A time to reflect

Three people raise their glass of orange juice.

At the end of 2020, we were looking forward to 2021 with hope that some normality would return and that we would have the opportunity to address and move on from the impacts of the pandemic.  However, COVID-19 had other plans and 2021 was another year full of challenges, changes and unexpected events.

On reflection, as tough as the year has been on everyone, it is important to remind ourselves just how well we have done despite the challenges we have faced as an organisation and as a community. We have managed the longest period of lockdown in the world. This has seen each of us demonstrate strong resilience, patience, ingenuity and determination. We have demonstrated kindness to each other and support for each other. 

I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the highlights that have shone through the hardships at OC Connections this year:

  • Our staff rallied to support the vaccination of all OCC residents as soon as vaccinations became available.
  • We continued to adapt to COVIDSafety guidelines to ensure the safety of participants, staff and the community.
  • We opened our new operations hub in the City of Casey and are now supporting participants with staff based in this area of Melbourne.
  • We broadened our supported employment opportunities with a new Document Management enterprise; and continued to grow our relationships with government and commercial enterprises such as Major Roads Projects Victoria, to assist with creating further employment opportunities
  • The annual golf day was able to be held this year and was a great success. We received support from many of our regular fundraising partners.
  • We continued to deliver our School Leavers Employment Supports (SLES) pathway online during lockdown when many other providers closed.
  • The delivery of day supports within our Community Living houses and on site to those participants who required essential services ensured that the most vulnerable of participants received continuity of support.
  • We have significantly progressed our strategic projects, including the planning for refurbishments and new homes to be built
  • We have contributed to our sector advocacy though a number of areas to improve outcomes for participants

We could not have achieved so much in the midst of a pandemic without the continued support of our community. 

These last few years have tested our community, but our vision and commitment to our cause has unwavered. We will continue to work towards supporting people with disability to live a fulfilled and meaningful life where they have choice, are valued and respected and are supported to participate in the community.  We will continue to maintain and grow strong connections with our local communities and partners, and build a specialised workforce and dedicated teams, to create opportunities for participants to engage with the world in the way that suits them, and provide the support that makes this happen.

However you choose to celebrate the end of the year, we wish all of our families a safe, happy and celebratory time.  We look forward to seeing you in 2022 for what we hope will be a much better year.