A journey with Therapy Focus is a journey in partnership

Our Values

  • Respect

    We respect the people we serve, the people we work with, the organisations we partner with, and the teamwork of all involved.

  • Inclusion

    We communicate openly with people to provide relevant information that enables them to make informed decisions.

  • Courage

    We work with courage and gain fulfilment from the courage others gain as a result of our work.

  • Integrity

    We pride ourselves on our professional integrity and strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

About Us

Therapy Focus is one of Australia’s leading providers of professional therapy services.

We deliver quality therapy services to more than 3,000 people with disabilities and their families throughout Western Australia each year. Our evidence-based therapy programs help develop skills, build on strengths and grow potential. Services are tailored to meet the needs of each individual and delivered when and where people need them.

Our teams consist of more than 250 qualified professionals including:

  • Speech pathologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Continence nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Family Connect Workers

We work with people of all ages who have a range of disabilities including autism, global developmental delay, intellectual, neurological and physical disability. We also support children and adults who have learning difficulties and developmental delays.

Promoting inclusion and participation of people with disabilities is another aspect of what we do. Through advocacy, partnerships, projects and events, we strive to increase understanding of disability in the community, making it a place where people of all abilities feel valued and accepted.

A journey with Therapy Focus is a journey in partnership. That’s why thousands of Western Australian families choose this journey each year.

Who we support

Pie chart shows who we support by primary disability
Pie chart shows who we support by age

Meet Teagan and Sam

Whilst the 17 year-old twins may be identical in looks, they couldn’t be more different in personality. Sam is a tom boy who loves sports – particularly Aussie Rules football, while Teagan is a self-confessed girly-girl who enjoys styling her hair.

Both girls attend the Learning Support Program at Girrawheen Senior High School and have been receiving support from Therapy Focus since they were 7 years old. Over this time the girls have worked closely with their therapy team, including Speech Pathologist Lauren Redman, to identify the goals that are most important to them. Key goals identified by both Teagan and Sam, who both have an intellectual disability, were to learn more words and their meanings, and improve their ability to recall the words they learnt.

With support from the girls’ family and school, Lauren incorporated strategies into everyday routines and activities to expand their vocabulary and help improve their memory. Teagan and Sam have also been supported by their therapy team to explore their interests and actively participate in community groups such as Riding for the Disabled and the Indigenous girls’ support group run by their school.

Like all teenagers, Teagan and Sam are getting excited for the future as they reach the end of their schooling. Teagan is completing a two year Hospitality Certificate and would like to become a waitress or hairdresser, whilst Sam is completing work experience at a local pet store and hopes to work with animals one day. Throughout this important journey from high school to adulthood, the Therapy Focus team will continue to support the girls to identify supportive employment options, develop their skills further and live the life they want to live.

“Lauren helped me learn more words and their meanings. We also learnt ways to remember things and played memory games. I got really good and beat Teagan and Lauren!” Sam said.

2015-16 Highlights

  • Pie chart shows who we support by primary disability
  • Pie chart shows who we support by age
  • Pie chart shows who we support by age
  • Pie chart shows who we support by age
  • Pie chart shows who we support by age
  • Pie chart shows who we support by age
  • Pie chart shows who we support by age
  • Pie chart shows who we support by age
Pie chart shows who we support by age

Chairman & CEO’s Report

Welcome to our annual report for the 2015–16 financial year. In the following pages you will read stories about the work Therapy Focus has done over the past year in an effort to grow potential for our clients, our staff, and our stakeholders more broadly in the community.

As one of Australia’s leading therapy providers, we are now truly delivering for our clients, and operating as a resource for the community by contributing to research that underpins our practice.

During the year we transitioned from an incorporated association to a registered company. In this transition we managed to retain our benevolent status and associated tax concessions and exemptions as a not-for-profit entity. Now we are able to perform and be judged to a higher level of account, and operate outside of Western Australia if the opportunity presents.

Our governance has been strong during the year, with only one change on the Board of Directors. We thank Eva Griffiths for her contribution and welcome Amanda Reed as a new Director. In line with our new Constitution, we welcome Amanda’s unique skill set as a parent of a child with a disability. Her insights will no doubt prove invaluable as we progress on our journey

“As one of Australia’s leading therapy providers, we are now truly delivering for our clients, and operating as a resource for the community by contributing to research that underpins our practice.”

Support for Therapy Focus remained strong in 2015–16. Our clients continuously ranked us highly in an independently run Net Promoter Score process. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with the ratio of compliments far outweighing complaints and the number of returning customers with NDIS plans is also very high. Whilst all of this is very positive, it also showed us we are not meeting everyone’s needs and this will be a priority going forward.

It was not only our clients who were supportive in the 2015–16 year; our sponsors were also an immense source of support. Our primary charitable partner, Westfield, raised $137,000 as a result of their Golf Day, in addition to funds raised from local activities at the Carousel, Innaloo and Whitford City shopping centres. Telethon, the Independent Living Centre and Lotterywest remained important donors in 2015–16, in addition to our third McDonald’s Community Cinemas season raising valuable funds for our GIVE Program. Finally, our thanks must go to the Trustees of the Barrows Foundation, who donated in excess of $500,000. The majority of these funds are earmarked for distribution to families in need, with approximately one quarter retained for a scholarship program that we hope to establish in the future.

We are proud to present to you the story of our journey in 2015–16.

Chairman Peter Mildenhall signature

Pete MildenhallChairperson

Chief Executive Officer Matt Burrows signature

Matt BurrowsChief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer Matt Burrows signature

Strategic Plan Progress Report

The Therapy Focus 2014–17 Strategic Plan was developed by our Executive Team in consultation with our Board of Directors and outlines key focus areas and strategic objectives.

The plan focuses on building on the strengths of the organisation, diversifying services and ensuring the business is sustainable in an individualised funding environment. During the past year efforts were made to meet the objectives of the 2014–2017 Strategic Plan. Key achievements in 2015–16 are outlined below according to strategic objectives.

Services Strategic Objective

Key Outcomes

Build a range of complementary services that enhance the established core service.

Measures:

  • Client satisfaction
  • Market position and wait list
  • Contracts awarded for sector-wide initiatives including the Community Aids and Equipment (in-kind) NDIS funds, school-aged and adult wait list strategies, PEBBLES continence service and participation in the home modifications panel of experts.
  • Net Promoter Score quarterly results have been averaging +43, which is positive.
  • Ratio of complaints to compliments was 1:7.8 (30 complaints and 236 compliments), which was above the target of 1:3.
Nurture a culture of continuous improvement and maintain compliance with the Quality Management Framework and ISO 9001 Standards.

Measures:

  • Independent certification
  • Employee productivity
  • Evaluation against the Disability Services Commission's Quality Management Framework revealed no required actions, with identified recommendations for improvement implemented where possible.
  • Therapy Focus retained certification under the ISO 9001:2008 quality management standards by SAI Global, including an increased scope of operations to include adult clients.
  • The number of clinical teams increased from 12 to 18 to maintain efficiencies seen as a result of the modular structure introduced in 2013-14.
  • The number of office locations increased from 11 to 14, which together with the implementation of mobile technology has led to decreased travel time and increased productivity for clinicians.

Innovation Strategic Objective

Key Outcomes

Establish partnerships with organisations and stakeholders.

Measures:

  • Diversity of revenue
  • Growth of services
  • Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) signed with Intework, Interchange, TADWA and Child Australia. Existing MOUs remain in place with Identitywa and Rise.
  • A Mutual Cooperation Agreement remains in place with Autism New Zealand, with a cycle of exchanges completed in 2015–16 involving 3 employees travelling from each organisation.
  • Philanthropic partnerships with Westfield, Telethon and McDonald’s Community Cinemas were instrumental to nearly $300,000 being raised over the course of the year. A one-off donation was also received from the Barrows Foundation totaling over $500,000.
Contribute to therapy specific forums and broader human service initiatives and research.

Measures:

  • Academic and sector input
  • Community representation
  • Annual Sunflower Sunday community event saw approximately 1,500 people with and without disabilities enjoy a range of inclusive activities and entertainment.
  • Close to 4,000 primary school students from 59 schools across WA took part in the annual Art Competition and storybook project.
  • Therapy Focus was a sponsor and participant of sector events including the Speech Pathology Australia Conference and the WA NDS Conference.

Sustainability Strategic Objective

Key Outcomes

Represent on a range of industry and peak forums.

Measures:

  • Industry and peer recognition
  • Social and environmental impacts
  • Therapy Focus continued its support of the Curtin University School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science’s Excellence Award for the student with the highest mark in Paediatrics.
  • Representation on the NDS WA State Committee, Clinical Subcommittee, Finance Subcommittee and Quality Services Sector Interest Group to help guide the sector through changes to the quality system arising from the implementation of the NDIS.
Proof the business for the NDIS and other individualised funding environments.

Measures:

  • Diversity of revenue
  • Growth of services
  • NDIS business expanded in both the WA and Commonwealth trial areas, with $3.2m revenue raised as a result of this work. This equated to 11.5% of total revenue.
  • The PEBBLES Continence Service was again expanded during the year, delivering specialist continence support for children with disabilities.
Govern at all levels with transparency and appropriate input from consumers.

Measures:

  • Member engagement rates
  • Corporate and clinical compliance
  • Transitioned from an incorporated association to a registered company retaining benevolent status and associated tax concessions and exemptions.
  • Board Director with a lived experience of disability was elected to the Board. The Board continued to govern effectively with all meetings and sub-committee meetings achieving a quorum.
  • All contracts were compliant with funders’ expectations and no notices of breach were issued. Quality Management Framework evaluations verified that Therapy Focus was operating within the scope of the National Disability Services Standards with no breaches detected.
  • Operation of the Parent Reference Group continued with increased consumer engagement and input, and one member appointed to the Board of Directors.

People Strategic Objective

Key Outcomes

Practice evidence-based therapy that is person-centred with informed input from clients and their families.

Measures:

  • Outcomes achieved by goals
  • Growth of customer base
  • Within the second year of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial in WA, nearly 500 clients chose Therapy Focus as their therapy service provider and a further 362 utilised the organisation for equipment purchases.
Engage employees with attractive remuneration, develop them through access to professional development, and involve them through participative management.

Measures:

  • Employee satisfaction
  • Staff retention
  • Staff attrition decreased from 21.75% to 12.0% and the staff count increased from 198 (166 FTE) to 275 (226FTE).
  • Employee survey reported above average satisfaction rate when benchmarked against other employers. Therapy Focus has very high staff engagement rates with high alignment of staff values to the work we do. Areas for improvement include communication across business units and involvement of clients in the way the business is run.

Record crowd blooms at Sunflower Sunday

In April 2016, a crowd of nearly 1500, including people with disabilities, their families, friends and the wider community, came together at Point Walter Recreation Centre for Therapy Focus’ annual community event, Sunflower Sunday.

Guests enjoyed a wide range of free and inclusive activities, including a wheelchair accessible flying fox, climbing wall, silent disco, mobile video game truck, sensory room and a Parent Pamper Zone, which saw mums and dads enjoy a massage courtesy of Challenger Institute of Technology students.

Stalls were hosted by partner organisations Rise, Identitywa, Interchange, Intework and Kids’ Camps, who provided families with information about programs and services available to people with disabilities.

The 2016 event was made possible with generous support from Lotterywest, the City of Melville and Zenith Insurance (more information on page 22). A special thank you also goes to the staff and volunteers who assisted on the day.

“I enjoyed attending an event where I knew there would be no judgement of my child, who has special needs. It made it very relaxing.”

“Thank you for an amazing day, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This is the second Sunflower Sunday we’ve been to and we had it on the calendar for months. There was a great crowd, great fun for all ages, and it was a truly awesome day. Thank you also to the wonderful volunteers.”

Services

Therapy & Clinical Services

Ruth Lee

Ruth Lee Executive Manager, Clinical Services

Our teams of qualified clinicians deliver therapy and support services to help people with disabilities achieve their goals in life.

Therapy Focus’ core therapy service is a highly personalised, flexible service that is responsive to the needs of each individual. Our clinicians use a transdisciplinary key worker approach to build collaborative relationships and work with the key people in a client’s life to help develop the skills required to pursue interests and live life to the fullest. Our clinicians deliver services where clients need them, and strive to work in everyday environments to promote greater independence, inclusion and participation.

The clinical services and supports we offer as part of individualised programs can include:

  • Assessments
  • Early childhood intervention
  • Behaviour support
  • Daily living skill development
  • Transition planning and support
  • Social skill development and support for community participation
  • Prescription of Assistive Augmentative Communication (AAC)
  • Mobility solutions
  • Employment skill development and workplace support
  • Transport training and assistance
  • Feeding, dysphagia and meal time management
  • Posture and positioning
  • Prescription and supply of aids and equipment
  • Home modification planning and support

Our therapy and support services are available to eligible children and adults living in the wider Perth metropolitan area and in the lower Southwest region of WA. Our 18 clinical teams operate out of 14 offices located between Jindalee in the North and Margaret River in the lower Southwest, with our head office located in Bentley. In early 2016, construction commenced for additional offices in Walliston and Cockburn, which are due to open by the end of the year.

In addition to increasing our geographical locations, Therapy Focus also expanded its service offering to adults with disabilities aged up to 65 years. With funding from Disability Services Commission (DSC) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Therapy Focus was able to deliver services to 205 adult clients in the last financial year. The main types of disability groups are generally consistent with, and reflective of, our school aged services, however new diagnostic groups include people with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia.

Overall, Therapy Focus delivered more than 192,000 hours of therapy services to 3,587 clients in the 2015–16 financial year. A breakdown of these services by contract is detailed below:

Service Areas Map

Funder

Contract

Clients

Hours

DSCTherapy2,200141,907
My Way (WA NDIS)Therapy701,518
PEBBLESContinence Management4065,020
NDISTherapy & Equipment87442,910
OtherPITS & Compensable37755
Total3,587192,110

Groups & Programs

Clinical teams facilitate a range of groups and programs that help clients develop key skills as outlined in personalised therapy plans. Groups and programs are also offered to parents, carers and families as additional support.

Some examples include:

  • Social skills and community participation
  • Daily living and independence for teens
  • School and job readiness
  • Safety and protective behaviours
  • Emotional and sensory regulation
  • Movement and mobility
  • Play groups
  • Hanen Programs for parents and carers of young children with autism and social communication difficulties
  • Triple P Positive Parenting Program for parents and carers of children with difficult behaviours
  • Transition programs for parents and carers of students with disabilities in their final years of high school
  • Programs for families of Alternative Augmentative Communication users

Lego® therapy teaches skills through play

Therapy Focus Occupational Therapist, Natasha Maseyk facilitates the Joondalup program and says that the program’s structured activities are an effective way to support development of play and social skills.

The program is also an opportunity for children who feel socially isolated to be part of a group and interact with peers outside of school. Anne Haug, who is mother to 11 year-old Thomas, said that the Lego Program is “so much more than just playing Lego”.

“Lego therapy can help participants improve in areas such as verbal and non-verbal communication, joint attention, sharing, turn-taking and collaborative problem solving. Participants learn the importance of team work and take on different roles in order to construct various Lego sets,” Natasha said.

“It has given Thomas the opportunity to socialise while doing something he enjoys, and has really helped him in terms of listening, following instructions and working in a team,” Anne said.

Support from local government and community organisations has allowed Therapy Focus to build on the success of the program in 2016, with the City of Joondalup providing a $2000 grant to cover the cost of Lego, and The Brick House hosting the program south of the river.

Parent support group gives comfort

Therapy Focus Occupational Therapist, Natasha Maseyk facilitates the Joondalup program and says that the program’s structured activities are an effective way to support development of play and social skills.

The program is also an opportunity for children who feel socially isolated to be part of a group and interact with peers outside of school. Anne Haug, who is mother to 11 year-old Thomas, said that the Lego Program is “so much more than just playing Lego”.

“Lego therapy can help participants improve in areas such as verbal and non-verbal communication, joint attention, sharing, turn-taking and collaborative problem solving. Participants learn the importance of team work and take on different roles in order to construct various Lego sets,” Natasha said.

“It has given Thomas the opportunity to socialise while doing something he enjoys, and has really helped him in terms of listening, following instructions and working in a team,” Anne said.

Support from local government and community organisations has allowed Therapy Focus to build on the success of the program in 2016, with the City of Joondalup providing a $2000 grant to cover the cost of Lego, and The Brick House hosting the program south of the river.

Specialist Support

In addition to our core therapy service, Therapy Focus offers a range of specialist services. Our transdisciplinary teams work closely with specialist teams and refer clients for additional support if needed.

PEBBLES Continence Management

Our PEBBLES team consists of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and registered nurses who provide specialist advice and support to children with a disability who experience bladder and bowel health issues, continence issues and those who require support with toilet training. The service is managed by Therapy Focus in partnership with the Continence Advisory Service of Western Australia and is funded by the Disability Services Commission. PEBBLES is a state-wide service covering from Kununurra in the North to Esperance in the South and all major towns in between.

Behaviour Support

Our Behaviour Support Team (BeST) helps individuals and families work through any difficulties they may face in managing challenging behaviours such as aggression (physical and verbal), non-compliance, school or work refusal, running away and self-harm. By using an evidence-based model of positive behaviour support, BeST work with the individual, their family and other parties to determine why the behaviour is occurring and what factors may be contributing to it. BeST clinicians then develop interventions, such as coping strategies, and support parents and carers to respond appropriately to behaviours. In 2015-16 BeST received 146 referrals for behaviour support.

Dietetics

A new dietetics service was established in January 2016 to meet the growing demand for support regarding nutrition and diet-related goals identified by clients. Therapy Focus delivers consultation services and support for clients who have swallowing difficulties, gastrointestinal disorders, limited diets, resistant eating behaviours, under nutrition and over nutrition. The service also works to upskill clinicians to better support clients and families who have dietary concerns. Since establishment, the dietetics service has received 63 referrals and completed 28 consultations.

Pebbles

PEBBLES program combats bedwetting

In May 2016, Therapy Focus’ continence support team, PEBBLES, launched a specialist program to support children and young people with disabilities who experience bed wetting (enuresis).

The 14 week program includes an initial assessment of a child’s bladder and bowel health, home environment and sleeping patterns, and may also include a real time ultrasound of the bladder and uroflow assessment where possible.

A ‘mat and alarm’ system is then implemented to help wake the child when they have a full bladder at night. Qualified PEBBLES continence nurses also conduct regular meetings with families to provide support, counselling and evaluate how the child is progressing on the program.

PEBBLES Continence Nurse, Bernadette McCrann said the program was developed after a number of requests were received from parents who wanted more support for bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis as it’s clinically referred to.

“Our program is based on Princess Margaret Hospital’s nocturnal enuresis program and aims to provide a comprehensive service with a targeted approach for children with special needs.”

“The mat and alarm system is very effective in managing monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis in children, and has been considered first line treatment for decades.”

Aids & Equipment

Sourcing and prescribing much-needed aids and equipment for people with disabilities and their families is a key area of Therapy Focus’ clinical services division.

Therapy Focus administers funding for aids and equipment in three main areas:

  1. Community Aids and Equipment Program (CAEP): Eligible clients access essential aids and equipment with funding provided by the Disability Services Commission (DSC).
  2. National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): Clients residing in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial sites are supported to access assistive technology funding through Therapy Focus.
  3. Grant and charitable funding: Therapy Focus clinicians apply for additional funding from charitable organisations and non-government grants on behalf of clients and their families.

Community Aids & Equipment Program

Therapy Focus receives an annual budget from DSC’s Community Aids and Equipment Program (CAEP) to purchase basic and essential items for individuals who have a permanent disability.
The annual budget in 2015–16 was $1,346,010 and with this funding Therapy Focus was able to approve 1,100 orders for aids and equipment for 335 individuals totalling $1,258,487. A breakdown of the types of equipment funded is below.

pie chart showing equipment provided to familes

NDIS Equipment Management

Therapy Focus’ Equipment Team compiled and directed applications for those in Cockburn and Kwinana to the budget holder, Rocky Bay and those in the Perth Hills directly to the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Therapy Focus continued as the budget holder for the Assistive Technology Funding for the NDIS Perth Hills trial and administered the funding for the entire Perth Hills area. In the 2015–16 financial year, Therapy Focus placed 1,598 orders for 414 participants.

Grant and charitable funding

For items that were not eligible for CAEP or NDIS funding, Therapy Focus was successful in securing more than $450,000 through a range of non-government organisations and grant programs, including Therapy Focus’ own GIVE Program. The table below details the organisations which provided funding to purchase aids and equipment for Therapy Focus clients.

*Barrows funding provided to Therapy Focus clients only.

In February 2016, the trustees of the Barrows Foundation discharged their duties to Therapy Focus to administer $500,000 to support people with disabilities and their families. $100,000 was contributed to the GIVE Program (more information on page 26), $150,000 was purposed for a future scholarship program, and the remaining $250,000 was used to establish the Therapy Focus Barrows Fund.

People with disabilities, their families, carers, teachers and Disability Services Commission Local Area Coordinators apply to the Barrows Fund to assist with the purchase of items, activities and services up to $1000. Since establishment, 180 applications totalling $128,272 were funded. 100 of these applications were for Therapy Focus clients*.

Funding sourceAmount provided
Independent Living Centre (Equipment for Living and Disability Equipment Grants)$195,055
Therapy Focus GIVE Program$103,148
Barrows Foundation/Fund*$59,507
WA Charity Direct$43,000
Variety the Children's Charity$30,443
Better Life Foundation$5,000
Stan Perron$5,000
Mandurah Murray May Day Inc$5,000
Association for the Advancement of Brain Injured Children $4,895
Freemasons of WA$4,760
National Disability Services (Community Living and Participation Grant)$3,694
Saba Rose Button Foundation $2,537
NS Projects $2,514
4P Aussie Kids$1,835
Amanda Young Foundation$1,000
Telethon Confidential

Freemasons help Brock dive in

The Freemasons of WA continued their support of Therapy Focus in 2016, generously provided funding for seven children with disabilities to complete specialist 1:1 swimming lessons.

One of the children who received funding was eight year-old Brock MacDonald-Bevan, who has autism. Brock has difficulty with his coordination and motor skills, which has affected his ability to learn to swim.

Brock’s Occupational Therapist, Tiffany Colbran, said that prior to starting the 1:1 swimming lessons Brock was reluctant to participate in lessons through school, after failing to pass stage one a number of times.

“Understandably, Brock’s self-confidence was affected as his peers progressed into higher grades and he remained in stage one,” Tiffany said.

“We explored the option of 1:1 swimming lessons with an instructor qualified in disability, who could design a program specifically for Brock’s needs, but these lessons are very expensive and too costly for the family.”

Having worked with Therapy Focus for a number of years, the Freemasons of WA were happy to assist and generously donated $4,760 to cover the cost of 1:1 swimming lessons for Brock and 6 other children.

Freemasons member, Eddy Ward, met Brock and his mum Katrina at Cannington Leisureplex where Brock attends weekly lessons, and said that meeting the families who benefit from donations was “a very rewarding opportunity that really hits home.”

Katrina was tearful in thanking Eddy, saying that Brock has made incredible progress as a result of the 1:1 lessons.

“Within one term Brock had passed stage one and was over the moon about it. I’m so thankful to the Freemasons and Therapy Focus – we simply wouldn’t have been able to afford this otherwise,” Katrina said.

Innovation

Projects & Grants

Each year Therapy Focus collaborates with funding bodies to facilitate projects and activities that benefit the individuals and families we work to support.

In the 2015–16 financial year, Therapy Focus was successful in securing $27,500 to facilitate various projects, events and activities which complement existing services and help achieve better outcomes for Therapy Focus clients and their families. The following table outlines grants and sponsorship secured from government and non-government organisations.

Funding Body

Grant/Sponsorship Purpose

Funding Received

LotterywestTherapy Focus was successful in securing a Lotterywest Community Event grant to host its fifth annual Sunflower Sunday on April 10, 2016. Nearly 1500 guests, including people with disabilities and their families, came together at Point Walter Recreation Centre in Bicton to enjoy a range of inclusive entertainment and activities for people of all ages and abilities. $10,000
The Stan Perron Charitable FoundationThe Stan Perron Charitable Foundation continued to support Therapy Focus' annual Art Competition and storybook project in 2016 as the principal sponsor for the third year running. The generous funding allowed Therapy Focus to provide a complimentary copy of the children's storybook, 'Outback Jack's Great Race', to every primary school in Western Australia. $10,000
Perth AirportTherapy Focus was also successful in securing a Community Partnership Grant from Perth Airport to assist with the costs of hosting the 2016 Art Competition and storybook project. $2,500
AIM WAThe WA Institute of Management (AIMWA) awarded Therapy Focus a $2,000 scholarship to fund employee participation in training and development programs offered by the Institute.$2,000
City of JoondalupTherapy Focus successfully secured a Community Development grant to host the Lego Program in the local government area of Joondalup. The grant helped cover the cost of purchasing the Lego supplies. (More information on page 15).$2,000
City of MelvilleThe City of Melville also supported Sunflower Sunday in 2016, providing a Community Partnership grant to assist with the cost of inclusive activities and entertainment. $1,000

Ninth storybook celebrates diversity

In 2016 Therapy Focus invited WA primary school students to take part in our 15th annual Art Competition by creating artworks that illustrate the pages of a children’s storybook entitled Outback Jack’s Great Race.

Outback Jack’s Great Race was written by Krystal Cotterill, a young aboriginal woman from the remote town of Leonora, and was inspired by the 2016 National Children’s Book Week theme, Australia. The narrative features characters who have disabilities and encourages readers to celebrate the unique talents and abilities of every individual.

Close to 4,000 entries from 59 schools across the state were submitted in the 2016 Art Competition, including entries from schools as far as Kununurra, Coolgardie and Albany. 100 finalist artworks were selected and went on display at Westfield shopping centres, with the community invited to help select the 20 winners by voting.

A Book Launch function held during National Children’s Book Week in August celebrated the achievement of the winning students, whose artwork was published as the illustrations in Outback Jack’s Great Race. Lake Joondalup student, Paige McKenzie was awarded a Commonwealth Bank $250 Youth Saver account for being selected as the cover artist, and Aveley Primary School received a $500 art supplies voucher as the school who submitted the most entries.

With support from 2016 Art Competition Principal Sponsor, the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, a complimentary copy of Outback Jack’s Great Race was provided to every primary school in Western Australia to further promote an enduring impact. The 2016 Art Competition and storybook project was also made possible by generous support from Perth Airport, Westfield, Gateway Printing and Commonwealth Bank.

Copies of Outback Jack’s Great Race and previous titles in the Help a Child Grow Storybook Series are available for purchase from the Therapy Focus website. All proceeds from the sale of the storybooks go towards supporting the Art Competition and storybook project in future years.

Partnerships

Therapy Focus partners with like-minded organisations that are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of people with disabilities and their families.

Service Partners

Partnerships with the following service providers complement existing therapy services, provide referral pathways and provide holistic support for people with disabilities and their families.

Charitable Partners

Garden reno helps John find his feet

Perth-based project management company, NS Projects, partnered with Therapy Focus to install a custom-designed backyard for Balga teenager John Sturzaker, who has a complex seizure disorder.

John’s condition affects his ability to walk so he often crawls around the family home where space is too limited for his wheelchair. John’s Mum Elizabeth said that prior to the garden renovation the family’s backyard was “basically all loose dirt”, which meant that John would often miss out on spending time outdoors with his family.

“It was really upsetting having to leave John inside playing with his toys because we didn’t want him to have to crawl through the dirt or get his wheelchair stuck,” Elizabeth said.

Over a weekend in June staff from NS Projects and Therapy Focus volunteered their time to install paving, synthetic grass, a shade sail, raised garden beds and a sensory wall in the family’s backyard.

John’s Therapy Focus Physiotherapist, Shannen Stanes, had been working with John to improve his mobility and recommended the family for the garden renovation, seeing it as an opportunity to increase his access and independence at home.

“John had been using a walker at school with great success, but there wasn’t enough room for him to continue practicing at home,” Shannen said.

“The large paved area in the newly renovated backyard will provide John with more opportunities to practice using a walker, which will really help his strength, coordination and give him an overall sense of independence.”

Elizabeth said that in addition to practicing walking, John can also enjoy making music on the sensory wall, smelling the herbs and flowers in the garden and relaxing on the grass with his family.

“I’m so grateful to NS Projects and Therapy Focus. The transformation is amazing and will make such a difference in John’s life” Elizabeth said.

Give Program

GIVE Program

Our Grant for Inclusion, Value and Equality (GIVE) Program provides funding assistance to support independence, participation and social inclusion of people with disabilities and their families.

The charitable program provides one-off grant packages to assist with the purchase of equipment, resources, activities and other valuable supports for Therapy Focus clients and their families. Funding rounds are held quarterly with applications reviewed against eligibility criteria by a committee.

In 2015–16, 190 applications were submitted to the GIVE Program. 86 of these were deemed successful, totalling $103,148.

The GIVE Program is made possible by generous donations from the WA community and partner organisations such as Westfield and McDonald’s Community Cinemas. In the 2015–16 financial year, Therapy Focus received $256,982 in untied donations from individuals, organisations, and as a result of events and fundraising initiatives.

Since launching in January 2015, the GIVE Program has provided $142,652 to support 113 people with disabilities and their families.

Marshall by name, martial by nature

13 year-old Marshall Frankis, who has an intellectual disability, started martial arts tuition after being awarded funding from both the Therapy Focus GIVE Program and Barrows Fund.

Natascha has also witnessed the changes in Marshall, saying there have not only been improvements in his physical development, but also his communication and social skills.

“Since staring martial arts, Marshall has made significant progress with his communication skills, including speech clarity, which has been an ongoing goal for a number of years. His balance, coordination and fine motor skills have also improved and he is socialising well with his peers,” Natascha said.

Marshall is steadily progressing through the belt system and has his sights set on becoming a black belt one day.

“John had been using a walker at school with great success, but there wasn’t enough room for him to continue practicing at home,” Shannen said.

“The large paved area in the newly renovated backyard will provide John with more opportunities to practice using a walker, which will really help his strength, coordination and give him an overall sense of independence.”

Elizabeth said that in addition to practicing walking, John can also enjoy making music on the sensory wall, smelling the herbs and flowers in the garden and relaxing on the grass with his family.

“I’m so grateful to NS Projects and Therapy Focus. The transformation is amazing and will make such a difference in John’s life” Elizabeth said.

Sustainability

Financial Report

Brian Chapman

Brian Chapman Executive Manager, Corporate Services

2015–16 was a successful year for Therapy Focus in terms of finances. Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme trials has continued to be a major focus for the organisation, with emphasis on ensuring our systems supported clinical teams.

The past two years have provided great insights into the future of individualised funding for the organisation as we also continue to deliver services through our block funding contracts with the Disability Services Commission.

This year we have expanded geographically by investing in new bases to ensure delivery of services from communities where our customers live including Jindalee in the north, Walliston/Kalamunda in the hills and Kwinana in the new WA NDIS trial site. Thanks to Lotterywest we have upgraded our IT capacity and supported our therapists with mobile technology to increase our efficiencies and capacity.

Our Therapy Focus Audit and Investment Committee have provided valuable guidance to ensure we grow efficiently and sustainably while monitoring our financial risk. Strong ongoing financial management will be essential to ensure we continue to build our capacity into the future.

2016

2015

$

$

Operating Result  
Income28,40620,167
Expenditure27,43419,858
Operating Surplus / (Deficit)972309
Working Capital  
Current Assets10,01112,863
Current Liabilities8,81711,835
Working Capital Surplus / (Deficiency) 1,1941,028
Significant Items  
Salaries and on-costs19,24313,692
Administration862664
Program Expenses5,5723,956
Depreciation728545
Accommodation659752

Copies of the 2015–16 audited financial statements are available from the Therapy Focus website at www.therapyfocus.org.au

Financial Breakdown by Revenue
Financial Breakdown by Costs

Corporate Social Responsibility

One of the ways we measure the sustainability objective outlined in our Strategic Plan is in terms of the activities undertaken to minimise our environmental impact and contribute to the broader social justice agenda.

This Annual Report details much of the work we are doing to positively impact people in the community, however some key activities which contribute to our social impacts and reduce our environmental footprint are outlined below:

Social Impacts

  • Employing people with disabilities in the workplace and supporting students with disabilities to undertake work placements
  • Developing a sustainable workforce for the sector through a structured Graduate Program for allied health disciplines
  • Supporting nine staff members to undertake volunteer secondments to New Zealand, India, Ukraine and Vanuatu to deliver services and impart skills and knowledge
  • Publishing diversity reports such as the Disability Access Inclusion Plan and Workplace Gender Equity Report, which aspire to reach and exceed prescribed benchmarks
  • Recruiting and managing a pool of volunteers to assist with administrative tasks, events and fundraising initiatives

Environmental Impacts

  • Implementing four new service sites in Jindalee, Armadale, Kwinana and Ellenbrook to reduce the amount of travel by clinicians
  • Allowing the choice of a fossil-fuel friendly default Superannuation Fund in conjunction with the relevant Industry Fund
  • Maintaining a log of environmentally conscious business practices to reinforce the “reduce, reuse and recycle” mantra
  • Printing our corporate literature and marketing materials on 100% recycled paper stock

Representation

Another way in which we work to ensure the sustainability of our organisation is through representation on a range of industry and peak forums.

With conflicts of interest and potential impacts on operations closely monitored, our employees are encouraged to represent Therapy Focus in roles on boards and committees within the disability sector. A number of Therapy Focus employees are on the boards of organisations such as the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disabilities and Early Childhood Intervention Australia, and school governing councils such as the School for Special Educational Needs.

The Executive Team lead by example, with each member involved in various sector peak bodies. Matt Burrows is a member of the National Disability Services (NDS) WA State Committee and the Disability Services Commission CEO Roundtable. Ruth Lee is Deputy Chairperson of the NDS Clinical Subcommittee, and Brian Chapman stood down as Chairperson of the NDS Finance Subcommittee in June 2016 after nearly 10 years in the role.

In addition to representation within the sector, the Executive is also connected to the broader business world. Matt presents modules of study for the Governance Institute of Australia, and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA Disability Working Group and the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) WA Professional Managers’ Network. Ruth is a member of the Australian College of Health Service Management, and Brian is a Certified Practising Accountant and has advised on not-for-profit matters. Therapy Focus clinicians are also involved with their discipline governing bodies, including Occupational Therapy Australia, Speech Pathology Australia and the Physiotherapy Association of Australia, at varying levels.

As an organisation, Therapy Focus is a valued member of NDS WA, AIM WA, the WA Council of Social Services, Community Employers WA, Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, and the Australian Human Resources Institute.

Our employees are also connected in the broader social justice realms, with many of them involved with overseas development initiatives like the Go Global Program and Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development.

“The Executive Team lead by example, with each member involved in various sector peak bodies.”

Volunteers make a difference in Vanuatu

In July 2016, Therapy Focus supported Physiotherapists Emily Brock and Nicky Scott, Occupational Therapist Caitlin Williams and Speech Pathologist Caitlin O’Meara to volunteer in Vanuatu through an organisation called Joint Therapy Outreach (JTO).

In partnership with Perth-based volunteer organisation, Wheelchairs for Kids, JTO coordinated a team of health professionals to travel to Vanuatu with wheelchairs and other mobility equipment for people living in the remote village communities of Malekula and Ambae Islands. The team also assessed and treated people in the hospitals in Port Vila, Malekula and Santo, who had conditions such as club foot, hydrocephalus, autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and other birth defects, and worked with adults who had suffered strokes and other degenerative conditions.

Speech Pathologist Caitlin O’Meara recalls some of the memorable moments of the trip: “During the first week working on Malekula Island we met a 6 year-old boy named Peter. Peter had bilateral club feet, which restricted his ability to walk, attend school and participate in village life. We were able to provide Peter with a customised wheelchair that allowed him to participate in village life.” “The following week we were on Ambae Island and met 17 year-old Jonathan. Jonathan has undiagnosed Autism and was also completely blind. His family did not understand his disability and did not know how to support him within the community. Soon after meeting Jonathan we learnt he had never left his hut. We discussed with his family how they could support Jonathan to participate in the community and provided some sensory strategies to help with regulation.”

People

Our Workforce

Whether working in therapy teams or as part of operational support services, Therapy Focus employees are a family of dedicated professionals working for the same purpose.

Therapy Focus’ staff base has grown rapidly over the past 12 months. Since June 2015 employee numbers have increased by 66 bringing our total headcount to 275. Much of this growth has been in response to implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme as client numbers and demand for services increase.

Clinical teams also increased from 12 to 17 and new roles were established, which provided employees with career advancement opportunities. A focus was placed on recruiting Family Connect Workers, who support clients and their families to actively participate in the community. The number of Family Connect Workers employed across the organisation increased by 10 in 2015–16, with a total of 14 working as part of transdisciplinary teams.

Total Employees
Breakdownof Clinical Employees

Organisational Chart

Organisational Chart 2016

Management

Our Executive Team lead our 250 professional employees to achieve the organisation’s purpose, promise and key priorities.

  • Matt Burrows Chief Executive Officer

    Mr Matt Burrows Chief Executive Officer

  • Ruth Lee Executive Manager, Clinical Services

    Ms Ruth Lee Executive Manager, Clinical Services

  • Mr Brian Chapman Executive Manager, Corporate Services

    Mr Brian Chapman Executive Manager, Corporate Services

Board

Our Board of Directors work collectively to enhance strategic direction and support the Executive Team to provide strong operational leadership and management.

  • Mr Peter Mildenhall Chairperson

    Mr Peter Mildenhall Chairperson

  • Mr Michael Banton Deputy Chairperson and Treasurer

    Mr Michael Banton Deputy Chairperson and Treasurer

  • Ms Karen Carriero

    Ms Karen Carriero

  • Mr David Cox

    Mr David Cox

  • Ms Penny Knight

    Ms Penny Knight

  • Mr Grant Bayne

    Mr Grant Bayne

  • Ms Amanda Reed

    Ms Amanda Reed

Parent Reference Group

Our Parent Reference Group provides valuable parent/carer perspectives with regard to planning, implementation and delivery of services.

  • Ms Charmaine White

    Ms Charmaine White

  • Ms Helen Cairns

    Ms Helen Cairns

  • Ms Jane Ebert

    Ms Jane Ebert

  • Ms Caroline Mason

    Ms Caroline Mason

  • Ms Amanda Reed

    Ms Amanda Reed

  • Mr Sarab Singh

    Mr Sarab Singh

  • Ms Emma Chessell-Keevers

    Ms Emma Chessell-Keevers

  • Ms Frances Marsden

    Ms Frances Marsden

Training & Professional Development

Our Professional Development program is extensive and allows for mandatory, discretionary and self-directed opportunities. Many staff members make use of professional development to attend conferences and workshops that are aligned with their professional interests.

In the 2015–16 financial year, Therapy Focus employees participated in a total of 17,064 hours of training. Some of the in-house training activities that were undertaken by employees during this period included:

  • Bullying and harassment training
  • Manual handling training
  • Cultural disability competency training

Employees also participated in a range of external training, including leadership and management courses, project management courses, Microsoft suite computing courses and workplace relationship courses.

In 2016 Therapy Focus began offering free training workshops for allied health professionals to support learning and ongoing professional development within the sector. Our experienced therapists hosted monthly workshops that explored a wide range of topics, including positive behaviour support, dysphagia and mealtime management, and key word signing workshops.

Employees completed 17064 hours of training...

Health & Wellness

The health and wellness of Therapy Focus employees was again a priority in 2015–16, particularly as workloads increased as a result of the NDIS. Work life balance is considered one of the organisation’s strengths and continued to be a focus throughout the year.

Some of the health and wellness initiatives implemented include:

  • $500 wellness benefit for each employee per year
  • 2 wellness leave days per year
  • Employee Assistance Program available through Relationships Australia
  • Corporate health plan available
    through Bupa
  • Free flu vaccinations
  • Free eye health checks
  • Access to smoking cessation programs
  • Mandatory mental health training
    and workshops

Volunteers

With the valued support of volunteers, Therapy Focus continued to maintain a strong presence in the community and raise much-needed funds for the GIVE Program.

The 2015–16 financial year saw a small decrease in the number of people who volunteered, dropping from 178 to 149, however the number of hours committed increased slightly from 1958 to 2019. These figures indicate volunteer retention strategies are working, with volunteers committed to support the organisation over a longer period, rather than volunteering on a one-off basis.

Activities that required the support of volunteers over the past 12 months included McDonald’s Community Cinemas, Westfield Give Ability Days, Christmas gift wrapping, Telethon, Therapy Focus’ Annual General Meeting and Sunflower Sunday. Therapy Focus wishes to thank each and every one of our volunteers for their continued support, enthusiasm and hard work.

Service Awards

Congratulations to the following employees who received service awards at the Anniversary breakfast in July 2016:

5 Years

  • Natalie Burgess
  • Matt Burrows
  • Megan Davis
  • Marisa Di Lorenzo
  • Jessie Diamond-Curtis
  • Caoibhe Flynn
  • Meena Gandhi
  • Katherine Hayward
  • Tammi Kearney
  • Jennifer Law
  • Natasha Maseyk
  • Alison Milton
  • Heather Popal
  • Jennifer Tauber
  • Penelope Wakefield
  • Rheshee Williams
  • Evan Williams

10 Years

  • Hong Pek

15 Years

  • Chris Retallack
  • Ollie Thomas

Anniversary celebrates staff

In July 2016, Therapy Focus employees came together at Fremantle Sailing Club to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of colleagues as part of the organisation’s 18th Anniversary celebrations.

The event saw employees receive recognition for five, 10 and 15 years of dedicated service, as well as the presentation of Therapy Focus’ annual Board Award and People’s Choice Award.

The Board Award recognises the significant contribution of an employee who exceeds expectations and continuously achieves excellence. Therapy Focus Board Director, David Cox, presented the 2016 Board Award to Occupational Therapist, Alice Kettle, whose nomination outlined her dedication to innovative projects and support of work experience students.

Nominations for the People’s Choice Award are submitted by Therapy Focus clients, families and carers who wish to acknowledge exceptional service and recognise employees who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in their personal opinion. Therapy Focus Parent Reference Group member, Amanda Reed, presented the 2016 People’s Choice Award to Physiotherapist, Janesta Stobbe, whose nomination spoke of her commitment to supporting 6-year-old Kal-El Lim.

Thank you

Our heartfelt thanks to these organisations and individuals for their valued support of WA people with disabilities and their families.

  • Bupa
  • City of Cockburn
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Employees of Town of Victoria Park
  • Freemasons of WA
  • Grill’d Cannington, Joondalup and Victoria Park branches
  • Lions Club of WA
  • McDonald’s Community Cinemas
  • NS Projects
  • Perth Glory
  • Students of All Saints College
  • The Barrows Foundation Trustees
  • The Stan Perron Charitable Foundation
  • Westfield