As another busy year draws to a close this is a time to reflect on both our achievements and the opportunities ahead.
This year has seen a number of new developments across the organisation. With the continued roll-out of the NDIS, we have focused on maintaining an agile approach to the changing demands. The last few months have seen extended hours for NDIS participants in Day Supports, with activities operating in the holiday period for NDIS participants who chose to attend activities both at OCC and in the community.
Our Family Focus Forums aimed to provide topical industry information from experts and first-hand insights from participants and their families. Our most recent forum focused on employment and we were lucky to have Rishi and Maria from OC Connections Enterprises (OCCE) presenting their personal insights into how work has changed their lives.
Our first coffee morning, held in November provided an opportunity for families and carers to speak directly with members of the OC Connections team and to share experiences with other families in a more informal way. We are thrilled to be able to provide these opportunities and will continue to do so throughout 2019.
2018 has been another successful year for the OC Connections artists. We launched our online art gallery, exhibited at the State Trustees 2018 “CONNECTED” Art Exhibition and SASI Art Exhibition, with several participants receiving awards for their work. We are proud of our art program and the opportunities it provides artists. OC Connections artists are currently exhibiting their works at the Mount Waverley Community Centre, 47 Miller Cres, Mt Waverley, from the 11th December to the 21st December from 10:00- 3:00 week days. There are plans to hold another public exhibition in St Kilda early next year.
OC Connections underwent an external quality audit in October, which went exceptionally well. Of particular note was that participant feedback across all areas was very positive; our support of participants and families for the NDIS implementation was reported to be of a very high quality; our Co-Achieve Model was to be commended in aiming for a higher level of outcomes and our homes were also commended for being welcoming.
This year we have welcomed a number of new staff in all areas of the business. OCCE has a newly appointed General Manager, Employment and Enterprise, Mr Colin Wood. Colin will oversee the growth and development of our supported employment and social enterprise programs. Welcome to the team Colin.
I would like to thank all the OC Connections families and friends for your continued support and commitment and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.