ORANA Early Childhood Intervention and Education Project Inc began in 1984 following a public meeting called by concerned parents and community members regarding the lack of services in the Orana Region.
Funding was secured by these parents and community members and the project commenced.
From humble beginnings in 1984 with 13 families and three part-time staff members operating three days a week, to welcoming more than 350 families in 2018 who now access the service five days per week with 19 staff members.
Manager Janelle Burke said Orana aims to provide children and their families with the opportunity to reach their full potential and be included within their community to the level the individual family chooses.
"OECI provides holistic specialised support and services to children 0 -12 years of age with a disability and or developmental delay," she said.
"The organisation is based on best practice and family centred models of service that has the needs of the child and family at the centre of service delivery.
"OECI has experienced and passionate staff, who deliver flexible and innovative models of service through partnerships with families."
This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business:
Janelle said the company also assists and advocates for young children with additional needs to be valued and included in their communities.
"Services such as speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and education along with specialised services such as feeding, hydrotherapy, 'Baby Steps' program for babies born prematurely and community inclusion."
Janelle said the award celebrates and acknowledges the more than 30 years of hard work and dedication by staff and BOM associated with OECI.
"However, more importantly it highlights to the wider community what incredible work the staff do for children with developmental delays & or disabilities that often goes unnoticed by the community," she said.
"The early childhood intervention sector is not a highly visible industry such as banking or retail but the work that is undertaken impacts on children and their families for a lifetime."
Janelle said the amazing team of committed and experienced staff have a positive impact upon families supporting them to implement strategies into everyday family life.
"As the centre manager, I have been with the centre for close to 30 years [and] the industry has changed significantly during this time but the passion never waivers."
For more information, visit: www.oeci.org.au