COO Update – May 2021

Our Chief Operating Officer, Laurie Sevil, has an update on the organisation.
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The global pandemic continues and we have worked on updating our planning to reflect the ongoing changes. As the restrictions have lifted within workplaces, we have progressed to maximising the staff we have back in the office, whilst balancing needs to staff and the transition back into the workplace (for some). Working from home arrangements are supported where approved and include weekly work plans to reflect the work undertaken whilst working from home. A by-product of this is the limited space we have in some workplaces, particularly with staffing continue to increase. Continued planning in this space is required.

The exploration of a culturally appropriate Employee Assistance Program with VAHS has concluded and the service has commenced. The current EAP provider will be retained to recognize the existing relationships that currently do exist. A review of the benefit of both providers can be made in the next 6-12 months. 

We recently underwent the Human Service Standards accreditation at the end of April. This is taking a considerable about of time and effort. Julie Colombi, Senior manager of Quality and Compliance has been leading the planning to support the key services area Executive Managers, Sue Williams and Liz Latorre. Executive Managers Steve Howard and Neil Maher were also critically involved in the accreditation process. In total, the accreditation process saw the auditing of a number of files and included interviews clients, staff and stakeholders. We are pleased to report that we met all the standards with some improvements identified. In feedback the auditors noted Board and staff commitment and focus on transparency, sustainability, reputation and quality practice. Staff were described as competent, passionate, innovative, knowledgeable, flexible and dedicated. This is a great achievement to be celebrated.

Rumbalara was also represented at the opening of Marram Ngala Ganbu – Koori Hearing Days at Shepparton Court on the 16 April. Aunty Pam provided the Welcome to Country and the event was well attended. Unfortunately, we know that Aboriginal children continue to be overrepresented in the child protection court system everywhere but also locally. The Koori Hearing Days are likely to change this over time.