A History of McIntyre Centre
Back in 1964, June and Peter McIntyre initiated the very first horse riding program for people with disability in Australia.
Originally located at their home in Kenmore, lessons were run by June and Peter with the help of family and friends using their own two ponies. The first riding classes were held for children from Montrose Access (formally known as Montrose Home for Crippled Children) and then from Harold Crawford House, operated by the Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland.
In September 1968, after an encouraging period of growth and success, The Pony Riding for the Disabled Association was formed (PRDA). By 1971, the need had outgrown the capacity of the McIntyre’s property and over the next four years, a new facility was constructed on a 40-acre site in the neighbouring suburb of Pinjarra Hills.
As a tribute to the founders in 1983, the name 'McIntyre Centre' was officially adopted. Thanks to June and Peter McIntyre's tireless lobbying, they were able to leave the centre with the legacy of Government financial assistance through the Department of Communities. Today, the centre operates as a provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
In August 2015, McIntyre Centre Riding for Disabled Ltd. was registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001, replacing the previous entity Pony Riding for the Disabled Association.
Joining forces with Help
Having both been established in the 1960’s, it was a partnership that would see two long-standing disability organisations officially merge on 30 June 2017 and provide long-term stability to ensure that horse riding for people with a disability could continue at McIntyre Centre for many years to come. After the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 12 April 2017, all necessary due diligence had been finalised by Help Enterprises and both community organisations felt it was a values-based affiliation that ‘made sense’. McIntyre Centre now operates as a valued service of HELP. Learn more about the history of Help Enterprises.
The Board of Help Enterprises made a commitment early on, to inject significant capital expenditure into McIntyre Centre, for remedial works to the riding centre facilities, and also to expand the number and quality of services that could be offered to people with disability in the western suburbs of Brisbane.
As at April 2019, McIntyre has benefited from a major $2.4 million upgrade to what is Australia's largest therapeutic horse-riding centre. This has ensured people with disability have greater access to life-changing equine assisted therapy in a beautiful farm setting.