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We aim to be an exemplary organisation in the way we support, enable and empower people with disabilities. We are an organisation that is positively making the changes required to engage with and deliver the NDIS.� – Maurice Pitard, OC Connections Chairman


OC Connections

Contents Message from OC Connections Chairman and Chief Executive Officer .......... 6 About us ......................................................................................................................... 8 2016-2017 in review .................................................................................................. 10 Who we support and how .......................................................................................... 12 Profile on participant Julie ........................................................................................ 14 Working in the community ........................................................................................ 16 Profile on participant Aidan ...................................................................................... 18 Partnering with the Department of Defence ........................................................ 20 Profile on participant Jack ......................................................................................... 22 A new home bringing new life opportunities ....................................................... 24 Profile on participant Deb ......................................................................................... 28 Ready, set‌ NDIS ......................................................................................................... 30 Profile on participant David ...................................................................................... 32 Engaging with the community .................................................................................. 34 Building and supporting our team ........................................................................... 36 Profile on staff member Karyn .................................................................................. 40 Our volunteers .............................................................................................................. 42 Profile on volunteers Joan and Mary ....................................................................... 44 How we work ................................................................................................................ 46 Treasurer’s report and financials .............................................................................. 48 Much-needed support ................................................................................................ 49 How you can help and thank you ............................................................................. 52 Service directory and contact information ............................................................ 53

Annual Report 2017



Acronyms Acronym




Australian Disability Enterprises

Australian Disability Enterprises are part of a continuum of employment opportunities for people with disability and act as a link, helping them gain training and experience to confidently step into open employment or to continue in supported employment if they choose. For more information visit

Community Living

Community Living

The term that OC Connections uses to describe supported accommodation, in-home support and respite services.


Defence Administrative Assistance Program

The Defence Administrative Assistance Program is a partnership between the Department of Defence and local Australian Disability Enterprises to provide people with disability the opportunity to engage in meaningful work. For more information visit


Department of Health and Human Services

The Victorian Government department responsible for providing financial assistance, accommodation options, community involvement and other supports and services for people with disability, their families and carers. For more information visit


Department of Social Services

The Australian Government department which aspires to be Australia’s pre-eminent social policy agency. For more information visit


Executive Management Team

Our team of General Managers leading across all areas of OC Connections.


Information, Communication and Technology

Technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications.


National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. The scheme will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life. For more information visit




National Standards for Disability Services

The Australian Federal Government has outlined six National Standards that apply to disability service providers.

OC Connections Enterprises

Our employment division based in Oakleigh South. It provides supported employment opportunities to more than 106 people.

For more information visit

OC Connections

Cassie OC Connections participant Cassie joined the Day Support program at OC Connections in 2015, straight from high school at Monash Special Development School. In the time that Cassie has been with us, she has chosen activities to help develop her confidence and self-esteem.

Pictured on cover

Normally quiet and shy, the 21-year-old really comes into her own when it comes to music, art and performing. Cassie loves singing in the music classes she attends as part of her Day Support program activities with us. Her teachers have observed that she has a great feel for tempo and a natural ability with percussion. When Cassie first came to us, she really wanted to develop her employment skills. Cassie shared her goal of one day working in a café and in 2017 she enrolled in our My Life Coffee Shop program. Through this program, Cassie has had the opportunity to develop her literacy and numeracy skills. She has learnt how to write down orders, calculate payments and make transactions. Cassie has taken enormous pride in her work in our café and being a naturally bubbly person, she has really thrived from the opportunity to interact with customers. Looking to further develop her skills for future employment, early in 2017 Cassie enrolled in a Certificate I Transition Education, graduating in June after a six-month study program. Cassie is excited about achieving her goal of one day working in a café in the community.

Annual Report 2017


Message from OC Connections Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Message from OC Connections Chairman and Chief Executive Officer OC Connections is focused on supporting people living with a disability to build their independence and to provide opportunity and choice to enable their contribution to the community.

Delivered in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the OC Connections Residents Advisory Group, the redevelopment represents a positive approach to best practice co-design in the planning and delivery of supported living and community housing developments.

Participants and their families are without a doubt the heart of OC Connections and we recognise the privileged position we hold in supporting people to achieve their goals and aspirations.

During 2016–2017 – following a successful tender – we were selected as Victoria’s only disability services provider to participate in the Department of Defence’s Defence Administrative Assistance Program (DAAP).

Along with many continuing relationships, we have been delighted to welcome many new participants and their families to our community during 2016–2017.

This unique partnership provides people with disability an important employment option in administration and a genuine pathway to open employment.

As the disability sector undergoes the most significant reform in its history with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), our guiding principles of opportunity and choice are resonating more than ever.

We currently have six supported employees working at the Victoria Barracks in Melbourne and all are making important contributions to Defence with administrative support.

During 2016–2017, we have continued to work closely with participants and families as the NDIS is progressively introduced across our catchments. We are encouraged that our approach to transition is proving to be smooth and effective, with OC Connections continuing to support participants now engaging with the scheme.

A significant period in our history A significant milestone during 2016–2017 was the completion of our community homes, which involved the transition of long-term residents from the Allen Street congregate care facility in Oakleigh into five purpose-built supported living homes across Melbourne.


We continue to provide participants with even more opportunities to access supported employment through our employment division, OC Connections Enterprises (OCCE). Of note, our mobile car wash social enterprise – established in 2016 – has expanded into the wider community providing employment for up to 20 participants. It is a great example of people with disability participating in work within the community.

Assembling an expert team If participants and their families are our heart, then it is our staff who are the soul of OC Connections. Each and every staff member at OC Connections makes a positive difference to the experience of participants.

OC Connections

A strong and refreshed Executive Management Team (EMT) is in place to lead OC Connections into the NDIS. This is a team that is highly-skilled, very experienced and extremely passionate about ensuring that participants are provided with every opportunity to achieve. Our entire team is fully committed to supporting participants and families. During the last 12 months, our staff have managed significant change across the sector and organisation with the utmost professionalism and are to be commended for their approach. At a Board level, we bid farewell to Professor John Cary, who retired after many years as a Board Director. On behalf of the OC Connections community, we thank John for his contribution. We also welcomed Emma Liepa to the Board. Emma brings considerable senior executive business experience, particularly in the areas of marketing and communications.

Looking to the future The Board has undertaken considerable analysis and research to ensure that our three-year Strategic Plan (2016–2019) enables us to thrive in the competitive NDIS environment, while continuing to provide participants with the best possible support. We have enjoyed the first full year with our new name and revitalised brand, which respects and builds upon the 60 years of important work conducted by families, staff, volunteers, supporters and partners. Developed with a participant-led Brand Champion Committee, we were proud to present the new visual identity to our community at our October 2016 Annual General Meeting to great acclaim.

and processes have had to change and we have invested in new systems to ensure we are successful in the new commercial environment. We are pleased that once again, in 2016–2017 we have made a positive operating return which provides us with a positive cash position. This in turn places OC Connections in a position of financial sustainability to continue our transition to the NDIS.

A big thank you We take this opportunity to thank members of the OC Connections Board and our wonderful staff for their ongoing support and unwavering commitment to our vision. We also extend sincere thanks to our team of volunteers for all that they do across so many areas of OC Connections. We thank them for their generosity of time and the giving spirit demonstrated to us every day. A heartfelt thank you to our members, business partners, referrers, donors, funders and supporters. We rely on your continued support to assist in our success and we value your partnership and contribution in making a positive difference to the lives of participants. And finally, to our Patrons Alastair McDonald and Rebecca Paterson, Mayor - City of Monash, once again thank you for your continued support and contribution. We invite you to read this review of 2016–2017. As always, we appreciate any feedback and suggestions you may have to help make OC Connections an even better organisation into the future.

We continue to receive strong results from external auditing outcomes under the DHHS and National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS) across all areas of our operations. Following the positive results from an external risk review conducted in 2016–2017, OC Connections now has an additional pathway for continuous improvement – an approach that is embedded across all support and services. As we move into the NDIS environment it is critical that OC Connections is in a strong financial position. To achieve this, our business practices, systems

Annual Report 2017

Maurice Pitard Chairman

Therese Desmond Chief Executive Officer 7

About us

About us OC Connections is a not-forprofit organisation providing services to more than 470 adults in the areas of employment, Day Support, Community Living and after-hours support. We are one of Victoria’s most trusted disability support services that, since the 1950s, has provided rewarding opportunities to enable people to live happy and valued lives.

OUR VISION To enable people to live a life they choose within a society that values individuals for who they are, respects their rights and encourages participation in everyday life.

OUR PROMISE To aspire to create purposeful outcomes for participants, every time.

Our range of specialised and innovative support services aim to enhance the quality of life for people with a disability, their families and carers. We advocate for My Life, My Choice and provide rewarding opportunities that support people to achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations. Integral to enhancing lives, is the encouragement of people to achieve the greatest level of independence and inclusion in the community. By remaining honest, united, skilled and passionate we hope to bring about a world where people with a disability are enabled to do the things they want to do, and are seen for who they are – as valued members of the community.

OUR VALUES Our work is guided everyday by our values of Choice, Opportunity, Respect and Equality.

Choice We believe every person living with a disability should have the ability to choose how they live. Our experience tells us that people feel valued when given the chance to make choices and decisions about what matters most in their life.

Opportunity Our inclusive services are tailored to each person and their individual needs. We create and provide opportunities for people to develop and grow, pursue goals and live as independently as possible, at home and in the community.

Respect We respect each person’s right to make choices and to be heard. We empower people to live life to the fullest and develop a sense of belonging, which encourages them to be active participants within their community.

Equality We advocate strongly for the disadvantaged, acknowledge a person’s right to live life with dignity and equality and celebrate the joy of diversity.


OC Connections

How we help people achieve My Life: Providing opportunities for independence, education, recreation and entertainment through our Day Support program.

My Work: Providing employment opportunities within the community through our supported employment division, OCCE.

My Home: Providing a range of living and support options available within our supported community homes, in-home or one-on-one support.

My Holidays: Providing choice of after-hours or weekend supported activities.

How we connect across Victoria Melbourne

Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges Our corporate office is located in Oakleigh in Melbourne’s south east, in the City of Monash. We provide shared supported Community Living options accessible through our 11 group homes. We also provide in-home or one-on-one support.

Melbourne City of Monash Bayside

South Eastern suburbs


We provide from five locations, over 120 Day Support activities each week with participants travelling to destinations across Melbourne. We provide supported employment opportunities for more than 106 people including through social enterprise initiatives.

Annual Report 2017

Mornington Peninsula


2016–2017 in review

2016–2017 in review

26,000 unique visits to our website

6 graduates prepared for work through Transition Education certification


>90 attendees at our October 2016 Annual General Meeting

>68,000 hours of support provided to 66 participants living in our community homes

OC Connections

>470 participants supported across all areas of life

23 new OC Connections participants and their families welcomed to our Day Support program

5 new supported community homes constructed

100 volunteers contributed 12,100 hours of support

>10 community events and fundraisers held

Annual Report 2017

120 Day Support activities offered each week

>220k hours of support provided through Day Support programs

92,448 hours of supported employment provided through business enterprises

20 NDIS-ready familiarisation sessions held for participants and their families

167 golfers at our Annual Charity Golf Day

1,440 hours dedicated to staff NDIS learning activities


Who we support and how

Who we support and how During 2016–2017, we were proud to support more than 470 adults living with a disability to achieve the goals, dreams and aspirations that they chose for their life.

31% 18 – 34

10% >64

The age of participants (years)

25% 35 – 49

34% 50 – 64

How we supported participants

My Life – 36% My Work – 22%

My Home – 14% My Holidays – 28%


OC Connections

Types of supported employment provided

Types of Day Support activities provided



Learning, Skills and Experience





Car wash

Art, Music and Culture


Fun, Fitness and Wellbeing


Types of Community Living support provided Congregate care (Prior to closure of Allen Street)

14% 64%

Group home shared accommodation Community Living and in-home support

10% 12%

One-on-one programs

Types of evening and weekend support provided

34% 13%

Weekend activities

Monday bowling


Holidays and weekends away


Rec-line Disco

Annual Report 2017

Rolling out Every Moment Has Potential training During 2016–2017, OC Connections conducted training in our person-centred active support approach. Facilitated by OC Connections team leaders, this interactive online learning program is one of many that underpin our approach to supporting participants to develop and achieve their goals.


Julie OC Connections participant and Community Living resident Julie has lived in shared community accommodation with support provided by OC Connections for most of her adult life. A naturally independent person, Julie’s life-long aspiration has been to one day enjoy the comforts and privacy of her own home and share her life with a partner. For a number of years, Julie had been sharing a house with another person who received 24-hour support. Over time, Julie had come to depend on this support to complete practical household tasks that she previously had undertaken herself. Recently, Julie had begun to retreat into herself and was less willing to engage with people outside of her trusted support network. Through a combination of the growing dependence on support and her frustration with her living arrangements, Julie was feeling that her opportunities were limited. Staff worked with Julie to enable her to identify and articulate what she wanted to change, then together they planned and developed a solution. During the course of seeking alternative arrangements for Julie, the OC Connections Community Living team identified a rare opportunity to renovate an unused space at one of the existing supported community homes in Oakleigh South into a self-contained studio apartment. Drawing on the support of DHHS and the architect and builder involved in the redevelopment of our Allen Street congregate care facility, we went about designing and building Julie’s new home exactly how she wanted it. Having achieved her life-long aspiration of living on her own, Julie has never been happier. Enjoying her new-found independence, Julie is surrounded by her trusted network of supporters, family and friends all working together to help her transition into this exciting new phase in her life. Her support team feel confident that Julie will continue to grow. For the first time in a long time, Julie is excited about the future – confirmed by her preparedness to dream of one day sharing her life with someone special. For Julie, her new home is so much more than just a roof over her head. It is symbolic of her independence, of continued growth and her developing confidence that drives her to pursue her dreams and aspirations.

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OC Connections

Annual Report 2017


Working in the community

Working in the community

18 new commercial customers secured through our social enterprises

3,360 increase in hours in the provision of administrative services

During 2016–2017, our supported employment division, OCCE, provided supported employment for more than 106 people. Through OCCE, we offer a range of employment opportunities, including supported working environments, open workforce support and placement, or placement in our own social enterprises, which include: Packing

We endorse the NDIS’ expectation of inclusive workplaces that offer practical and productive environments for people living with a disability with access to career pathways. We aim to help participants develop their skills, work readiness and confidence within a supported working environment and to provide a pathway to one day securing supported employment within the community.

Car washing


OCCE at Australian Disability Enterprises Expo In December 2016, OCCE was invited to participate in the Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) Exhibition held in Queens Hall at Parliament House in Melbourne. The event was sponsored by Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins MP and aimed to raise awareness and showcase goods and services from a small number of local ADEs. 16 18

OCCE was proud to display and discuss our packing, car washing and administration services to politicians from across Victoria. The Victorian Government’s new ADEs directory, launched at the event, also featured a stunning mosaic artwork on the cover, which was designed by OC Connections participant Mandy. OC Connections

Our success stories Certificate I and II Transition Education In June 2017, we congratulated six Certificate I Transition Education pilot program graduates. A celebration was held at the Clayton Community Centre where Aidan, Ben, Cassie, David, Sarah and Stephen proudly received their certificates and made an acceptance speech. Designed in partnership with disability training provider Prioletti Consultants, the training is a part-time education program conducted over six months, with outcomes covering work engagement, workplace health and safety, communication, and literacy at work. Students build additional skills including the ability to assess where their employment interests may be and how they match with current and future skill sets. Subjects have included: • Participating in travel activities • Developing and documenting a learning plan with support • Participating in the community • Participating in short simple exchanges • Identifying features of the health care system • Reading and writing short, simple messages and forms

• Investigating future options for further training, work, or community activities • Using technology for a range of purposes • Accessing the media. We are very proud of the graduates for their achievements, and their families for supporting this new endeavour. An additional 12 OCCE employees have commenced their Certificate I Transition Education. Successful completion of the program will provide them with further education towards open employment. In July 2017, a number of our Certificate I graduates commenced their Certificate II study.

Car wash social enterprise The OCCE car wash social enterprise – designed in partnership with our supported employees – has won two new contracts over the past 12 months. Productivity continues to increase, with a year-to-date increase of 652 cars. Our team has expanded and developed a reputation within the sector for delivering high quality and environmentally-friendly cleans, as evidenced by our customer feedback survey. Our partnerships include Kingston City Council and Melbourne’s Cheapest Cars.

Annual Report 2017


Aidan OC Connections participant Aidan, 21, joined OC Connections in 2015 after finishing high school at Glenallen School in Glen Waverley. Four days a week, Aidan participates in our Day Support program. His favourite activities are arts, music and swimming. Aidan’s goals have been centred around increasing his confidence and self-esteem. This year Aidan chose to participate in the Certificate I Transition Education pilot program, which focuses on building skills and confidence for future employment. Since completing his studies, Aidan’s support team have noticed a visible lift in his willingness to discuss longer-term aspirations around independent living and employment. With a flair for the arts, Aidan keeps an online blog where he writes reviews on plays, musicals and other live performances that he has seen – a hobby which also helps him to develop his writing and computer literacy skills. Aidan is also passionate about human rights and is an active member of the OC Connections Participant Advisory Group. The group meets each week to discuss broader issues impacting the sector, including self-advocacy, reforms (including the NDIS), the rights of people living with a disability and opportunities for co-design across OC Connections. Aidan has participated in training in interviewer skills and will in the future be actively involved in the recruitment of new OC Connections staff members.

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OC Connections

Annual Report 2017


Partnering with the Department of Defence

Partnering with the Department of Defence This year, OC Connections was selected as Victoria’s only disability services provider to participate in the Department of Defence’s supported employment initiative, the Defence Administrative Assistance Program (DAAP). DAAP is part of the Australian Public Service’s As One: Making it Happen Disability Employment Strategy, which aims to improve workforce participation for people with a disability. Following a successful tender process, in September 2016, six OC Connections supported employees – Amanda, Geoffrey, Jack, Jessica, Julia and Lykheng – commenced work at the Victoria Barracks on St Kilda Road in Melbourne. This unique partnership provides people with a disability a genuine pathway for open employment. Our DAAP team is supported on-site by OCCE staff and a comprehensive training and support program is provided. In less than 12 months, we have developed a model that delivers the Department of Defence a quality administration support service, while providing for the ongoing learning and development of the team. Our DAAP team is required to complete tasks such as data entry, shredding, scanning and photocopying with support provided by OCCE staff. Team members are encouraged and supported to attend meetings with business units to discuss upcoming projects and through this, are becoming skilled in work planning. Established support procedures and a robust employee training program ensure quality assurance so that tasks are completed thoroughly and aim to exceed expectations and timelines set by the Department of Defence.


As a result, our DAAP team has developed a reputation for quality service delivery within the Department of Defence. This has led to an encouraging pipeline of work with projects currently booked one month in advance. With support, our DAAP team members have grown their confidence and self-esteem to a level where they are now comfortable in connecting with their Department of Defence colleagues, with ever-reducing support required from us.

I like it, because it’s a completely different environment from working in the factory.” – Amanda, DAAP team member In a relatively short period, we have proven to customers at the Department of Defence that our DAAP team makes a positive impact on their workload. The team now receives service requests from staff at other Victorian Defence bases and are fast reaching current resource capacity. The scope of works has also increased, with the DAAP team now overseeing the delivery of the base’s daily mail delivery at the Base Manager’s request. Importantly, our employees working at the base are considered as valuable members of the Department of Defence team and are invited to attend workplace training and social events. We would like to thank our partners at the Department of Defence for being so welcoming and inclusive in this new and very successful endeavour.

OC Connections

Members of our DAAP team

Annual Report 2017


Jack OC Connections supported employee and DAAP team member Jack is a member of our DAAP team, which provides administrative services for over 1,000 Department of Defence staff at the Victoria Barracks in Melbourne. Jack, 24, came to OC Connections after finishing high school at Glenallen School. Keen to develop his skills around employment, Jack completed a Certificate I in Work Education at Holmesglen TAFE. Just prior to joining the DAAP team in September 2016, we had employed Jack at our corporate office in Oakleigh in an administrative capacity. During this time, his focus was on developing skills in this area. It was the combination of his prior study, work experience and an unwavering willingness to learn that motivated Jack to join the DAAP. The team of six is supporting the Victoria Barracks base to eventually become paperless. Given his natural ability to connect with people, Jack was asked by OCCE staff whether he would take on a daily mail run around the base as an extension of the team’s work. With support, encouragement and hands-on training from OCCE, Jack’s confidence for the task – which each day requires him to deliver up to 10 parcels across the base – has developed significantly in a short period. Today, Jack completes his mail run totally independent of support. He’s now also training his colleague Amanda so that she can cover him on days he’s not at work. Jack’s specific goals around employment are to develop more in his role in the DAAP team. Currently he is working to develop his computer literacy skills. He is working towards increasing his working hours to full-time, with the ultimate goal of becoming more independent as he grows older. Jack’s happy-go-lucky spirit does not go unnoticed. He has developed exceptional relationships with his Department of Defence colleagues – effortlessly chatting and joking with people as he makes his way around the base.

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OC Connections

Annual Report 2017


A new home bringing new life opportunities

A new home bringing new life opportunities Following three years of planning, design and construction, we were pleased to have completed our Accommodation Redevelopment this year. The project saw 30 people move into five brand new supported living homes in the community. Completed on time and within budget, the $14 million redevelopment has transformed the lives of these participants – who had been living in the Allen Street congregate care facility for over 30 years. OC Connections worked with each participant to ensure that their new home and living arrangements would reflect how they wanted to live and who they wanted to live with.

In 2014, the Residents Advisory Group was established as part of the governance for the project. Comprised of people who were moving into the new homes, the group met every fortnight – providing regular feedback and suggestions over the course of the project. The group helped to inform the project management team about decisions relating to building design, fit out and décor – proving an invaluable asset and sounding board to the team of architects, builders and staff involved from OC Connections and DHHS. The first of our new supported accommodation homes in Clayton was officially opened in August 2016. Attended by the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, the Hon. Martin Foley and State Member for Oakleigh, Steve Dimopoulos MP, the official opening event marked one of the most significant milestones in our history and the culmination of so much hard work and dedication. At the opening event, Minister Foley praised all associated with the project and described the “inspiring” way in which residents had played such an active role in the planning.

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OC Connections

The next chapter begins In December 2016, the last of the residents moved into their new homes marking the official completion of the project. The successful transition of participants from the congregate care facility to their new homes has been a direct result of the enthusiastic involvement of many people – including the participants themselves. While the transition presented many challenges – with many not having experienced living in smaller environments for many years – there was along the way an unmissable undercurrent of excitement. Since moving into the new houses the emphasis has been for these participants to become increasingly a part of their community rather than just having a change of address. The stories of growth are inspiring, with increased social connectedness with housemates, skills in food preparation and sharing meals with housemates, pride taken in becoming more independent in their morning routine, and getting ready for the day, independent of staff. We are working with industry leader, Emeritus Professor Trevor R Parmenter to document the changes in the lives of these participants,

particularly in relation to their opportunity for choice in decision-making and their connectedness with their community. Professor Parmenter presented the findings of the first stage of his research at our October 2016 Annual General Meeting. We have also developed a coffee table book about the project to ensure it is etched firmly into our history. Importantly, the outcomes and learnings from Professor Parmenter’s research will continue to inform our approach to service delivery and will be shared across the sector to ensure better outcomes for all Victorians living with a disability. We sincerely thank all of our partners involved in the delivery of this very successful and special project.

It’s a basic human right to be able to choose where you live, how you live and who you live with.” – Vicki Hayes, General Manager Engagement and Partnerships

Redevelopment timeline March 2013–March 2014: Individual planning through Resident Lifestyle Mapping and Design

May 2014: Funding approval

August 2014: Residents Advisory Group formed

May 2015: Construction commenced

April 2016: Welcome to the Neighbourhood BBQ

September 2016: Second house completed

August 2016: First house completed

December 2016: Fourth and fifth house completed

Nov 2016: Third house completed

Watch the videos on the redevelopment at

Annual Report 2017


A new home bringing new life opportunities

An opportunity to grow One of the great things to come from the Residents Advisory Group is the confidence many in the group have gained through the process, and also their realisation that they have the skills and ability to be a part of real consultation and decision-making. Even after the completion of the redevelopment, the group continues to meet to discuss community safety and inclusion initiatives. They also participate in social events focused on getting to know community facilities in the neighbourhood, connecting with local traders, and utilising local service providers. In June 2017, the group was a finalist in the Victorian Disability Service Awards for their outstanding work as volunteers. As a result of the success of the Residents Advisory Group, a new organisation-wide advisory group has been established to help inform decision-making at the highest level. This group has regular dialogue with members of the Board.

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Our Residents Advisory Group members are: Rodney, Kathleen, Richard, Kathy, Colin, Greg, Bernadette, Margaret, Vlada, Mandy, Carolyn, Rosemary, Lorraine, Greg and Kathy. Some of the group members are pictured below.

The Residents Advisory Group is important because we get to talk about things together and make decisions. I like it better at my new house because I have my own space.� – Vlada, OC Connections participant and Community Living resident

OC Connections

Other new housing initiatives Throughout the year we have partnered with DHHS, Colcept Architects, J & JW Williams builders and the Mackie Group to create a number of opportunities to help provide safe and comfortable homes for people to support them in achieving their goals, including: • The renovation and extension of a house in Chadstone where a new two-bedroom self-contained unit was constructed. The unit provides a great opportunity for long-time partners David and Carol to have more privacy while still receiving supports. David and Carol are working towards greater independence and improved community engagement. • The redesign and refurbishment of an unused space to create a studio flat adjoining an existing house in Oakleigh South for Julie, achieving her lifelong aspiration to live on her own. • The identification and negotiation with Victorian Government housing to create an opportunity for a participant to live in his own unit in the community safely and with access to supports. We also increased our staff numbers across Community Living by 42 per cent this year to meet the needs of the new houses and deliver an increased level of support within them.

Working together Our Community Living team was pleased to continue to work with and further consolidate formal links with our partners including DHHS, City of Monash, Port Phillip Housing Association, Housing Choices Australia, Oakleigh Police and the Oakleigh Fire Brigade.

Annual Report 2017


Deb OC Connections participant and Community Living resident Having lived in the congregate care facility at Allen Street in Oakleigh for close to a decade, today Deb is living more independently in a comfortable and modern space that was designed specifically for her. Deb’s new bedsit in Chadstone was created as part of our Accommodation Redevelopment project. During the design process, Deb told us what she wanted in her new home and who she wanted to live with. Living at Allen Street was not ideal for Deb, who really enjoys her own privacy. Over the years, Deb had chosen to spend most of her time in her bedroom rather than interacting with others in the house. Deb’s goals for the next chapter of her life are centred around first settling into her new home and then to re-establish her relationships with her housemates Barbara, Beverley, Catherine and Vicki. She also wants to be more independent and complete tasks like cooking, washing and tidying up with support. Understanding how sensitive she is to noise, Deb’s space was soundproofed and on move day, staff worked tirelessly to ensure her belongings were placed in her new bedsit just as she had left them in Allen Street. Her area has its own ensuite, sink and kitchen facilities and an outdoor area – giving Deb the choice to stay in which ever space she chooses. While the transition to her new home in 2016 was challenging for Deb, our Community Living team worked with staff in Day Support – where Deb has been attending for over 25 years – to ensure a consistent routine was maintained to build a solid foundation for change. Life is now very different for Deb, who each night chooses to eat dinner with her housemates and on weekends do crafts with them as well. Deb loves designing and making her own cards which she proudly displays in her room. Deb is much happier, smiling more, engaging with others and going out. She loves going to music concerts and enjoys lunch or afternoon tea in the community. Since moving into her new home, Deb has made choices about what she does and when she does it – examples indicative of her growing independence.

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OC Connections

Annual Report 2017


Ready, set... NDIS

Ready, set… NDIS Over the last 12 months, we have continued our preparation in readiness for the NDIS, set to roll out in our region in November 2017. We did so within an evolving, dynamic and sometimes uncertain NDIS environment. One year into its national rollout, the overwhelming message is that NDIS is not perfect but it will transform the lives of thousands of Australians once the scheme realises its potential.

Supporting participants In the first quarter of 2017, we transitioned four NDIS participants and worked very closely with these participants and their families to ensure that supports continued with no undue disruption. OC Connections is registered to support NDIS participants from when they leave school. This includes continuing to build their skills to be independent, finding and keeping a job, living independently as an individual or with others, accessing and participating in community activities, having access to our community homes and support to action their NDIS plans as required. We expanded support options and opportunities for participants and their families through new business lines of support coordination and individual supports for participants in the community. We also created greater opportunity for employment through our Certificate I Transition Education. Consistent with our approach of collaboration and co-design, we developed the Ready, Set… NDIS resource with participants. This collateral was distributed to all participants – including supported employees – and their families in the first quarter of 2017.


We provided NDIS information through newsletters and our website, hosted 20 Getting Ready for NDIS information sessions and commenced individual pre-planning support for participants and families who have requested assistance.

Refining our approach All of our policies and procedures are now aligned to the NSDS and our new Client Management System will enable us to measure how our supports assist participants to achieve their goals. Our Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) capabilities have improved significantly with the preparation for execution of both our new Client Management System and the implementation of new payroll and enterprise resource planning software. We completed costings for service delivery to ensure OC Connections operates in a financially sustainable way under the NDIS. We also improved our financial ratios to ensure sufficient working capital is available under the NDIS for ongoing sustainability. Our three-year Strategic Plan, developed for the highly competitive NDIS environment, is now supported by a Strategic Marketing Plan and Strategic Fundraising Plan.

Without your support with preplanning, I would have found the rollover to NDIS daunting. I like the positive approach and ability to answer my questions without hesitation. The enthusiastic approach was confidence-inspiring. Thank you for your time and assistance. We appreciate it immensely.” – Parent of Day Support participant

OC Connections

Preparing our team Our business teams participated in training on managing change, person-centred active support, customer-centric thinking and community inclusion. Senior managers and team leaders attended facilitation skills training and external workshops on new service delivery approaches in the NDIS marketplace. The learning will be incorporated into our work to increase choice and opportunities for participants we support.

Annual Report 2017


David OC Connections participant and Community Living resident For many years, David had relied on contingency funding for his support. Living with the uncertainty that his supports could be changed at any time had precluded David and his family from being able to confidently plan for his future. It was difficult to undertake long-term planning to create a support solution that could really meet David’s individual needs. Since transferring to the NDIS earlier this year, David does not need to worry anymore. David is eligible for support under the NDIS, and was identified as someone who would benefit from early transfer to the scheme. We worked closely with David and his family to prepare them for their planning meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency. This process involved identifying David’s goals for the future and what services and supports he would need to live a more independent life. One of the most important issues to address was providing David secure ongoing housing. OC Connections worked closely with DHHS and Victorian Government housing, to secure David a home of his own for the future. Now settled in his two-bedroom apartment in Oakleigh, David is happy and safe in the security of his own home. With support, he is managing his daily activities and engaging positively in the community. A keen walker, David makes the short trek – weather permitting – to OC Connections every day, where he participates in Day Support programs including Meals on Wheels and Advanced Bush Walking. In the short time David has been living in his own home, his support team have noticed a profound difference in his willingness to engage with others. Overall, David appears to be much happier. He is smiling more often than he ever has previously, often coupled with an emphatic thumbs-up when asked how his new home is going.

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Annual Report 2017


Engaging with the community

Engaging with the community The last 12 months has seen participants connect meaningfully with the wider community, including attendance at a variety of concerts and events. These community-based social activities encourage greater inclusion and contribution, including in some instances the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our sector’s future direction.

Art award winners In October 2016, participants Vlada, Peter and Kathleen were proud winners of the KarnivART Awards at the Mornington exhibition.

Welcoming visiting Ministers OC Connections was thrilled to be visited by two senior Victorian Government Ministers who were accompanied by State Member for Oakleigh, Steve Dimopoulos MP. Steve is a wonderful supporter and advocate of OC Connections and we are incredibly grateful for his support. These visits provided a unique opportunity for us to share organisational and sector insights, and for Ministers to engage with participants and staff. August 2016: Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, the Hon. Martin Foley – Accommodation Redevelopment official opening event in Clayton. April 2017: Minister for Industry and Employment, the Hon. Wade Noonan – Launch of the Victorian Social Enterprise Strategy.

Oakleigh Historical Society Exhibition In February 2017, OC Connections was proud to be the focus of the Oakleigh Historical Society (now known as History Monash) exhibition. Featuring over 60 years of OC Connections history, the exhibition was held at the Monash Federation Centre. The event was officially opened by State Member for Oakleigh, Steve Dimopoulos MP.

Monash Disability Advisory Committee We were represented on the Monash Disability Advisory Committee by our General Manager Engagement and Partnerships, Vicki Hayes, who helps to advise the City of Monash on service provision and local issues relating to the needs of people living with a disability.

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OC Connections

Sharing Residents Advisory Group insights In 2016, our Residents Advisory Group presented to the DHHS all staff forum on the purpose and role of the group in our Accommodation Redevelopment. In early 2017, representatives from the group were invited to speak at a training session hosted by the Secretary of the department.

Dancing the night away Our annual dinner dance held in May 2017 at Merrimu Receptions was another great success with over 165 guests dancing the night away to music played by DJ Flash Gordon. Guests enjoyed the Starry, Starry Night themed evening and loved having their photos taken at the green screen photo booth.

The group also submitted suggestions to the City of Monash as part of the consultation process for the council’s Disability Action Plan, developed by the council’s Disability Advisory Committee, on which OC Connections is represented.

We are currently planning for representatives from the group to visit with local police stations as part of their disability awareness training.”

Cooking with the stars In March 2017, Sydney-based social enterprise, Beehive Industries, invited us to be part of their initiative to offer low-cost cooking lessons for supported employees. The program was aimed at supporting supported employees in becoming more familiar in the kitchen and providing the opportunity to learn how to cook low-cost healthy meals.

Annual Report 2017


Building and supporting our team

Building and supporting our team Our team



part-time staff

full-time staff

43% male

Staff gender

57% female

69 casual staff

Our dedicated team of support workers, instructors, supervisors, training coordinators and corporate support staff are committed to helping participants and people living with a disability achieve their lifelong aspirations.

>3000 hours of staff training programs provided

Restructuring for the future We have undertaken a restructure of our EMT to reflect organisational strategy and ensure operational efficiencies as we head towards the NDIS. The restructure has resulted in the recruitment of suitably skilled and experienced General Managers equipped to lead the business through the NDIS implementation and the delivery of organisational strategic objectives.


Due to the impending closure of our congregate care facility in Allen Street in Oakleigh and our shift in focus to community-based services centred around choice, we undertook a review of our Community Living service delivery structure to ensure its sustainability and relevance in the NDIS environment. This process included extensive staff consultation around changes proposed and the ultimate redeployment of employees.

OC Connections

Training our staff We delivered all mandatory compliance training including First Aid, Workplace Health and Safety and Manual Handling, in line with requirements. Workplace Bullying and Prevention education was also undertaken by all staff, including supported employees. In addition, we have conducted many professional development activities including organisational orientation for all new employees, ICT literacy training in preparation for the implementation of new ICT systems, new systems training, supervisory training, person-centred active support approach training and training in preparation for the NDIS.

Committed to co-design As part of our commitment to co-design, we expanded our staff orientation program to involve five participants – those we serve in this process.

Developing our ICT systems Our new payroll system was introduced successfully in May 2017, modernising this area of OC Connections. Once integrated with the enterprise-wide software that went live in August 2017 and the new Client Management System scheduled to go live in October 2017, we will reap considerable efficiencies and effectiveness by reducing duplication and providing increased business reporting options heightening business intelligence. The integrated system will provide a platform that will be added to in the future to further enhance business support services.

A special award for Vicki Hayes In May 2017, our General Manager Engagement and Partnerships, Vicki Hayes, received a high commendation in the category of Outstanding Advocate of People with Disabilities at the City of Monash, Sir John Monash Awards. Vicki has spent her working life advocating for people living with a disability and it is wonderful that she has received this much-deserved acknowledgment and recognition.

Annual Report 2017

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Building and supporting our team

Our engaged workforce

Compliance, quality and auditing

This year, our annual staff engagement survey had a participation rate of 82 per cent, which is one of the highest for our sector.

We achieved full compliance with external quality audits undertaken at OCCE and across our Community Living and Day Support services. Of note, our management systems were assessed against the requirements of the NSDS to support compliance to the Human Service Standards, as gazetted by DHHS, and were deemed compliant.

Results showed that passion and engagement levels are five per cent above sector standards. They also showed that our employees are satisfied with the progress of OC Connections, with staff confidence in our ability to deliver outcomes eight per cent above sector standards. Survey results have assisted in identifying opportunities for improvement, particularly in the area of staff wellbeing. A staff working group is being established to develop programs in this area.

>83% of staff feel passionate and engaged about their work

>80% of staff feel their work has a purpose


A maintenance audit of our systems was also conducted against the requirements of the Human Service Standards. The audit found that our Community Living and Day Support areas had achieved the audited objectives and fulfilled the standards and audit criteria. In November 2016, a four-day external certification audit was conducted at OCCE to review all processes undertaken, to ensure compliance with the NSDS. Many of our systems and process were recognised as best-practice standards and commended by the external auditors.

Risk management review To ensure best practice in risk management, during 2016-2017, we engaged an independent specialist to review our existing systems, documents and practices and assist us in maturing the OC Connections risk management framework. Recommendations arising out of the review included the implementation of an action plan developed during the process, together with a Risk Action Plan to address key business risks. Our EMT is currently working with the Compliance, Audit, Risk and Quality Committee towards implementing these recommendations.

of staff feel committed to the organisation

>80% of staff are satisfied with their job


OC Connections

Annual Report 2017

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Karyn OC Connections staff member Karyn Willoughby has been working at OC Connections since she moved to Melbourne from her native Ireland in 2011. After studying extensively in Ireland, Karyn began working in disability services in 2010. Karyn came to Australia with the hope of expanding her skills and was successful in securing a role with OC Connections, where she has worked ever since. Starting out as a Disability Educator at OC Connections, in 2016 Karyn moved to OCCE where she continues to work as Employee Support Officer. In her role, Karyn is focused on assisting supported employees develop their skills and advance their careers. Karyn is really excited about the opportunities and progressive change that is coming with the introduction of the NDIS, and is proud to be supporting participants to choose the career they want. During her time with OC Connections, Karyn has continued in her professional development and has published seven secondary research reports, three of which have been published on the Centre for Developmental Disability Health Victoria website. Karyn supports participants to achieve their career objectives by providing training to develop their skills, adapting her approach to suit individual needs. Karyn pours her heart and soul into her role and is a strong advocate for people living with a disability. Karyn has a unique ability to inspire people to expand their horizons and is committed to maximising a person’s independence. She has led the implementation of an additional skills program to support employees currently undertaking the Certificate I Transition Education and has collaborated with Dandenong Valley Job Support to transition supported employees to open employment. Karyn makes a genuine effort to really get to know people and their circle of support and, where appropriate, she involves families and carers of participants in important decisions – always going above and beyond to ensure we achieve our vision.

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Annual Report 2017


Our volunteers

Our volunteers

100 volunteers provided >230 hours of support each week

Throughout 2016–2017, OC Connections has been fortunate to be supported by over 100 volunteers who have contributed over 12,100 hours of their valuable time. These wonderful people provide support and encouragement to participants in Day Support, enable our opportunity shops to open, help with the maintenance of our building, enable Community Living residents to attend activities, and help at reception. In addition to our regular team, we are also fortunate to have a large number of volunteers who join us for our Annual Charity Golf Day and Christmas Tree Festival. Their support is invaluable to our fundraising campaigns and enables us to raise much-needed funds for the benefit of participants.

Recognising efforts This year, we introduced a National Volunteer Week program to recognise and acknowledge volunteer contributions. This program highlighted the benefits of volunteering, both to OC Connections and to our volunteers. During this week, we took the opportunity to thank our volunteers for the massive contribution they make, hosting an afternoon tea that all volunteers were invited to. We also introduced a quarterly volunteer bulletin to strengthen volunteer engagement, keep volunteers up-to-date with opportunities and share news about the volunteer program.


Community recognition In June 2017, two of our volunteers were recognised at the Chisholm Volunteer Awards for their contribution to OC Connections. Joe Horyniak received the award for going above and beyond to support staff and participants. Alex Forbes was awarded for his support of our Annual Charity Golf Day and Christmas Tree fundraising events over the last nine years. Federal Member for Chisholm the Hon. Julia Banks MP and the Foreign Minister of Australia, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP presented the awards at a ceremony held in Burwood East.

Corporate volunteers Throughout 2016–2017, we were delighted to host a number of corporate volunteer groups. Experian Australia sent a number of groups who spent their day working alongside supported employees or undertaking various tasks around the building. They also had a group who spent the day setting up the shop for our annual Christmas Tree Festival. Hitwise, who are a division of Connexity – an e-commerce and marketing platform – also had a group come along and support the Christmas Tree Festival.

Our volunteers bring not only a variety of skills and qualities to the work they do, but they also provide a level of support to our staff and participants that is beyond expectation.” – Donna Wragg, Volunteer Coordinator

OC Connections

David Hawkes thank you Our longest serving volunteer David Hawkes retired this year from his weekly volunteer role in our Maintenance Department. David started volunteering with OC Connections in September 1964, one week after arriving in Melbourne from London.

David joined the Father’s Maintenance Saturday Group, and more than 50 years later, he was still giving his time so generously.”

In 2014, David won the Dame Elizabeth Murdoch Award at the Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Awards. In 2015, he received a High Commendation in the Positive Ageing Leadership category of the City of Monash’s Sir John Monash Awards. David’s regular presence around OC Connections will be missed, although he has already assured us that he will continue to be involved with our fundraising events in the future. We are all so very grateful for their generosity. Thank you does not seem to be enough to both David and his wife Betty, who also volunteered for many years, for their combined efforts and continued support.


Joan and Mary OC Connections volunteers Joan Kelly and Mary Davies have generously volunteered their time to OC Connections for over 20 years. Their connection with us is steeped in love and history. Their sister, Norma, began attending the day program with us back in the early 1960s. At the time, their mother Vera also started volunteering and was a member of the highly active and successful mother’s group. In the 1980s, Norma commenced living in one of our community homes and did so until she passed away in 2015. Over the ensuing years Joan, Mary and eventually their families began volunteering – always available to assist with selling Christmas trees and assisting with our Annual Charity Golf Day. Joan, Mary and Joan’s husband Tony McAvaney – who joined our Board of Directors in 2007 – have remained active volunteers even after Norma’s death, attributing their commitment to the great sense of warmth and inclusiveness underpinning OC Connections. All three were formally recognised at last year’s annual volunteers event in November for their contribution to improving the lives of participants. Joan is a member of the Oakleigh Redevelopment Advisory Group and – along with Mary – assisted our Accommodation Redevelopment team in setting up the new homes. Their knowledge of our community and genuine commitment to seeing people living with a disability have the living environments they deserved, meant they were able to set up the houses in the manner that would best meet the needs and tastes of participants. Up until its closing last year, Mary had also been a regular visitor to our Allen Street congregate care facility where she collected clothing that needed mending, took it home, and promptly dropped it back as good as new. Both Joan and Mary hold a soft spot for Norma’s good friends (and OC Connections participants) Mandy and Vlada, and they still maintain contact today through regular visits and lunch outings. Neither of these ladies can ever imagine a time when they won’t be a part of OC Connections. And we are all the better for it.

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OC Connections

Annual Report 2017


How we work

How we work Leading OC Connections is a strong refreshed Executive Management Team that will take us through to the NDIS environment. This revised structure best reflects the outcomes envisioned for participants through the NDIS, in terms of skill and capacity building, independence training and financial security through employment.

The strengthened operational areas are supported by a strong emphasis on the NDIS, engagement and partnerships, and robust systems and processes, through corporate and commercial services.

Board of Directors

Therese Desmond Chief Executive Officer

Catriona Starr General Manager People, Learning and Culture

Kit Wong General Manager Strategy and Projects Greg Patterson General Manager Corporate and Commercial Services


Tony Still General Manager Independence and Employment Laurelle Edwards General Manager Community Living

Vicki Hayes General Manager Engagement and Partnerships

OC Connections

Board of Directors

Maurice Pitard Chairman

Mark Toohey Treasurer

Peter Willcocks Vice Chairman

Alan Bergman Director

Emma Liepa Director

David Admans Director

Michael Boyce Director

Tony McAvaney Director

Committees Finance and ICT Committee Mark Toohey (Chair) Alan Bergman Tony McAvaney Compliance, Audit, Risk and Quality Committee Peter Willcocks (Chair) David Admans

Annual Report 2017

Governance, Remuneration and Succession Planning Committee David Admans (Chair) Maurice Pitard Peter Willcocks Marketing, Fundraising and Supporter Committee Michael Boyce (Chair) Emma Liepa Maurice Pitard 47

Treasurer’s report and financials

Treasurer’s report and financials OC Connections delivered a net operating surplus of $1.1 million for the financial year ending 30 June 2017. This compares to the previous financial year’s net operating surplus of $0.76 million.

During 2016–2017, we completed the implementation of a replacement payroll system. We also made significant progress towards implementing a replacement financial system and a new Client Management System, with scheduled completion dates of August and October 2017 respectively. OC Connections formally transitions to the NDIS in November 2017.

In addition to the very favourable operating surplus for the 2016–2017 financial year, OC Connections has reported improvements over the prior year in all performance indicators devised by National Disability Services as measures of liquidity and sustainability with NDIS readiness in mind.

It is a great pleasure to be able to report on the successful completion of the Accommodation Redevelopment project, with all residents moving from the Allen Street congregate care facility to their new homes prior to the scheduled date of December 2016. Feedback from residents and carers, as well as from DHHS who partnered with us on the project, has been extremely positive. The Allen Street property in Oakleigh will be placed on the market for sale during the 2017–2018 financial year.

Cash remains a key indicator in this area, and we continue to improve in this area, with strong positive cashflows resulting in a cash balance at 30 June 2017 of $4.9 million, which is an increase of $0.87 million on the previous year. We will continue to monitor our cash position during the transition to the NDIS. Investment in resources to prepare for the NDIS, including improved systems and processes, has continued.

Another major success during the year was winning a tender to deliver DAAP, an initiative of the Department of Defence, to purchase administrative services delivered by people with disabilities. The contract is for a three-year term and has resulted in six supported employees and one full-time supervisor from OCCE working on-site at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne. In June 2017, Ross Farmer, General Manager, Corporate and Commercial Services, resigned from his role with OC Connections. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ross for his hard work and valued input and to welcome Greg Patterson into the role. Once again, I would like to thank my fellow Directors Alan Bergman and Tony McAvaney for their continued work in positively contributing to our success as members of the Finance and ICT Committee.

Mark Toohey Treasurer


OC Connections

Much-needed support As a not-for-profit organisation, we are ever so grateful for the support we continue to receive from our community and business supporters. Our fundraising program remains vital for OC Connections in raising money to buy the necessary equipment or aids to enable each person to live as comfortably and independently as possible. Money raised is directed to people in need across our services to provide participants with equipment or programs that will enhance their confidence and life skills, or assist them to pursue interests. It is this support from community, donors, attendees at events, and regular purchasers and supporters, that helps us provide additional unfunded items or programs to assist participants to obtain the skills required to develop and grow, pursue goals and live as independently as possible. Our fundraising events rely heavily on the support of our volunteers, for which we are very grateful.

Key fundraisers for 2016–17 Christmas Tree Festival Annual Charity Golf Day Winter Appeal (OC Achieve Fund) Graham’s marathon Christmas Tree Festival Our biggest fundraiser event for the year, our annual Christmas Tree Festival held during November and December, was another great

Annual Report 2017

success, attracting generations of families who regard buying one of our trees as a Christmas tradition. This year was no different. We sold over 1,500 trees, raising much-needed funds for participants. Annual Charity Golf Day Our 22nd Annual Charity Golf Day held at The Metropolitan Golf Club in Oakleigh South in June 2017 attracted over 160 golfers. Proceeds will be used to buy assistive technology equipment to enable participants to improve their communication and develop and grow as individuals. This will assist people to access the community and to actively participate in community life. Educational and development tools, such as tablets and specialist software, help make written information accessible for people who have literacy and communication difficulties. They also improve meaningful participation and make communities more accessible for people with little or no speech. Once again, we would like to thank The Metropolitan Golf Club for donating the course for the day and the women members from the club, who raised funds throughout 2016–2017 for OC Connections. We value this long-term partnership and the kindness and generosity of all the members and staff associated with this prestigious golf club. We wish to thank our corporate sponsors who once again contributed to positive participant outcomes though their generosity. Winter Appeal (OC Achieve Fund) Our fundraising appeal for this year was focused on raising money to provide people with the opportunities to achieve their goals from assistive technology through to support to gain employment.


Much-needed support

Graham’s marathon One of our Disability Educators, Graham Furman, represented OC Connections in the 2016 Melbourne Marathon in October running 42 kilometres to raise funds for our organisation. The Monash Leader, The Australian Jewish News and Bialik College lent a hand in promoting Graham’s challenge. We are extremely grateful to Graham and to all who supported him. School support As part of their school curriculum, four Caulfield Grammar Year 10 students were required to do 20 hours of volunteering and chose to support OC Connections. They planned and organised a sausage sizzle at Bunnings and also sold baked goods that they had made themselves, with all monies raised donated to us.

Thank you also to: Alastair McDonald Bursary AM and MB ME Quinn Bell Charitable Trust Estate of Edmund George Barker Equity Trustees (Intelcare) Frank S Horn Trust Lander and Rogers Lawyers Margaret Blandon Perpetual Raob Gab Grand Lodge The Metropolitan Golf Club

Donor appeal and memorial donations

The Metropolitan Golf Club Women Members

We are fortunate to be supported by many generous people across the community who every year give to our donor appeals, raising money for specific projects. This year, we received wonderful support to assist across all areas of our organisation. In particular:

In memoriam

• The repair, renovation, maintenance, fit-out and furnishing of a number of our new and existing community homes.

Amanda Mitchell Bruce Bain Dorothy Wilson Joyce DeJong Marty Vinnal

• Renovations and interior upgrades at our Tootgarook holiday house.


• New iPads and touch screen tablets for participant communication support.

City of Monash

• A new fence and shade sail for the outdoor area at our main centre.

Google AdWords

• OCCE roof repair, furniture refurbishment and new lockers. • Gifts for our Community Living residents at Christmas. We acknowledge all of our donors for their incredible support, and in particular Don and Norma Bain who – through the Bruce Bain Foundation – so generously donated $20,000 (in addition to other donations) to purchase a purpose-built vehicle that allows us to provide transport for participants.


OC Connections

Honouring Pam Carnegie In September 2016, we installed a plaque at our Tootgarook holiday house in memoriam of Pam Carnegie. Pam was an active member of OC Connections and worked at OCCE for a number of years. A generous donation received from Pam’s family in her honour enabled us to complete renovations, interior design upgrades and landscaping work to the property, which each year is enjoyed by so many participants and their families.

Honourary Lifetime Members 1953

Mr Arthur J Levett


Mrs Lois Ackerly


Mr W Kennaugh


Mr Roy Fryer


Mr Frank P Halfpenny


Mrs Dorothy Curtis


Mrs Muriel Price


Mr F W (Barry) Callaghan JP


Mr Monte Benjamin


Mr J A (Tony) Crute


Mrs Mollie Danby


Mr David Hawkes


Mrs E M Rae


Mr Les Murray


Mr Allen G James


Mr John Walker


Mr H W (Tom) Walsh


Mr Don Bain


Mrs Edna Wells


Mr Alastair McDonald

Annual Report 2017


How you can help and thank you

How you can help and thank you As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely very much on fundraising and donor support to assist participants across the many services and programs we provide. Funds raised go towards items and programs that we otherwise would be unable to fund, and all monies provided add value and make a positive difference to participants and their families.

A last word of thanks Thank you to OC Connections members and to our community of participants, families, carers, volunteers and staff for sharing their stories and being a part of this annual report. Written and edited Lydia Richards

Photography Mark Farrelly

Design Blick Creative

How you can support us DONATE Donations can be made to OC Connections online by visiting our website at or phone (03) 9569 0603. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. By subscribing to our newsletter, you will receive regular updates about current appeals.

LEAVE A BEQUEST By leaving OC Connections a bequest in your Will, you can help us to continue providing services that give people living with a disability the opportunity to achieve the goals they choose for their life. A Will is a legal document and should be made with the advice of your solicitor or a trustee company. This will ensure your wishes and intentions are executed.

VOLUNTEER We are fortunate to have the support of a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers. To find out more about volunteering with us, visit our website at or phone (03) 9569 0603.


Our volunteer program is enriched by the diversity of our volunteers, who come from all walks of life and range in age from school leavers to retirees.� –Therese Desmond, Chief Executive Officer

OC Connections

Service directory and contact information OC Connections Corporate Office

Opportunity Shops

773 Warrigal Road Oakleigh VIC 3166

62 Poath Road Hughesdale VIC 3166

Postal Address PO Box 127 Oakleigh VIC 3166

Phone: (03) 9568 1407

Phone: (03) 9569 0603 Fax: (03) 9568 4238 Email: Website:

290B Huntingdale Road Huntingdale VIC 3166 Phone: (03) 9543 5083 OC Connections provides support in 11 shared community homes across the Bayside and South Eastern suburbs in Melbourne.

OC Connections Enterprises 1088 Centre Road Oakleigh South VIC 3167 Phone: (03) 9575 4200 Fax: (03) 9575 4244 Website:

Tootgarook Holiday House Morris Street Tootgarook VIC 3941 For bookings contact: (03) 9569 0603 or

Annual Report 2017


773 Warrigal Road Oakleigh, Victoria 3166 Phone:

(03) 9569 0603



OC Connections and OC Connections Enterprises ABN: 91 480 733 899

OC Connections Annual Report 2017  
OC Connections Annual Report 2017