Relationships Australia 2016 - 2017 Annual Report 1 - Page 19

It has been a great pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic, dedicated and skilled Board and staff in my first year as CEO, and to see so many exciting developments and positive achievements across the organisation. In this annual report, we have featured key activities as they relate to our Strategic Plan 2016-21. Our plan resonates important themes of service excellence through universal screening, evidence based practice, accountability for results and restorative practices in the work we do. While I recognise the many organisational achievements over the year, there are some efforts which are central to all our goals that I wish to particularly acknowledge. Seeking to make all our services culturally relevant and accessible to Aboriginal families and communities continues to be a significant focus across the organisation. Our Aboriginal staff play an especially important role in improving our services. However, strengthening the ‘cultural fitness’ of the organisation is a collective effort. I wish to thank staff for their daily commitment to become sensitive to the impact of racism and childhood adversity on families and individuals who use our services. Ensuring our services appropriately respond to cultural expectations, support recovery, and repair, requires strong and robust working relationships. This year we continued to build our suite of online learning resources for the community services and other helping professions. The ‘You Are Not Alone’ website, including a short film about the impact of problem gambling prepared by and for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community members, is an example of the creativity generated by our PEACE Multicultural Services, supported by our talented Communications and Development team. The Communications and Development team, in partnership with Gambling Help Services, also produced the Orientation to the South Australian Gambling Sector online training. The program provides an introduction for new entrants to the sector, or workers in other sectors seeking to learn more about this issue, and includes current information about gambling and “problem” gambling, key stakeholders and their roles, and the importance of identifying and responding to gambling-related harm. The perspectives of those with lived experience of gambling harm are an important feature of the program. These two new resources sit alongside our other freely available online training: AVERT Family Violence training and Child Focused Practice. This reflects our ongoing commitment to holistic family services that address complex concerns, which are often poorly understood and stigmatised in the broader community. Programs for people impacted by institutional abuse, offered through Relationships Australia SA’s Elm Place, continue to provide many challenges and rewards. Participation by representatives of the Forgotten Australians on our Elm Place advisory group keeps us connected to the importance of programs that provide sustainable, ongoing, practical support as well as therapeutic assistance. This annual report demonstrates the breadth of our reach and I am proud that we have so many examples of our commitment to the restorative practice principle “to do WITH, not to or for”! Claire Ralfs CEO Message | Relationships Australia SA Annual Report 2016 -2017 17