I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet tonight, the Gubbi Gubbi and Jinaburra peoples, and pay my respect to their elders, past, present and emerging.
I also acknowledge the Board members, our Auditor, members of Your Best Life Disability and Health Services Ltd, and our amazing staff.
I also acknowledge the clients of our services, most of whom are NDIS Participants, as well as their carers. You are the reason we come to work each day and your needs are what drives us to want to excel.
The purpose of my presentation this evening is to review the 2020-2021 year – our thirty-second year since the organisation formed in 1989.
It has been my privilege to serve this organisation since early 2016 through several waves of transformational change to build the right organisational capability, capacity and culture.
During those almost 6 years, we grew from:
We have opened a new centre every year since 2016 and now have centres at Nambour, Kawana, Gympie, Caboolture, and Maroochydore as well as two outreach hubs (Gympie Health Hub, Baringa Community Centre). We opened the modern and accessible Maroochydore centre in January 2021.
By June 2021, we had diversified into a total of four businesses. We continue to operate and modernise Children’s and Teens’ Therapy Services, but have added Your Choice Plan Management, Mindcare Mental Health Services, and LevelUp Independent Living to the suite.
In the 2021-2022 financial year, we have also re-launched our support coordination service as ThumbsUp Support Coordination as its time has come in terms of community need and organisational readiness. With each new business, we grow stronger and more cohesive, and gather increasing momentum.
Our private revenue has increased 74 fold per quarter since 2016, and it continues to increase at a healthy pace.
Revenue lift is a sign that we are continuing to address opportunities to pursue our not for profit mission of helping children, teens and adults to live their best lives through community health, disability and human services and our vision of a world in which we work together to overcome life’s challenges and barriers.
The Board and executive team met in March 2021 for a Strategic Planning workshop and approved a plan for continued growth and diversification.
In 2020, I developed a new Five Year Business Plan based on three 18 month windows. We have almost reached the 18 months horizon and I will shortly renew the Business Plan to scope the following 18 month horizons.
Each of the four Business Managers – Melissa, Tash, Emma and Adrian – has developed an 18 month Business Plan that reflects the key directions of the organisational Business Plan. These address business growth and diversification, organisational capability, workforce and culture, and service excellence and innovation.
A robust ISO31000 Risk Management Framework guides our investment in processes and systems to manage risk – the most important of these being our major Digital Transformation Project which has set us up for increased mobility and flexibility in our COVID-impacted environment and our Covid-19 response plan.
We remain committed to organisational quality and best practice service delivery. On 30 April 2021, YBLDHS passed an audit to expand our NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission registration to include the Specialist Behaviour Support and Implementing Behaviour Support Plans Modules. This registration has enabled Mindcare and CATTS to provide specialised behaviour support services for clients.
Our NDIS Registration and NDIS Quality and Safety Accreditation have shaped the way services are provided to ensure quality, safety, and client choice and control. Our efforts are rewarded with a clean slate when it comes to WHS and accreditation compliances.
The company continues to provide a proactive response to COVID 19. As an essential service, YBLDHS delivers quality support to clients through the implementation of the COVID 19 Safety Plan which documents the procedures staff must follow to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Our Digital Transformation has enabled an effective transition to telehealth services for clients during periods of lockdown. It will be mandatory for all our employees to be double vaccinated by 15 December and we are currently implementing action to comply with that directive.
Aggregate revenue achieved in the 2020-2021 financial year was the highest in the 32-year history of the organisation and continues the trend of revenue lift over the last six financial years.
The Board’s investment strategy has been one of continual investment is service expansion and diversification within an expanding regional footprint. This has resulted in expenditure exceeding revenue due mainly to consultancies, funding new centres, and two new start-up businesses that will deliver greater revenue in 2021-2022.
Implementation of the YBLDHS workforce strategy has resulted in an increase in FTE by 51% during 2020-2021. A Corporate Services Manager was employed in March 2021 to support Business Managers in the provision of Human Resource Management (HRM), Quality Management, and Business System Improvements.
The organisation weathered practical challenges generated by therapist workforce shortage encountered during the first half of the year and the COVID-19 pandemic through a well-developed risk-management approach which guaranteed continuity of services when many businesses simply shut shop. This demonstrates strength of organisational capabilities, resilience under pressure, and robustness of our business models, all of which underpins future confidence.
Our workforce strategy includes attracting and retaining allied health staff through our commitment to providing clinical supervision, above-award wages, career succession planning, and providing clinical education to final year students from University of Queensland and University of Sunshine Coast.
In January 2021, Children’s Therapy Centre, under the leadership of Melissa Terry, rebranded to Children’s and Teens’ Therapy Services (CATTS) more accurately reflecting their multi-centre, multi-modality approach to providing therapeutic supports. CATTS, in conjunction with Mindcare Mental Health Services, expanded their footprint in 2021 from four to five centres. (In the 2020-2021 financial year, CATTS and Mindcare saw approximately 1000 clients – a significant increase from 2019-2020.
CATTS revenue was the highest achieved with highest revenue received from NDIS clients aged 7 and over for Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, and Psychology. Going forward, CATTS will continue to expand its footprint by attracting and retaining allied health staff through a commitment to providing clinical supervision, above-award wages, career succession planning, and clinical education to students.
Our success in becoming as a panel provider under the PHN’s Stepped Care Program in October 2021 triggered the start of Mindcare Mental Health Services which officially launched in January 2021 with the appointment of Emma as Manager. Since then, Emma has driven growth through diverse funding streams such as Stepped Care, Medicare, WorkCover, and through accreditation for high-value NDIS Specialised Behaviour Supports – a program that works for the benefit of our LevelUp and CATTS clients. This has been a tremendous effort in just a few months and we expect to see revenue lift in 2021-2022 from this start-up investment.
Under the leadership of Tash, Your Choice Plan Management began the year with 251 clients and finished with almost 400. YCPM uses marketing strategies such as monthly newsletters, social media and referrals from Support Coordinators. During the year, we moved to our new Careview software enabling us to produce accurate monthly statements and invoice processing. We are grateful to HopgoodGanim Lawyers for their pro bono support in achieving an exceptional outcome. YCPM is growing steadily in a saturated market, mostly due to personalised customer service and our promise of same day invoice processing.
LevelUp Independent Living commenced operating in late November 2020 with the recruitment of Adrian as manager. Start-up activities included development of policies and procedures and refining operating systems. April 2021 as the first full month of operation with revenue maintaining a consistent growth trajectory.
LevelUp has attracted several NDIS participants with funding for Supported Independent Living (SIL), Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA), Community Participation, and Short-Term Accommodations (STA) across the region.
LevelUp is not just another labour-hire company. It has set out to be the provider and employer of choice, focussing on sustainability, best practice, staff training and retention, and strategic growth. It is well-placed to become an industry leader in quality support provision.
Finally, I’d like to turn my focus to the intangible qualities that constitute our DNA and which underpin our success and cohesiveness as an organisation.
Our leadership team interacts professionally, proactively, and with purpose. Opportunities for synergies are discovered in this way, every day. They are committed to our joint mission and motivated by a desire to exceed all expectations in terms of quality and delivery to an increasing number of clients.
Key qualities of the people in our company are their intellectual capacity to solve complex problems and the people skills to bring teams along with them. This creates a work environment that is conducive to positivity and a can-do attitude. Qualities such as sound judgment, tenacity, resilience, fairness, transparency, collaboration, empathy, compassion and accountability are our hallmarks.
All members of the ELT have developed and implemented their business strategies with insightful acumen. They have demonstrated analytical capabilities and strategy leadership to guide the company forward. In addition, they have strengths in setting and building a strong culture – a respectful people- and values-oriented culture.
The ELT has accommodated the Board’s risk appetite as articulated at our annual Strategic Planning Workshop and in many other Board decisions and lines of inquiry.
We have achieved strong growth through well-formulated business plans and risk management plans. We are a dynamic and growing company in a sector that has experienced disruptive change and in which many NFPs are seriously floundering.
One of the things we do well is grow our staff competencies over time. We haven’t lost any of our leadership team; in fact, we have added more strong capable leaders this year, and together, they form a winning team. We have harnessed existing talent and knowledge, and added to it. Our team members have diverse talents, knowledge and experience and by working together, the ideas and solutions flow strongly. In addition, we have talent waiting to step up and it is exciting that they can see a career ladder ahead for themselves.
This flows through to how we treat clients and families. They are treated with care and respect and we work hard to achieve best possible outcomes for them.
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your interest and for attending tonight to hear how Your Best Life Disability and Health Services is continuing to achieve its NFP purpose of providing much needed services to people with disabilities and health conditions in our region.