WCC Annual Report - Page 13

President’s Report It is with great pleasure that I present my report as President of Whittlesea Community Connections for the financial year 2011-12. Firstly I wish to acknowledge and thank my fellow committee members, Jemal Ahmet CEO, staff and volunteers for another successful year. 2011/12 saw some shifts in our agency staffing with some new arrivals and some departures. Our legal team saw the departure of Robert Frajsman who left his role as Legal Service Team Leader to join a private legal practice. Robert had worked with WCC for almost 6 years, first joining us as a local volunteer. Daniel Beecher our outreach lawyer also left, to start his own legal practice with the aim of having greater scope to follow his passion in furthering animal rights. We wish both all the best for the future and thank them for their service to the agency. In our Client Services team Annette McKail, Team Leader – a two time employee of the agency- relocated her family to Cairns, Queensland. Our loss is Queensland’s gain and I am sure that Annette will do a great job working in the community sector there. Our settlement team also saw some movement with Philippe Roussel our Settlement Services Youth Worker and Becky Lo our Women-in-work Project worker both taking external roles working with asylum seekers. We are sure that the considerable skills and knowledge both these individuals have will have a great impact in their new roles. We welcomed Jennifer Oliver into the Outreach Community Lawyer position and re-jigging of our structure saw the creation of a new temporary position for newly qualified lawyers and we welcomed Jonathan Lee into this role. Edmond Babatunde took up the role of our Driver Programs Coordinator and Caterina Galati took up the role of Vulnerable Groups Social Worker with the appointment of Peta Fualau into the role of Acting Client Services Team Leader. Sudha Kuganesan and Lillian Lim joined our Settlement team as youth workers supporting those from CALD and new arrival backgrounds. These talented individuals are already making a difference in the agency and we look forward to great things from them all. During the year we adopted a Priorities Plan to guide our staff in the delivery of key initiatives to support Whittlesea’s communities and to implement key elements of our strategic plan. Family violence, housing and organizational development were identified as key priorities for the year. I am happy to report that significant progress was made in all 3 priority areas. New family violence record keeping and monitoring processes were established to ensure that as an agency we developed our knowledge about the issue. We were also the lead agency in a key family violence research project on the impact of family violence on culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This work has resulted in the development of new and innovative service model that will be implemented over the next 3 years. In relation to housing issues a new project has been established to support those at risk of homelessness. This includes successfully building a funding base with which to establish no-interest loans to eligible individuals and families at risk of homelessness in order that they more successfully accessed and maintain tenancies in the private rental market