Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Annual Report 2017 - 2018

CHAIR AND CEO UPDATE

We are delighted to present this summary of our activities for the 2017-2018 financial year, in which we have continued to grow and evolve, overcame many challenges and achieved some extraordinary results. It was a year of significant change, evolution and alignment to position ourselves in good standing for the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the organisation. It is unbelievable to think that we started with a grant of just $15,333 twenty-five years ago to successfully transition to the NDIS with a total revenue of almost five million dollars today. As a fledging organisation driven by parents, we started our journey supporting 10 clients for 10 hours per week delivering community access in Beaudesert. Today, we support over 100 clients in mostly accommodation support across South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. We still believe bigger isn’t better and we pride ourselves on delivering client focused and directed quality services over quantity of services.

This was a transition year for both the sector and Rural Lifestyle Options Australia. We are passionate about making a difference in rural and regional communities and this has driven our growth. We sought to make our services available to an increased number of participants through expanding our footprint interstate. We created a sustainable base built to benefit all participants, and a platform for growth with better outcomes and individual choices. The NDIS has represented the most significant reform Rural Lifestyle Options Australia has ever seen in our twenty-five years of operation and is the largest reform in Australia since the introduction of Medicare. It has forced service providers to be lean by reducing overheads which we are proud to say equate to just over seven percent. In 2017, we choose to discontinue delivering group based supports as we believe these supports take away people’s choice and control. Group based activities have proven to be inflexible in this new environment as it is almost impossible to match small groups of people wanting to work on the same goals at the same time.

To assist the organisation with our transition, we implemented an empowered, flat structure approach which encourages all team members to take active control and responsibility for their activities. This allowed freedom for all team members to contribute, develop and deliver ideas no matter their position within the organisation. This has resulted in lots of wonderful ideas and services being delivered. This financial year, we were proud to implement our endorsed Reconciliation Action Plan which demonstrates our commitment towards an inclusive community for all. At the end of June 2018, 70% of our services were operating under the NDIS and it is predicted by November 2018 all services will be. We wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone across the organisation for their tireless contribution. Most of all, we wish to thank our participants, a small number of whom have been gracious enough to share their stories in these pages. We are privileged to support them and bear witness to their resilience and success.

We would also like to thank our Board of Directors for demonstrating great leadership and we look forward to 2019 and the opportunities this brings for us.

Carole Caswell Chairperson

Michelle Latailakepa Chief Executive Officer

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