At this festive time of year, it is appropriate to reflect on some of the year’s achievements and say ‘thank you’ to you, our most valued donors and supporters. Without you, our organisation could not achieve many of the amazing things that we do to enhance the lives of the people we support.
July 1 marked the first anniversary of the merger of Villa Maria and Catholic Homes, and we acknowledged the occasion with ‘Foundation Day’ celebrations across the organisation. As one unified organisation, our vision to be the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne’s leading provider of high quality disability, specialist education, aged care and retirement living services is becoming a reality.
Throughout 2016, we have been reviewing and enhancing our service offerings. With the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout in July and the upcoming Customer Directed Care (CDC) changes in early 2017, it is a time of great change in the disability and aged care sectors, but also a time of great opportunity.
In the property development space, one stand-out achievement this year was the opening of St Joseph’s Mews in Hawthorn. These exceptional retirement living apartments offer residents a unique environment with a range of support services and entertainment facilities.
National Carers Week in October reminded us all of the astounding job 2.8 million unpaid carers do in our communities. Our Christmas Appeal this year focuses on our ‘Young Carers’ Mentor Program’ which has lost its grant funding and will cease if funds are not urgently raised. The program connects young carers in the Hume region of Victoria with mentors who give them invaluable support and social opportunities.
Our major fundraising campaign for 2016 – ‘Make a Splash’ – culminated with a Charity Golf Day in October. Forty organisations contributed to the event and over 125 competitors enjoyed the perfect golfing weather. The event was a great success and raised $80,000. These funds will go directly to the renovation of St Paul College’s warm-water pool, and we look forward to updating you about this exciting project in the new year.
I wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas.
Acting Chief Executive Officer