From the CEO
For SSI, as for many organisations and businesses around Australia, FY2020 was a year of two distinct parts. Prior to March 2020, our focus was very much on achieving our strategic goals, on extending the scope of our work and continuing to bring about positive change in the lives of our clients. But, with the closure of Australia’s international borders due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, we entered a new phase. Our focus shifted increasingly to ensuring the health and safety of our staff and clients, to finding smart, new ways to deliver our services, and to securing our financial future.
There were many learnings along the way, but we now stand in a strong position to take on the challenges of the coming year. We ended the year having achieved a record high revenue of $127.52 million and, while many staff had their working hours reduced, there were no redundancies this financial year due to COVID-19. I want to acknowledge all of our staff – particularly those who have been stood down – for their dedication, professionalism and courage during this period.
SSI started the financial year with a new executive team, a new operational structure and an ambitious 12-month plan for growth and change. With our national footprint considerably expanded following our 2018 merger with Access and the opening of our Victorian office, we enthusiastically pursued our 2023 Business Goals in the six category areas of: Growth & Revenue, Operational Excellence, Workforce & Culture, Client Experience, Social Influence & Leadership and Technology.
Key deliverables included a strategy, roadmap and governance framework for IT; a plan for implementing our regional engagement strategy; and a political stakeholder communication plan.
SSI’s other major achievements during the year included being selected by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to supply Local Area Coordination (LAC) services for people living with disability in two Sydney areas. Being chosen to act as the senior partner in providing these services is an acknowledgement of the expertise, effectiveness and humanity of our teams. Seeing our vision and strategy succeed in the area of access and equity and disability is so very rewarding.
I am also proud of the work our Multicultural Child and Family Program has achieved in ensuring children in foster care remain connected with the culture, language and religion they were born into. So successful has the model been that the Victorian Government has recognised its effectiveness and funded a very similar scheme, to be managed from our Collingwood office in Melbourne.
Another key achievement of note was the creation of a Social Impact Framework for assessing the collective social impact of our work. This powerful diagnostic tool will help us better understand the extent to which change has been made in the life of individuals and communities across the domains we work in. As you read this annual report, you will see the outcomes of our efforts reported under the six category areas of the framework: capacity building, thought leadership and advocacy; economic participation; social inclusion; learning and growth; safety and stability; and health and wellbeing.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis
While some organisations struggled with this rapid pivot, I’m proud to say that SSI, from the Board and executive through to staff in every division, showed incredible agility. Years of working in a sector where funding and program continuity can never be taken for granted has taught us to be resilient and adaptable – qualities we so often find in the vulnerable people with whom we work.