CEO Update: Summer 2024

By Alison Kelly

Chief Executive Officer

Last week, the final report from the Independent Review of the NDIS was released. The Honourable Bill Shorten, Minister for the NDIS, gave an address to the National Press Club regarding the release of the Review and its findings. You can watch Minister Shorten’s speech here.

The report itself contains 26 recommendations and 139 detailed actions. It’s important to note that these are recommendations at this stage and not confirmed changes. You can access the final report as well as guides, fact sheets and FAQ documents for people with disability and their families here.

The proposed changes to the NDIS are wide-ranging and will impact providers, participants, and their families. There will be vital work in the coming weeks and months as the report is unpacked. Following this, any reforms will be implemented over a five-year transition period. The need for robust and authentic co-design has been flagged as a non-negotiable aspect of delivering on these changes, and rightly so. Here at Therapy Focus, we will ensure our customers are kept informed and connected to the next phase of these reforms, and continue to engage in discussions, research and advocacy that accurately represents the needs of providers and the non-NDIS aspects of the disability sector.

“The need for robust and authentic co-design has been flagged as a non-negotiable aspect of delivering on these changes, and rightly so.”

In summary, it is widely felt that the review was significant in its depth, breadth and honesty and will serve as a catalyst to bring about welcome change. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Review.

Looking to the new year and the opportunities it will bring, we are excited to welcome several new faces to key leadership roles at Therapy Focus. We warmly welcome Karissa Goold, who brings more than 15 years of experience in healthcare, hospitality and other sectors to her new role as Chief Financial Officer. You can read more about Karissa’s appointment here. Our Organisational Governance Team has been restructured with three managers working together to oversee the safety of staff, customers and our organisation more broadly. We also welcomed Dave Orchard to the role of Senior Manager; Information Communication Technology. These appointments have bolstered management and will help ensure Therapy Focus is responsive to the needs of our customers and the ever-changing environment we operate in.

It’s safe to say the tail end of 2023 has been eventful here at Therapy Focus. On 3 December, our 25 Year Anniversary celebrations culminated with our family-friendly event, Sunday Funday held on the banks of the Derbal Yerrigan in Dalkeith. The event also honoured International Day of People with Disability with Therapy Focus staff and customers, their families and friends invited to enjoy a range of activities and entertainment. It was such a pleasure to talk to guests who shared stories about the special staff who have made a difference in their lives and hear about the achievements made possible through therapy. The event was a great success, and I thank the members of our Board and Leadership Team who volunteered their time to ensure it ran smoothly.

As 2023 draws to a close, we reflect on all we have achieved this year. Celebrating our 25 Year Anniversary has been a highlight, along with the privilege of being part of your life in some small way. On behalf of the team at Therapy Focus, I extend our warmest wishes for a fantastic festive season and a very happy new year.

Alison Kelly
Chief Executive Officer