Decorative bubble "The staff at EPIC are friendly and professional. They are easy to deal with and they do a great job." EPIC Assist Employer

EPIC's History

 

We are proud of the positive difference we have made in people’s lives and the community over 25 years. We invite you to explore 25 years of EPIC milestones.

  • 1986
  • MORE Incorporated provided recreational services for people with disability. They applied for funding from the Australian Government to establish a community based employment service for their participants.
  • PWDA - Commonwealth Disability Services Act 1986 provides a comprehensive framework for funding and support services for people with disability.
  • 1988
  • Placed 68 people into open employment.
  • 1990
  • MORE was renamed EPIC Employment Service Inc.
  • Prime Minister Bob Hawke (1983-1991) visited EPIC for the afternoon tea held for nominees of the Prime Minister’s Small Business Employer of the Year Award. EPIC had nominated their employer Bilo for their commitment to placing people with disabilities into work.
  • 2nd May, 1990 - EPIC Employment Service Inc became an incorporated body. EPIC had three staff members under the direction of General Manager Mr Nick Litrus. EPIC operated from a small Service Centre on Brisbane’s Northside (158 Lutwyche Road), assisting the local community.
  • 1992
  • PWDA – Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 was aimed at eliminating discrimination against people with disability while ensuring equality before the law and promoting acceptance within the community of the fundamental rights of people with disability.
  • 1993
  • Mr David Middlebrook (life member) became a member of the Board.
  • Ms Fay Williams was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Board.
  • 1994
  • EPIC was successful in being awarded one of only two Jobnet programs available in Queensland.
  • PWDA – Commonwealth Disability Strategy was a 10 year framework designed to ensure people with disability had equal access to programs, facilities and services.
  • 1995
  • Mr Donald Campbell (life member) became a member of the Board.
  • Long-term participants from sheltered workshops at the Mercy Centre were transitioned into open employment via Mercy Centre Training Options.
  • Brisbane monthly dinners commenced with Mercy Centre participants to assist with building confidence and communication skills.
  • A pilot program named Telecontracting was established. It allowed people with disability to commence home based employment.
  • 1998
  • January, 1998 - Operations commenced to deliver services to participants, with two staff in Noosa, the first centre outside Brisbane.
  • 1st May, 1998 - EPIC commenced a new program called the Community Support Program aiding participants with accommodation, training, access to other support.
  • May, 1998 - First edition of EPIC Enquirer launched.
  • May, 1998 - First employer networking event.
  • June, 1998 - Mr Michael Eastgate was appointed as General Manager/ CEO by the Board of Management.
  • August, 1998 - EPIC moved its head office to its current location at Muruk Haus, 230 Lutwyche Road, Windsor.
  • 1999
  • April - EPIC’s JPET tender was successful on the Gold Coast.
  • May - Reverend John Paul Kavanagh resigned from his position as Board President.
  • June - Our Mermaid Beach Service Centre opened with two staff assigned to delivering the JPET program to assist at risk young people (15-21) in the Gold Coast area.
  • Br Donald Campbell was elected Chairman of the EPIC Board.
  • 2000
  • Ms Lyn McLearie (life member) became a member of the Board.
  • Mrs Wendy Jowett became a member of the Board.
  • Telecontracting was renamed to Telecentre to better reflect its purpose.
  • EPIC was awarded a contract to deliver the Community Support Program in Brisbane’s North.
  • 2001
  • Over 1000 clients placed into employment.
  • EPIC became a member of Anglicare.
  • July - Nambour Service Centre opened, taking on 200 participants under a new trial case based funding model.
  • 2002
  • PWDA - Accessible Public Transport Standards to ensure ‘access with dignity’ for all people with disability when using public transport. Campaign for accessible public transport was instigated by Maurice Corcoran in 1994.
  • July - The Personal Support Program (PSP) replaced CSP and commenced after EPIC was successful in being allocated places in the North Brisbane and Sunshine Coast employment service areas. The PSP is designed to assist people who are more vulnerable to social isolation and find it difficult to integrate into the social side of the workplace.
  • 2003
  • Mr David Middlebrook was elected as Vice President of the Board.
  • 2004
  • Due to an increasing number of participants EPIC entered its first lease in Caboolture.
  • PWDA - the Australian Human Rights Commission and Marrickville Council developed a guide for small businesses on how they can make their businesses more accessible to all their customers, particularly people with disability.
  • 2005
  • July - The Lismore Service Centre opened for 25 participants in the Richmond employment service area.
  • PWDA - The Disability Standards for Education commenced. The purpose of the Education Standards is to give students with disability the right to equal access and participation in education.
  • 2006
  • January - The Qld Government Get Set For Work program commenced on the Sunshine Coast.
  • February - PWDA - Final Report of the National Inquiry into Employment and Disability, Workability II: Solutions was tabled by the Attorney-General in Federal Parliament. The Final Report focuses on how to achieve equality of opportunity for people with disability in the workplace.
  • March - EPIC Programs Manager Mr Keith Martin was appointed to the role of General Manager/CEO.
  • Mr Michael Eastgate took up a role on the Board.
  • EPIC was successful in being awarded Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) program contracts at the Sunshine Coast, Outer North Brisbane, Inner North Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
  • 2007
  • December - PWDA - The National Disability Awards commenced in 2007. The Awards celebrate the achievement of people with disability and their contribution to the community. Awards are given each year to both individuals and organizations who work to improve the lives of people with disability.
  • 2008
  • April - EPIC was awarded a tender to deliver Supported Employment programs to people with significant disabilities with rehabilitation needs for the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in New Zealand.
  • July - EPIC commenced operations in New Zealand. The two sites in Christchurch and Dunedin ensured that two thirds of the South Island of New Zealand were serviced.
  • 2009
  • March - EPIC was successful in Job Services Australia tendering for six employment service areas: Capricornia, Gladstone, Fraser Coast, Outer North Brisbane, Inner North Brisbane and Gold Coast. As a result, 17 new Service Centres were established and staff grew from 93 to 195.
  • July - Commencement of the Job Services Australia program.
  • The Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand, The Most Rev. David Moxon, agreed to become the patron of EPIC.
  • 2010
  • EPIC rebrand
  • Get Set for Work commenced in Outer North Brisbane.
  • EPIC Vocational Rehabilitation Service and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Qld program are recognised more formally with the registration of their own business names.
  • March - EPIC expanded the Vocational Rehabilitation Service program, which became Disability Management Services (DMS), leading to the enlargement of the Lismore Service Centre and the commencement of outreach work in Kyogle.
  • 280 staff now working in 26 Service Centres, servicing two states (Queensland & New South Wales), two countries (Australia & New Zealand) and approximately 10,000 participants annually.
  • PWDA - the Australian Human Rights Commission published Workers with Mental Illness: a Practical Guide for Managers, which aims to help employers and managers better understand mental illness, develop strategies that assist workers with a mental illness, and ensure that their workplaces are healthy and productive.
  • 2011
  • Rev Jenny Thompson became a member of the Board.
  • 2012
  • June - EPIC opened its first European service centre in Bratislava, Slovakia to assist Eastern European countries to develop supported employment initiatives.
  • 29 November, 2012 - PWDA - The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill was introduced. The NDIS provides coverage for people with a significant and ongoing disability and would provide long term care and support for those individuals for life.
  • 2013
  • 13 August - EPIC Assist Charity Ltd registered in Scotland.
  • A new leadership team was developed after the appointment of Mr Bill Gamack as CEO, who resigned from the Board. Mr Keith Martin was appointed General Manager of International Services and Mr Dean Graham General Manager of Australasian Services.
  • Mr Grant Sparks became a member of the Board.
  • Ms Vera Pennisi became a member of the Board.
  • 2014
  • Mr Cyril Joseph became a member of the Board.
  • EPIC was registered in the Czech Republic as EPIC Assist o.p.s.
  • Assisting approximately 15,000 people annually.
  • May - EPIC launched new Mission and Vision.
  • 27 June, 2014 - Launched Reconciliation Action Plan. The RAP is a key strategy for EPIC’s commitment to the reconciliation journey in Australia.
  • December - EPIC website has a makeover.
  • 2015
  • February - Launched Disability Action Plan
  • May 2, 2015 - EPIC 25 year Celebration.
  • July 1, 2015 - EPIC Employment Services Inc renamed to EPIC Assist. Recruit Assist, Community Assist, Employment Assist, Business Assist and Education Assist launched.
  • August - EPIC is a Registered Training Organisation.