Southern Cross Care Queensland is proud to present the Annual Report for 2019-20, a year of significant challenges and adversities, through which our people have consistently demonstrated their dedication and passion to serving our communities.
Since the last Annual Report, we have welcomed a new Chief Executive Officer, Jason Eldering who has been instrumental in meeting the year’s challenges and driving a renewed sense of purpose throughout the organisation. Appointed by the Board in November 2019, Jason joined the organisation with 20 years of experience in the aged, home care and retirement living industry.
In 2020, our community was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to acknowledge the uncertainty, worry and pressure the pandemic placed on our residents, families and staff members. While our highest priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone in the SCCQ family, I appreciate that in doing so there has been significant disruption to relationships and families. Thank you for your patience and understanding as our organisation complied with aged care health directives that often meant we were required to restrict visitation to our residential aged care facilities. I wish to express my deep gratitude to the Residential Managers and staff at our residential aged care facilities who have been at the front lines of protecting our residents from this infectious and often deadly disease. Their commitment, passion and energy in difficult circumstances has been exceptional and I would like to thank each one for their efforts.
Living life more virtually became a key part of 2020, with our Corporate Support Centre staff asked to work remotely at the height of the pandemic and videoconferencing technology replacing face-to-face meetings throughout the organisation. Our support staff embraced these changes and continued to provide assistance to our services seamlessly, thanks in no small part to our exceptional IT team.
The aged care industry as a whole came under increasing scrutiny as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety continued hearings, and again through the COVID-19 pandemic. We have focused our efforts on ensuring the organisation has robust quality and governance systems and processes so that we can provide service excellence with our residents and clients at the centre.
In 2020, having recently celebrated our 40th anniversary of providing care services to older and vulnerable Australians, we began to look toward a new vision for the future. Jason introduced a new strategic planning process which was consultative in nature and sought fresh ideas from a wide range of stakeholders, including staff, families, clients and industry experts. The strategic planning process continues into the new financial year and will be signed off by the Board by the end of 2020. We are optimistic about the future direction of the organisation and continuing our rich legacy of valuing and respecting human life.
The Knights of the Southern Cross were founded upon a solid foundation of serving people in need, providing us with strength into the future. Despite the challenges we face, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Commission and economic issues, we are confident we will continue to provide exceptional care and services to our residents and clients which honours and respects individuals.
Southern Cross Care Queensland is well placed financially and has a resilient and compassionate workforce ready to lead us into the future. Thank you all for your commitment to our vision, mission and values and for ensuring that the experience of our residents and clients is that every person matters.