Spectrum - Annual Report 2019

spectrum annual report 2019 3 ceo’s report 2018/19 was a year for new beginnings and exploring new horizons at Spectrum. At Spectrum, we celebrate diversity and deeply care about inclusion. Today Australia is a more diverse society than ever before. Almost 7M Australians (28% of the total population) were born overseas and a further 21% are second generation Australians. During the year, we found that our society’s cohesion was tested by local and international events such as the Christchurch tragedy and the increasingly contested global and national politics that is immigration policy. At these times, we saw the barriers to inclusion resurfacing and doubled down in our work to showcase the richness of our diversity, the human potential that resides in the refugees and migrants that we work with and we reminded our world that the Australia’s social and economic fabric has been shaped by its program of migration and settlement. Spectrum’s success and longevity is a testament to its ability to constantly adapt. After a proud 38 years supporting refugees and migrants to prosper we found ourselves at another time when we needed to adapt our services to the change happening around. It was time to embark on new beginnings. In 2018/19, we took on an expanded geographic footprint under the Commonwealth’s Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) Program of refugee settlement, seeded new partnerships and programs and continued to develop our Humanitarian Settlement (HSP) and Community Support (CSP) programs and migration services. The expansion of these programs heralded an opportunity to rethink our approach around the principles of integrated service responses, social and economic inclusion and specialist support. Everyday at Spectrum we are inspired by the talented and resilient people walking through our doors. Refugees and migrants with career dreams and a passion to apply their entrepreneurial creativity to their ideas. Too often, we find barriers getting in their way. According to the Centre for Policy Development, only 17% of refugees are in paid work after being in Australia for 18 months, and many, particularly women, are forced to accept work that is below their skills level. Employment and economic participation is a cornerstone of successful settlement, but with a slowing economy and the prospect of rising unemployment, we recognise the need to adapt and deepen our capacity to respond. This gave rise to an exciting alliance with Refugee Talent where together we developed a multi-faceted approach securing employment outcomes that will be launched in the New Year. In 2018/19 our work with people from diverse backgrounds who are ageing and living with disability continued to expand. We extended our home care, respite and social support group programs and prepared for the introduction of new aged care standards. Our Multicultural Home Support Service (MHSS) reset its focus on creating pathways to employment and enabling our service partners to access high quality, responsive and culturally aligned carers. These programs continued to adapt and enhance quality and practice as we were reminded that community expectations are changing through the introduction of new standards and Royal Commissions into mental health, aged care and disability services. Spectrum welcomes the opportunity to bring the voice of our clients to these forums to shape improved and more inclusive services. At Spectrum we recognise that what we do is complex and no one organisation or level of government can do it effectively alone. We value our many partners and I wish to acknowledge what each brings to our work. I would also like to acknowledge our Board and wonderful Team. Our Team of over 230 staff bring a unique ability to walk alongside people with empathy and understanding as together we navigate the complexities of settlement and the journey through life in a new culture. I had the pleasure to publicly recognise members of our Support Worker Team for their loyalty and service over many years. The results of our 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Staff Survey affirmed our Teams deep engagement with our Purpose and their commitment to inclusion. As the 2018/19 year ended, I was excited to join with our Board to launch Spectrum’s Strategic Direction 2019- 2022 – ‘Harnessing the collective power of our diversity for an inclusive Australia.’ We are embarking on an exciting pathway to be a growing and impactful enterprise. We aspire to a profoundly inclusive Australia, a place where the extraordinary diversity of people enhances the lives of all. The future will see Spectrum reach out to people of all refugee and migrant backgrounds, provide access to a support network, enable successful participation and inclusion for an enriched and diverse Australia. I look forward to sharing more about our Strategic Direction in the coming months. Bernie Nott Chief Executive Officer