President’s Foreword

Building safer and stronger communities

Mary Bent
In what continues to be an ever changing, challenging and exciting service delivery landscape, Relationships Australia Tasmania continued to provide high quality services while once again delivering a healthy surplus.

Our continued commitment to building safer and more connected families, workplaces and communities has been recognised by governments such that we have attracted additional programs and the resources to deliver them.

This commitment was demonstrated through the amazing amount of quality client work our staff delivered this year. With 7,724 clients accessing our services across the state through over 27,590 sessions, high demand for our services continues to demonstrate the value of our work. As we improve our services and develop new programs, collecting and analysing meaningful data about client experiences will continue to be a key priority. The case studies in this year’s report and the analysis of client data from the past year are illustrations of the many ways in which we are achieving our mission.

Keeping an eye on current not-for-profit developments and governance issues saw the board undertake Integrity Commission Training to ensure we continue to operate ethically and appropriately. Greater community awareness about the prevalence and impact of domestic violence and the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse highlight the intensity of concerns that are all too commonplace within community and family services.

Over the past year, the board has had a focus on improving its own membership and governance. Through a thorough evaluation of the board’s functioning, it was identified that we need to continue to have members with strong client experience and qualifications in our industry. Also, that marketing and communications advice and support was an area of our governance that we could strengthen.

In response to this, we welcomed Dr Sarah Dawkins and Rick Marton to the team. Dr Sarah Dawkins is a Clinical Psychologist who currently works at the University of Tasmania, specialising in mental health and workplace mental health.  Sarah is also one of the original Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners from the commencement of our Hobart Family Relationships Centre, so joins the board with a sound understanding of our client work.

Rick Marton has been appointed to fill the vacancy in the Northern Region and comes with excellent experience in marketing and events management and as we go to print, Shona Gates, an experienced Senior Social Worker, has just been appointed from the North West.

Recently the board bid farewell to David Dilger, whose contribution to the organisation is greatly valued and appreciated. On behalf of the board, I thank David for his dedicated service and wish him well in the future.

I would like to acknowledge the board’s support and guidance in 2017-18 and pay tribute to their willingness to volunteer their time and effort. I also wish to acknowledge our CEO, Mat Rowell, who alongside the Leadership and Management Group, has ably led the organisation through the past year.

High demand for our services continues to demonstrate the value of our work.

Finally, I wish to recognise all staff at Relationships Australia Tasmania who embody our values through the delivery of our diverse services and for their unwavering commitment in ensuring Tasmanians are offered the support they need, when they need it.

Mary Bent PMS
Relationships Australia Tasmania