History and Founder
Louise van Willigen was the founder and Executive Director of the Independent Living Centre Association of Queensland from its inception in 1981 until shortly before her death in 2004.
Louise was an astute, energetic, and visionary leader. On its opening, the Independent Living Centre was a modest one room display staffed only by Louise herself in a humble demountable unit on the grounds of Greenslopes Hospital.
In 2004, Louise left a dynamic and diverse organisation providing information and advice on assistive technology to thousands of Queenslanders across the state, welcoming visitors to a display of over 1000m2 in area, and visiting places as remote as Saibai Island and as close as Woolloongabba.
Louise encouraged innovation, creative thinking, and respect for every individual. Those of us fortunate to have worked with Louise remember her soft spoken and almost aristocratic manner belied warmth, sharp intelligence, and a wicked sense of humour.
From ILC to LifeTec Queensland
In February 2006, the Independent Living Centre Association of Queensland Inc. launched its new name to coincide with structural changes and relocation to Newmarket. New faces and surroundings provided an opportunity to acknowledge the past and plan for the future and the organisation consulted widely with stakeholders to reassess its branding and image.
The research conducted showed that, as the 'Independent Living Centre', we were not always recognised for the work we did and that we were often known by the many possible variations of the name. The purpose of our business was often mistaken by potential stakeholders. Over 350 businesses were using the term 'independent living' in their name and potential users of our service were unable to identify us in the confusion.
After a review over 80 options we arrived at the name 'LifeTec Queensland'. We believe the change has cemented our already strong reputation while allowing us to distinguish our service to new sectors of the community who may have previously been unaware of our services.
LifeTec Queensland continues to play an active role of the Independent Living Centres Association of Australia.