“A Unique Brand of Courage” Book Launch at OC Connections

This past Saturday, 15 June 2024, OC Connections proudly celebrated the launch of “A Unique Brand of Courage,” a book that beautifully chronicles our organisation’s rich history and the evolving societal attitudes towards people with disabilities. The event was a resounding success, bringing together over 100 attendees, including participants, their families, staff, supporters, members, board members, and esteemed life members.

A Special Occasion

Held at OC Connections, the event was graced by the presence of the Hon. Steve Dimopoulos MP, who is the State member for Oakleigh and holds the portfolios of Environment, Tourism, Sport and Major Events, and Outdoor Recreation.  Mr Dimopoulos officiated the launch and gave an inspiring speech that highlighted the remarkable journey of OC Connections, from its humble beginnings as a community-funded play centre for children in 1950 to its current status as a vital support network for 450 participants with intellectual disabilities across southeastern Melbourne.

Celebrating a Rich History

The launch of “A Unique Brand of Courage” marks a significant milestone in OC Connections’ 74-year legacy. Authored by Helen Gobbi OAM, the book provides an insightful narrative that not only details the organisation’s history but also reflects on the broader changes in societal perceptions of intellectual disability. Helen’s work honours the resilience and courage of the individuals and families associated with OC Connections, illustrating both the challenges faced and the progress made over the decades.

Highlights of the Event

The event was a joyful occasion filled with heartfelt moments and reflections on the past and future. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from our CEO Therese Desmond, Board Chair Tom Baxter, Steve Dimopoulos MP and Helen Gobbi OAM. Their speeches underscored the importance of community support and the transformative impact OC Connections has had on so many lives.

The gathering also celebrated the strong community bonds that have been integral to OC Connections’ success. Life members, board members, and long-time supporters shared stories and memories, contributing to a warm and inclusive atmosphere that truly highlighted the organisation’s values.

Looking to the Future

The book launch event also served as a precursor to an exciting new chapter for OC Connections. The upcoming merger with The Disability Trust promises to bring new opportunities and further enhance the support services provided to participants. Steve Dimopoulos MP expressed optimism about this future partnership, emphasising that it will build on the strong foundation OC Connections has established over the past 74 years.

A Community United

The success of the book launch event is a testament to the dedication and support of everyone involved with OC Connections. We are deeply grateful to all who attended and contributed to this significant milestone. Your presence and support continue to inspire us as we strive to provide exceptional services and advocacy for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Get Your Copy

For those interested in learning more about OC Connections’ incredible journey, “A Unique Brand of Courage” is now available for purchase from our Warrigal Road office for $30.

Thank you to everyone who made this event a memorable celebration of our past, present, and future.