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Annual Report 2019-20

Annual Report 2019-20 | 1



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Chairman CEO

Messages of Support Vision, Purpose, Values Board & Leadership Team Snapshot Our Impact Community Programs Alliance Community Housing Mental Health Disability Governance People & Culture Finance Thank you

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CHAIRMAN’S REPORT I don’t think anyone could have predicted the ups and downs of the 2019-20 financial year. The disruption and uncertainty caused by COVID-19

I can say with confidence that we are in a stable and sustainable financial position and have invested in building a strong organisational culture that places the people we support at the centre of everything we do. On behalf of the Board, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to our CEO, Virginia Walker, our leadership team, and our amazing frontline workforce for their hard work in a particularly challenging year. Your dedication to the people we support is authentic and inspiring. I would also thank my fellow directors for contributing their time and expertise to the governance of Momentum Collective and for also making a difference to the lives of people in our local communities.

in 2020 has been life-changing for everyone. Despite the chaos and upheaval brought on by the pandemic, our dedicated teams continued to deliver essential services to the many thousands of people across the region who rely on our programs and support each year. I am certain that the efforts of the CEO and leadership team in steering Momentum Collective through a period of transition and change over the last two years, helped position us to respond quickly and innovatively to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Last financial year we celebrated a year of consolidation with a focus on strengthening our reputation and building strong relationships and partnerships in the communities we serve. I am pleased to report that this year has been one of growth and expansion of our services and programs.

Andrew Weil Chairman

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CEO’S REPORT Life has a habit of throwing us unexpected challenges, often small but sometimes much larger, as the clients we work with are only too aware. What we do know is that the support networks that individuals have access to when they confront life’s challenges can hugely influence their ability to respond as well as the outcomes they can expect.

Our Staying Home Leaving Violence program was implemented in the Richmond area allowing us to support more women and children experiencing domestic and family violence to remain safely in their homes. The launch of the revitalised Oak Centre in Casino was a memorable highlight. Bringing the community together, it will continue to be a vital hub for activities and programs aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of local residents. Our Supported Independent Living (SIL) services assist people living with disabilities and those experiencing mental health issues who require 24/7 support. Significant growth in this area saw the establishment of three additional houses in Ballina, Lismore and Tweed Heads during the year. In addition, we assisted 58 mental health clients apply for NDIS funding and also expanded our NDIS Mental Health In Home Support services across all of the regions we operate in.

Not unexpectedly over the 2019-20 financial year, we have seen opportunities in addition to the many challenges that arose. At Momentum Collective we continued to build, as well as benefit from, increased employee engagement and shared values. We saw growth in many of the services and programs we deliver allowing us to provide essential assistance to more people in need throughout our local communities.

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We launched an innovative Assertive Outreach Service, supporting people experiencing street homelessness to find secure housing alongside ongoing wrap around supports. Intentionally a multi- disciplinary approach, we are delivering this program in a collaborative partnership with Social Futures, the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice and the Department of Health. Homelessness continues to be a significant issue nationally but especially for many people in our local communities. The Assertive Outreach program in Tweed has dramatically changed the lives of 47 people so far, providing them with housing in the first half of 2020. Investing in our team and management capability has continued to be a focus with a dedicated training program established for our managers to boost their leadership and people management skills. The development and delivery of cultural awareness training for all Momentum employees began in late 2019 and continues to evolve. This training encourages our teams to foster an environment in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and perspectives can be better understood and valued by our whole organisation. We were thrilled at the success of our online event to launch our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in June this year. Recognising that COVID-19 restrictions would be in place for some time, the team worked with determination to reimagine their original plans. Their hard work allowed us to showcase the musical talent of our employees, the wisdom of local elders, and most importantly a strong commitment to Reconciliation in Australia. It was wonderful to be able to reach so many of our geographically dispersed team as well as the wider community.

One of our proudest achievements this financial year is that we continued to deliver the vast majority of our services and programs to our clients despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. An update of our Business Continuity Plan had earlier in the year identified fire, floods, and flu as major risk factors, unfortunately rather prophetic! Once the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak began to emerge we moved quickly to create and implement our response plan. This included forming a crisis management team to oversee our ongoing response and communicate regularly with our teams and clients. We were able to reassure our clients that we were still open and delivering services, just doing things differently. This provided security and continuity of care for those people who rely on our teams to live full and inclusive lives. Reflecting on all that has happened I am proud that we not only survived a very difficult year, we thrived, and I am confident that the year ahead holds many more opportunities to respond to and improve the way we work with our communities. I would like to warmly thank our inspiring clients, our extraordinary teams, my hard-working colleagues in the leadership team, and our committed Board for working so well together in a particularly demanding year.

Virginia Walker Chief Executive Officer

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Justine Elliot MP Federal Member for Richmond

Kevin Hogan MP Federal Member for Page

I write in support of the great work Momentum Collective does for the local community in my electorate of Richmond. Momentum Collective is an organisation with a strong focus on creating real social change and inclusive opportunities. Through their vision of getting people a roof, a job, and to live a better life engaged with the community, Momentum Collective excels in its role as a local service provider. Momentum Collective’s primary role is in assisting people experiencing homelessness find secure housing, by providing supports and programs for people living with disabilities and support people with mental health issues. The service Momentum Collective continues to provide is vital for our local community. I am reliably informed Momentum Collective continues to support women and children escaping domestic and family violence to rebuild their lives in safety. As the Federal Member for Richmond, I commend Momentum Collective for their service to our community and the vital role they play in keeping so many women and children safe in our community.

Our community is facing many challenges at the moment. It is great to recognise Momentum Collective on another successful year in our community at such a time. Momentum Collective continues to support thousands of individuals and families across the northern rivers and far north coast regions to get a roof, job, and live a better life. Congratulations to the CEO, Virginia, your entire team and all the volunteers for all your hard work. On behalf of my community, I thank you for all your support during these times.

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Tamara Smith MP State Member for Ballina

Janelle Saffin MP State Member for Lismore

Congratulations to Momentum Collective on yet another successful year! I appreciate and value the exceptional services that this organisation brings to the residents of the Ballina Electorate. This year we have seen an increase in mental illnesses, homelessness and unemployment as a result of the COVID 19 Pandemic. Organisations such as Momentum have been at the forefront of dealing with those affected. I commend Momentum on their successful delivery of mental health, domestic violence, disability, employment and accommodation services in Northern New South Wales. A big thank you to all of the staff and volunteers at Momentum Collective for their outstanding service to our community and wish you all the best for a wonderful year ahead.

My work as a political representative is guided daily by the desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives, particularly the disadvantaged in our local communities. Momentum Collective’s mission statement of helping their clients have a safe and suitable roof over their heads, secure a job, and to live a better life aligns with my values. I thank Momentum for participating in my forum in Lismore last August to find common ground on what can be done to tackle housing supply, affordable housing and homelessness. That forum informed Housing Ends Homelessness Report and Advocacy Paper, my submission to the Housing Strategy for NSW Discussion Paper. I grew up in the Housing Commission (as it was called then) and felt so pleased and privileged to have a house, a yard, a neighbourhood and a broad mix of people. All children must have this opportunity and feel like this. It is up to us adults to make sure it happens both at a policy level and at a practical level on the ground.

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Geoff Provest MP State Member for Tweed Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism & Major Events

2019 closed with rain but 2020 brought bushfires and an unexpected pandemic that has impacted on our communities in ways we could not have imagined. People already experiencing disadvantage have been further isolated and marginalised as Health Directives limiting personal contact severely affected those without ready access to technology. Momentum Collective in this region faced enormous challenges in service delivery due to the closure of the NSW-Queensland Border and the impact on staff availability and access to services. It has taken a great deal of ingenuity and commitment on its part to continue to support clients in this most challenging of times. I would particularly congratulate Momentum Collective for its work, in partnership with NSW Communities & Justice and with Social Futures, in the assertive outreach program to reduce homelessness in our region. This program not only helps people find tenancies, but guides and supports them to sustain these tenancies into the future. I acknowledge and thank the caring staff and volunteers at Momentum Collective for their diligence and dedication during this most trying of times and wish them well in the year ahead.

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Empowered People, Connected Communities.

Momentum is a community collective creating real social change and inclusive opportunities .

We help people get a roof, a job, live a better life and engage with the community.

Trust & Respect Wellbeing Innovation Working well together Being Gracious

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Andrew Weil Chairman of the Board Member of Strategy Committee, Audit & Finance Committee and Risk Committee

Mark Formaggin Non-Executive Director, Chair & Member of Audit & Finance Committee, Member of Risk Committee and Strategy Committee

Terry Watson Non-Executive Director, Chair & Member of Strategy Committee, Member of Audit & Finance Committee

Tony Corcoran Non-Executive Director, Chair & Member of Risk Committee, Member of People & Culture Committee

Beth Barratt-Browne Non-Executive Director, Chair & Member of People & Culture Committee

Annette Fale Non-Executive Director, Member of People & Culture Committee

Dr John Sturgeon Non-Executive Director & Member of Strategy Committee

Angela Stavropoulos Non-Executive Director, Member of Audit & Finance Committee

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Virginia Walker Chief Executive Officer

Sarah Dybing Service Director - Community Programs

Laura Kennedy Service Director Disability - Assisted Living

Trevor Shearn Service Director - Mental Health

Mark Edwards Director - Property, Housing & Strategy

Scott Lofler Director - Finance

Brendan Frawley Director - Marketing & Client Experience

Maryanne Groth Director - People, Culture & Change

Fiona Miller Service Manager - Disability Outreach

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23% Alliance Partners

961 After Hours Calls (DVRE)

35% Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander

4260 Clients

80% Women and Children


11% Carer Respite 13%

24% 24/7 Residential Rehabilitation

56% Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander

443 Clients

Client transitioned to NDIS Outreach



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25% Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander

289 Properties

44% Crisis & Transitional Housing

513 Tenancies

56% Long Term Social &



17% Supported Employment

14% 24/7 Supported Independent Living and Respite

Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander

50% Support Coordination

Clients 564

59% Outreach


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Our community program teams experienced another busy year in 2019-20 supporting 4260 people across our many and varied programs. Our amazing and hardworking frontline employees and managers demonstrated their ongoing commitment to providing support and vital services in our local communities. A renewed organisational culture within Momentum has benefited the people we work with by putting them firmly at the centre of our professional practice. It has been a year of expansion that has allowed us to respond to the needs of more people experiencing hardship and disadvantage. It has also been a year that has challenged us to keep going in the face of a serious pandemic. I am proud to say our teams responded to this challenge by working even harder and thinking of new ways to keep our programs and services operating. The hard work and dedication of our teams in the 2019-20 financial year has assisted thousands of children, young people, families, and individual women and men to achieve their goals in the areas of safety, housing, parenting, community inclusion, access to needed services and material goods, health, education, employment, and living skills. We secured ongoing funding for all of our existing programs and additional funding to assist us to deal with the increase in demand as a result of COVID-19.

We continued to work in partnership with Aboriginal controlled domestic and family violence and specialist homelessness organisations. The new funding we secured in the financial year allowed us to respond to the unacceptably high levels of street homelessness in the Tweed Region and implement our Staying Home Leaving Violence program in the Richmond Valley area. One of the highlights of the year was the grand opening of the revitalised Oak Centre in Casino. Funding from the North Coast Primary Health Network allowed us to begin a Healthy Communities program in partnership with Northern NSW Local Health District and Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation. Another highlight was our determination to host the Staying Home Safe Forum, bringing together over 100 people working in the domestic and family violence sector across NSW. The forum was originally intended to be held at a venue in April 2020 with face to face interaction. Due to COVID-19 we had to quickly pivot the event to an online format that allowed us to share information and knowledge and develop new resources to upskill the workforce. The best outcome of the year, as always, was to see the positive impact that our support and programs have on the lives of so many people.

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Momentum Collective is a provider of the Staying Home Leaving Violence program in Northern NSW. As part of this program, we have created “Staying Home Safe” resources for the wider sector to support women and children to stay home safe while leaving violence. Domestic and family violence practitioners from around NSW joined a two day online Staying Home Safe forum hosted by Momentum Collective in June 2020. The forum brought together people working in domestic and family violence, government departments, police and local businesses to discuss how we can all work together to improve outcomes for women and children escaping domestic and family violence. In collaboration with industry partners and members of the community, we also produced a booklet and online resources for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence to help keep them safe in their homes.

Finding a new life after domestic violence When Jess (name changed to protect privacy) arrived at our women’s refuge after escaping domestic violence, she had to reassess and rebuild her life. With the support of her Momentum case worker, Jess began to make arrangements with her employer to ensure she could continue working and care for her son during a traumatic time. Once her employment was secure, Jess turned her attention to finding a new home where she and her son would be safe. The team at our women’s refuge supported her to access funding to assist with establishing a new home and arranged donations of furniture and essential household items.

During her time at the refuge Jess was able to increase her hours of work after our team helped her find childcare for her son. This allowed Jess and her son to be more financially secure and start a new life free of violence and abuse. Jess said the support she received from her caseworker and the Momentum team was ‘lifesaving’. “I was so worried when I arrived at the refuge but the team made me feel so supported and worked really quickly to help me keep my job and find a new home for my son and I. I can’t thank them enough for helping us get back on our feet and realise that we can have a good life and be safe.”

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Assertive Outreach Program helps Jim achieve independence and freedom

getting back in touch with his psychologist and maintain regular visits. They also supported Jim to apply for the NDIS to ensure he received the ongoing support he needs to keep his life on track. Jim has come a long way in his journey of recovery and is now in permanent housing and enjoying creating a safe home for himself. With a stable home and support from the team, Jim has also been able to have laser eye surgery and buy new glasses. One of the achievements he is most proud of is getting his licence and buying a car. He feels that he has a new sense of independence and freedom. The Assertive Outreach team is working with Jim to make sure he has everything he needs to sustain his independence and freedom into the future.

Jim (not his real name) lives with a mental illness and has experienced street homelessness for several years in the Tweed region. Before he met Momentum’s Assertive Outreach team in 2019, Jim was unable to access the ongoing support he needed to find secure and affordable housing. Jim, who identifies as Aboriginal, was sleeping rough on Ukerebagh Island on the Tweed River when he first engaged with the program. He had fallen through the cracks and his mental health had deteriorated in this time. The Assertive Outreach team prioritised Jim’s care and provided the support he needed to find a home and stabilise his mental health.

While Jim was initially housed in temporary accommodation the team supported him with

Momentum team members at the 2019 Homelessness Connect Day

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Momentum is proud to be a part of a vital Specialist Homelessness Service Alliance that operates across many communities in the Clarence Valley, Richmond and Northern Rivers regions. The partnership is vital to our regions because it offers culturally appropriate and safe services for Aboriginal people and their families. Our Alliance partners include: Women Up North, Clarence River Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services Inc., Northern Rivers Community Gateway, Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council, Casino Local Aboriginal Land Council & Gurehlgam Corporation. Our 2019-20 Annual Report features interviews with some of our partners, who share their thoughts on the importance of having a Specialist Homelessness Service Alliance in our region.

The communities in our area experience economic and social disadvantage and poor employment opportunities and with that comes many forms of disadvantage including homelessness and domestic and family violence. Our First Nation’s community members continue to struggle with systemic racism and find it extremely difficult to find affordable housing and employment. I am confident working with Momentum and the Alliance and believe that Virginia (Virginia Walker, Momentum Collective CEO) has offered some great leadership. One of the most important things we need to work on is a determination to break the cycle of homelessness. We shouldn’t have to compete for funding – domestic violence and homelessness shouldn’t be a political issue. We live in a developed nation but we have high levels of homelessness. It is embarrassing and we need to fix it.

Jillian Knight-Smith, Manager Women Up North The Alliance allows us to bring together specialist homelessness services that match the needs of our local communities. It’s really powerful that we have people in the Clarence region who maintain the history, knowledge and skills that have developed in our communities over many years. Women Up North is a specialist domestic and family violence homelessness service and registered housing provider. We have a history of supporting women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence in transitional accommodation and working with women to source their own properties. We also work with NSW Housing to find accommodation options for our clients. Our organisation has evolved to offer a holistic response. We have a really good network that works collaboratively to reduce duplication and make sure our clients are getting what they need.

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Kenn Payne, Manager Gurehlgam Corporation

Nav Navratil, Manager Clarence River Domestic and Family Violence Service The Alliance provides a good base for a regional understanding of the needs of our communities. Our organisations are strategically placed and reflect the needs of our local communities. As a whole the Alliance creates a stronger voice. My organisation, Clarence River Domestic and Family Violence Service, has a long standing working relationship as an Alliance partner. We provide crisis accommodation, court support, and counselling and outreach support services. We also act as a referral service when we need to refer our clients to other agencies and we advocate and lobby for survivors of domestic and family violence. There is still so much to be done around safety for women and children in our community. Domestic violence is not just physical violence it includes emotional and financial abuse. In addition to the lack of affordable housing, women in our region also face barriers around communication and public transport infrastructure. Housing affordability is really a key issue for the Alliance – we have to map out the issues and find a way forward. We don’t have the political or structural control around housing but we can make representations to government bodies so the grassroots’ issues are heard. I think the strength of the Alliance is that we are all independent and we are all focussed on getting the best outcomes for our clients. We will keep working through these issues and supporting each other to make the changes needed to bring about change.

We really need the expertise of people who work in women’s refuges and Aboriginal run organisations to bring the immediate sense of purpose to the Alliance. There is a lot of expertise from both women’s services and Aboriginal organisations in the Alliance and that is what makes it so important and unique. The Gurehlgam Community Centre in Grafton, is home to 15 different services across issues such as homelessness, court support and tenancy support, mental health and drug and alcohol. We also provide a lot of cultural engagement and strengthening cultural understanding in the wider community. One of the biggest issues for our area is the lack of housing. If we had adequate and affordable housing for the people we support a lot of the other issues would melt away or at least be easier to handle. You can’t get on with your life and sorting out challenges if you don’t have a place to live. There is a lot of goodwill out there in the community and among our organisations to try and address the social and economic disadvantage so many people experience. We really need to find solutions and be creative about how we come together to address things like housing. We definitely need more investment from government but we can’t wait for a magic wand – we have to take action as a community.

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COMMUNITY HOUSING It’s been both an exciting and challenging year for our community housing team. The growth of our services has enabled us to expand our

In a year disrupted by the impact of COVID-19, the team was able to centralise services, ensuring that all of our tenants had improved access to the support and assistance they needed. A new tenancy officer role was created to support our expanded operations in Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Ulmarra. One of the key roles of our housing team is to provide a platform for the delivery of wrap around services for clients with complex housing and support needs. The team has continued to work in partnership with our mental health, domestic violence, homelessness and disability service teams. The work of the team during a challenging year was recognised by the National Community Housing Registrar with a highly successful review of our community housing operations as part of the annual regulatory review process. We look forward to continuing to grow our housing portfolio in response to increased community demand for secure and affordable housing.

workforce on the ground and improve our service delivery capacity to our tenants. Highlights for the year include the acquisition by Momentum of four new properties, providing assistance to more than 10 tenants. The new private head-leasing program resulted in some of the most vulnerable people in our community having access to fully supported, safe and affordable housing. The housing component of the program is funded by our organisation. In addition, Momentum purchased 10 townhouses in Ulmarra in July 2019, a welcome increase in our affordable housing portfolio. A focus for the year has been to continuously improve services to our tenants, with our ongoing commitment to overall professionalism and excellence. A significant program of reactive maintenance and property upgrade works was delivered to ensure that our properties continue to meet the expected standard.

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Warren, Josie and Sandra all moved into their own apartments in our Byangum Road property in Murwillumbah when it opened in 2010, with Brian joining them two years later. Momentum Collective manages all of the apartments in the complex as part of our Community Housing program. Warren says he was offered three properties to choose from when he and his wife Anne were asked to relocate from their long term Department of Housing property in Murwillumbah. “We raised our three boys in the Baker Street house. We were there for 39 years. The Department of Housing said we had to move out because it was a three bedroom home and all of our boys had grown up and moved out,” he says. “Anne and I chose this apartment and it was brand new when we moved in. Momentum look after the place really well. They are well built and if you have any problems the maintenance team will come and fix it. I’ve never had any problems myself.” Brian moved in two years later and also relocated from a Department of Housing property. “Pat and I were married 57 years. We had five boys and a good 57 years together.” Brian and Warren both lost their wives while living in Byangum Road and they support each other through the tough times. “It’s good to have Warren here,” Brian says. “He keeps me on the right track.” Like Warren and Brian, Josie moved out of a Department of Housing property when her children had all left home. “I had three boys and I lived in my previous home for 26 years. When the kids had all grown up and left I needed to find a new home for myself,” Josie says. “When I was preparing to move out of the old house I had a few places to look at. I thought these apartments were really lovely but the lady that

showed us around said not to get our hopes up because lots of people were interested.” Josie was eventually offered an apartment, along with two of her friends who had also moved out of Department of Housing properties. “Lo and behold, Sandra and Mavis and I were all offered a place here so I’ve been here since the beginning. I love my little unit and I’m quite happy here,” says Josie. When Sandra moved to Byangum Road she was still working part-time and needed to leave her long term Department of Housing property in O’Connor Drive, Murwillumbah. “I was still working part-time when I moved here. Packing up and moving was a big job. I had been in my previous house for a long time. I raised my daughter and son there,” Sandra says. Having friends live close by is important to Sandra who says there is a sense of community at Byangum Road. “Lesley who lives next door has been here for five years but she and I have been friends for more than thirty years. I also have Josie here and she is just wonderful. Knowing I have neighbours who are also friends creates a real sense of community.”

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Annual Report 2019-20 | 29 Josie pictured in her apartment at Byangum Road


A major achievement for our mental health teams in the 2019-20 financial year has been the ability to assist our clients with a primary diagnosis of psychosocial disability in transitioning to support through the NDIS. A highlight for our clients and teams in the last financial year has been the establishment of three much needed new Mental Health Supported Independent Living properties in Tweed Heads, Ballina and Lismore. Our amazing teams also assisted 65% of our clients from the Connections Centre in Tweed Heads to test their NDIS eligibility, resulting in more people accessing vital supports and services. It was reassuring to see the NDIS acknowledge the significant challenges faced by people experiencing psycho social disabilities by including innovative funding in plans for a Recovery Focused Mentor. 58 mental health clients have been able to access this service and it is proving a valuable part of their recovery. Our block funded programs were impacted by COVID-19 towards the end of the financial year. This required some innovative work practices and close cooperation with our referral partners to continue to provide our programs and supports to clients. Our ability to continue to deliver our services in this difficult time is a credit to our hardworking and dedicated teams. Our Community Recovery Program in Coffs Harbour worked in partnership with the Local Health District to

provide a successful recovery focused service to their clients. The success of this program has resulted in a further three year extension of funding. A change in government policy meant that our Mental Health Carer Respite Service came to an end this financial year but we were able to assist our carers access the new system and continue to receive supports. Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) Program Our ADE programs performed above expectations in the 2019-20 financial year despite the impact of COVID-19 which imposed some restrictions on the business operations. The Ballina Salvage Shed achieved record sales for the year and our Grounds Maintenance team also received a significant increase in requests for gardening and maintenance services. The Recyclers Op Shop in Tweed Heads responded to the challenges of COVID-19 with innovative solutions, offering employees the option to work from home and undertake additional training. These initiatives enabled our supported employees to continue their employment with Momentum. The easing of restrictions has seen a gradual return to business and a new normal at the Recyclers Op Shop. A highlight of the year included a working bee with KPMG employees volunteering to give Recyclers a much needed facelift with new signage and paint job with outstanding results.

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KPMG volunteering at Recyclers Op Shop joined by Tweed Heads Mayor Chris Cherry

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Victoria is a regular at our Tweed Connections drop in centre. Victoria says Connections is a place where people can go to find support and make friends. “I take part in as many social activities as I can. If someone needs a kind word or a bit of help, I am here.” Victoria says the staff at Connections are positive and advocate for people experiencing mental illness. “You have to keep working to make sure we have the services and programs on the ground to support people who experience mental health issues. I think we all have our own strengths and we can make positive change in mental health. So I am very positive about the future in that respect.” MEET VICTORIA

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Jan is a long term member of the group at Connections. She often drops in to play the piano and catch up with the team and her friends. “Wayne (Momentum’s Connections Manager) is very good - he looks after everyone and makes sure we all respect each other,” Jan says. “I have been coming for over 30 years. I met my husband here. I was on my own at the time and getting some help from Connections. My husband came around and asked me to join him and some friends at a local club. When we got to the club he asked me to dance and he said ‘we can’t dance can we’? So we enrolled in a rock n roll dance course and now we’ve been married for 19 years.”

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A review of our Disability Services in the 2019- 20 financial year resulted in the creation of two streams; Disability Outreach and Assisted Living teams. This operational change was made to ensure we deliver the highest quality services to all of our clients in the context of the NDIS funding model. Disability Outreach Our Disability Outreach team has focused on reinvigorating and revamping all of our programs and services to ensure we are meeting the needs of our clients in the current competitive NDIS market. Intensive work has been undertaken by the team in the past 12 months to develop a new service delivery framework that is based on NDIS outcome measures, particularly in relation to supporting people living with a disability to set and achieve goals and participate fully in their local communities. As part of an organisation wide investment in our

employees the disability outreach Community Support Managers (CSMs) have participated in the LIFT training program to boost their management and leadership skills. We continued to support our clients live their best lives through our centre and community based activities and programs in 2019-20. Our team responded to the challenges of COVID-19 by maintaining contact with people using technology and visiting individuals in their homes where it was safe to do so. This included creating and delivering activity packs for vulnerable people who were unable to attend our centres. Our clients took an active role in working with us to maintain physical distance and hand hygiene guidelines when participating in our centre based activities during COVID-19. We are extremely proud of all of our participants and our team members who kept our services and programs operating during a challenging year.

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Disability Assisted Living Our Supported Independent Living (SIL) program experienced a year of positive growth and consolidation. Our managers took advantage of training opportunities and worked together consistently with a clear vision, providing excellent supports to our clients. Our SIL teams responded to the challenges of COVID-19 towards the end of the 2019-20 financial year by providing extra supports to our clients and keeping everyone safe, focusing on awareness of infection control and following health guidelines. The appointment of a Housing Pathway Specialist during the financial year has assisted with linking our housing and SIL services to encourage the expansion of the program. One of the most exciting developments for our Assisted Living team included forming a partnership with Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider Adapt Housing. Momentum is contracted

to be the SIL provider in 2021 for a 10 unit housing development in Loganlea, built by Adapt. This brand new purpose built accommodation will provide new opportunities for people with disabilities to live independently in the community with support from our dedicated team. Support Coordination The 2019-20 financial year saw an expansion of our Support Coordination services, including an increase in staffing with seven Support Coordinators now available to NDIS participants across our regions. Our new team has supported 258 clients with over 5,830 hours of service resulting in increased access to vital services for people living with disabilities. The team will continue working to increase our Support Coordination activities across the region to ensure NDIS participants receive the services they need to live full and inclusive lives in our local communities.

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Trinity, Bill and Brandon are all participants of our disability outreach program in Tweed Heads. Trinity is a long standing member of the group. “I’ve been coming along for about three years now,” she says. “It’s amazing. I enjoy bowling and cooking. I’ve learnt to make schnitzel and spaghetti.” Bill has also been a long term member of the Tweed program and is also one of Momentum’s supported independent living clients. “I like coming along and joining in the activities,” he says. “I like the bowling and also music. My favourite singers are Slim Dusty and Charlie Pride.” Brandon says he also enjoys bowling and having a meal with the group. “I do bowling on a Thursday and I come along every Friday to go out for dinner with the group. My favourite is fish and chips,” he says. “I went bowling today and my score was 107. I keep going to try and beat that score. I am also getting quite quick and improving my technique.”

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Neil, Jess and Harrison live together in one of our Supported Independent Living properties on the Gold Coast. They enjoy sharing a house with the support of our team. Neil loves to cook and enjoys walking while Harrison loves to relax in the backyard and listen to music. Jess is a keen AFL football supporter and is also a fan of bowling. “My team is Collingwood,” Jess says. “Neil and I are going to a game at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. I can’t wait.”

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Support Coordination team expands across the regions Momentum Collective has a strong team of seven Support Coordinators providing support and assistance to NDIS participants across communities in Tweed, Gold Coast, Richmond, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour and Grafton. Yvonne Doeleman and Denise Robinson, both started working as Support Coordinators with Momentum in September 2019. Yvonne and Denise enjoy being part of a larger team that share’s NDIS knowledge and expertise across a broad geographic region. “Networking and sharing information is such an important part of our role”, Yvonne says. “While the NDIS has national guidelines and policies a big part of our role as Support Coordinators is finding out what resources and services are available on the ground and at the local level. It is all about getting the best outcomes for our clients.” Denise says Momentum Collective is well placed to assist people experiencing mental health issues to access the NDIS. “Momentum has a long history of supporting people with mental health issues. The NDIS has recently made some changes that make it more accessible to people with psycho social disabilities,” she says. “The Connections centre in Tweed Heads is a good hub – the service has been there for a long time and people trust them. This makes it easier for Support Coordinators to make contact with people who need assistance and follow through on delivering a service.” Denise and Yvonne agree that the best part of their job is when NDIS participants achieve their goals and become more active in their communities. “A highlight for me was one of the participants I work with taking on a volunteer role. I can see her confidence growing every day,” Denise says. “People make connections with you and they tell you about their day and how things are going,” Yvonne says. “We get to work with some amazing people. The important part of my job is working with community.”

Building resilience Jennifer (name changed for privacy) was in hospital when our local Support Coordinator made contact to assist her with an NDIS plan. Jennifer says the support she received from Momentum Collective assisted her to feel more resilient and find stability. “I just want to express my gratitude to you for setting up systems of support that meet my unique needs and have allowed me to increase my level of resilience. Your warmth, kindness and compassion at our very first meeting helped establish an effective level of rapport that has grown over our time together and contributed so much to my increased stability and wellbeing. Given that my recovery is a work in progress, I value your input. The community field can be a thankless system to work in at times, and I want you to know how grateful I am for your support.”

Annual Report 2019-20 | 39


Our objectives and operational structure are built around a rigorous, professional, best practice framework that ensures we maintain: • a professional and experienced Board • a management team with front-line experience and expertise across our services and programs • provision of high quality, safe customer-centric care • flexibility to grow and respond to the changing human services sector • effective balancing of the needs of customers, funding bodies, regulators and the organisation • well embedded Risk Management Framework • third party accreditation across all service streams • extensive multidisciplinary clinical and support services network at the national, state and local level

• localised services to meet community and individual customer needs • rigorous management of clinical risk, quality and customer safety.

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Annual Report 2019-20 | 41


In 2019-20 the People, Culture and Change team focussed on consolidating positive changes to our internal culture and realigning our organisational structure within a client driven model. This process ensures we move forward with a best practice approach to service delivery across our foot print, and establishes clear support structures for all team members. To build our front line capability, we offered all employees the opportunity to complete Therapeutic Crisis Intervention training (TCI). The accredited training is run by our internal team of TCI Facilitators to ensure important practises are embedded in the way we work. One of the highlights of the financial year included our staff engagement survey. Engagement is high (85%, 5% above benchmark), with an overwhelming number of employees enjoying their work (91%). The majority of employees reported they’d like to continue working at Momentum Collective in two years’ time (86%, 12% above benchmark). The majority of employees report healthy levels of wellbeing (76%, 4% above benchmark). Employees’ perceptions of organisational performance is also high (80%, 7% above benchmark), with 88% of employees reporting that the future for Momentum Collective is positive (10% above benchmark). Employees are working effectively within teams, across teams, and across the layers of leadership. Technology and workload are also notably above benchmark (+13% and +11% respectively). Reconciliation Action Plan In February 2020, our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was officially approved by Reconciliation Australia.

Our second innovative RAP is a living document that includes a range of actions and activities to ensure that Momentum Collective makes a contribution towards true reconciliation in Australia. Our RAP launch took place on 24 June after the original date was postponed due to COVID-19. The RAP launch was held online via a live Facebook stream. It included a Welcome to Country and Yarns from Elders across the region, traditional dance, and a song about Reconciliation written and performed by our very own Garry Kafoa. Our RAP initiatives have received positive feedback from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander workforce scoring 93% for overall engagement. Developing Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness for all employees In 2019-20 we developed and delivered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness Training for all employees. The training promotes an environment where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives are understood, valued and embraced into our organisational values. The training encourages all to benefit from diversity by understanding, accepting and respecting difference. The training has become part of our induction process and will continue to be delivered. LIFT People Management Program A management program to boost the people management practices and skills of our managers was implemented during the 2019-20 financial year. This program engaged managers by developing their capability, encouraging accountability and fostering a learning and feedback culture by creating curious and people centric managers.

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Age breakdown:

Under 25 - 5%

Our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community 33 Aboriginal employees

25 to 34 - 20%

34 to 44 - 21%

45 to 54 - 26%

8 full time 9 part time 16 casual

55 and over - 28% 85% of our employees are engaged and committed in their roles.

“Our values are becoming more encompassed in my work life” 94% of employees believe in the values of Momentum Collective.

Annual Report 2019-20 | 43

FINANCIAL SUMMARY The 2019-20 financial performance reflected a period of strong sustained growth. Momentum Collective is in a strong financial position, continuing to increase its revenue base, maintaining a manageable level of operational expenditure and preserving a solid balance sheet. The 16% year on year revenue growth was primarily due to the following strategic activities: • increased funding in our NSW Community Programs (+13%) • increased patronage in centre based and in-home support, the expansion of those services across our geographic regions and an additional three Supported Independent Living properties (+28%) • increased in Community Housing properties (+6%) Momentum will continue to grow in accordance with our strategic plan and deliver positive outcomes for our clients, families and funders. Revenue by funding source:


YoY +16%


NSW MH +2%




NDIS +28%





CH +6%





Dept of Social Services 2%

Dept Health & Ageing 2%

Community Housing



NSW Health

Dept Social Services

Dept Health & Ageing QLD Disability Services

Dept Priminister & Cabinet

Community Housing 9%

NSW Health 8%

NSW Deptof Communities & Justice 20%

NDIS 56%

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