Background

The Estia Foundation of Australia was officially established on November 29, 1994 under the guidance and blessing of his Eminence Archbishop Stylianos and the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia.

Estia was originally a continuation of a weekend day program organised by parents of mainly Greek-Australian background who had a child with an intellectual and physical disability. In its original form, the weekend day program was known as "Elpida Parents and Association".

After much research and in consultation with parents and carers of those with intellectual and physical disabilities, the consensus was that a   centre-based respite facility was needed. Hence Estia was established.

The objective of respite was to provide a safe haven whereby the carers of people with disabilities would be able to leave their child for a few days overnight in a "home away from home" environment.

With the assistance of State Government funding and the generosity of the Greek Australian community, Estia's first centre-based respite, "St Andrews House" in Gladesville, opened its doors on April 17, 1997.

Due to the great demand for centre-based respite services and after much lobbying, Estia was granted another round of State Government funding. This along with the generosity from our community enabled "Elpida House" in Roselands to open on October 22, 2000. Elpida House is also a centre-based respite servicing the Metropolitan South region of Sydney.

Many parents and carers are ageing so the need for permanent accommodation for people with intellectual and physical disabilities continues to be imperative.

In 2004, a substantial contribution made by a family in Sydney made possible the establishment of Estia's first supported group home facility in North Ryde. The home was named "Lixouri House", after the village of Lixouri which is located on the island of Kefalonia in Greece. Lixouri House is now the permanent residence for four adults with intellectual disabilities.