Exciting times for the sector: CEO
It really is an exciting time in the community services sector...
The Commonwealth Government has announced $1 billion for the first stage of the NDIS; the NSW Government has committed $336 million to implement part two of Stronger Together; The Ministry of Health will shortly announce the new Commissioner for Mental Health Services.
Another significant change is the introduction of self-managed funding, whereby people will be able to choose their service providers, giving our clients true choice for the first time.
The challenge for organisations like ours is to ensure we're able to meet these changes; both strategically and in the way we do business. Underpinning our response to these changes is our person-centred and recovery-focussed service models, where clients needs are placed at the centre of the support we provide.
A key driver of future success is the experience we offer customers; we want to ensure that all our stakeholders - clients, their families and carers, our staff and funding bodies, and the broader community - have consistently outstanding experiences whenever they interact with New Horizons.
In light of the organisational 'health check' we recently conducted, I have no doubt we'll be well-placed to meet these changes.
I'd like to thank each and every one of our team for the quality of services you deliver, ensuring high standards for our customers.
National Reconciliation Week
New Horizons celebrated National Reconciliation Week (NRW) by running a week-long campaign focussed on increasing awareness among our workforce.
Staff were asked to put forward ideas for an event to celebrate NRW. In the end two fantastic events chosen after the panel couldn't split it.
In Sydney, local elders were invited to visit our Tribal Dreaming team at Guildford to share stories and contribute to an artwork celebrating reconciliation. The Newcastle event featured everything from smoking ceremonies, to a didgeridoo competition, bush medicine, story telling and commemorative artworks. At sites throughout NSW & VIC our Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff came together to support reconciliation.
In another competition staff were asked to nominate a co-worker who'd made a significant contribution to Closing the Gap, with the winning nominee and nominator each winning an iPod Touch.
The prize went to Thomas Franks and Daniel Ansell - Tom nominated his fellow Coordinator for the dedicated support he'd shown when he first started at NH. Running a close second, Elisa Smith nominated Athol Boney for his tireless work with the local community, in particular his commitment to Aboriginal Youth.
Joanne Leung from Gosford took home a $100 gift voucher after penning the winning entry in a competition where staff were asked to tell us in 25 words or less what 'Closing the Gap' means to them.
"RESPECTing the ideas, strengths, and leadership of Indigenous people and communities; preserving the INTEGRITY of Aboriginal values; being PASSIONATE in finding solutions to long-standing problems" read Joanne's entry.
In this edition
Exciting times for the sector
Meet Geoff Clark
Celebrating National Reconciliation Week
Aged Care receives top marks
Choir performs for Kevin Rudd
Community garden raises beds
Clever prank raises eyebrows
New Horizons for pop up art
Meet the team
Geoff Clark - Business Excellence Manager
When did you join NH?
"May 2012 - I'm still the new kid on the block :)"
Describe your job...
"Developing and implementing a quality framework that leads to best practice"
What does 'quality' mean to you?
"In this business, quality is about making a positive impact in the world."
What makes NH a unique place to work?
"Despite its scale, the NH team hasn't lose sight of why we're all here: to support people and strengthen communities."
New Horizons Aged Care Receives Top Marks
Following a recent evaluation, we're pleased to report that New Horizons Aged Care has passed its accreditation with flying colours, achieving compliance in each of the 44 Aged Care Standards.
Director of Nursing Linda Silman (pictured left) thanked the team for working together in preparation for the audit.
"This is a fantastic result and reflects their hard work in preparing for this audit" Linda said.
"It's reassuring to see the audit has confirmed what we already knew: that New Horizons Aged Care is a wonderful facility providing both quality nursing care and a comfortable, safe living environment.
New Horizons CEO Judi Higgin also congratulated the Aged Care team.
"Attaining these high standards is a complex and extremely rigorous exercise," she said.
"The auditors remarked on the quality systems and processes, high standard of service and helpful attitude of the Aged Care team," Judi added.
New Horizons Hearing Voices Choir perform for Kevin Rudd
The New Horizons Hearing Voices Choir was invited to perform at a Labor event at Lismore in April.
At the last minute, it was announced that Kevin Rudd MP would be attending the event - news that would be enough to give even the most seasoned chorus a case of the butterflies.
Not so for the Hearing Voices Choir, said New Horizons Regional Manager, Luke Buckley.
"Of course, the Choir was excited to hear that Mr Rudd would be in the audience.
"Rather than letting it unnerve them, they put on a brilliant performance and sang beautifully," Luke added.
Clearly pleased with what he heard, the former PM met with the Choir, thanking members for their performance and acknowledging the work they do to increase awareness and promote mental health and wellbeing.
Community Garden Raises Beds
After a year of planning, Bonnyrigg Community Garden was officially opened on Thursday 21 June by Bonnyrigg Primary School Principal, Peter Ward.
Funded by a community grant from Fairfield Council and generous donations from local businesses, the garden has been created on the grounds of the primary school.
Rita and Margaret, clients of New Horizons' Younger People in
School children dressed as garden insects assisted Rita and Margaret to water their plants.
Rita said she had been anticipating this day since she attended a
"I'm really looking forward to visiting the garden each week," Rita said.
YPIRAC Day Program Coordinator Julie Hill said the garden had been designed specifically for YPIRAC clients.
"The garden features raised beds, making access easier for our enthusiastic gardeners in wheelchairs," Julie said.
Clever prank raises eyebrows... and funds for PCYC
A mock media release informing NH staff that a team member had been arrested caused a bit of a stir in April.
Upon reading, it became clear that the so-called 'media alert' was a cheeky prank as part of the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) campaign Doin' Time to Stop Youth Crime.
The stunt involved NSW Police staging the arrest of Case Worker Robert Briggs (pictured behind bars), who was carted off to the local PCYC and 'locked up' with a mobile phone and a donation bucket his key to freedom. To secure his release, Robert had to phone around to raise 'bail' set at $500.
With the help of family, friends and co-workers, Rob managed to reach his target and was released that afternoon.
The funds Robert raised went to the Kempsey PCYC to assist with local youth programs.
New Horizons for Pop Up Art
New Horizons hosted a Pop Up art exhibition at Lismore Central Shopping Centre this June, featuring paintings and three-dimensional works by people with lived experience of mental illness.
The exhibition, which attracted hundreds, was opened by Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell on Wednesday 20 June 2012.
New Horizons Community Worker Mark Eather said the aim of the exhibition was to increase awareness about mental health and wellbeing, and promote the benefits of art in the recovery from mental illness.
"Self expression can be a powerful way to improve mental health and wellbeing, particularly for people who find it difficult to talk about their problems or concerns," Mark said.
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