The following timeline show the establishment of CCDEU Ltd and its operations.
- Mainstream educational approaches continue to fail Aboriginal and Islander students as evidenced by the array of educational statistics especially in literacy and numeracy;
- Rev Shayne Blackman and others began to question the fact that Government and its agencies have been trying to provide effective education for the past 50 or more years and clearly failed. The time had come to provide Indigenous answers to Indigenous educational issues.
- Private school education in Australia was in the realm of the middle to upper income bracket. This raised the vital questions as to how the most socio-economically disadvantaged group within the country could access the private school system and thus a system tailored to the unique learning needs of Aboriginal and Islander students;
- Rev Shayne Blackman, Pastor Bill Hollingsworth and other Indigenous leaders acutely aware of the issues facing Indigenous people, gathered to commence planning for the establishment of youth / adult educational facilities, and community development enterprises. They do so in an effort to address the dire socio economic statistics confronting Indigenous people. Rev Shayne Blackman and Pastor Bill Hollingsworth drive the project forward and engage key people to assist in the process.
- Dr Robert Bos directs a working paper to Presbytery members, Parish councilors and other interested people. The working paper concludes with a request for input from all interested parties.
- A workshop is held in Townsville to discuss Adult Education, Community and Personal Development, and gives consideration to the educational needs of Aboriginal and Islander children within a mainstream Government system.
- The workshop is attended by a wide representation and concludes that Aboriginal and Islander ownership of a secondary boarding college for isolated students is required.
- The first meeting of the newly incorporated Congress Community Development and Education Unit Ltd takes place.
- Colin Young addressed the Council and provided an explanation of what was involved in setting up a Christian school
- The meeting resolved that the school be called Shalom Christian College.
- An 80 acre site on Hervey's Range Road in Townsville was purchased through the generosity of Mr. Hank Young, a retired Shearer and Mushroom Grower who provided an initial sum of $860,000. Mr. Young is a continuing benefactor of the Shalom Community.
- A Board and advisory committee is established with legal, financial, building, educational and promotional expertise. Other matters resolved include Enrollment strategies, Curriculum Design, Educational Philosophy, Fees, etc.
- The Board meets in Townsville with Alan Randell and representatives of the new schools branch of the Commonwealth Department for Employment, Education and Training.
- Approval is granted to open a new school.
- Appointment of Alan Randell as Founding Principal
- Appointment of Judith Randell as temporary Administrator
- Registration of trading name of Shalom Christian College
1992 (Shalom Christian College)
- Stage 1 construction of school begins
- Beginning of teaching staff orientation training
- March 1992 Official Opening of Shalom Christian College with an initial enrollment of 52 students across grades P1, P2, P3.
- Shalom Christian College starts to grow with a total enrolment of 107 students.
- Indigenous construction workers are engaged to expand the site.
1994 (Shalom Development Services Pty Ltd trading as Milbi Constructions)
- The CCDEU Ltd Board seeks more Indigenous people to gain valuable training skills in construction while contributing to the development of the Shalom Community;
- This leads to the establishment of Shalom Development Services Pty Ltd which becomes an incorporated body and fully fledged Construction Company.
1995 (Shalom Elders Village)
- The CCDEU Ltd Board seeks to enhance the growing sense of community within the grounds of Shalom Christian College by establishing culturally appropriate care for Elders who can interact with students.
- The Shalom Elders Village is established with construction undertaken by Shalom Development Services Pty Ltd.
2000 (Stagpole Street Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre)
- In response to the growing need for a culturally appropriate and dedicated Indigenous drug and alcohol rehabilitation service the CCDEU Ltd Board take oversight of the Palm Island Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Corporation in Townsville. The facility gets a substantial makeover by Shalom Development Services Pty Ltd and is renamed Stagpole Street Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre.
2002 ( Black Ink Press, Woodleigh Residential College)
- Driven by the need for reading materials amongst the Indigenous students at Shalom College, the UAICC (Uniting Aboriginal & Islander Christian Congress) then later Yalga-binbi Institute auspice Jeanie Adams (in 1999) to run a program to find and mentor Indigenous writers and illustrators.
- The Black Ink Project is launched and the process of finding and supporting artists began. Funds are successfully sought from RADF, Australia Council, Arts Queensland. The publishing house grows from strength to strength producing a number of children books that are keenly embraced by students and educators alike.
- In response to the growing number of Indigenous boarders at schools in the Tablelands region, the Board of CCDEU Ltd auspice Woodleigh Residential College in Herberton from the Uniting Church in Australia. CCDEU Ltd upgrades the facility and implements progressive pastoral programs for its boarders.
2009 (Dija Meta)
- CCDEU Ltd extends its operations into new geographic areas with a demonstrable need for culturally appropriate Indigenous care. CCDEU Ltd takes management oversight for Dija Meta Aged Care in Cairns from the Aboriginal and Islanders Alcohol Relief Services. The facility will shortly undergo renovations by Shalom Development Services Pty Ltd.
From its birth with the establishment of Shalom Christian College, CCDEU Ltd has now grown to become one of the nation's premier Indigenous organizations with both a regional and remote focus. The organisation operates around a highly results focused culture and this has been demonstrated in the numerous successes of Indigenous people entrusted to our care. Shalom Christian College has been the recipient of numerous literacy awards and has provided pathways to students who would normally languish in the mainstream education system. Milbi Constructions has not only provided valuable opportunities to Indigenous apprentice both young and old but has constructed the many buildings that grace the grounds of CCDEU Ltd. The Stagpole Street Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Unit have enabled its clients to get their life back together again and the Shalom Elders Village has provided countless residents with the comfort and culturally appropriate support needed in their twilight years. These are but some of the many outcomes from the work of Congress Community Development and Education Unit Ltd.
Looking to the future
CCDEU Ltd is moving into a new and exciting era of expansion and development. The Board is active in identifying and implementing strategies to address Indigenous disadvantage and provide social, cultural and economic opportunity through a broad and diverse spectrum of activities. There are strategic plans in place for other inspirational and sustainable initiatives including a conference centre, tertiary accommodation and art gallery but to name a few.