Established in 1898, the year 2017 marks Minda’s 119th year, and much has changed not only at Minda, but the disability sector as a whole.
Minda was the first facility in the state providing residential support and education exclusively for people with intellectual disability.
Known as one of South Australia’s oldest and most respected disability service providers, Minda has developed from a 22-person residential facility, based at Fullarton, into an organisation providing support to more than 1,700 people.
The Brighton site is located 12km south west of the Adelaide CBD on King George Avenue, North Brighton, South Australia. It is bordered by Repton Road to the north, Gladstone Road to the south and sand dunes and beach to the west.
The site is approximately 28.5 hectares, with 500m of coastal frontage and 500m of frontage to King George Avenue. It is surrounded by low density housing, as well as Brighton Secondary School and Somerton Surf Life Saving Club.
The current site characteristics include four State Heritage Listed buildings of mid to late Victorian era, a range of residential and day option facilities and a large amount of open space.
Known as one of South Australia’s oldest and most respected disability service providers, Minda was initially established at Fullarton. Minda Home (as it was known) began with approximately 30 residents and staff.
Upon opening, the object of Minda Home was “the maintenance, care, education and special training” of those with intellectual disability, and for seventy years, Minda would be the only residential facility in South Australia providing exclusively for people who were intellectually disabled.
With an increasing number of people seeking support from Minda, the organisation purchased the property of William Hodgkiss at Brighton in 1909, and Minda still remains on that site.
With time, many of the pupils admitted when the home was initially opened had grown into adults. As such, the constitution was altered to permit these individuals to remain, with the new objective to “provide a home for the care, education and training of those with intellectual disability”.
The large, single storey Rogerson Building was the first purpose built, dormitory style building erected by Minda at Brighton, in 1911, and was a fine architectural statement in the Federation Free Classical Style.
This was a popular and versatile idiom of the Edwardian period which was widely adopted for ecclesiastical and institutional buildings across Australia in the early 20th Century. The architects were the notable South Australian firm of Garlick and Jackman in association with Williams and Good.
The nearby two storey Verco Building was constructed shortly after in 1914, probably (but not certainly) by the same architects, and was designed in a similar architectural style, materials and detailing. Its asymmetrical plan form and layout is indicative of an intention to reproduce the western wing at the eastern end at a later stage, but this has never been realised.
Further development was stalled by the onset of World War 1, after which further buildings were smaller, constructed in more diverse styles, and scattered more widely around the large site. During the period 1918-1929 six further buildings were added before the onset of worldwide depression again stalled development.
Additional land adjoining the existing property at Brighton was purchased and planted with fruit trees and vines. Financed by a bank overdraft, ‘Craigburn’ – Minda’s farm at Blackwood – consisting of approximately 1,400 acres, was purchased in 1923. By 1932, Craigburn was supplying Minda’s full requirements of mutton and firewood, as well as much of the fruit needed for jam.
Until 1935, Minda continued to be centred on the Hodgkiss estate, however the scale and layout of the Brighton site altered dramatically from 1936 as a consequence of the gift of land adjoining Minda on the North side, along with the historic house and outbuildings thereon.
The former Hodgkiss and Hackett estates represent the early development of south-west Adelaide and the early history of the Brighton area in particular – the district of which Minda has now long been a part – however that part has created a diverse complex of buildings and site elements dating from and representing many different historical periods.
Officially changing its name to Minda Incorporated in 1976, the organisation continued to expand into residential accommodation, also developing employment and other services both in the community and the Brighton site.
Today, Minda remains at the forefront of the disability sector, providing support for South Australians with disability in the areas of accommodation, employment, lifestyle, aged care, behaviour support and respite.