AGAPI Care was established in 1987 by a group of Greek-Australian parents who were unwavering in their belief that their children with a disability were entitled to the same access to programs and services as other members of the community without prejudice or disadvantage.

Faced with language and cultural barriers that hindered access to mainstream services for their children, the families created a not-for-profit organisation. The purpose of this organisation was to provide information and support services including advocacy and referrals to people with a disability of Greek heritage and their families based on the recommendations of the Galbally Report of 1978 for multiculturalism:

  • to ensure equal opportunity and equal access to services for all members of society;
  • that everyone should be able to maintain their own cultural beliefs and be encouraged to understand others;
  • that the needs of migrants, while they should ideally be met by mainstream programs and services; should in the short term be specially targeted in order to ensure equality of access and provision; and
  • that services and programs should be designed and operated in full consultation with clients, with an emphasis on self-help to enable migrants to become self-reliant quickly.

Building on these principles and in direct response to the needs of the community AGAPI Care quickly extended its services to include all people with a disability.

In 1992 AGAPI Care expanded to provide direct client care with the opening of a Short Term Accommodation and Assistance Centre in Preston followed by other facilities catering for Short Term Accommodation and Assistance in North Eastern Melbourne Area and Inner East South, as well as SIL/SDA (Supported Independent Living/Specialist Disability Accommodation) facilities.

At every stage of development AGAPI Care has enjoyed the strong support of the community to not only raise funds to extend our services but to build awareness and promote cultural diversity and inclusion.