1989 – VANISH is established

As a result of the review of the Adoption Information Service (1987), members of GAP, JIGSAW, and ARMS, together with the Adoptive Parents Association of Victoria (APAV), are invited to submit a funding proposal to the Victorian government to form an independent search and support service, involving those with lived experience. These groups already had many years’ experience in supporting people affected by adoption. The new service is based upon a self-help model which empowers service users to lead their own searches and facilitates peer support.  

 In 1989, VANISH is established as the “Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help (V.A.N.I.S.H.)” with an initial team (the equivalent of 4.5 full time staff) operating at 167 Drummond St, Carlton. The building is later named Pauline Toner House, in memory of the former Minister after her untimely death. For the first time, the Victorian adoption community has a place where they can come and call their own.  

The inaugural meeting of the Committee of Management held on 27th April 1989 brings together three groups of people affected by adoption—adopted persons, natural mothers, and adoptive parents—working together as a cohesive team with an ethos of collaboration and openness. 

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