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NEWS ISSUE 51 • WINTER 2020


DIRECTORS Chairman - Paul Thomson Paul Hardy-Smith Sally Harrop Sara Jholl Michael Negri Wendy Waddell EXECUTIVE TEAM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Toni Stewart CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Sughesh Madathil EXECUTIVE MANAGER PEOPLE, CULTURE & SAFETY Jayne Gillespie FOUNDER & PATRON: Emil .A. Negri ABN: 21 004 947 782 4/475 Moorooduc Hwy 03 5981 5100 admin@focuslife.com.au www.focuslife.com.au


FROM THE CEO…… Welcome to our Winter Newsletter This column will be my last as CEO of focus. Toni Stewart will officially assume the role of CEO on 1st June 2020 and I will say my final goodbyes on Friday 3rd July. I would like to thank you all for your support and friendship over the last 16-years; it has been a wonderful organisation to work for and together we have achieved a lot. I know I am leaving it all in good hands, Toni will do an excellent job, she will take the organisation forward and see that the vision of the Board to grow the organisation is realised. There is a lot of news to share with you all this issue. focus recently underwent another full audit, this time against the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Practice Standards. These new practice standards were implemented in 2019 by the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission. I am thrilled to be able to report that we were successful in the audit and will again receive full registration as a Disability Service Provider for another 3-years. We must congratulate all our staff on achieving this, to prepare the whole organisation in less than a year has required a mammoth effort from every staff member. As always they rose to the occasion and we are very proud of them. Earlier this year focus successfully applied for an AGL – Powering our Community Grant, to have solar power installed on the Red Hill property. As a result of the grant a 36kW solar system was installed on Berry House, the system will provide power to all the buildings on the Red Hill property. This will deliver substantial savings for the organisation. We thank AGL sincerely for supporting the organisation with this incredible grant. We have previously talked about the focus Strategy to build more accommodation for people with a disability. That strategy is now

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well advanced. Since our last newsletter the construction of the house at McAlister Street has commenced. The building will be completed and people moved in by the end of this year. We have also purchased another block of land in Helvetia Court, Frankston. The old house on that block has also been demolished and the tender has gone out to appoint a builder. That house should be ready for occupancy early next year. Earlier this month we were also able to purchase a purpose-built 3-bedroom home in Frankston from another disability provider. We will be completing a few small renovations before offering permanent accommodation to three more people. In addition, we have purchased land in Somerville, Cranbourne and Langwarrin to develop over the next couple of years. It is a very exciting time in our organisation. Our waiting list for accommodation grows on a weekly basis so we know this is an area of need for a number of families and we are working hard to provide it as quickly as we can. My final message to you all as I sign off and hand over to Toni is to say a huge thank you to all our families who have been so understanding throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have had to change so many things to keep people safe and well but you have all been so accepting of everything we have done. As the State of Victoria begins to lift some of the restrictions, we will also start to re-adjust the way we are working; but we need to be very cautious as the community begins to gather in larger groups and things start to reopen. Our main priority, as always. is to try to keep people safe by keeping the virus out of our services. Gail Foster CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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AROUND THE HOUSES | HOME TO COMMUNITY HOUSE CHALLENGES During May many people from Balcombe, Bungower, Century, The Rise, Bondi, Olsen and Oppy Houses have been involved in daily House Challenges via Zoom. These Challenges were interactive and catered to everyone’s abilities. It allowed for House Teams to come together and showcase their teamwork, talent, knowledge, energy and enjoy the fun. Points were awarded for winning each daily Challenge. The points each day counted towards a final House tally following the 10 Challenges to crown our House Challenge Champions. There were bonus points up for grabs each day based around enthusiasm, creativity and fastest Zoom dial-in. Everyone embraced the challenges and came with their A game each day,. armed with faces painted, costumes galore, determination to win and smiles abundant. Challenges included Movie and TV Trivia, Virtual Bingo, A Scavenger Hunt, Joke of the day, Red Faces, Name That Tune and I Spy. The Challenges concluded with a Gala Event in which the filming of our Red Faces Challenge was premiered. The title of House Challenge Champions was awarded to Bondi House who were a force to be reckoned with from day one. A huge congratulations to everyone involved - it was bigger than Ben Hur!

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AROUND THE HOUSES | BALCOMBE HOUSE

MAKING THE MOST OF TIME AT HOME Chris thoroughly enjoys his Thursday nights playing basketball. Although he has missed it over the lockdown period, we look forward to starting back when things re-open. And whilst we havent been able to get to the basketball courts in the last few months Chris has enjoyed doing some artwork to pass away the time. Chris has managed to maintain his fitness level on the exercise bike whilst at home in isolation.

BUNNINGS DIY CLASSES Marion and Julia love to attend the Saturday DIY classes at Bunnings. It’s a great place for some socialising with fellow customers and their cute dogs that come into the store with them. We took some time looking at the plants for ideas as well. There are always loads of activities and handy hints and tips that we can learn from these mornings.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | BALCOMBE HOUSE

BALCOMBE HOUSE WONDER WOMAN GOALS Catherine was very excited about her recent purchase - WONDER WOMAN! Catherine has set herself a goal to look just like the famous caped lady. She is eager to embrace an improved lifestyle including exercise and healthy eating to help her meet this goal. whilst using Wonder Woman as her inspiration. Go Catherine!

BALCOMBE HOUSE KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS As we know, seeing our friends and family has been a little diffficult over the break, but technology has certainly helped us stay occupied and in touch with people. We had some excited happy people being able to maintain relationships whilst learning new skills on the iPad.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | BALCOMBE HOUSE

BALCOMBE HOUSE COMFORT FOOD IN ISOLATION As has the rest of the world, we have all enjoyed taking the time in the kitchen, baking different things, cooking meals for our housemates and testing out our barista skills as well.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | BANKSIA HOUSE

GETTING AROUND Nothing stops Ron! Whilst his mobility scooter is in for repairs, he found a two wheeler to be able to get around on.

OUT AND ABOUT On that rare occasion that we can enjoy a sunny day; John went for a walk and then a picnic. It was nice to enjoy some time outside.

WINTER WONT HOLD US BACK! The weather may get in the way a little over the colder months but that didn’t stop anyone at Banksia House from getting on with it. Aaron chose to make a jelly on a very wet day, Ron caught up with his neighbour Rex to grab a coffee. And another neighbour Steve, hosted a sausage sizzle for everyone. Steve cooked the snags and greeted everyone who came by to grab a sausage in bread.

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AROUND THE HOUSES BONDI HOUSE MENS SHED. Cade has been attending The Mens Shed at Frankston for over 5 years. He has produced some excellent items over the years which include - a spice rack, a jewellery box, a coffee table, wooden DVD holders, and shelves for his leggo projects. Cade has built up some great friendships over this time as well. This photo is a gathering before the lockdown, however since the shutdown The Mens Shed manager rings fortnightly to chat with Cade which has been amazing. The Mens Shed is such a worthwhile community initiative, for this very reason!

BUNGOWER HOUSE HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIXIE! Every birthday is a special day and when it occurs in the middle of a pandemic some creativity is needed. Dixie had an ISO visit from her nephew Tony and his wife Jenny who came with the most scrumptious cake. Happy 67th birthday Dixie!

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AROUND THE HOUSES |BUNGOWER HOUSE BARK PAINTING Phil has been doing quite a bit of painting lately. Some things bought and some things found. Here is Phil’s collection of bark from his daily walk. He has then dedicated his time to painting it in his chosen colors. Crafty!

BUNGOWER HOUSE PHIL CELEBRATES HI 53RD BIRTHDAY IN ISOLATION Phil celebrated his 53rd birthday in isolation by BBQing for himself and his house mates. Phil enjoyed opening his Mother`s presents and later speaking to Mum and his brother on the phone.

CAKE AND CALLS. Kylie has been keeping herself busy with phone calls to home over the Easter break and she also decided that she would like to make a cake for everyone to enjoy. Thankyou Kylie - it was great!

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AROUND THE HOUSES |BUNGOWER HOUSE

LIKE A DUCK TO WATER After watching others go swimming for months Phil had suggested to staff that he would like to give swimming a go himself. Phil was very eager, from the time he got into the bus to the time we returned to The Factory. You could not wipe the smile off his face. Once in the water he enjoyed showing everyone his swan dive and his swimming technique. It was an added bonus that Phil also ran into his friend Lisa, who enjoyed a catch up in the pool!

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HOME TO COMMUNITY

CEDAR HOUSE CAMILLE’S 27TH BIRTHDAY Camille had a busy day on his 27th birthday. Camille enjoyed some time out with his mum and sister with many joyful smiles on their arrival. He got to finish the day off with a personalised cake, shared with his housemates. Happy Birthday Camille!

CENTURY HOUSE HOUSE CHALLENGE It was challenge time aplenty at Century House over the last few months, and everyone took on their individual or group challenges with gusto! A competition was conducted between some of the houses via Zoom, it was Red Faces! The team at Century got right into the spirit of things and went that extra mile, to the point that they were voted the winners! Red Faces was a popular segment way back in the Hey Hey it’s Saturday days! Those that know will know!

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HOME TO COMMUNITY | CENTURY HOUSE

HOUSE CHALLENGE PORTRAIT CHALLENGE Another competition that we ran was a portrait competition - you willl see that the photos are great!

HOUSE CHALLENGE BIKE RIDE Jacob was challenged to go for a bike ride and he accepted it gleefully. He went for a ride from Century Drive to Mornington and back, some 13kms. He displayed great awareness of road rules, and he enjoyed every bit of the ride. Great job Jacob! He tells us his legs were a bit sore the next day!

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AROUND THE HOUSES | HARTIGAN HOUSE

JEANETTE GOES ON HOLIDAY Jeanette went on a holiday with All Access Holidays for 5 days to the Yarra Valley. During her time there she visited the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, went for walks around Warburton and spent a day at Healesville Sanctuary where these pictures were taken. Jeanette enjoyed looking at all the animals and the live bird show.

EXPLORING MARTHA COVE

DINO DAY Great day at Dinosaur World where there were lots of encounters with big beasts. Michelle took in the different varieties of prehistoric creatures and was in awe when they actually greeted her. Finishing off with her own creature, which was a gift for her mum.

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Jeanette found a new walking track at Martha Cove. Its a beautiful 3.8 km, we got to say good morning to people out walking their dogs, watched boats and yachts return from the bay. Jeanette was very interested in the Cormorant birds diving for the fish. She also spotted many fish herself. A huge snapper, zebra fish and many others. Jeanette liked it so much she said she would like to live there. She walked from the boat ramp to the steps going up to the bridge over Nepean Highway.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | HARTIGAN HOUSE

EASTER SUNDAY AT HARTIGAN Who doesn’t enjoy Easter. The guys at Hartigan were no exception. Everyone was very happy with their Easter haul.

AFTERNOON AT THE ROSEBUD PIER Robert and Jeanette went out for a drive to the Rosebud pier. Robert and Jeanette sat down near the beach to enjoy their afternoon tea. Robert enjoyed watching the seagulls and laughing at them while Jeanette talked about the weather. We all went for a short walk afterwards - it was nice to be outside.

KEEPING FIT @ HARTIGAN Jeanette has been keen to keep working on her fitness and despite the cooler weather, is walking many laps around the garden track each day. She recently purchased a ”Fitbit” device to see how many steps she takes each day. She is clocking up an amazing daily amount of kms. In the first 4 days with the step counter she has walked 55442 steps = 36km, according to the ”Fitbit”. Anyone up for a challenge?

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AROUND THE HOUSES HARTIGAN HOUSE KEEPING BUSY DURING COVID-19 TIME AT HOME Robert is always happy to contribute to keeping his home neat and tidy. During these recent months, he has had time to get in some relaxing activities - “it cant all be hard work”! He has been watching his John Wayne movies and creating some artwork. Let’s not waste an opportunity to enjoy a walk on the foreshore on a nice sunny autumn day either.

OAK HOUSE CARE TAKER OF THE AVIARY We now have 23 Cockatiel birds in the aviary, including 5 baby birds. We continue to take care of them daily, giving them fresh seed, clean water, cut grasses and fresh branches off the local native trees. Peter enjoys helping with the birds, we sit on the bench after cleaning and watch them feed.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | OAK HOUSE

REMEMBERING THE ANZACS Oak House staff asked everybody if they would like to do something to celebrate Anzac Day. Staff explained to everyone how these very brave soldiers and nurses went to war and fought for the safety of our country. We read stories, looked at photos and tried to learn about the Anzac Day Remembrance. The decision to make Poppies to wear at our house celebration was a great one. We attached a piece of rosemary as tradition also. We baked Anzac biscuits and listened to the last post and read the statement. It was organised all would gather outside under the carport on Saturday 25th April and listen to the last post online. Anita offered to read the last post to everyone, she felt very important and practiced reading this many times. The day was very special, and then everyone had Anzac biscuits for morning tea. Next year if possible, a few clients said they would like to attend the local dawn service at the RSL.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | OAK HOUSE

COOKING UP A STORM What an awesome morning it was at Oak house to have just about everyone up and getting involved in cooking. The challenge was to use as much bread as we could without making toasties. Of course the first thing that sprung to mind was bread and butter pudding, this was Jenny’s suggestion. Jenny, Peter, Bruce and Anita all buttered the bread and layered it with fruit and a sprinkle of sugar. With dessert sorted, it was time to move onto lunch. We decided to make mini quiche cups with a bread base. Peter rolled out the bread and pressed it into the muffin tray as he watched staff do the same. Jamie diced up the capsicum and onion and then Anita and Bruce fried it up. With laughter and smiles everyone enjoyed the morning, but not as much as they enjoyed lunch and dessert!

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HARVEST AND DELIVER Warwick made a few trips to the garden over the past month and helped with watering, but the real fun came when Warwick got see the harvesting of everything that grew; from broccoli, sugar snap peas, bok choy and even a handful of raspberries. Warwick was smiling while following the staff around the garden. While Warwick wasnt keen on sampling the fruit, he was more than happy to walk with staff to deliver fresh produce to all the houses at Red Hill.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | OLSEN HOUSE

SUES BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUE! Sue celebrated her birthday in May. Sue decided to make her own cake and decorate it in her favorite chocolate, M&M’s. Her house mates sang her a happy birthday which she enjoyed. Sue had a great birthday and can not wait for the next one.

A GAME OF MONOPOLY Sue , Holly and staff settled in for a good game of Monopoly at Olsen house during the Covid 19 lockdown. Staff took the time to teach them all about the game of skill as well the art of being a good sport!

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AROUND THE HOUSES

OLSEN HOUSE CAKE BOSS HEAT 1 &2 The Olsen House ladies competed in Heat 1 and 2 of the Cake Boss Challenge. Heat 1 was all about happiness and for the Olsen ladies that was chocolate and Heat 2 was animals. The ladies really enjoyed taking part in the competition!

OPPY HOUSE OPPY CHEER SQUAD On a sunny day in May the Oppy ladies decided to become the Oppy Cheerleaders for the Zoom Challenge. The Oppy ladies enjoyed dressing up, and performing an energetic Oppy cheer for everyone who Zoomed in for the challenge. It was so much fun! Our efforts paid off as the Oppy ladies were awarded extra points for creativity and enthusiasm that day. Well done ladies!

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OUT AND ABOUT | OPPY HOUSE

CAKE BOSS FINALISTS The Oppy ladies have taken on the Cake Boss Challenge with gusto. It was not just about the finished cake creations but the amazing team work, planning, creativity and enthusiasm that the ladies showed along the way. We are so proud of our creations: ‘We are happy at the Pool’ and ‘Oppy Zoo’ and look forward to entering our final creation for the last round of the Cake Boss Challenge.

EASTER IN OPPY The lead up to Easter this year at Oppy house was extra exciting with so many fun and creative activities. The Oppy ladies had daily Easter themed activities such as Easter bonnet making, chocolate making, Easter egg hunts and of course Easter Sunday brought an abundance of chocolate joy to the house!

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AROUND THE HOUSES | OPPY HOUSE

ACTIVE AT OPPY The Oppy ladies have kept as active as possible throughout the COVID-19 restrictions. The restrictions and cooler weather has meant trying out some new indoor activities which they ladies have embraced, from Balancing, Bocce, Indoor bowling, online stretch and movement classes and yoga to name a few.

ANZAC DAY CREATIONS On Anzac Day the Oppy ladies decided to create some poppies to decorate our front door window.They all got involved in cutting out red and black paper, gluing together and then sticking them on the front window. We also decided to bake some delicious Anzac biscuits which were enjoyed for afternoon tea and lunch the next day.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | OPPY HOUSE

ISO POSTER Lisa and Honie (ASW) were going for a walk and saw a similar poster in a window and it cheered them up. The ladies decided it would be a great idea to make their our own to cheer up other people walking past. Everyone got involved and they were very proud of their creation. It is now in the office window for all to see.

OPPY HOUSE HASC 2020 All the Oppy ladies travelled to Geelong via the ferry for three days at the - Have A Say Conference run by VALID. This is an annual trip them and a new experience for two of the staff. They headed off very early, with enough time to have breakfast rolls in Sorrento. The ferry trip was a great way to start the holiday and they even saw a dolphin. They all enjoyed various activities of their choice, such as colouring, dancing, team sports and walking along the beach at Barwon Heads. The highlight was definitely the dinner dance and this went off with a bang. The food was great, they caught up with lots of friends and the second the music started, everyone hit the floor for the next few hours. The band was fantastic and we all agreed we loved the conference.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | OPPY HOUSE

RED FACES ACT - OPPY GIRLS Jane, Philippa, Tiffany and Lisa did a fantastic take on the high energy Barbie Girl song, recreating lots of fun scenes for the video for their Red Faces act. The girls were ecstatic to learn their Oppy Girl Act was a winner. Great job everyone!

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AROUND THE HOUSES

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS ISOLATION STYLE As we know in isolation we are all missing out on big events like birthdays, however we decided at Red Hill that we couldn’t let CRL -Tanya’s birthday go without some form of celebration. A plan was formed a few weeks ago to help her celebrate her big day in style. For those of you who don’t know, Tanya has taken to riding a bike around Red Hill to get between sites, so what better way to mark her birthday than to ‘pimp’ her ride. Here are some photos of the celebration at Red Hill. Happy birthday Tanya.

RYMER HOUSE RYMER’S GOODBYE AND THANKYOU TO GAIL :) This colourful piece of art was painted by our own resident artists, Geoff, Tim and Mikey. It took several days to complete and they had help making and gluing the sign. Everyone grabbed their drink of choice to say a big cheers to Gail and say a BIG thank you. It did prove a little difficult juggling drinks and art at the same time- ha.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | SEAVIEW HOUSE

SEAVIEW’S UPDATE Life in lock down has been a bit hard, we all miss our family and friends, however we have a laugh each day and have done lots to keep us busy. Exercises and walking starts each day to keep our minds and body fit. Then either art, cooking, gardening, special bbq lunches, our own Coffee club on Thursdays and then finishing the week with ‘Feel good Friday’, where we choose how we want to pamper ourselves! Till we meet in person again may everyone stay safe!!

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AROUND THE HOUSES

THE RISE SIGNED PHOTO FROM AN IDOL! A member of staff - Cheryl, emailed John Farnham and mentioned how much Deborah loves his music and plays his DVD regularly. After a while waiting, it was with great delight and surprise that some special mail arrived for Deb. An autographed photo of John! This now takes pride of place on her bedroom wall.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | THE RISE

HOUSE CHALLENGE Over the last few weeks, the Rise have been having a range of different activities provided to them in the home due to COVID 19. During this time the residents have be getting involved in many different things around the home including healthy cooking, fit and fun, gardening, book club, movie club, creative art, relax and revive, indoor ball sports but the biggest activity of all, was having fun during the house challenges organized by Jacqui and Jo. Everyone at the Rise has been getting into the spirit and doing their best to get creative with zoom meetings by dressing up and decorating the house. House staff are extremely proud of the participation and effort that everyone has put into some of the daily challenges. The biggest being the Red Faces Challenge. The Rise residents did a spooky dance to the Monster Mash, all dressed up in different outfits. We had the scream, magician, firefighter, Luigi, Mario and a Gatsby lady. All the participating housemates practiced for the days prior and had fun trying on different outfits and dancing around the lounge room as a Halloween disco theme. With everyone’s enthusiasm, we were impressed to see their efforts displayed in the red faces video, all houses involved did an amazing job and everyone should be extremely proud of the videos they produced. We can definitely say the people at The Rise enjoyed watching this production and seeing all the talents of other residents of focus.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 1

THE CAKE BOSS COMPEITION - ROUND 1 There is no doubt that everyone felt the pressure of being in a state lockdown during a pandemic. Although the one thing that has been documented by many stuck inside, is that they found a new hobby, found new ways to communicate with people, they turned to home fitness routines, and ate more home cooked meals. But the stand out seemed to be people trying something new or thinking outside of the square when it came to filling in their time. And it was for that reason that we came up with an organisational competition - a bake off like no other - The Cake Boss Competition. There were three rounds of the competition with each rounds based on a theme. Round One was - Happiness, and Round Two - Animals., followed by a Finals Round So enjoy the stories shared and the results of the first two Rounds. Well done to everyone that participated. Regardless of the results of the competition itself, we are sure that everyone loved the results of their own work.

BEN’S CREATION This morning Ben completed a drawing of his cake design then began baking his cake. While Ben’s cake cooked he went for a long walk. When Ben returned he made his lunch. After lunch Ben made the icing and completed his cake. Ben had a slice of cake then went outside for an Easter egg hunt. With lots of fun and laughter Ben finished his creation.

JACOB’S CREATION Jacob wanted to enter with a pink cake in mobile phone shape as this symbolizes happiness to him.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 1

BUNGOWER HOUSE Stephen made and decorated the cake in his home kitchen. Stephen added all cake ingredients in his bowl, counting in spoons of margarine required then stirred by hand until needing to use electric mixer. Stephen wanted to know how long to bake and when cakes should come out of the oven. He was shown on the dining room clock and also on hands. Stephen beat the frosting and also the cream for the cake. Stephen also added the frosting layer and then cream to cake and decorated it with another housemate and with guidance.

BALCOMBE HOUSE Everyone in the house was excited to be involved in Cake Boss competition. During the week everyone drew up picture ideas for the cake design and they voted on the happy,smiling sun. Everyone helped out to create the masterpiece. And the end result was great - what teamwork!

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 1

OLSEN HOUSE The ladies thoroughly enjoyed partaking in the bake off! Sue looked at designs and wrote down a list of ingredients.Nicole lined the pan with baking paper and poured the batter, and Sue took time to decorate. Then it was time to celebrate the end result.

OPPY HOUSE The ladies sat and chatted and all agreed that swimming at PARC make them happy. It was then decided by them all to make a pool depicting what they like doing in the pool. They all worked as a team to produce the cake and everyone contributed to the decorating of it. There was a lot of fun eveyerone in the kitchen making their figurines giving a lots of encouragement to each other while working on the cake.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 1 BONDI HOUSE TEAM TANYA AND RENEE Tanya and Renee planned and created an elephant cake. Both Tanya and Renee had a meeting with staff to brain storm cake ideas. Both had a great discussion about what made them happy and a plan was made to bake cupcakes and build an elephant with a light blue green icing. Tanya and Renee shared tasks and worked really well with each other. Both have said they enjoyed the challenge and also eating the finished product.

THE RISE After some careful research on Pintrest the guys decided on their cake design.The cake was made over a few days with everyone having some input with mixing, melting chocolate, making icing, sorting the lollies in to their colours, then finally the completion of their rainbow masterpiece.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 1

ASH HOUSE There is no better way to prepare to win a battle than some decent planning and a list of things to do. Everyone had input as to the way the cake should be completed and with the team input the result was outstanding- and without doubt “Happiness IS a piece of Cake”!

STEVEN’S CREATION Steven sat down and explained to his support team what his idea was going to be. Steven loves his cars, so of course he chose a car shaped cake. Steven was excited about the whole idea baking a cake, looking forward to the end result, the taste test! Steven enjoyed everything about it - from start to finish.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 1 BERRY HOUSE After looking in some books and having a discussion, everyone came up with the idea that happiness is a BIG cake covered with lots of lollies and icing. We all enjoyed working out that we could have four cakes and then build them up to be one large cake. The whole process involved lots of noise in the kitchen with lots of laughter. With Easter only a few days away - the decision was to stick with this theme whilst decorating. The team worked tirelessly with the final product amazing!

OAK HOUSE Jenny enjoyed the Cake Boss Competition. Busy rolling out fondant and cutting shapes, icing the cake and decorations galore! The Oak House entry was great!

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 1

TEAM CADE AND LINDSEY Music is important to both Cade and Lindsey. Lindsey will use music to assist her to relax,and Cade enjoys listening and writing music. Cade says music is his release. In the meeting Cade discussed his idea of a boombox and Lindsey agreed. They spent time discussing a plan and Cade looked up photos on the internet. It started with a shopping list, lots of cooking and the finished product was pretty cool!

CAKE BOSS RESULTS - THE FINAL DECISION! “It was a tough competition with a lot of fantastic results. The 3 areas of scoring were evidence of planning, participation and creativity. The judges could clearly see that entrants were enjoying the competition and certainly showing their competitive side. I am sure the competitiveness was felt by their supporting staff also. A true sense of working together was shown which is a great outcome across all services. The Judges were Gail Foster (CEO) Toni Stewart (Chief Operating Officer) Fran Cashman (Continuous Improvement Officer) Andy Zammit (Area Manager) Christianne Rutherford (Work Health & Safety Coordinator) The judges noted the smiles on peoples faces and the cakes reflecting what really made people happy. They felt so proud of all the work that has been achieved that it was shared with the Board to show what amazing work is being done in a challenging time. So for Round 1 - First Place went to Steven and his racing car, with a equal placed second for Cade & Lindsey’s Boombox and Ash House’s “”Happiness is a piece of cake””. Now for Round 2!”

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 2

ASH HOUSE Everyone at Ash house was ecstatic about making it to the next round of the Cake Boss comp after all their efforts. Staff sat with the group to discuss the next stage of the competition… Animals! At first there were a lot of suggestions from both residents and staff; Sylvia suggesting a puppy, Fiona and Andrew seconded that option, with Andrew pointing at a picture of a puppy cake. Angela reacted to a pig shaped cake. Ricky, John and Brett seemed not to mind as long as they were eating something delicious. Rex, however, came up with the winning idea of a dinosaur cake. Fiona assisted with the mixing of the cake batter. Fi enjoyed being apart of the last comp and was stoked to take part again as you can see by the big smile on her face! Andrew was in charge of mixing up the icing for the cake, making sure to get rid of any lumps and bumps. Rex was our pouring man, making sure to get every last drop of batter into the cake to ensure the biggest cake possible. John made sure Rex was pouring correctly and the team is sticking to the plan to make the best cake in the comp. Angela, Fiona and Rex participating in baking the cake, Angela making sure everyone stuck to the recipe by keeping a close eye her housemate’s and staff’s measurements. Brett observed, and reminded his housemates what they were making by saying “Cake, Cake”! And what a cake it turned out to be!

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 2 BALCOMBE The Balcombe team all were all really invested in the Cake Boss Challenge. Each person taking their turn to grab the necessary ingredients, carefully following the recipe instructions and making sure the oven temperature was right and timer ready! Marcus, Marian, Bruce, Catherine and Julia worked together beautifully! Marcus carefully read instructions and was in charge of oven temp and timer. Marian carefully read instructions and was in charge of eggs and melting the butter. Bruce was in charge of mixing and pouring the ingredients into the tins. Catherine carefully read instructions and was in charge of mixing and pouring the ingredients into the tins. Julia was also involved in the mixing and pouring the ingredients into the tins. Once the cake was ready everyone had a go at piping and icing the cake! The end result was amazing!

BEN TUSIA Ben changed what animal cake he wanted to make from a hippo to a horse. Ben drew out a horse design and looked at photos of horse cakes on the internet. Ben used two boxes of cake mix so while staff mixed one box of cake batter, Ben stood beside and followed what the staff did to make his own cake batter. When the cakes were cooked, Ben and the staff member cut the cakes (hand on hand) to the shapes needed to design a horse cake. Ben then made the icing with verbal assistance and hand gestures. Ben spread the icing onto the cake. Ben then piped more icing onto the cake with hand on hand assistance. When the cake was complete, Ben had his photo taken and then shared his cake around with his housemates. Ben was engaged the whole time he was working on his cake. Ben was observed smiling when he completed each task and appeared proud of himself.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 2

BERRY HOUSE Our simple plan; to make a cake that wool definitely make ewe laugh (and be yummy to eat.) So it was decided that we would make Shaun the Sheep! Our cake was about everyone getting involved and having a go. It was about getting “hands on” and giving it a crack. We did have some challenges, but ca-lamb-ity was averted! The finished product pretty much speaks for itself.

BUNGOWER HOUSE Everyone at Bungower House got involved in all elements of the cake making process for the Cake Boss Competition. With a vanilla cake base carefully cut into layers and shape, we could see the vision start to appear. The chocolate icing of course needed the seal of approval from Stephen. The decorating took some time with loads of different lollies and decorations – but as you can see, it was well worth the effort.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 2

JACOB GLENN Jacob created his ‘Dog’ cake for the second round of the Cake Boss Challenge. Jacob actively participated in all stages of the cake making. He mixed the ingredients, cracked the eggs and also added the icing when the cake was out of the oven. Jacob also helped clean up the mess.

LINDSAY AND CADE Cade and Lindsey had a meeting to discuss the cake they are making for Round Two. Lindsey has a huge dog at home with mum and dad that she adores. She loves dogs and visits the RSPCA and dog shows. They discussed colours and we found a simple cake online to work with. Lindsey and Cade discussed the colours of the Cake, she was asked she want cool or hot colour. She indicated she would like cool. They are making a white dog. Cade was supported with to decorate the dog cake he is entering into the cake boss competition with Lindsey. Staff cut out the shape for the cake then Cade put on gloves and mixed up a chocolate butter icing. Cade used a spatula and spooned the mix onto the ears of the dog cake. Next, Cade mixed up a vanilla butter icing until it was smooth. Cade spooned this mix onto the round cake that will be the dogs face. Cade chose licorice to be the eyebrows and whiskers for the face. Staff assisted with this. Cade chose a red sour straps for the collar and a chocolate dollar for the medal. Once completed, Cade was very happy with the end result and lots of photos and videos were provided.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 2

OLSEN HOUSE As a group, the ladies agreed on the idea of making cupcakes and creating different animal faces on top. Holly researched the cupcake designs and was given a print out of the cupcake design she chose. Holly says the pictures made her feel hungry and she is looking forward to making and decorating cupcakes. Holly joined the ladies to bake some cupcakes for the cake boss competition. Holly broke the eggs into the bowl and helped to mix the batter. Holly then went for a walk until the cakes we cooked, cooled and ready for decorating. After lunch Holly joined the group to decorate her 4 cupcakes. Nicole looked at the iPad at some images of animal cupcakes. Nicole choice is a dog, a sheep and pig. So off she went to prepare her cupcakes. Sue also chose her different toppings, got her cupcakes ready to go and then set to decorating them. No doubt you’d agree that they all turned out very well!

STEVEN COLLEY Steven had a great time with cake number two! Whilst having some fun with the mixing and making, Steven set to the task of preparing the batter for the cake and then placing it into the oven to cook. Lucky we could hold onto the chocolate logs long enough for them to make the decorations! After patiently waiting for the cake to bake and then cool, Steven set to preparing the icing. Once the cake was cool the decorating started and Steve did a tremendous job. In the end Steve was that happy with the result that he was hesitant to eat it.

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 2

OPPY HOUSE The Oppy ladies sat with together to discuss how the team wanted to present the written section of the Cake Boss Challenge. They decided to give you a good description of the role each of them played. Tiff was actively engaged in the producing of the slice. She independently mixed the ingredients and was involved in the decoration of the vanilla slice, using the fondant elephant that she had made earlier in the week and other decorations that were on offer. Sally was involved in all steps of the cooking of the slice. With support, Sally measured the milk, and placed biscuits on the bottom and the top of the slice. She was supported by staff with holding the bowl while she used the beater, to mix the filling for the slice. Sally independently used a knife to mix the passion fruit icing, and a spoon to mix the colour into coconut for grass and place individual rolls around the outside to represent a bamboo fence. Pip took her hand in the making of the slice. Placing biscuits on the tray, for the top and bottom of the slice, holding the beater herself while staff held the bowl to mix the filling and then spread it. Pip also mixed the icing and green food colouring into the coconut, spreading it over the slice. She then broke and stuck rolls onto the side to represent bamboo. When the slice was made Pip chose where to place a rock (Lamington) to put her dog that she had made earlier in the week. Jane was involved in the measuring and mixing of ingredients. She placed the biscuits on the top and bottom of the slice, was able to hold the beater to mix the filling, and spreading it. Jane also mixed the colour into the coconut and mixed the passion fruit icing. Jane placed the rollo wafers that represented the bamboo fence around the edges of the creation. What a few days of preparing and creating ladies – great work!

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AROUND THE HOUSES | CAKE BOSS RD 2

RENEE AND TANYA Tanya and Renee discussed which animal they would like to make for their next cake. It was decided a dolphin is the best choice for both ladies. They both looked at some pictures and have narrowed it down to three. Renee and Tanya decided to make another cake using cupcakes. Staff worked hand over hand with Renee to pick up items and to pour, mix, crash and place the items needed for the cupcakes. Staff asked Renee throughout the process what was the next step and what she was doing. Renee was laughing, smiling and seeming to have a good time making the cupcakes with Tanya. Tanya asked that Renee make the cake mix and she would like to pour the mix in the cupcake tray, Tanya stated I’m not tall enough in my chair to reach, staff offered to get an adjustable table but Tanya insisted that Renee do it. Tanya decorated her Dolphin cake with Renee. Once Renee had made the icing, staff placed the cake platter on Tanya’s lap and she chose to do pink icing for the majority of the cake. Tanya stirred the icing and directed how she wanted it piped onto the cake, using a picture she and Renee had found to copy. Staff piped the pink icing around the cake under Tanya’s watchful eye and Tanya had fun having a joke with staff.

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THANK YOU GAIL

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THANK YOU GAIL

Chief Executive Officer, Gail Foster is a pleasure to know. She is friendly, helpful and fully cognisant of the pressures on older parents of adult daughters and sons with a disability. As a family with a son who has been a resident at Focus for 38 years, we have experience many benefits for our son and us. Most recently of her being at the helm, her skills have guided the Focus community through the NDIS where her empathy for each individual to gain the life each one wants has achieved valuable therapies and activities for our son. We thank her with all our heart and wish her a happy retirement.  Best wishes, JENNY AND FRANK CARPINELLI

We think Gail’s obviously been doing a great job over the last 16 years, for the organisation to be so exemplary !We love FOCUS & feel really lucky that our daughter was offered the place in Frankston. We cannot praise the staff highly enough; so wonderful work, Gail & all the best for whatever you plan to do with your future.

Kindilan/Focus has been blessed since birth with strong leadership, and it is no surprise that it has grown and prospered. After Peter’s successful stewardship , Gail has maintained his strong traditions, and added her own special touches. I think of the decision to build purpose-designed homes, and their enormous success. I think of managing the enormously complex transition to NDIS. I think of the standard of care she has developed, the staff she has attracted, the love and affection that each of them shows. And of course rising to the Covid challenge. Our Bruce is a fortunate man, and so are we, his parents. Thank you Gail GEORGE LEFROY

Kind regards ANNEE & ROGER ANGELL

Here’s to a well deserved and happy retirement. Thankyou for all of your hard work and dedication. I hope this next chapter in your life sees you spending more time doing everything you love. Enjoy!

What a wonderful job you have done at Focus -you have always been available to the parents & in particular your humanity shines out -when Tony was sick & especially sitting with Jane in hospital after serious surgery. We wish you all the best for your retirement & a very big thankyou from us both GILLIAN & TONY NEGRI

JO DELANEY

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THANK YOU GAIL It is very hard to say goodbye to invaluable people but I am so happy we are celebrating the years during which Gail has made her contribution as CEO at Focus. George, our son Bruce’s father, has already mentioned many of her contributions and how she has added to the lives of all our special Focus people. But wait - there is more! Gail’s commitment beyond the call of duty. Very soon after she joined us at Focus we arranged a special celebration for Bruce’s birthday. She had no connection with most of the guests who she would probably not see again in the future. She bravely made her way through the evening with a gentle word of encouragement here and there to “her people” and a smile on her face. Not an environment she would normally seek out! She has also gathered remarkable staff to care for our people. They are of course the heart of Focus. We will remember her with enormous gratitude for all she has done. Don’t forget us, Gail, and come and see us before too long!! With warmest good wishes FROM THE LEFROY FAMILY.

Jenny & I are pleased to endorse the congratulatory feelings and comments on the wonderful contribution Gail has made to Focus over many years, and the relief and comfort she has brought to us, as elderly parents of a child with a disability. She first visited us nearly 15 years ago, in the company of her predecessor, Peter Brookhouse, where , in our kitchen, we discussed the possibility of  Tim being accepted as a resident of Focus. From that moment on, Tim has been an active member of the Focus family, and has settled in to independent living, quite happily. The staff at his house  have always been especially kind and understanding, and this is a reflection of  the leadership from the top of the organization. She led Focus expertly, and skilfully, through the challenge of NDIS, and this has given us a great deal of relief, knowing that Tim will be cared for compassionately  for the rest of his life. We are greatly indebted to Gail for her help and support, and wish her the best of luck, and good fortune , for the future. She should be proud of her legacy, and we will fully support her successor.

Gail- I will miss you. Your legacy at focus will certainly be your genuine care and kindness shown to the people we support, their families, and your team. To have a CEO of a large organisation that unpretentiously puts the needs of those focus is here to support first (whilst also juggling the demands of compliance, regulations, constant sector changes, financial expectations, and organisational growth), is a true indication of the successful leader that you are. In this ‘day and age’, it is unique (unfortunately) to have a leader who treats people as the priority all the while growing the organisation so successfully. Personally your belief in my abilities and encouragement to have me as part of the focus team I truly treasure and I’m so grateful for. Wishing you all the very best in this new chapter in your life Gail, enjoy every moment. A big virtual XO EMMA NAGLE PEOPLE, CULTURE AND SAFETY

In appreciation JENNY & COLIN WANSBROUGH 45

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THANK YOU GAIL

We in the Kindilan family are incredibly thankful for Gail’s efforts as CEO and in her roles prior to that appointment. I’m not sure any of us outside the organisation truly understand the special challenges placed on all staff in the disability sector. As a leader, Gail has been a quiet inspiration to all - with her ability to calmly handle the demands of all stakeholders. I thank her for her efforts and for being so helpful in so many ways to so many people in need. I hope she enjoys a more relaxed environment now in retirement -she deserves to. DAVID WANSBROUGH KINDILAN BOARD MEMBER

Dear Gail The job you took on as ceo was a big challenge, as Peter was a hard act to follow.But you have done a wonderful job and have helped Focus to move on. thank you for all your help and we hope you have .a great time in your retirement regards RICKY FRED AND JOAN WALLACE

I love working at focus, and of course the culture of an organisation starts at the top. What an amazing leader Gail has been, steering focus so through much, not least being the transition to the NDIS. I am very proud to work for focus and be part of such a wonderful group of people who make such a positive difference to the lives of the people we support, led by Gail. Thank you Gail for always being approachable and open. I wish you the very best for a well deserved retirement. SHARON LOORHAM FINANCE

Gail, I wish to congratulate you on such an amazing career her at focus. I came into the organisation from the Corporate sector and I can say that I am so grateful to have worked with someone that gave so much of their time to ensure that I learnt the ropes quick smart! You have without doubt created an organisation that people can be proud of. Thank you for everything and you will be greatly missed. MEGAN SHANNON MARKETING & COMMS

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THANK YOU GAIL

Thank you Gail! You have quite literally watched me grow from a young, green thing (in person and name) into a confident, and sometimes outspoken, member of the focus team. You have offered me opportunity, praise and thanks at every step of my journey that has given me the ability to be someone that I can be proud of today. It has been awesome working in the same office as you over the past year and I thank you for everything you have done for me over the past 10 years. Enjoy your well deserved retirement and life of relaxation and leisure – unless you plan to take over the world, then enjoy that too! SARAH GREEN

When we look back on the history of organisations, we find that different people feature in prominent ways at various times. Gail Foster has played a significant role in the story of Focus for 16 years, and for the past ten years it has been our privilege and good fortune to have her as our CEO. Gail steered the organisation through times of tremendous growth and significant change. Her expertise and commitment have seen Focus thrive, and she has helped many people in a multitude of ways. She is known for her strength and guidance. We hope that as she leaves us, she does so with the knowledge that in her time with Focus, Gail has solved many problems, completed countless projects, attended hundreds of meetings, and made thousands of phone calls – all of which have contributed to changing lives forever. She is a respected leader, a trusted mentor, and our bright future is a testament to the work and commitment she showed in supporting people to live the life they want. It is our privilege and good fortune to have worked with her. Gail, you have made a truly lasting impact upon Focus. We thank you, and wish you the very best life has to offer in your future. TONI STEWART

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www.focuslife.com.au 48

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Profile for focus Individualised Support Services

Focus Individualised Support Services - Winter 2020  

Focus Individualised Support Services - Winter 2020  

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