Our Story

eFriend has come about as an immediate response to the COVID-19 situation in Australia. Our service was originally designed as a live-in peer support experience for suicide prevention and recovery (SPARC) for those struggling with suicidal thoughts.

The SPARC program, which will be rolled out later in the year, is a service delivered by Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA) that provides housing and support for those with psychosocial disadvantages.

We have adapted our program for the interim and expanded our support capacity to utilise the wealth of experience and compassionate care of our peer support team. The result has been eFriend; a virtual platform to provide support from the comfort of your own home.

Our team worked hard to make this happen! We are here to ensure that nobody is left alone without somebody to talk to. Our peer support workers are trained in communicating empathetically, listening without judgment and using their own lived experience with life challenges and difficulties to help anyone who reaches out to us cope with life in this time of uncertainty.

Our Vision 
The people we support, our staff and the organisation, all thrive.

Our Values
Results for those we serve. Our practice is person-centred and recovery-oriented. We listen to those we support and together we strive to achieve their vision. Their success is our success and we believe that we can make a real and valuable difference in the lives of those we support.

Respect for all.
We are respectful and caring in all we do. We admire the achievements of the people we support and never lose sight of their big picture. We value and welcome diversity.

Integrity in what we do.
We believe that integrity, truth, reliability, honesty and ethical conduct must guide everything that we do. Having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way.

Accountable for all we do.
We hold ourselves and each other accountable for actions and results. Accountability ensures that every person regardless of their needs has a life of possibility and opportunity.

Our Mission
To deliver personalised support enabling individual choice to improve people’s lives.

Our History 

ICLA was first established in 1984 to aid a group of boarding house residents in Bondi who were facing eviction. “Rotorua” was a privately-operated boarding house for more than ten years, providing secure, supported accommodation for up to 29 people with psychosocial disabilities. When the property was put up for sale, the residents again faced the insecure tenancy and lack of support experienced by many others with psychosocial and other disabilities.

A group of community health workers, students, family members and others from the community worked to form the Independent Community Living Association, and were able to negotiate with the NSW Department of Housing to secure appropriate alternative accommodation. The original mission of ICLA was to promote acceptance, interaction and participation in the wider community with the aim of supporting people with psychosocial disabilities to live in shared accommodation, and avoid people becoming homeless, institutionalised, hospitalised or living in sub-standard accommodation. Today, Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA) is a not for profit Australian company limited by guarantee. We provide a range of support services for people who live with mental health and/or other disabilities. We:

  • Provide specialised support services tailored to each individual’s choices and needs within flexible programs which assist each individual in their day to day living and involvement in the community.
  • Promote acceptance, interaction and participation of individuals within their wider community.
  • Assist the people we support to reach their full potential.
  • Empower people to build independent happy and fulfilled lives.
  • Provide long term secure and affordable accommodation.
  • Embed continuous quality improvement in all we do.
  • Provide our staff with support and the opportunity for growth and development.
  • Maintain accreditation against the National Mental Health Service Standards and verification against the