CEO Update 6 July

CEO updates

A chilly (if optimistic) mid year welcome to everyone. I’d best not start harping on about Melbourne’s Winter chills (again)….suffice to say isn’t it lovely to be on the up side so to speak!?

July of course brings us a new budget. In late June the Bayley House Board approved the 2023/24 budget as prepared by the management team and endorsed by the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. We have a strong if tight budget this year which will deliver exciting outcomes for Bayley House clients and families. That being said, it is important to share with you that, once more this year, our budget is reliant on a very significant amount of fund raising to achieve even a modest surplus. Our ‘operating result’, that is our financial position withOUT fundraising is a significant deficit due entirely to the way in which the NDIS model continues to be ‘operationalised’. Let’s hope that the NDIS Review, which reports in full later in the year, delivers some relief from this burdensome and counterproductive approach.

On the topic of fundraising I am very excited to welcome Michelle Hayward to Bayley House in the role of Director of Philanthropy. Michelle started with us in June and has a strong and relevant background in philanthropy and fundraising. We are thrilled that she has joined the team. Before her commencement Michelle generously made the time to attend the annual Ian Hyman lunch at the RACV club which again raised $160k for Bayley House thanks to the wonderful work of Ian Hyman, Kate Hulsman and her team of volunteers. Our 2023 Tax Appeal also delivered a strong result raising $180k. Thank you to everyone who donated or participated in fund raising events this last year.  I would love to say thank you and we won’t bother you again……….

And at the other end of the continuum, Lindal Liddle is leaving Bayley House at the end of this week. Lindal has been a part of the Bayley House family now for 16 years and I know is so very highly regarded as someone with a passion for client centred practice and for getting real outcomes for our clients and their families. Lindal has worked with numerous families and with so many different teams across the organisation and I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge her incredible contribution to the life of Bayley House, to the way in which she has enriched and empowered so many people, and to wish her the very best for the future.

Our relationship with BlueCHP Housing has moved into second gear with the one group of residents already commencing the process with BlueCHP to plan their new house and a second group almost at that point. We plan to hold a second housing forum later this year aimed at families not already connected with Bayley House but who are seeking supported accommodation opportunities.

With the new financial year comes a small but important realignment of the executive roles at Bayley House. Three years ago we acquired the distribution rights of the Hidden Disabilities scheme across Australia and New Zealand.  This innovative scheme provides training to organisations about how to support people with disabilities which may not be physically evident. The scheme also supplies a range of sunflower products which a user can wear, or can identify a staff member wearing, in order to be able to access a bit of additional and hopefully timely assistance. Hidden Disabilities is literally on the brink of exponential growth with recent partnerships with major businesses.  Justin Bruce has overseen the growth of this exciting venture through his role as GM Marketing and will now transition full time to the new role of Director, Hidden Disabilities. The marketing team will be supported with additional resources and structure and will become part of the Shared Services team.

Bayley Arts!! It is sooooo close I can taste it!! But, despite everyone’s best endeavours we are unable to commence services at Avoca St from Monday next week as planned. This is both frustrating and disappointing, and I am learning why we see in the media almost every day stories of the challenges of the building and construction sector. The building works themselves are complete and Bayley Arts is ready for us to excitedly move in but there have been some late and unanticipated hiccups which have delayed the necessary certification. This is literally a day by day process now and we will be in those front doors the instant we can. Thank you all for your patience.  Believe me when I tell you that, whatever the wait, it will not disappoint!!