In 2002 Sally Richards had already started the search for and work necessary to secure a home for her son Jackson. After a couple of years she decided that an intentional community is what she wanted for her son. She started to work on persuading Government that this was a model worth pursuing and to this view, in November 2004, she was invited to give a presentation on Rougemount Intentional Community, Ontario, Canada to David Collett, Lois Ford, and Maureen Sheenan, senior bureaucrats in Disability and Housing ACT.
Getting a Life (GAL) Family Governed Group was formed in 2004. The group has operated successfully with the support of a paid coordinator since 2004. The initial purpose was to have more control over the direction and quality of the lives of Jackson West, Daniel Connaughton and Ben Pattrick.
In August 2006 Karen Connaughton and Cheryl Pattrick decided that an intentional community would be ideal for Daniel and Ben as well and so it became the new focus of the GAL Family Governance Group.
We have been working on this as a group ever since. It is 10 years since Sally started work and over 5 years since we joined forces.
After several frustrating years where we made little progress, we were finally successful in 2010 in securing land in Philip. The ACT Government agreed to fund the construction of a 25 dwelling public housing estate that would incorporate the Getting A Life Intentional Community. This proposal was passed by Cabinet in November 2010. In August 2011 funding for the accommodation support for Jackson, Daniel and Ben was approved by Disability ACT. Construction began in early 2012 and completion is expected in late 2012 or, if the weather is unkind, early 2013.