Celebrate with us!


In the early 1950’s a group of families set out to do what seemed impossible – to provide education for people with intellectual disability in the Manly area. Armed with passion, commitment and resilience, on the 17 March 1952, 18 local parents held an inaugural meeting and formed the Manly Sunnyfield Association.

From these humble beginnings, guided by our values of respect, trust, honesty and innovation, Sunnyfield has grown in depth and breadth of services. Working in partnership with families, carers and local communities, day to day Sunnyfield provides over 2000 services in 65 locations across NSW and ACT, enriching the lives of people with disability, and creating brighter futures.

We’re proud of our trusted 65 year history in delivering high quality personalised supports, placing people at the centre of all we do. Join us on our journey, as we continue our commitment to creating choice, opportunity and skills for life.


Mrs Hazel Whiddon, Sunnyfield Founder

During the 1950s parents of children with intellectual disability were advised to send their child to an institution, as they were not able to access mainstream schooling or financial assistance for in-home support services. In October, 1951, enterprising Northern Beaches resident, Mrs Hazel Whiddon gathered a small group of mothers of children with intellectual disability to discuss starting a local training program.

Afterwards, Mrs Whiddon placed an ad in the Manly Daily seeking like-minded families to form an association to support children with intellectual disability. Mrs Hazel Whiddon is the first Honorary Life Member of Sunnyfield and also the mother of the late Trevor Whiddon, one of Sunnyfield’s first clients.

Bryan Whiddon OAM, Sunnyfield Patron

Bryan Whiddon OAM, is the son of Sunnyfield founder Mrs Hazel Whiddon, and the brother of one of Sunnyfield’s original residents, Trevor Whiddon. During his tenure at Sunnyfield, Bryan was the Chairman of the Sunnyfield Board, the founder of employment services for people with an intellectual disability and was the Director of the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability. In 2006 Bryan was awarded the Order of Australia for services to people with intellectual disability. He retired from the Sunnyfield Board in 2008 and was made an official Patron of Sunnyfield.

“Over the next 50 years I believe that change will continue as it has in our first 65 years. I know that whatever happens our vision ‘to be the best place for people with an intellectual disability to live, learn, work, make friends, have fun and get help when needed’ will never change”.

Sunnyfield’s Founding Members

Sunnyfield was built on a foundation of enormous community spirit, without whom Sunnyfield would not have been created in 1952.

We would like to acknowledge the vision, dedication and unwavering commitment of the founding members of Sunnyfield.

  • Mrs and Mr Whiddon
  • Mrs and Mr Astley
  • Mrs and Mr Donoughue
  • Mrs and Mr Govan
  • Mrs and Mr Hill
  • Mrs M. Kroopin (Baston)
  • Mrs and Mr Martin
  • Mrs and Mr Piggott
  • Mrs A. Sproston
  • Mrs N. Stovold
  • Mrs M. Walker

Sunnyfield Matters – March 2017 

We’re excited to share the latest edition of Sunnyfield Matters with you and celebrate Sunnyfield’s 65th Anniversary.

Sunnyfield’s Historic Timeline

Check out Sunnyfield’s 65 year journey of service to people with disability in Australia. Click here to view Sunnyfield’s Historic Timeline