2019/20 is the first year of our 5 year strategic plan and it’s a year that has provided many catalysts for transformation – a new president, a new CEO and a pandemic. With all of this disruption, I’m delighted to say that we’ve adapted to continue in our mission to connect people and empower communities.
Entering a pandemic with strong foundations doesn’t come as luck. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our past-CEO Mat Rowell and past-President Mary Bent for their leadership over most of the last decade. That same level of planning allowed the board to recruit a proven executive team from within – with Michael Kelly as our new CEO and Jules Carroll as Chief Operating Officer.
In hard times, a testament to the strength of the organisation is how well all levels stay considerate of core values. I’m proud that the board approved management’s request to waive all fees during the 3 peak months of COVID lockdown – an example of our value in being ‘In it together’. Additionally, I know our RA team went over and above to adapt our programs and find new ways to continue offering support from their homes – indeed work from home flexibility was something we hoped to achieve in coming years but the need was brought forward and adapted to with urgency and a true sense of collaboration.
In hard times, a testament to the strength of the organisation is how well all levels stay considerate of core values.
Supporting the strategic plan requires the right expertise around the board table. I can genuinely say that the volunteer board sincerely care for what our organisation stands for and remains the most professional and dedicated board I have ever been part of, let alone had the honour to lead. This year we were able to welcome James Hipwood as the Northern Representative with an accomplished financial background and Liz Jack who brings a wealth of experience in delivery of public services.
I would also like to thank Kim Barker for her commitment to the board for 8 years and wish her all the best in her next chapter. So too, we were able to facilitate an extended maternity leave of absence for our Treasurer and Chair of our Finance and Risk Committee Emma Lovibond, looking forward to welcoming a new member of the RA family soon.
One of the things I love as a board member is reading through de-identified exit client surveys and staff survey results. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear of challenges and opportunities from staff in a transparent culture, as well as hear the feedback from our clients. Overwhelmingly we hear positive feedback and know that our team of more than 160 amazing humans are helping Tasmanians in the ways that most matter to them as individuals and community members and most importantly serving with open hearts and open minds.
Overwhelmingly we hear positive feedback and know that our team of more than 160 amazing humans are helping Tasmanians in the ways that most matter to them as individuals and community members and most importantly serving with open hearts and open minds.
On a national basis, each of the state and territory organisations continue to work together to champion proactive collaborations such as Neighbour Day, advocacy for overall industry matters and raising the profile of the overwhelming evidence showing the impact that loneliness has on our overall health system and the day to day lives of Australians.
As we enter a new year, COVID will still deliver significant challenges for the Tasmanian community, and with a lack of predictability, agility and a willingness to serve will be more important than ever.