Established in 1967, the Association of Nadrasca was formed by a group of parents responding to the needs of their intellectually disabled children, with the assistance of the Nunawading branch of Apex. 

A Group of children sit with a teacher playing guitar

With few resources to support people with disabilities available at the time, Nadrasca's original aim and objectives were to provide for educational, vocational, residential and leisure needs of children and adults with disabilities.

1968 saw the first intake of children to Nadrasca- as a school for children with disabilities with a qualified teacher whose salary was paid by Nadrasca and subsidised by the Victorian State Government. This was housed in a small church in Blackburn South and involved half a dozen children attending for half days. As the number of children increased over time, so to did the length of sessions and number of staff. 

Financial support for people living with disability was extremely limited at this time, and fundraising was consistently a challenge. Nadrasca's fortunes took a major turn in 1969 in the form of benefactor Cyril Hiddleston. Hiddleston donated the land for a permanent site for Nadrasca at High Street in Nunawading. The project for this building was completed over the following years, and the new site was opened in 1972. There was some discussion over who would open the new building, and in a forward thinking gesture which would reflect the organisations' values, the ribbon was cut by 15-year-old Walter Zerafa, who attended Nadrasca as a client.

Up to this point Nadrasca had provided care and support for school aged children and their families. It was time to start looking to support people beyond this stage of their lives.

In 1975 the NADAVOC Wren Industries Group (Nadrasca Advanced Vocational Workshop for Retraining and Employment Nunawading) was created as a sheltered workshop. Initially trainees worked from 8:30AM to 4.00PM in packaging and bulk mailing, and on a larger project of making frames for camper-vans. The workshop approached all of the manufacturers and engineers they could find to keep the work coming in, and by 1977 Nadrasca as a whole had grown to the point that the committee felt the need to appoint a full time manager. Jeff Mayne had been a member of the Nadrasca Committee since it's inception and despite the decrease in pay and loss of entitlements was willing to take on the position of General Manager of Nadrasca. Jeff was a skilled networker, a skill which greatly helped in discussions with the bank manager about Nadrasca's various projects of expansion, one of which was the transition from a volunteer based association to a business. 

It was during these years of expansion of services that Nadrasca acquired and opened its first residential accommodation house in High Street Nunawading. It was set up with the resident's own parents being house parents and was the first of what would be many residential properties managed by Nadrasca over the years. 

This marked a huge step both for Nadrasca and for Parents who had (up to this point) had total care for their children well in to adulthood. Both NADAVOC Wren and residential accommodation properties gave people with disabilities and their families support beyond childhood.

Nadrasca then went on to focus largely on the adult population, after the state government made a commitment to educating all children in 1976-77. This allowed for a change in focus and direction for Nadracsca. From this time there was a distinct focus on adult training and employment, even livened up with a few debutante balls over the years. 

In 2020, Nadrasca manages seven residential Supported Independent Living properties, as well as assisting residents who live in nine Outreach properties; for participants who require minimum support to live independently. We have two traditional Community Option day services at our sites in High Street Nunawading and Witt Street Mitcham, and an innovative program for young people leaving school, based in Wood Street Nunawading. This service is called My Life My Future and provides wonderful opportunities for experience and skills development to enable young people to live as independently as possible.

At the Nadrasca Farm on Morack Road in Vermont, Nadrasca offers an outdoor horticultural based program for people who prefer to spend their time outdoors.

Nadrasca also partners with Box Hill TAFE to run a Registered Training Organisation, providing participants with accredited courses in life skills, and in education skills. We also offer non-accredited courses in practical life skills on a regular basis.  

Employee at Industry works on a piece of machineryWe offer supported Employment services in the form of Nadrasca Industry where we provide the opportunity for participants to engage in meaningful work in the fields of commercial printing, warehousing and logistics, packing and packaging services and other commercial services.

Looking forward, Nadrasca is constantly growing and changing to suit the needs and wants of our participants. Though much has changed in the NDIS environment in how we work in the background, what has not changed is that much like the opening of our High Street site back in 1972, our community is the most important thing, and our organisational values are embedded in everything we do.

We are Caring, we are Supportive, we are Trustworthy, and we are Respectful.