sydney was set up in 1986. The office was officially opened by Judy Ellis for the Office of Disability on 8th June 1986. The follwing people run SA-NSW:

Robert Strike (Field Worker), Liz Juniper (Admin), David Gant OAM (Office Manager) and Tess Short (Support Worker). 

Robert Strike at event with another memberOur Founding Members

Robert Strike, Brendan Crumpton, Carol Pein, Carl Craber, Anne Christian, Stephen Faulks, David Gant OAM, Michael Clear, Kevin Greenup, Elizabeth Juniper, S. Irvine, M.Terjesen, Dale Mattock, Teresa Short, Dennis Delaney, Mark Taylor

  • 1988 – the office burnt down, so it ran from the manager’s own house until 1989 when it was opened in King St Sydney.
  • 1991 – the group moved to Hunter St in Parramatta and changed the name to Self Advocacy Sydney (SAS) as it was only able to provide service to the Sydney metropolitan area from then on.
  • 1994 – the office again moved to Harris St Harris Park
  • 2009 – SAS moved to 28 Patrick St Blacktown
  • Currently we are now located at Suite 214, Level 2 of the Town Centre Building at 30 -32 Campbell Street Blacktown.
  • SAS has been funded since 1986 by the DSS (Department of Social Services). 

Current Board Members: Please click on link

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