It is with great pleasure that I present the Chairman’s report for the past 12 months.
By far the most important function of the Board during this time has been the oversight and decision-making relating to the construction of:
- The Willow Wing which provides an additional 10 rooms for residents and overnight accommodation for visitors
- The office accommodation for Administration and Care staff and
- The new laundry, and the renovation of the kitchen, the lounge and dining rooms in the Jacaranda wing.
Although this project was expected to be completed in 26 weeks, it took considerably longer. However, we can appreciate that in spite of the inconvenience to staff and residents, the final result was worth waiting for.
After the building was handed over an Open Day was held on August 8 to provide the community with an opportunity to inspect the new facility. A large number of those who looked at the changes were impressed and made complimentary comments.
The Certification of the whole facility was undertaken in August to ensure that it met the current standards. Residents were then permitted to move into the Willow Wing.
It is a remarkable accomplishment to complete this project at a cost of $2.5 million without incurring a debt. This has only been possible with the support of this wonderful community and the assistance of:
- The Commonwealth Department of Ageing who provided a grant of $1.355 million;
- Gwydir Shire Council for the generous assistance with the earthworks, tar sealing of the carpark;
- The support of local community oranisations including the Bingara Lions Club who contributed $25,009 towards equipment in the new laundry;
- The Bingara Garden Club who donated cash, as well as providing valuable advice on appropriate plants and the layout of the garden; the Friends of Touriandi who worked tirelessly under the leadership of Brenda Pankhurst to raise $20,000 to furnish the visitors’ overnight accommodation, new curtains, an extra large screen TV etc.
Further to this we acknowledge the contribution of the following grants: Woolworths/CWA grant of $3000. The application was prepared by Brenda Pankhurst.
Australian Open Garden Scheme $1200 for which Wendy Wearne prepared the application.
And more recently we received advice that we have been successful in obtaining a $15,000 grant from the JobLink Plus Ltd Bi-annual donation program. This application was prepared by Graham Hosegood and Francis Young will partly fund a new gopher shed for the residents.
In addition to this there have been donations from individual community members whose generosity has been appreciated by the Board.
The overall financial management, particularly that related to the building and renovation costs has required considerable time and skill. We are indebted to Graham Hosegood, the Board Treasurer, for his commitment to this task and for keeping the Board fully informed throughout the duration of the project. We have been fortunate to have had the benefit of his wise and practical expertise.
As you are probably aware we now have places for 25 permanent residents and two respite places. These have been occupied for the greater part of the time since we opened the doors of the Willow Wing.
The people of Bingara can be justly proud of this locally managed community owned facility. Its features include spacious public areas, new technologies, ample accommodation for staff to work in comfort, while maintaining the unique homelike environment which has been one of its strengths.
The Board is indebted to Anne Withers and the dedicated staff whose commitment to the residents is so essential.
I want to make brief mention of a member of other important developments which have occurred during the past year: In March, Accreditation took place. This required an enormous amount of work by way of preparation and Anne is to be congratulated on receiving the Accreditation for another three years.
The Board has engaged the Financial Services Division of WHK Cameron to prepare monthly reports and full analysis with recommendation to the Board meetings.
Although this comes at a considerable cost, it means that the Board is assured of accurate financial information on a regular basis.
A training day for Board members with Pip Carter, the CEO at St. Andrews Village in Ballina proved to be quite informative. It gave all concerned a clear understanding of the role of the Board.
On advice from several quarters, the Board took steps to change the operation of Touriandi from an incorporated body to a company limited by guarantee. This would normally have been quite an expensive process. However, Sam Cook offered to undertake all the groundwork to make this quite a smooth transition. We are enormously indebted to Sam for the large amount of time, effort and expertise which he devoted to this task. Thank you Sam for your labours.
I would like to pay tribute to the members of the Board who have given so generously of their time to Touriandi throughout the past year. You have shown that your number one priority in working for the facility is the well being and comfort of the residents. Thank you most sincerely.