Our history

Peninsular Community Services Matraville Fair April 1982Since we began in 1979 as Peninsula Community Services, WorkVentures has undergone different challenges, but our core objectives remain the same. We were founded to address some of society’s more urgent issues by giving access to training, education, employment and networks that empower excluded communities to find self-sufficiency, and healthy meaningful participants as full citizens.

You can read the highlights below of our 30 years as a social enterprise in the community, or download our our Trailblazing  booklet, celebrating our first 25 years [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 1.77 MB].

1979    Originally located on La Perouse Peninsula in Sydney's south-east, our aim was to resolve problems in the local community. Early activities included children’s and youth out-of-school care, a recycled clothing business and a Post Office agency, as well as a range of community development projects including children and youth services.

1984   Incorporated as Peninsula Community Services Ltd (PCS), a company limited by guarantee. We open Compuskill, a computer training facility, at Matraville in south-east Sydney. Our focus moves towards employment services.

1986   Invited by Federal Government to establish the first Information Technology Centre based in Surry Hills in Sydney. Key activities are job creation through labour market training in computing, electronics, employment placement and small business development. Our partnership with Microsoft Australia begins.

1988   ITeC electronics repair business starts in our new Business Incubator facility in Surry Hills in Sydney.

1989   Maroubra and Surry Hills divisions in Sydney are funded under the new Federal SkillShare program.

1990   Invited to take over the operation of the Sydney Business Enterprise Centre. We create a new division, focusing on small business advice, training and practical support.

1991   Change our name from PCS to WorkVentures Ltd.

1994   Establish our youth hospitality-training project, Newtons the Restaurant, in Newtown in the inner west of Sydney.

1996   Tenth anniversary of Sydney ITeC and the announcement of cuts to the Federal SkillShare program.

1997   Founded JOBfutures, a national employment services network, with 23 other non-profit organisations. Established WorkVentures Group Training Ltd, offering traineeships in partnership with host employers.

1998   Commence delivery of Commonwealth Job Network services.

1999   Sydney ITeC Repair Centre moves to a new facility at Mascot in Sydney and gains ISO 9001 Quality certification.

2000   Open new JOBfutures offices in Rosebery, Redfern and Macquarie Fields in Sydney. Fujitsu's repair business is transferred to SIRC, and the Melbourne ITeC Repair Centre opens for business in Brunswick. Our Newtons Restaurant business is sold after five years' operation.

2002   Western Sydney ITeC becomes part of the WorkVentures Group. Neighbourhood Technology Centres established in Waterloo and Macquarie Fields. WorkVentures’ Connect IT low cost PC program is established and our partnership with The Westpac Group begins. WorkVentures along with the AMP Foundation, the Benevolent Society and The Smith Family establish Social Ventures Australia.

2003   WorkVentures’ Connect Neighbourhood Technology Centres open at Claymore in Sydney's south-west and Woolloomooloo in the inner city of Sydney. Liverpool Community Networking Academy is established in Sydney's west.

2004   Five Employment Services offices open nationally.

2005   WorkVentures and Microsoft Australia win the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnership, Longevity category for our 19-year partnership.

2006   Our Airds Local Enterprise Centre opens in south-west Sydney in November to support individuals in small enterprise development.

2007   We begin to pilot our iGetIT program in Redfern in inner-city Sydney, Bowraville in regional NSW, and Hope Vale in northern Queensland.

2008   WorkVentures begins to work in remote communities, supplying computers and technical support to the Hope Vale Indigenous Technology and Knowledge Centre on the Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland.

2009   WorkVentures closes its Employment Services division. WorkVentures’ Neighbourhood Technology Centres in Waterloo and Woolloomooloo in the inner-city of Sydney close. Connect IT delivers its 20,000th low cost PC to a low income household.

2010   Start working with migrant and refugee communities through our new i.settle.with.it program, funded by Microsoft.

2011  Celebration of 25 years as a community partner of Microsoft Australia. Connect IT delivers its 35,000th low cost refurbished computer to a low income household.

2014  Another milestone for Connect IT with the delivery of its 50,000th low cost refurbished computer to a low income household.