The past year has been one of high vibrancy and energy, but the heart-beat of our organization remains constant, as we drive for better residential care options for young people with high care needs. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has challenged Youngcare to be more nimble and more authoritative, but has not diverted us from our Mission. We continue to be that small, innovative, pioneering, transparent ‘not for loss’ that has a voice much bigger than its actual size. This year, we had a seat at the table of every major discussion regarding changes to our sector, be that with the NDIS or the Federal Government.
Our CEO, Anthony Ryan, has led the advocacy charge from the front, and whilst we remain staunch supporters of the NDIS, we continue to work with them (and the government), to achieve quicker, and more beneficial outcomes for young people with high care needs. In the last financial year, we have initiated three new projects which will be underway next year – Woolowin Stage 2, North Lakes, and Townsville. Knowing the gargantuan size of the issue we face, Youngcare knows that we are barely scratching the surface of the problem. When assessing the new options required, we understand the issue and continually promote the solution in all government jurisdictions. We are bringing others on the journey as well, as all three of the projects mentioned above, are in partnership with other supportive entities.
Youngcare has survived and grown on the generosity of its supporters, and partners. Corporately and privately, that generosity has allowed us to continue to implement, innovate, and advocate, in our collective quest to provide choice and dignity, for those young people with high care needs. Our grants programs change lives daily and in the 2017/2018 financial year we provided 138 grants over the value of $1 million.
The grass is not growing under our feet, and we would not have been able to achieve the milestones we have this year, without the enthusiasm, energy, and passion of our small number of employees, and our large number of volunteers, so ably lead by Anthony Ryan. That agility and energy will continue next year, as new accommodation projects are considered, grants which bridge gaps in NDIS funding remain a priority, and advocacy around our Mission remains top-of-mind. In all of this, I’d like to thank our Board members for their on-going support, guidance, and professional expertise, to ensure that Youngcare remains humble, focused, and relevant.