From very humble beginnings in 2010, Sunshine Butterflies has grown from being a volunteer-run organisation with a handful of members, to becoming one of the region’s largest employers and supporting hundreds of people with disability.
Leanne Walsh has made it her mission to reduce the stigma of disability within her community and now leads a passionate team of over 90 staff and 30 volunteers, who continue to help make this dream a reality.
From the very beginning Sunshine Butterflies was operating in a garage in Leanne Walsh’s Tewantin residence with just 3 Members and 4 Volunteers, all chipping away at Leanne’s lifelong vision of creating a unique and all-inclusive disability support service.
Sunshine Butterflies now provides a broad range of daily recreational, educational and life skills programs for individuals of all ages and abilities. Sunshine Butterflies unique range of programs, activities and services are changing the lives of many individuals with disability and their families.
With the help of sponsors, contributors, grants and donations we have been able to create these much-needed programs and services which are life-changing to those with disability.
Sunshine Butterflies has experienced a great deal of growth since our inception in 2010. In 2014 we purchased our new 5-acre home in the Noosa Countryside called, ‘Our Backyard’. We have been working very hard to develop the 5 acres into a unique community facility that offers inclusive facilities, activities and services for the entire community.
In June 2021 we spread our wings and purchased the 10-acre property next door expanding ‘Our Backyard’ into a 15-acre oasis.
This will provide the space for us to expand our educational and recreational programs, allowing us to support more people with disability and their families.
This next 10 acres will provide Sunshine Butterflies with the space to provide more facilities and car parking for our staff and visitors, making ‘Our Backyard’ even more accessible to the community.
We are very excited to have plenty more space for outdoor activities and for our furry and feathered farm animals to roam.
But most importantly, this extra space will allow us to provide small-scale, residential supported homes for those with disability on the Sunshine Coast.
Sunshine Butterflies growth has brought with it many individuals and families who are in need of support, new and innovative programs and activities for people with a disability, multiple community partnerships, and a more inclusive and supportive environment for people of all abilities.
Throughout the challenges and changes Sunshine Butterflies has experienced over the past 10 years, we continue to put our members and their families at the core of all of our activities and we look forward to what the future holds.