Our History

On this page you can follow a timeline of major events in the history of the Valued Lives Foundation, from the original concept for the organisation, through to the current day.

Valued Lives was Founded by Bronia Holyoak in 2013, having identified a need for a personalised approach to supports and services for people in the community. She brought together a group of like-minded families and colleagues to develop a vision for Valued Lives that would empower people to design, plan and self-direct the supports and services that they needed.

From this, our not-for profit, peer support organisation was established, led by a passionate board of individuals and families committed to providing holistic planning and innovative supports and services for people in Western Australia.

Meet Our Founder – Bronia Holyoak

Image description: Portrait of Valued Lives Foundation CEO Bronia HolyoakBronia has enjoyed a career in human services spanning 30 years, almost half of which was spent in the West Australian Local Area Co-ordination (LAC) Program. She has tirelessly worked alongside individuals and families, assisting people to plan and design tailored support arrangements unique to the individual and their circumstances. Throughout this time Bronia also gained extensive knowledge and experience in person-centred planning, exploration and service design for Individual Living Options (ILO).

Bronia always knew the value of peer support and its positive impact on people in the community, having experienced it with her sister, who lived with a disability. This became the driving force behind her vision of founding an organisation in Western Australia that delivered personalised, self-directed supports and services. That legacy will live on as Valued Lives continues to increase society’s support for the valued participation of all people into the future.

Valued Lives Foundation Timeline

Use the buttons below to jump straight to the year you’re most interested in


Valued Lives’ very first planning meeting! A group of like-minded values based families and colleagues get together around Bronia’s kitchen table to develop a vision for Valued Lives.

  • Valued Lives Foundation becomes an incorporated body on 8th August 2012.
    The Valued Lives Foundation seeks funding to build the infrastructure of the organisation through The Social Innovations Grant.
  • Inaugural VL Board Meeting held in October of 2012 made up of the following: Bronia Holyoak, Jackie Connelly, Darrell Andrews, Nate Smith, Carol Nuscis, Fiona Bramwell, Anne Pegdon, Terri Miller, Sarah Warner and Sue Newcombe.
Image description: The first Valued Lives planning team

The first Valued Lives planning team


  • Valued Lives provides a consultation service offering a range of supports and services based upon individual needs.
  • The most sought-after support request is our personalised planning and individualised service design.
  • Over 40 individuals and families are supported in our first year, with personalised plans and designing individual support arrangements.
Image description: The original Valued Lives' logo

Valued Lives’ very first logo


  • Peer-to-Peer Networks Framework are developed
  • Peer-to-Peer Self-Directed Support Networks go from strength to strength with two networks up and running in Perth Hills and Canning.
  • Valued Lives Foundation (inc) successfully tenders to provide non-government My Way Coordination in Perth Hills, and delivers this service until April 2015.
Image description: Peer-to-Peer Framework Postcard

Peer-to-Peer Networks Framework


  • Valued Lives Foundation is engaged as the lead agency for the WA Planning Alliance Project.
  • Valued Lives becomes registered with the NDIS to provide Support Coordination and Plan Management Services.
  • Valued Lives Foundation is invited to be on the National Alliance Capacity Building Organisations Network with CRU (Qld), Resourcing Families (NSW) Belonging Matters (Vic) and Purple Orange (SA).
Image description: Nacbo logo

NACBO logo


  • Valued Lives becomes a registered provider of services for people with plans, funded through the Disability Services Commission. By June 2016, Valued Lives is providing supports and services with 14 people and families, through individual arrangements including: self-managed, shared-managed and Valued Lives-managed – all in partnership with the person and their family/network of supports.
  • Valued Lives is endorsed to be on the panel of service providers who are able to provide support to people with individualised funding through the Disability Services Commission.
  • We move into our new office in the People Who Care Community Centre in Midland.
Image description: Updated Valued Lives' logo

Updated Valued Lives’ Logo


  • January: Valued Lives Foundation welcomes the much-anticipated news that Western Australia will join the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • The National Alliance of Capacity Building Organisations (NACBO) continues to work on the development of a national model for Information and Linkages Funding. It makes a bid for funding in WA under the national banner with Valued Lives as the lead agency on the ground. Focus on support for peer-to-peer networks, peer manual publications and pre-planning support in new areas.
  • March: 25 people employed by Valued Lives
  • During Carers’ Week, Valued Lives launches its “Insider Info” publication and online resource developed by Peer Network members who have a son or daughter with a disability. The resource provides a guided template for family members and carers to record useful information about their sons/daughters that they can store or share with other people.
  • The launch of our national online website directory for people with a disability who own and operate their own microbusiness. The only site of its kind Australia wide.
Image description: NDIS logo

Insider Info Booklet


  • Valued Lives organises the National Peer Connect Conference at the Perth Convention Centre in June 2018. (The Disability Support Organisation (DSO) Capacity Building Project is an NDIS funded initiative of NDIA from 2015/16. Additional funding to continue the work of DSO’s is made available through Community Inclusion and Capacity Development (CICD) grants and the NDIA Sponsorships Program. The DSO project finishes on 30 June 2018 and the Peer Connect WA Conference is put together to celebrate and recognise the work achieved throughout the course of the initiative).
    Peer Connect: Valued Lives and Carers Australia
  • July: Valued Lives’ logo and website gets a fresh new look.
  • September: Funding is received from Department of Communities for the PeerConnect WA project. Our Peer Support Networks with some proposed strategies and activities for the project.
  • Valued Lives moves to offices in Murray House, Goolugatup, Heathcote Reserve. The space provides excellent networking opportunities for participants with a microenterprise. At this inclusive hub, Valued Lives hosts events, art projects and microenterprise projects.
  • Implementation of ILC Grants for the Peer-to-Peer Networks and Microenterprise Projects.
  • Valued Lives grows from a staff of 7 in 2014 to employing 198 people, during 2018 and 2019.
  • November: Launch of Peer-to-Peer Networks WA project and website
Image description: Peer Connect WA and New Valued Lives Logo

Peer Connect Logo and New Valued Lives’ Logos


  • May: Official opening of Microenterprise Fremantle Hub
  • Valued Lives Microenterprise Project Team, Valued Lives Foundation: Geraldine Maddrell and Jorden Garnaut win the 2019 Disability Support Award for Excellence in Improving Employment Opportunities Award
  • ILC Grants: Valued Lives Foundation receives substantial NDIS grants that enables the organisation to continue delivering successful capacity building projects.
  • NACBO (Valued Lives is the lead agency) is successful in a consortium bid for a grant through the ILC Information Program.
  • “My Home, My Design” sees NACBO partners collaborating on a new project that is shared across NACBO members over 3 years to deliver specific components related to the project, including a central website showcasing innovative housing and support arrangements.
Image description: Award win being communicated to Geraldine who was overseas

Disability Support Award For Excellence win being communicated to Geraldine who was overseas


  • The pandemic impacts on the way business is carried out, but Valued Lives remains busy.
  • March: Peer Team changes the way they deliver Peer Network Meetings due to Covid19 lockdowns with online Virtual Lunch groups and a Wednesday evening group.
  • The 1800-project number is converted to a helpline (available Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm).
Image description: 1800 number helpline

The Peer-to-Peer Networks Helpline


  • May: Excellence in Home and Family Support Award is awarded to Valued Lives Microenterprise Team and Microboards Australia who support Erin Murphy and Kieran Murphy respectively
  • May: Excellence in Innovation Award is awarded to Valued Lives Peer-to-Peer Networks WA.
  • June: Valued Lives hosts a match at the first International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) Members’ Joint Regional Exchange
  • September: Valued Lives Innovative Employment expands into the South West offering our microenterprise and innovative employment services. An Innovative Employment Hub is set up in Bunbury.
  • November: Jane Forward joins Valued Lives as the new CEO, an award-winning strategist with extensive experience in community and social services.
Image description: Valued Lives' award team photo

Valued Lives wins the Excellence in Home and Family Support Award

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