Shouldering the Journey Foundation® Ltd,
was established as a ‘non government organisation’ and as an extended consequence of the ‘Carter Report���, tabled in the Queensland Government in 2007. This report was commissioned by the Queensland Government via the then office of Disabilities Services Minister Warren Pitt in 2005, to clearly identify ‘gaps’ within the service delivery system of Disabilities Services Queensland.
The target group of the report were persons who consistently displayed ‘challenging behaviours’, which largely related to their environment and their social and emotional well being. The target group also consisted of Adults with Autism, intellectual disabilities and mental health issues, or a combination of all three conditions.
Since the Foundation’s inception the steering committee has been very active compiling vast amounts of information (primarily from overseas), on the establishment and day to day operation of a farm setting for Adults with Autism.
To obtain a more detailed appreciation, the Foundation’s CEO and two fellow Directors attended a comprehensive three day workshop, in the US state of Ohio in 2009. All three Directors witnessed first hand, the administrative and operational aspects, of one of the world’s pioneers and leaders in this field, that is ‘Bittersweet Farms’.
The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Established at the end of 2008 by the Buckland family, whose autistic and intellectually impaired son, (who also displays ‘challenging behaviours���������������������������), has become the motivational driver for creating change. After years of neglect and exposed to unacceptable accommodation models, it was decided a direct response was needed to correct the situation. With the help of fellow committee members the implementation of the Foundation’s visionary project being undertaken. The Foundation finally registered as an Australian Company, on the 31 January 2011.
The aim of the Foundation is to establish the very first ‘community and working farm for Adults with Autism in Australia’. The project to be named ‘Never-the-Less Farm’™, will be sited somewhere in the rural scenic rim of greater Brisbane.
In addition, the Foundation�����s core project aims to provide specialized long term or permanent (‘home for life’) farming accommodation for Adults with Autism.
The project will employ a ‘best care practice’ based on core principles of empathy, respect, dignity, inclusion, and compassion. Staff employed by the project will work on the basis of using these core principles daily.
The Foundation will develop its project, based on the ‘Bittersweet Farms’ USA model.
The Foundation’s primary role is to create and maintain its profile to the public and raise the relevant funds to achieve its core goal, which is to establish and maintain operation of a ‘community and working farm for Adults with Autism in Australia’.