Chairs’ and CEO Report
Shaping Our Future Together
We are delighted to present the 2017 Annual Report on how we are shaping our organisation centred on what is most important to our clients. Much of what you will read about in this Annual Report is about shaping the future to deliver our 2020 strategic vision that we developed together with our clients:
“We will provide exceptional experiences for people with a disability to achieve their goals.”
Respectful and Inclusive Service Delivery that Maximises Potential and Quality of Life
You will see in greater detail in this report initiatives like Person Centred Active Support (PCAS) and the evidence based Outcome Star tool which both support and measure change and progress for our clients. We must become more accountable for the outcomes our services deliver and more easily able to demonstrate our clients’ progress and successes towards achieving their goals.
We know that in order for our clients to achieve their goals that we need solid working relationships. The relationships between our direct support staff and our clients are excellent. Research conducted by Monash University in 2015, that we are about to replicate in 2017, tells us that 94% of clients surveyed are treated well and feel safe with the staff in their support teams.
This is a great base from which to build.
Over the last year, we have heard more of our clients speaking up and telling us how to improve our services and in some cases formally lodge a complaint. Often complaints are resolved directly between clients and their support staff, regularly without realising a complaint has been made. It’s part and parcel of strong working relationships.
But there are times when there are bigger issues, complaints and other feedback that is given and these are viewed as an opportunity for us to learn and improve our practice. With this increase in more formal feedback, it is one measure that demonstrates that we are creating a collaborative culture where people do feel like they are able to express their opinions safely and know that they will be treated respectfully and hopefully most issues are resolved.
In order to understand that we are providing, and working towards, exceptional experiences for our clients we have begun the process of “mapping our customer journey”. Understanding how people find out about us, what information they want to know and how people then choose their provider is a strategic piece of work that will allow us to provide a better level of service.
To deliver exceptional service from the first point of contact, we have introduced a new Service Access Unit which is a direct result of our customer journey mapping and feedback from clients and families. We know that providing quality, consistent expertise from the start of the relationship is what our customers expect. We have set up this new unit to provide value and easier access to our clients and potential clients from the word go. We know this service has been very well received and we will expand this service in the coming year.
In alignment with the new Service Access Unit and customer journey mapping we have also updated and improved our website to be a tool that helps people access the relevant information that they need in order to engage our services or choose a provider. You can visit our website at www.tipping.org.au
Safe, Reliable Support That is Good Value for Money
We work as a team to improve our services and administration for our clients but we know that in order to continuously improve that we need external review.
An independent random audit of our services across Victoria in the last year gave us very positive feedback on the work that we are doing together with our clients and the changes we are making. The report is the most positive audit conducted since they commenced over 10 years ago. It’s always important to know that you are doing well but to confirm from an external independent umpire is always good too, particularly in a rapidly changing and competitive environment!
The safety and wellbeing of our clients is paramount. We have continued our efforts with new programs in our fight against abuse and have collaborated with and contributed to other organisations’ and the State Government zero tolerance to abuse framework and the development of appropriate safe guards as NDIS transitions across Victoria.
We are very clear that our purpose is driven by our clients. That’s why we exist but we can’t achieve anything, let alone continue to shape our future, without a talented and dedicated workforce.
We were able to finalise our new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement with unanimous support from our staff. Our intent is to create a fairer and more attractive workplace that consequently supports better services for our clients. Our future will require major investment in people and the new EBA comes at a cost to the organisation of some $4.2million per annum. We are leaders in the sector for successfully negotiating this two year agreement.
Beyond improved working conditions we have invested in leadership development for our key frontline staff. We are empowering new leaders within the organisation with up-to-date qualifications that benefit the organisation, the staff and our clients.
Our new website also hosts a new recruitment tool which we use to review employment applications to find the best candidates for the roles available. This greatly improves the time needed to evaluate and assess applicants and we are seeing that we are better able to employ new staff and create relevant and valuable support teams for our clients in a more efficient manner due to the savings in administrative time.
Experience and Understanding of the NDIS
The Tipping Foundation has 47 years experience in disability support services.
We know that it’s important for us to continue to evolve as an organisation in order for our clients to achieve what is important to them, particularly in times of change and new opportunity.
We are now more sure of what the National Disability Insurance Scheme will bring, based upon our four years of NDIS experience.
We know that there is uncertainty and anxiety for some of those clients and families who are yet to roll over to the NDIS. We have worked together with many who have made the transition a positive experience. Our positive attitude is based on the overall improvements we are seeing with those who have made the change with us over the last four years.
Well Governed Organisation, Managed for the Long Term
You will see in our financial summary in this report, as well as in the more detailed separate financial report, that we proudly report a strong financial result this year. We have realigned our budget and revised our risk management plan and improved our risk rating guided by our strategic plan. We also successfully implemented a new financial management system which improves efficiencies across the organisation and minimises duplication across systems and will improve our capability to better plan for our future.
We are now very well positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities and have actively pursued those which make strategic sense for our organisation. These growth opportunities are already evident in the roll out of the NDIS as well as the Victorian Government’s realignment of services in the future, including those for children, youth and families. Similarly, we are actively exploring future partnerships that will enhance our future.
Tipping is a very positively situated and we are ahead of the game. We are careful and smart about how we spend our dollars. Simplified, we want to spend our available dollars wisely – for purpose.
Changes and Thanks
In November 2016, Geoff Donovan stepped down from the role of Chair due to personal and health reasons and we welcomed Candice Charles to the role. Geoff made a wonderful contribution in his six years as Chair and we are delighted that Geoff is continuing on as a Director and Board Member, Candice relishes the challenge of this role as we delve further into the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the changes it brings.
We have welcomed Andrew Sando and Chris Edwards as new Board Members and Directors and know that they, like all of our other Board Members bring a wealth of expertise to the table and that overall we have a good mix of skills and experience to draw on in our Board. We would also like to thank Matthew Hingeley for his service on our Audit and Risk Committee.
In other changes at the senior leadership level we farewelled Catherine Cairns, General Manager Business and Strategy whose disability expertise and leadership were invaluable. Alison Brideson retired after a strategic and wise contribution as our Company Secretary and we welcomed Jacqui Wilson to the role.
We would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the sad passing of two Tipping Foundation Life Members, Margaret Morrison and Ron Mason. We send our condolences to their friends and family and know that their legacy lives on in our work.
None of what we outline in this Annual Report would have been possible without the combined talent, commitment and hard work of the Board, Executive Team and staff over the last 12 months. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and we really do appreciate your great work.
We reserve the biggest thanks for our clients and families. Thank you for choosing Tipping to work together with you. We look forward as we continue to shape our future together.