Tulgeen’s History

Tulgeen Group commenced as `The Bega Handicapped Workshop’ after a public meeting held in 1976 by patron, Bob Westmacott.

In September 1978, as a result of the increasing number of people accessing support, the first staff members were appointed.

Over the decades the organisation has grown significantly, now supporting over 60 Clients and providing part-time and full-time employment for in excess of 80 staff members. During the 1980s, as a result of domestic, therapeutic and activity support needs, The Activity Therapy Centre and In-home Support services were created. Extensive accommodation services were developed and later expanded to incorporate group homes.


riverside farmThe `Riverside Farm’  venture, was originally developed near Candelo in the 1980s as an arm of Tulgeen’s Activity Therapy Centre. `The farm? provided physical work, skill development and reintegration opportunities for clients from a range of institutional care backgrounds. This was later expanded to include a Work Crew, and Plant Nursery. The Riverside Nursery and Work Crew moved to Bega after the sale of the farm in 1992.

During the 1990s the communities need for educational facilities, employment training, adult literacy and other activity programs was identified. Tulgeen’s `Training and Education Services (TES/Access) opened to provide day education programs and supported leisure activities for people with disability from 18 years and above.

Strategic planning outcomes during 2003 determined that all client activities would merge to form Tulgeen Group, trading as Tulgeen Disability Services.

Tulgeen provides outstanding services for In-home Support accommodation, Training and Education, Community Access and Participation programs, supported employment across four Australian Disability Enterprises; the Riverside Nursery, Bega Valley Work Crew, Stitches & Prints, and Spindler Street Packaging Service.

Tulgeen’s Future

The Tulgeen Disability Services organisation, continues evolving to meet the changing needs of people with disability, their families, advocates carers and government and community requirements. Our latest challenge is the impending National Disability Insurance Scheme which is scheduled to commence in Southern NSW on 1 July 2016.

Strategies and programs are being developed to provide a future where Tulgeen’s excellence in person centred support continues to exceed the needs of our clients and families.

For a comprehensive history of Tulgeen, please visit our Living History Project.