On a cold, wet night on 12 July 1983, 92 people met at the Brown Park Community Centre in Swan View to discuss the need in the community for support services of various kinds. From this meeting, ‘Hills Community Support Group’ (HCSG) was formed as a voluntary group and registered as a charitable organisation.
The initial executive structure of HCSG was comprised of a:
- President, Stephen Dellar
- Secretary, Jopie Peetoom
- Treasurer, Joy Baker, and
- Office Coordinator, Helen Dullard.
These office holders formed part of a band of volunteers who freely gave their time and energy to assist people in their community.
The Mundaring Shire offered support with the donation of a telephone, desk and typewriter along with an establishment grant of $250. Donations of paper, printing and other necessary items were made by the various members of the group. A one-off grant of $3,000 was received for transport costs and an establishment grant of $850 was received from the Department of Community Services. Rotary and Lions each donated to help the group get started. The Lotteries Commission (as it was called then) funded a nine-seater bus and a wheelchair.
The inaugural members of the group fundraised to supplement the services it offered.
HCSG began by offering transport to doctors’ surgeries, hospitals, shopping and a monthly pensioners’ afternoon. It sought and was awarded funding from the Community Employment Program for a Community Needs Survey. The study identified needs for young people, older people, unemployed people and people with disabilities. It also highlighted the inadequacy of transport services within the Mundaring Shire.
At the request of Swan District Hospital, the first day centre for older people was opened in March 1985 in a building in Stoneville owned by the Shire of Mundaring. A day of handcrafts, table games, quizzes along with morning tea and lunch was provided to clients for just $2.50.
In 1986 the day centre moved to the Senior Citizens’ building in Mundaring and over the years has evolved to become three separate centres, in Middle Swan, Koongamia and Mundaring. These centres now include a mobile day centre, dementia specific groups and Moorditj Mia, a day centre for older Aboriginal people.
1987 – 1989
Greenmount and Mundaring library reading groups are set up, much to the delight of those who would attend in the coming years.
Wahroonga day centre is officially opened, after months of renovations and hard work by volunteers and staff.
After nearly three years, funding was received and two paid positions were advertised with the following appointments being made:
- Coordinator Helen Dullard
- Secretary Valerie Adnams
The Tuesday mobile day centre proves very popular with older people, helping them overcome loneliness by taking them to art galleries, exhibitions, the Casino, bowling or just plain fish and chips on the Fremantle wharf.
HCSG launches a special program to offer support and accommodation to people with psychiatric disabilities, overcoming numerous obstacles and governmental red tape. In 2005 The Rainbow Program won the national award for ‘Excellence in Services to Tenants and Communities’.
The Carer Support Program started to provide much needed support services to carers including massages, informal counselling, networking, skills workshops and short breaks away. More and more carers began attending the program; for many it was their only chance to talk and relax.
2007 – 2008
HCSG partners with City of Swan and the Police and Citizens Youth Club to provide services and activities for young people in the Stratton area. Today, the Stratton Edge youth centre offers a basketball court, skate park, and youth workshops.
Swan View becomes the centre for a range of exciting activities to help young people improve their self-esteem and learn in a style that fits them. Music and multi-media workshops prove highly successful, and HCSG advocates for the development of a new youth centre to provide a hub for young people in the area.
In 2012, HCSG, began celebrations for their 30 year journey. HCSG has come a long way since its beginnings in Mundaring, with support now stretching from Joondalup to Northam, to the inner metropolitan suburbs and Cockburn. Entering into an exciting new phase of growth, a focus on delivering a different service for each and every person was introduced and as of September 2012, the organisation was renamed Rise Network.
2013 – 2014
In August 2013, former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, visited Rise and announced the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in WA. In July 2014, the scheme was launched in the City of Swan, Shire of Mundaring and Shire of Kalamunda.
Rise forms partnerships with John Curtin University, the Shire of Kalamunda, LWP Property Group, Skydive Jurien Bay, Therapy Focus and TADWA.
The one year anniversary of NDIS arrives with more than 1,000 people with disability having plans funded through the NDIS. People are increasingly making their own decisions about what support they want and how they want it. The funding they receive is in their hands, which means they truly have the power to make the decisions on how it is used.
2016 - 2019
From its humble beginnings, Rise has grown and now has:
- 600 staff
- 150 volunteers
- More than 3,000 clients who receive services
We launched our inaugural Celebrating People Book in 2016 which is now an annual tradition. The book shares stories and photographs of our clients, staff and volunteers.
2016, Rise officially merged with another non-profit, Creative and Therapy Activities (CATA), now known as the Arts Hub
. Based in Warwick, the Hub works across several suburbs, offering creative activities and therapies to people of all abilities. This includes programs in woodwork, crafts, pottery and art.
In 2017 Home Help Local merged with Rise. HHL were a long-established and well-respected organisation that provided aged care services, like Rise in the Armadale region. They were particularly known for their excellent programs for older Aboriginal citizens.
In 2017 and 2018, the City of Kalamunda and the Town of Cambridge transferred their home and community care programs to Rise. Most staff members from both the City of Kalamunda and the Town of Cambridge chose to take up employment with Rise which led to a seamless transition for people receiving a service who, in many cases, continued to receive support from the same staff.
The history of the organisation has been published in a book called ‘Next of Kin’ by Lyla Elliott with an update by Alice Nelson that you can download.