Our History


The beginnings

Discussions about the establishment of Burke and Beyond started in 1990 when the then Community Services Victoria approached us to form a legally Incorporated Association to host a day program for 12 to 15 people who were at the time living at Kew Residential Services. An office was rented at 824 Burke Road in Camberwell to host that program, hence the name Burke and Beyond. The Association was incorporated on the 3rd of June 1991 and the service opened in July of that year.

Opening of a second Day Service

The second service was established to cater for six targeted students from Ashwood Special School as well as two other community based people.

The service expanded following the closure of both Kew Residential services and the Caloola institution. We were approached again by the Department to host a second program. This lead to the opening of a second service in August 1992 at the Box Hill TAFE situated at the Warrandyte campus. This service eventually moved location twice, in the Ashwood area and then finally came to Blackburn South in early 1995 where we also based our administration.

Moving to Balwyn Road

In 1993, the Burke Road service moved to a rented space in an historic building at 18 Balwyn Road, Canterbury, which was owned by Anglicare.

Renovations to Blackburn South

In 2004, renovations to our Blackburn South facility saw the addition of an area for the Senior Service and permitted us to support an additional 6 participants to the program at that location.

Opening of Canterbury

In 1998 the search for an alternative to Balwyn Road started and approaches were made to the Boroondara Council to renovate the empty Bowling Clubhouse near the Canterbury Gardens. After long negotiations with the Council, Interchange Inner East and Burke and Beyond signed a 10 year lease and proceeded to renovate the building. We moved into the new premises in 2001.

Governance changes

At the AGM in 2008, the organisation made a major shift in the way it was governed. Changes were made to the constitution to transform the Committee of Management into a Board of Management. This change was followed by a concerted effort to draft community members with varied business expertise to add to our existing parents and other volunteers, who had provided great support over the years.

The Next Step

Following a funding proposal in 2008, the Department of Human Services (DHS) kindly provided us with some funds to allow us to explore the establishment of a different service in the region. A project worker was allocated to create contacts and have discussions with various special schools as well as the Futures for Young Adults team in DHS. This led to the creation of our new service which we called the Next Step. We opened in an office in Blackburn in May 2009 in preparation for the service to start in January 2010. The service started with 6 new participants and 1.2 staff members. The service moved in December 2011 to a larger location in the same area. The numbers have now increased to over 40 participants and the Next Step has developed an excellent reputation as a transitional service for young adults.

Next Step Bayswater

Once the Next Step in Blackburn had been operating for 4 years and the participants were due to move on, parents approached us to discuss how we could support their young adults further. We decided to establish a satellite service in Bayswater which would be based on the same format but also extend to participants requesting support in that area. We established a small service in Macauley Place in January 2014 and moved to a larger location the following year due to demand. We added a large room in 2018 to develop our Studio B program.

Next Step Dandenong

In mid-2017, we were approached by Emerson School in Dandenong who asked us if we could develop a Next Step program in the region as there were a number of young people at that school who could benefit from our approach. In January, our first program in the southern region opened on Walker Street and quickly grew from there. A second location was opened in McCrae Street in Dandenong in January 2021 to support an increasing number of participants at that location.

Outreach and Social program

In the middle of 2018, we started getting more and more requests for after-hours programs and we decided to start supporting our existing participants to do activities after hours, including on the weekends. This is growing quickly and a Team Leader has been appointed to oversee the activities. This is currently managed from our Dandenong building.

Move to Balwyn

In July 2019, we had to vacate the Canterbury building due to a re-build project which was organised by the Boroondara Council. The Naroo Street building which belongs to the Boroondara Council  underwent major renovations and is now hosting our participants.

Move to Ringwood

In January 2022, the Bayswater site relocated to Ringwood to a bigger brighter premise that was fully renovated to better suit the needs of participants.

Next Step Bryants Road

In October 2021 we opened Next Step Pakenham for school leavers and as a pathway for Participants graduating from Next Step Dandenong who are ready to move on to the next stage in their life. In January 2024 this site moved to Bryants Road Dandenong.

Blackburn South

Blackburn South closed in July 2022 and head office moved to a newly renovated office in Dandenong.