Barkuma is a not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of supports for people with disability. For over 50 years, Barkuma has supported South Australians with disabilities Live their All. Together, we establish the capacity and confidence to transition out of high school and continue to build a life of independence that makes quality employment and accommodation outcomes achievable.


To partner with the community to deliver support and services designed to improve the lives of people with a disability.


  • Rights – We listen and support the aspirations of our people, clients and staff.
  • Inclusion – We believe everyone has a valued contribution to make and the right to feel safe in all environments.
  • Collaboration and partnerships – Are the keys to achieving great outcomes. We encourage others, look for win-wins, and celebrate our success and that of others.
  • With, not for – We aim to develop capability, not create dependence.
  • Impact – We believe in accountability, doing what we say, and getting things done. We set goals, make plans and meet deadlines.
  • Learning – We are always learning and are well-placed to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Our History

In February 1967, Barkuma was incorporated under the name ‘Central Districts Mentally Handicapped Children’s Association’.

The founding members were parents who had been providing disability services to their community. The first employment workshop and Training Centre opened in 1970, with residential care supporting 8 people in 1975.

1980 is when the association changed its name to Barkuma. By now the newly named Barkuma was supporting 110 people with Intellectual Disability, but doing so reliant on donations, fundraising and volunteers. In 1986, ‘Project employment’ was the first open employment service in South Australia, supporting people with disability to work in the mainstream workforce.

‘Project employment’ was renamed ‘Personnel Employment’ in 1989, then ‘Barkuma Employment’ in 2016. In the late 80’s the Smithfield factory was relocated to Salisbury and Para Hills, under the names Silkwood Fine Furniture and Northpack.

In 1999 Barkuma obtained RTO status and established Disability Training Australia. Barkuma opened the Elizabeth site on Philip Highway in 2000, and Holden Hill in 2011.

2015 saw Barkuma register as an NDIS provider and a year later in 2016, Barkuma is awarded the inaugural Telstra Business Awards South Australian Charity.

November 2023 Barkuma wins Service Provider Award (for businesses with more than 15 FTEs) at the South Australian Premier’s Food and Beverage Industry Awards.

Barkuma is proud of our history of supporting South Australians with disability, and looks forward to a future partnering with people on the journey to their best life.


The Board of Barkuma Incorporated accepts overall responsibility for the corporate governance of the organisation. The Board directs and monitors the business and affairs of Barkuma and delegates the responsibility for the management of the organisation to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The Board operates in accordance with The Constitution of Barkuma Incorporated and reports to members through the Annual Report, Annual General Meeting and such other meetings as may be called by the Board or the membership.


Chas Allen OAM


Sandra Parr


Simon Rowberry


Ursula Hickey


Martine Feckner


Jodi Wright


Caroline Ellison


Stephen Diprose


Start or build your career with one of South Australia’s leading disability service providers. Barkuma is a vibrant and exciting place to work, knowing you are contributing in a positive way to the community with an organisation that truly cares.