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Strategic priorities performance 2020

Strategic priority 1
Customer first

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do

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Key highlights this year include:

  • Opened WesleyCare Wynnum Apartments, a state-of-the-art supported accommodation community for people under the age of 65 living with disability. The development consists of five purpose-built individual apartments where residents can have their own freedom and independence in a stand-alone apartment, but with the safety and security of knowing 24/7 clinical care and support is available on-site when they require it.
  • Turned the sod on WesleyCare Maroochydore, our latest supported accommodation community, which will support nine people under the age of 65 living with disability in the Sunshine Coast region. The development consists of two housing options, including five stand-alone apartments for residents wanting more independence, and a share-house with five rooms and communal living and recreational spaces. WMQ is a recognised leader in Queensland in the provision of development plan to continue to provide support to this client group over the next five years.
  • Expanded our mental health services with the commencement of several new programs and a workforce of over 100 staff. WMQ delivers more than 17 unique mental health and suicide prevention programs from Hervey Bay to the Gold Coast. These include support for people across the lifespan – from youth specific services such as headspace centres in Capalaba, Hervey Bay and Maryborough, through to specific support for isolated older people.
  • We have a growing team of staff on the Gold Coast working with people with severe and enduring mental illness for up to 12 months – focussing on improving skills to direct their recovery, find work, improve relationships, learn how to manage their own mental health and wellbeing and lead rich and meaningful lives.
  • We are funded by the Queensland Department of Health to deliver over 1,500 sessions of psychology and coaching per month to the residents of Brisbane South – including to children under 12 at risk of developing mental illness, women experiencing domestic and family violence and those at risk of suicide or self-harm.
  • We also have a number of dedicated suicide prevention services – walking alongside people for three months following a suicide attempt – and men’s mentoring.
  • We recognise the importance of lived experience inclusion at all levels of service delivery – we currently employ six people with a lived experience of recovery from mental health issues in dedicated peer roles, across a range of programs. This includes a Queensland pilot of dedicated peer support for people who have been caring for someone who is suicidal.
  • Staff and aged care residents participated in the Eden Alternative™ International Conference held in Brisbane in October 2019. WMQ was widely represented with multiple presentations from staff across our residential aged care communities and a panel of residents who shared their experience and feedback on living in our aged care communities. The Eden Alternative ™ philosophy of care is dedicated to promoting quality of life for elders and creating homes that are filled with laughter, family, beautiful spaces, gardens, animals and music and, most importantly strong and warm relationships between residents, staff, volunteers and families.
  • The Supporting Those at Risk of Homelessness (STARH) services in the Gold Coast, Logan and Ipswich regions received $530,000 from the Queensland Government’s Immediate Response Fund to provide enhanced housing and homelessness services to meet the needs of vulnerable people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed our specialist homelessness services to provide additional services including motel or hotel accommodation for individuals and families impacted by COVID-19 who needed to self-isolate or otherwise needed temporary accommodation. These additional services supported vulnerable people including women and children experiencing domestic and family violence, young people, people living with disability, older people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Hummingbird House has broadened how we care for our families since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in recognition of their increased vulnerability and isolation. This has included using telehealth to connect with and support families within the safety of their homes – while prioritising end of life and after death care at the house. We have also continued to celebrate important milestones in the lives of the families we support, by delivering birthday celebration packs to family homes during COVID-19 restrictions for example. Hummingbird House remains a family-focussed, child-centred service that lives the values of Wesley Mission Queensland.
  • Expanded our Home Support NDIS service, which now assists 48 clients aged 18 to 65 who are living with disability and not living in supported accommodation. The service provides a wide range of tailored support to assist people with activities of daily living and provides increased opportunities for them to participate in their community. We are working closely with Queensland Health to transition clients out of hospital, so they can be cared for in their own homes in the community.
  • Partnered with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) to present a free livestream performance of the QSO’s 2019 season finale concert Timeless. More than 600 residents from our retirement living, aged care and supported accommodation communities enjoyed the night of classical music on Saturday 16 November 2019, with many homes hosting special sit-down dinners and themed events with residents dressing up, just as they would to attend the theatre. Manager of Creative Arts at WMQ, Annie Peterson said the unique performance was the first for the organisation and hopefully not the last. “Many of our residents are music and theatre lovers but are unable to attend for a variety of reasons, including medical and mobility. An experience like this enhances the wellbeing and happiness of residents and we hope to partner with QSO again because it was such a success.”
  • In June the aged care communities at Sinnamon Village participated in the largest ever simultaneous sing-along in aged care history. Organised by Silver Memories radio, the sing-a-long by famous songstress Dame Vera Lynn was streamed into 20 aged care homes across the East Coast of Australia lifting the spirits of seniors. Silver Memories nostalgia radio service is specifically designed for seniors, playing music from the 1940s-70s. This year Wesley Mission Queensland installed the radio station on all residents’ TVs to improve the quality of life of residents.
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  • Opened a second ORCA program in Brisbane’s south for young people living with disability. The ORCA Project is a post-school training program that supports young people aged 17 to 23 with vital work skills with the aim of securing employment. The program operates in partnership with two Uniting Church congregations – Albany Creek Uniting Church on the northside of Brisbane, and Broadwater Road Uniting Church on the southside. By October 2020, almost 100 young people had registered and engaged with The ORCA Project since it began in 2018. ORCA creates a safe place to belong and to grow in confidence as a valuable and valued worker.
 
Strategic Priority 2
Building stronger communities

We influence and advocate for positive social change

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Key highlights this year include:

  • The National Auslan Interpreter Booking Service (NABS) assisted hundreds of Deaf clients to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS is a significant shift in service delivery for the Deaf community and NABS staff have assisted clients to navigate the new system and secure funding for interpreting services. COVID-19 has necessitated a shift in the way NABS delivers its interpreting services. The social restrictions, border closures and NABS COVID-19 safe plan has meant a move from in-person appointments to greater use of remote video interpreting. Many of the 414 NABS interpreters across the country are working from home and delivering interpreting services via video conferencing platforms.
  • The Stellar Arts program quickly adapted their in-person creative art workshops by moving online to support clients’ mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 restrictions. The program creates empowering opportunities for people living with disability to grow, connect and express through the arts, in ways that don’t exist in every-day language, routines and practices. By moving the workshops online residents in our supported accommodation communities across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast met for the first time and forged new friendships. The program has expanded to nine WMQ locations, with more than 150 people attending workshops in signing, drama, visual art, African drumming, magic, dance and yoga each week. Now that the program is online we are expanding it nationally and working with disability providers in Victoria to implement the program there for clients who have had sustained periods of isolation.
  • Launched the WMQ Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) virtually during National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June 2020. We are committed to journeying with our First Nation brothers and sisters on a path to reconciliation as we commit to specific deliverables over the period of the life of the RAP. Due to COVID-19 our 2020 National Reconciliation Week events were impacted. The launch video can be found on our YouTube channel ‘Wesley Mission Queensland’ and we look forward to hosting an event when social restrictions allow us to celebrate this pathway of reconciliation.
  • Teamed up with Brisbane-based Indigenous ICT company Baidam Solutions to ‘bridge the gap’ with Indigenous representation in the ICT sector. Baidam Solutions initially began supplying WMQ with a cyber security solution using Crowdstike software and is now evolving its partnership, coming up with a plan to provide internships to Indigenous students.
  • Launched our new centre for collaboration, The Cooperative, a project in public collaboration in the spirit of public theology. The Cooperative exists to make space for dialogue from any members of the public and is bringing unexpected conversation partners together and working toward real social outcomes across faiths, community groups and professional and academic disciplines. Visit thecooperativehub.com for more information. 
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  • Art from the Margins (AFTM) art program once again partnered with Queensland Rail to deliver a colourful 34 metre mural for the Positive pARTnership Project. The mural was created by artist and university lecturer Dr Simon Degroot who worked with AFTM artists Kay Armstrong, David Jones and Crystal Parry. The mural is located directly across from the Fortitude Valley Metro entrance on Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, 500 metres from the AFTM Gallery and Studio.
Strategic Priority 3
People make the difference

Our people are valued, equipped, empowered and committed to our Values and Mission

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Key highlights this year include:

  • Awarded the GOLD Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplace award from Mental Health First Aid Australia. This recognition demonstrates the strong commitment to embedding the Mental Health First Aid program into the WMQ culture. We have a network of 116 active Mental Health First Aid officers across the organisation in over 55 services ready to support staff. They are equipped with the skills to be the first responder and provide the initial support for their peers when they are experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Celebrated our Wesley Charter at the 2019 Charter Day at Suncorp Stadium in October with more than 280 employees in attendance. The theme was ‘Moments that Matter’ with staff hearing good news stories from various parts of the business on how we strive to support residents and customers. The Wesley Charter is our service framework, designed to help staff to put the seven values of WMQ into practice in our work every day.
  • Congratulations to our Director of Residential Aged Care, Annie Gibney, for receiving the Inspired Influencer Award at the Eden Alternative International Online Conference. Annie started our Eden Alternative ™ journey in 2001 and is a passionate advocate for celebrating ageing and person directed support. Four of our aged care communities are Eden registered and all remaining homes are completing their Eden journey. This is world-wide recognition for Annie – with representation from USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, South East Asia, UK, Europe, Scandinavia and Iceland.
  • 1,376 staff attended a wellness event between July 2019 and February 2020 as part of our engaging Health and Wellness program that started last year. During COVID-19 the programs were delivered virtually, with 70 sessions registering more than 342 staff in attendance. These sessions particularly focussed on mental health, social connection and health and wellbeing as staff moved to working from home. During COVID-19 a FUN raising committee was established with a dedicated focus on maintaining staff morale and mental health during this challenging time. Key activities included: organisation-wide celebration of International Nurses Day with one minute of clapping for our carers via Zoom, recognition of carers on Aged Care Employee Day with delivery of gift baskets and the creation of a OneWMQ video celebrating staff and their efforts during this time in history.
  • Received the Best HCM Strategy 2020 award in recognition for our approach to successfully implementing the Performance Module within the WMQ designed Performance Development Framework. It was an acknowledgment of our approach of aligning people with our vision, mission, purpose and biggest organisational priorities as influenced by our strategic planning process.
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  • In 2020 we launched an organisation-wide leadership development strategy to support our leaders to role model the values and behaviours that will foster a high performing organisation aligned to the purpose, mission and vision of Wesley Mission Queensland. Leaders are divided into cohorts that focus on appropriate leadership skills and priorities with a solid foundation of self-leadership that encourages leaders to lead from a place of authenticity.
Strategic Priority 4
Stewardship

Resourceful, agile, sustainable and ethical

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Key highlights this year include:

  • Distributed 3,450 Red Bags full of Christmas food and presents and 1,500 new toys to families doing it tough during the 2019 Red Bag Christmas Appeal. 170 volunteers donated 1,337 hours to wrap over 5,305 presents at the Westfield Chermside Shopping Centre’s Christmas gift wrapping stall. More than $27,270 was raised through the gift wrapping for our Emergency Relief Hub in Fortitude Valley.
  • Launched our first Facebook fundraising campaign in March to support clients through our Emergency Relief service who were affected by COVID-19. The Emergency Appeal raised $32,245 with an average gift of $140 and 188 new donors.
  • Completed our Reliable, Enabled, Accessible, Defendable and Integrated (READI) IT program to significantly lift the performance and flexibility of our network and core infrastructure across our service locations. This investment in systems and technology allowed the business to seamlessly and efficiently move to support employees to work from home in early March in line with government COVID-19 recommendations. It has also enabled us to facilitate Medicare compliant telehealth consultations with clients in residential aged care, allied health, mental health and Hummingbird House. The importance of telehealth and secure IT infrastructure has been highlighted this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth allowed immune-compromised clients the ability to receive timely medical advice without having to leave the comfort of their home.
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  • Received a donation from Andy Greig and Ingrid Asbury for two Temi robots from the United States that will be used in our aged care services. The Temi robots are a personal robot system that interacts with people using autonomous navigation, video and audio, and artificial intelligence, and WMQ will be the first aged care provider in Australia to use them. This groundbreaking technology will benefit residents living in aged care by:
    • providing contactless services for aged care residents during any outbreaks
    • providing telehealth appointments in the comfort of a resident’s room without the need for any personal protective equipment, or PPE, where the resident wouldn’t be able to see the face of the medical support staff
    • giving residents, who are unable to hold screen devices, the ability to have Skype and Zoom calls with family and friends using the robot.

The robots will not replace staff – rather, it is anticipated that they will be a great assistance to staff, residents and their family members, by providing essential and novel services that will enhance community life.