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.
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SELF ADVOCACY SYDNEY INC. 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 build 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 – resulted in forming of the Western Region Rights Committee. Their role was to advise on the educational needs of adults with a disability in Western Sydney and to organise and run conferences on quality of life issues effecting people with disabilities.
They 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 and Dale Maddock approached the Department of Community Services and was 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 (Office Manager) and with Tess Short (Support Worker).
Robert Strike, Brendan Crumpton, Carol Pein, Carl Craber, Anne Christian, Stephen Faulks, David Gant, Michael Clear, Kevin Greenup, Elizabeth Juniper, S. Irvine, M.Terjesen, Dale Mattock, Teresa Short, Dennis Delaney, Mark Taylor
- In 1988 the office burnt down, so it ran from the manager’s own house until 1989 when it was opened in King St Sydney.
- In 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.
- In 1994 the office again moved to Harris St Harris Park
- In 2009 SAS moved to 28 Patrick St Blacktown
- Currently we are now located at Suite 200, 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).
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