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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc. To stand with vulnerable people with disability through vigorous independent advocacy

ANNUAL REPORT 2015 - 2016

Office 2, 179 – 181 Ross River Rd Mundingburra Qld 4812 PO Box 3067 Hermit Park Qld 4812 Phone: 61+ 7 4725 2505 FreeCall: 1800 887 688 Fax: 61+ 7 4725 6106 Email: reception@iat.org.au Website: www.iat.org.au


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Table of Contents Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................... 4 Mission and Vision ............................................................................................................................ 5 Strategic Objectives........................................................................................................................... 5 Service Region Snapshot ................................................................................................................... 5 Funding .............................................................................................................................................. 6 Department of Social Services ...................................................................................................... 6 Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services .............................................. 6 Queensland Health ........................................................................................................................ 6 Accreditation and Standards ............................................................................................................. 7 Accreditation ................................................................................................................................. 7 Cultural Competence..................................................................................................................... 7 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity .................................................................................................... 7 Working with Children and Young People .................................................................................... 7 Working within the Disability Sector............................................................................................. 7 Management Committee .................................................................................................................. 7 CEO Report ........................................................................................................................................ 8 Administration............................................................................................................................... 9 Service Delivery ............................................................................................................................. 9 Demographics.............................................................................................................................. 10 Systemic Advocacy .......................................................................................................................... 12 Disability Support Pension - Medical Appeals............................................................................. 12 Self-Advocacy Workshops ........................................................................................................... 12 Workshop .................................................................................................................................... 12 Submissions ................................................................................................................................. 13 2015 AGM Minutes ......................................................................................................................... 14 Treasurer’s Report........................................................................................................................... 15 Audited Financial Statements ......................................................................................................... 16

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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Executive Summary On behalf of the Management Committee I welcome you to our Annual General meeting. Please read the Annual Report. Deborah has done a magnificent job in bringing all this information together. You will see the work undertaken and an overview of the results of our organization’s endeavours throughout our service area. This year has been a great learning curve for me. When I was elected as Chair, I had very little idea of how IAT worked. I knew that IAT was an advocacy group to assist persons with disabilities to achieve outcomes that without advocacy support, our clients would be unfairly disadvantaged. When I chaired my first meeting I was overseas and I attended through “Skype”. I had never used this method of connecting until I was a member of the Management Committee. Since then, under Deborah's leadership, our organization has undergone many information technology changes, from software to hardware. Organizational rebranding, and introduction of programs to collect and interpret information for reports to our funding bodies. This last year has seen the gradual introduction of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into our area. IAT was approached to be involved in NDIS through Department of Social Services External Merits Review Support Component. IAT in this role will have unprecedented demands placed upon our resources as we provide assistance to plan, appeal, and assist in the review processes. I wish to thank my fellow Management Committee members for their input, support and dedication to their roles. The Management Committee members this past year are me, Tania Hornberg, Beverly Smith, Aime Nganare, Maria Hutton, Richard Cordukes and our CEO Deborah Wilson. In particular, a big thankyou to Beverly, (our Administrator) and Secretary to the Management Committee. Without Beverly's support, the committee would not have functioned as well as we have done. Another big thankyou to Deborah for her ongoing support, quest for excellence, vision and her guidance in our governance. A further thankyou to all our staff, Deborah, Beverly, Kim, Anne, Tania, Helen and all our volunteers who together through their joint endeavours, support and advocate for the most vulnerable people with disabilities. Thank you to our supporters, government agencies and organizations for your continued support.

Michael Collins

Chairperson Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Mission and Vision

Mission Statement “To stand with vulnerable people with a disability through vigorous, independent, advocacy.”

Vision Statement “A world of equality, justice and choice.”

Strategic Objectives 1.

Deliver and Grow Quality Services: provide quality accredited advocacy to those with disability in our service region to achieve their personal goals without harmful effect and to expand these and introduce further services as the opportunity presents itself.

2.

Excellence in Governance and Leadership: responsive, dynamic and accountable management of the organization that drives service improvement and innovation through a collaborative policy cycle and continuing analysis of governance, systems and procedures.

3.

Broaden Engagement with Stakeholders: harnessing all facets of social interaction, by continuing to develop a strong marketing and networking strategy and learn from the skills and knowledge of our community partners and stakeholders

4.

Engaged and Productive Committee and Staff: foster a culture that is vibrant, innovative, collaborative and inclusive as we strive to effect positive change in the lives of those with disability.

Service Region Snapshot 126,255.3km2 7.28% 2. 1,734,238.8km

of

the

State’s

Estimated population 268,714 5.6% of the State’s 4,778,854. 7.3% were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples compared to 3.6% for the State. 4.4% of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people had a profound or severe disability compared to 4.8% for the State. 12.3% of the population were born overseas compared to 20.5% for the State. **Source: Queensland Government Statistician’s Office – 30 June 2015

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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Funding Department of Social Services National Disability Advocacy Program: LGA 1: Townsville LGA 2: Burdekin Shire Cassowary Coast Region Charters Towers Region Flinders Shire Hinchinbrook Shire Palm Island Shire Eternal Merits Review Support Component: LGAs:

Charters Towers Flinders Shire Palm Island Shire Townsville

Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Community Managed Mental Health Program: Advocacy: Criminal Justice Program Local Community Residential Care Services Rural and Remote Extension Townsville Hospital – AMHU/SMHU Additional: Systemic Advocacy/Forums Meetings Newsletters

Queensland Health Community Mental Health Program: Advocacy: Townsville Hospital and Health Service Region - Secure Mental Health Units

Queensland Health Queensland Community Foundation One Off Workshop – “NDIS Provider Expo” to be held on 26 August 2016

Thank You “The Management Committee would like to say a special thank you to all those who supported us throughout the year either through donations or the giving of their time.”


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Accreditation and Standards Accreditation As we are funded by both Federal and State Government departments, we hold and maintain accreditation for both Individual and Systemic Advocacy. As such we provide a quality accredited service under the: • Human Services Quality Standards; and the • National Disability Advocacy Standards.

Cultural Competence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples All employees have successfully completed the Centre for Cultural Competence Australia's "A Foundation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence" or similar course.

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity All employees have successfully completed Diversicare's "Cultural Awareness in the Workplace" training program aimed at developing a culturally competent workplace for our staff and clients.

Working with Children and Young People All employees and volunteers are required to hold a current The Working with Children Check Positive Notice (“Blue Card”) which includes a criminal history check.

Working within the Disability Sector All employees and volunteers are required to hold a current Exemption to the Disability Services’ Positive Notice (“Yellow Card”) which includes a criminal history check.

Management Committee Chairperson & Public Officer:

Michael Collins

Vice-Chairperson:

Tania Hornberg

Secretary:

Beverly Smith

Treasurer:

Aime Nganare

Members:

Maria Hutton Richard Cordukes

Chief Executive Officer:

Deborah Wilson

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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

CEO Report The most fundamental and significant influence, currently facing the Queensland Disabilities Sector, is the National Disability Insurance Scheme, (NDIS) a generational reform that will deliver a national system of disability support, focused on the individual needs and choices of people with disability. Within the NDIS framework, people with disability make the decisions about their supports, including who will provide them, and funding for disability supports is allocated to each eligible individual, rather than to a service provider. NDIS will provide people with disability support to live life their way, achieve their goals and participate in social and economic life. The disability sector has seen an influx of private businesses both local, state based and national entities move into the sector. A number of overseas corporations are also providing disability services in Australia. In a very competitive and changing market place, we will need to strongly position ourselves as a quality accredited advocacy organization that can compete with these types of organizations in the open tender market. Along with all levels of government undertaking reviews of their current disability funded services, the National Disability Strategy is also being reformed. This is a ten-year strategy that has been endorsed by all heads of government and is to extend across all portfolios. A new Action Plan (2015 – 2018) is also under development. (NDS, 2015 ) The NDIS commenced in Queensland in April 2016 with Palm Island selected as a fully rolled site and the LGAs of Townsville and Charters Towers rolling out for those aged 0 – 17 years. During the 206-2017 financial year, the regions of Townsville, Mackay and Toowoomba will transition fully to the NDIS. The Townsville region comprises the LGAs of Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Burdekin, west to Mount Isa and up to the Gulf region. The last remaining LGA in our NDAP funded region, Cassowary Coast will roll out during the 2018 – 2019 financial year. We have recently been appointed under the DSS’s External Merits Review Support Component to provide Support to those undertaking these reviews in the areas of Townsville, Charters Towers, Palm Island and Flinders Shire. These areas fall within our NDAP funded region and it is envisaged that we will be asked to extend our support to encompass those other LGAs which will make up the Townsville region under the NDIS in Queensland. It is purely speculation but this may also lead to our funding area under NDAP funding re-aligned to accommodate how the State has been divided under the NDIS and in particular the Townsville Service Region (NDIA, May 2016). Currently our Service Area covers 126,255.3 km2 this could ultimately increase to 477,521.2 km2 and we must always have vision and the ability to foreplan for future service expansion and growth. It will be essential that IAT be in the strongest possible position to expand and increase its ability to provide independent advocacy to empower and enhance the lives and integrated independence of people with disability under the NDIS within this area. We will continue to grow and transform current services and systems to operate within the NDIS framework by ensuring we are fully prepared for the full NDIS launch in Queensland by 1 July 2019. Works Cited

NDIA. (May 2016). Market Position Statement (s. Market highlights). Canberra. NDS. (2015 ). State of the Disability Sector Report. Canberra. Queensland Government. (n.d.). Queensland Regional Profiles. Retrieved June 15, 2016, from Queensland Government Statistician's Office: http://statistics.qgso.qld.gov.au/qld-regional-profiles?region-type=LGA-2014&regionids=19714,19718,19720,19729,19735,19758,19774&custom-name=IAT%20Service%20Region


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Administration Over the past twelve months we have undergone significant changes to including reviewing our service delivery, administrative functions and to streamline processes to improve efficiency. We are also expanding our Townsville office and investigating and planning for regional offices. New financial budget and forecasting software (CALXA) and we will be commencing the use of a new Client Management System (Datanova/FlowLogic) to commence in August for the 2016-2017 financial year. These systems not only improve the quality of financial planning and reports, better accessibility of client data with the ability to generate more detailed reports on our services both for our funding requirements and for the management of our organization. We also commenced a full -fledged marketing/advertising campaign and re-branding. There is a new look website which is more interactive and user friendly, and we are now on Facebook and Twitter. All this to reach as many as we can in our communities. It has become quite apparent that we need to grow our services to our regional and remote areas by providing offices in these locations to ensure quality service to our current and future clients. I wish to sincerely thank our advocacy team, Anne, Helen and Tania, who are truly dedicated to providing a quality service to our clients and to our amazing administration team, Beverly and Kim, who are the glue that holds us all together.

Service Delivery Adding to this has been preparing for the NDIS. Though advocacy is not covered under the NDIS and we remain block funded, we ourselves have embarked on the NDIS journey to enable us to respond to the changing needs of our clients. We see the introduction of the NDIS as a step in the right direction in enabling those with disability to have a greater ability to access services and their community. It will allow them to have services they need where and when they want it. Life is not 8 – 5 so why should their services be restricted to these hours? Along with this freedom of choice also comes the responsibility of managing their own finances in relation to services. This for many will be completely new to them and with it a different sort of challenge. Services will need to be deemed reasonable and necessary by the NDIS. So what is reasonable and necessary and where do you find out if what you want falls within these guidelines? Over the past months we have put together a NDIS Lift Out as a reference guide with information and links to specific pages or document on the NDIS website and contact details for further information. In April 2016, we were appointed by the Department of Social Services to provide special independent advocacy assistance to participants of the NDIS. We have a specialist advocate known as the External Merits Review Support Person (EMRSP) who will provide advocacy and support people who wish to challenge NDIS decisions in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). As our service in this area grows, all advocates will be trained specifically for this role as well as our “general” (a very loose term for all our advocacy services).

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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Initially this service will be provided to these specific LGAs within our Regional Service Area: Townsville Charters Towers Region Flinders Shire; and Palm Island Shire

Demographics As we did last year, we provided individual advocacy services to more clients than we received funding for. We have put together the following graphs to highlight specific information on our clients and many clients had multiple issues as you can see by the total number in the “Issue” graph.

Clients

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Qld Health

DCCSDS - CJP

DCCSDS THMHU

DCCSDS - LC DCCSDS - RCS DCCSDS - RRE DSS - NDAP 1 DSS - NDAP 2

Funded: 114

Actual: 125

Types of Disability Intellectual Neurological Psychiatric Acquired Brain Injury Vision 1%

Autism 8%

Physical 13%

Vision

Hearing 7% 1%

Autism 2+ Disabilities 18%

Other 22%

Psychiatric 23%

Physical Acquired Brain Injury Hearing Hearing/Visual Developmental Delay

Intellectual 16% Neurological 9%

Speech 1%

Developmental Delay 1% Specific

Learning / ADD 1%

Specific Learning / ADD Speech 2+ Disabilities Hearing/Visual 1%


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Issues Faced: 149

0

10 Supports/Services

20

30

NDIS

40

Legal

50

60

70 Human Rights

Health

Finance

Education

Discrimination

Department Complaints

Centrelink/Payments

Accommodation

Issues

80

Local Government Areas

Townsville

Palm Island

Hinchinbrook

Charters Towers

Gender

Remote

Burdekin

Age 1%2%

Other 1%

25%

8% 13%

2% 6%

Male 47%

Female

Female 52%

Male

Other

14%

16%

13%

1921-1930

1931-1940

1941-1950

1951-1960

1961-1970

1971-1980

1981-1990

1991-2000

2001-2010

Unknown

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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Systemic Advocacy Disability Support Pension - Medical Appeals During the process of individual advocacy for persons with a disability having their applications for the Disability Support Pension rejected, IAT identified a key factor common in all notices of rejection of the application was that of insufficient medical evidence being provided with the original application. The 20 points requirement Many claims are rejected because Centrelink award less than the required 20. If this happens, it is a good idea to look at the impairment tables and see whether or not you (and your doctor) agree this is the correct decision, or whether there are any other points, under a different or the same table, which ought properly to be allocated to your conditions. IAT’s Position and Goal/s: Our position was that not enough information was made available to those applying for the Disability Pension and in particular the emphasis on the requirement of accurate and adequate medical evidence to support their application. The goal was to produce a fact sheet that would not only set out the importance of and what medical evidence that was required but also to provide information regarding the Appeals process that was available to the applicant.

Self-Advocacy Workshops IAT developed a training package designed for people that addressed the key skills required to be adopted for effectively advocating for yourself. Not limited to only people with a disability but anyone who would like to learn how to better advocate for themselves or their loved ones. Speaking up and advocating for yourself can help someone feel strong and take charge of their life. However, it is not always easy to have the confidence to go for it. Making your own choices, big or small, can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself - help you to find your voice and make informed choices—even when you may not be at your best. The workshops covered: “What is a Disability” “What are Rights” “What is Advocacy”. The audience was broken into groups to discuss amongst themselves and identify how they perceive those subjects. Other subjects covered were Communication Styles, Values, Seeing from the other side, Negotiation and Making a Plan in readiness for the NDIS. Activities and role plays provided education, laughter and a realistic situation. Workshops were rolled out in Townsville, the Burdekin, Hinchinbrook, Charters Towers, Palm Island and Hughenden districts. In each of these areas, there were discussions on localized issues and how they may be resolved through advocacy. We also undertook follow up check-ins and supervision of those who attended these workshops for three months.

Workshops Advanced Negotiation Skills – this was a workshop facilitated by Sara Ludowici, Senior Trainer for Public Interest Advocacy Centre Ltd in Sydney was a full day workshop attended by service providers and clients. This workshop included the “Principled” or “interest-based” negotiation approach from the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project. The focus of the workshop was to enable those attending to have the skills and confidence to negotiate as an essential part of advocacy. Learning to strengthen your bargaining position through thoughtful planning. To develop effective skills, strategies and techniques and discover how to identify your own values and power in any negotiation.


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

NDIS Expo – planning is well underway for our mini expos to be held on Friday the 26th of August at the Oonoonba Community Centre. We expect to have approximately 20 service providers exhibiting what their organizations have to offer for participants of the NDIS. We are catering for approximately 70 participants to come along and also listen to our NDIS Advocacy presentation to give them insight into how they can access advocacy specifically in relation to NDIS. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our major sponsor for this event the Queensland Community Foundation.

Submissions Review of the National Disability Advocacy Program Discussion Paper In June 2016, we undertook to provide a submission on the above review as an independent advocacy organization funded under the NDAP. As an organization, we agree with the objectives for and the fundamental vision of a reformed NDAP and agree that there are a number of key issues and areas that need to be addressed by this Review. A number of key areas of concern are ensuring that only those organizations that hold Advocacy Accreditation are funded. This is to ensure that those with a disability have the fundamental rights and expectations of accessing services by reputable and qualified organizations. Those with disability are already in a vulnerable state and for them to perhaps be subject to a lesser standard of service that others in the community are able to access is again their basic Human Right. IAT believes all people have the right to: • • • • • •

Be treated with respect and dignity; Be valued as individuals; Participate in the decisions and choices that effect their lives; Be involved in and contribute to their community; Safety and protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation; and Live the life they choose.

Below are the key areas of the NDAP Review on which we provided comments. Our Submission can be found on our website or you can contact our office for a copy. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Models of advocacy Improving access to advocacy supports Improving the advocacy evidence base and coordination on systemic issues The interface with the NDIS and addressing conflict of interest Understanding and improving access to justice Other significant issues and ideas

Finally, I would like to thank our Management Committee, Michael, Tania, Aime, Maria and Richard for providing strong leadership, active participation, vision and the undertaking to ensure our organization remains a leader in our field and delivers the best possible service to our communities.

Deborah Wilson

Chief Executive Officer

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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

2015 AGM Minutes

1) 2)

3)

4) 5) 6)

7)

8)

10) 11) 12) 13)

INDEPENDENT ADVOCACY IN THE TROPICS INC. Trading as INDEPENDENT ADVOCACY TOWNSVILLE 2015 AGM MINUTES Friday 9th October 2015, 12.30pm

Welcoming address by Acting Chairperson, Linda Anderson Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners of the Land both past and present The traditional owners of the Townsville region are the Bindal and Wulgurukaba peoples, and are the first known people to have lived in the Townsville area. Read by: Acting Chairperson, Linda Anderson Introduction and IAT’s Mission Mission Statement: “We stand with vulnerable people with disability through vigorous independent advocacy” Read by: Acting Chairperson, Linda Anderson Apologies and Proxies - read by: Linda Anderson 2014 Annual General Meeting minutes & attendance list Moved: Elise Whebell Seconded: Nina Catalano Carried Report Presentation a) Chairperson’s Report presented by Linda Anderson b) Treasurer’s Report presented by Deborah Wilson c) Annual Report presented by Deborah Wilson Moved: Karene Gravener Seconded: Tania Hornberg Carried d) James Barrett, Principal of Barrett & Co. Accountants Auditor’s Report Year Ended 30th June, 2015 Moved: Deborah Wilson Seconded: Tania Hornberg Carried Step down and thank you to the 2014/2015 current Management Committee Members: Linda Anderson Acting Chairperson & Public Officer Tania Hornberg Vice-Chairperson Elise Whebell Secretary Erion Haxhiraj Treasurer Karene Gravener Ordinary Member Election of the 2015/2016 Management Committee – Nominees • Michael Collins Chairperson & Public Officer • Tania Hornberg Vice-Chairperson • Secretary • Maria Hutton Treasurer • Ordinary Member • Associate member Congratulations to the incoming Management Committee 9) Appointment of Auditor for 2015/2016 financial year. James Barrett, Principal, Barrett & Co. Accountants Moved: Karene Gravener Seconded: Tania Hornberg Carried General Business: Nil Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to Management Committee Members Close and thank you to all for your attendance today Close of meeting 1.05pm


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Treasurer’s Report Maria Hutton was elected Treasurer at IAT’s 2015 AGM, unfortunately due to work commitments, Maria was unable to continue in the role of Treasurer and resigned in July 2016. My name is Aime Nganare and I was accepted as an associate member on IAT’s Management Committee, in June 2016, I was nominated as Treasurer and accepted the position in July 2016 and will present IAT’s 2016 Treasurer’s Report. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Maria for her dedication and assistance to IAT while serving in the Treasurer’s positon October 2015 to July 2016. Auditor James Barrett, Principal, Barrett & Co. Accountants prepared the Financial Statements Report for the financial year ended 30 June 2016 and I would like to acknowledge James for the valuable contribution and assistance he has given to the Committee and to our Administrator, Beverly Smith. IAT has continued to receive funding from three main sources: the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS), and Queensland Health, the Federal Government - Department of Social Services (DSS). IAT was successful in receiving a funding grant from Qld Community Foundation (QCF) – this grant provided the necessary funds for IAT to carry out a very successful NDIS Expo for clients/NDIS participants and with several stakeholders attending to provide choice for clients/NDIS participants Funding from DCCSDS ceases 30 June 2019 Funding from Qld Health and DSS ceases 30 June 2017. In conclusion please accept this financial report for 2015-2016 financial year.

Aime Nganare

Treasurer Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Audited Financial Statements

INDEPENDENT ADVOCACY IN THE TROPICS INC. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2016 PREPARED BY BARRATT & CO ACCOUNTANTS


Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Annual Report 2015 – 2016

Contents Statement of Profit or Loss ....................................................................................... 1 Statement of Assets and Liabilities ............................................................................ 2 Notes to the Financial Statements ............................................................................. 3 Statement by Members of the Committee ................................................................. 8 Independent Audit Report ........................................................................................ 9 Compilation Report ................................................................................................. 11 Detailed Profit and Loss Account .............................................................................. 12

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Profile for Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

2015 16 Annual Report  

Annual Report 2015 - 2016 of Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc., trading as Independent Advocacy Townsville

2015 16 Annual Report  

Annual Report 2015 - 2016 of Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc., trading as Independent Advocacy Townsville

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