McCallum’s proud history shows the commitment of the organisation to improving the lives of people with a disability since it was established in 1953 as detailed below:
McCallum House arose from a challenge by prominent psychiatrist and leader in his field, Dr E. Cunningham Dax to the Ballarat Y’s Men’s Club, for the need to construct a facility in Ballarat to provide education, welfare and therapy for children with disabilities. That was in 1953, when Mr R. Austin McCallum was the President of the Y’s Men’s Club, and it was through his and the other members’ passion and drive, that this dream became a reality. With assistance from State Government, and donated labour from the Master Builders, Master Plumbers and Master Painters Associations, the building was completed and opened by the Honourable Henry Bolte MP in 1955.
Over the years, the organisation has grown and developed a range of services and the client base has changed from children to adults. In 1982, a larger Day Centre was constructed in Alfredton, and although many of the services provided by the organisation are based in the community, this facility remains in constant use.
In 1995, the name was changed to McCallum Community Services, and in 1997 the organisation merged with Central Highlands Regional Residential Association and Central Highlands Independent Living Inc to form McCallum Disability Services Inc.
In 2004 McCallum relocated its supported employment program ‘McCallum Industries’ from Beverin Street into a new modern factory at 1820 Sturt Street West.
In 2005 a Master Plan was completed after extensive consultation. This Master Plan focused on further redevelopment of McCallum Community Centre and the establishment of Independent Living Units on vacant land in Leopold Street to provide people with disabilities with another accommodation option.
In 2007 the MCC Art/Pottery program was relocated to the Mobility Room within the Learmonth Street complex. The East Wing of the McCallum Community Centre was also refurbished to take clients from the former White House unit located nearby.
A confectionery business “Ollies Lollies” was established and opened at McCallum Industries in August 2008. JG King Homes was awarded the contract to build seven independent living units on land in Leopold Street and these were completed and handed over to McCallum in late February, 2009.
The units were officially opened by then Premier of Victoria the Honourable John Brumby, MP on 14th April, 2009. Residents took up occupancy in the units in April, 2009.
There are plans to build a new factory at McCallum Industries to meet further expansion and acquire a new facility for Club LOWD to meet increased demands.
An upgrade of the Administration Centre in Learmonth Street is also under development and the construction of additional accommodation options on available crown land is also under investigation.
In February 2012 McCallum merged with Murdoch Community Services which is located in St Arnaud.
McCallum continues to provide services to people with intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities and strives to deliver these programs in an environment of continuous quality improvement.
McCallum is the largest and oldest provider of disability supports in the Grampians Region. McCallum supports more than 300 people with a disability.