Our History

1959 – Thorndale Established

A parent based, not for profit organisation providing schooling to children with intellectual disabilities. Later became the Nepean branch of the Subnormal Children’s Welfare Association. Named Thorndale in recognition of the wonderful work done by Mrs Jean Thornley and Mr Jack Daly, neither of whom had children with an intellection disability.


1963 – Land Donated

Penrith Council donated land to Thorndale at Rance Road, Werrington and construction commenced with funds raised from the local community. This site housed the Thorndale School and this property is from which we operate today.

1974 – Purchase of Farm

Thorndale purchases a farm property at Orchard Hills from the NSW Department of Main Roads where some of the young adults assisted in general farm activities. Three residential cottages were built on the Orchard Hills site, each consisting of six residents.


1974 – Rance Road

A hall was built on the Rance Road site and was used as a Training Centre that has since evolved into the Australian Disability Enterprise, which is currently a vital part of Thorndale’s operation at Werrington Providing supported employment for people with intellectual disability.

1994 – Farm Subdivided

The farm property was sub-divided into 5 x 1 acre lots and sold, and the proceeds enabled Thorndale to purchase Group Homes in the Penrith area.


2001 – Change of Focus

Until this time, Thorndale Foundation provided playgroup services for children aged to 5 years with learning disabilities. The playgroup services were handed back to the State government given the strategic direction of the organisation that was a focus on supporting adults with disabilities.

2009 – Targeted Support

Thorndale commenced operation of Targeted Support from the Thorndale Centre at Werrington and it was combined with community participation.

Our History

2012 – Community Living

In line with the State Government’s devolution of large residential centres, Thorndale’s residents moved from cottages at Orchard Hills into the community.

2015 – Current Site

The property at Werrington was re-developed to its current state, which provides a day program (known as Leisure, Living and Life Skills) for adults with an intellectual disability. It is also the location of our Production site (known as Australian Disability Enterprise). Group Homes were established in St. Mary’s, Kingswood and Jamisontown. Thorndale became well positioned and ready for the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Our History
thorndale today


Currently operating from these state-of-the-art premises, Thorndale has over 200 participants, and is recognised in Western Sydney as a disability organisation of choice.

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