Vivid launches history book

By Lachlan Durling

IT HAS been more than 50 years in the making and now Vivid's history has been immortalised in an 80-page hardcover.

The local disability organisation, which began in the early '60s, is launching the book Our Vivid History on August 22.

In pages filled with familiar faces, the book traces the organisation’s origins when groups of parents and carers, along with a passionate community, came together to look at ways they could support each other, and provide the best possible care for the region's children who had disabilities.

The book traces the establishment of the Echuca and District Centre for Intellectually Handicapped Children committee in the 1960s, the formation of Tehan House and Echuca Physically Disabled Persons Inc and Murray Human Services’ merger with Swan Hill’s Lady Byrnes Centre.

Vivid chief executive Scott Alexander described the book as "a tribute to all of the people who have contributed to the thriving organisation that we see now".

"It's a fabulous history we've captured in the book, with elements of each decade over  the past 50-plus years," he said.

"But the real highlight is the personal stories which I think add flavour and a personal insight into what has happened."

It is those personal stories which capture the determination of parents and locals, such as Dr James Alexander, Dr Andrew Ahern and Afton Burke, Joy Hooper and Fran Galvin, Tom and Anne Arnold and the Healey Family.

"It's humbling (to see the stories) because you look back at what drove the establishment of the organisation, in both swan hill and Echuca, and you compare what the driving forces were then with what we do now," he said.

"And we’re true to that. You look back at those key players and the contribution they’ve made to the development of the organisation, and we've built on the contribution.

"So, we've not taken a backwards step. We've continued to improve and build progressively.

"We improve and honour not only that original group of families who established the organisations in Echuca and Swan Hill but the staff, managers, parents and carers who have subsequently followed and left their own legacy."

The common denominator in all of the stories featured in the book is the bond within a tight-knit community and the absolute belief that people with disability deserve the opportunity to thrive.

Vivid will launch the new book with an event at 6pm on August 22 at Radcliffe’s Echuca.

Members of the community are welcome to attend the event. Vivid asks that people book for catering purposes. Phone 5480 6611 for information or to register. 

Our Vivid History will be available to buy on the day for $20.

Following the launch, you can pick up a copy of the book at Vivid office at 461 High St, Echuca or buy online at