In 1951 a group of parents who had children with an intellectual and/or physical disability established a branch of the Sub-normal Children’s Welfare Association (later to be known as the Challenge Foundation). In 1993, following the devolution of the Challenge Foundation, Challenge Southern Highlands was incorporated to continue the activities of the foundation in the Southern Highlands.
Challenge Southern Highlands generates revenues necessary to support its operations through nursery sales, business activities, fundraising and community support. As a charitable organisation, any surpluses achieved are applied to provide further training and employment for people with disabilities.
Originally the centre was purely a living skills operation known as Wambinga. However, with a change in government focus, Challenge Southern Highlands chose to develop a garden centre which would provide training and employment for people with disabilities and also provide an income for the association which would, in turn, assist with the various programs at the centre.
In 1989 Challenge established Welby Garden Centre as a supported employment service and vocational training centre. Welby Garden Centre is a successful retail and wholesale nursery providing employment and training for 42 adults with intellectual and physical disabilities and employment for a further twelve training and nursery horticultural staff. Welby is well known as a quality supplier of plants and is especially recognised as a quality supplier of roses, deciduous trees, and fruit trees.
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