The first Principal of the Eastern Autistic Centre was Margaret Smith.
Irabina was originally called The Eastern Autistic Centre which was started by a group of parents in the eastern suburbs who came together with community support to set up a training program to meet the needs of a group of children with autism for whom no services were available.
Jenny Coller was the first Secretary on the committee and she was the person who started the service with Joan Curtis (who had an autistic son Johnathon). The Eastern Autistic Centre was opened in Canterbury at the Congregational Church hall on the corners of Hopetoun Ave and Canterbury Road, Canterbury. The Mental Health Authority of Victoria restricted this service to Autistic children only.
The Jigsaw logo was adopted as The Eastern Autistic Centre’s autism symbol.
Initially five children were enrolled and their ages ranged from 5 to 17 years. Two Teachers and a Mother-Craft Nurse were employed to cater for the children. The program involved basic educational skills and social training.
The service grew to 25 full time students and 11 part time students. There were 11 teacher and 6 volunteers to service these students.
In May 1970, Jenny Coller purchased the land in Bayswater with funds given from Autism Early Intervention Society of Victoria.