Happy new year to you all. I hope you celebrated the start of 2019 in good spirits with family and friends. Now that we are a few days into the new year, it’s an ideal opportunity to reflect on the past year while looking ahead to see what 2019 may bring us.

At Board level our Chair, Tricia Malowney OAM, has offered outstanding contribution over many years and will step back from the Chair role.  She has been a steady hand and has ensured that we always put people (our clients) first and foremost. I would like to personally thank her for being available when I needed her and for always providing honest, forthright and excellent counsel. We will miss having her as Chair, but be comforted that she will remain on the Board as Deputy Chair to provide some continuity and continue ensuring we maintain our focus the vision.

We welcome John Baker AM to the position of Chair, John’s experience both professionally and in his day to day life will ensure we have a steady rudder to guide us throughout 2019.

The retirement of our Finance Manager David Ng has left some very big shoes to fill. However the time David spent mentoring Chris Beeston will ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. This left a vacant position in the finance team. I would like to welcome Ellen Ou who has taken on Chris’ previous role as Finance Officer within IDS.

Our Individualised Support team is at full strength following the appointment of Maddie Brown, Maddie’s background in Client Relations will perfectly compliment the other Client Relationship Officers, Susan Johnson and Kylie Wray.

Our focus during the year will be the continued development of the services we offer across Individualised and Housing support whilst seeking opportunities that benefit our clients and all Victorians with a disability further. We will continue to develop our partnerships with Support Coordinators and Financial Intermediaries, working in unison to provide a service that meets the needs of our clients and ensuring their goals are met.

2018 was quite a year for all of us at IDS. We have achieved a considerable amount. The continued roll-out of the NDIS and uncertainty over some IDS funding arrangements will ensure 2019 will be challenging. However, no matter what the circumstances are, our clients will always be at the heart of everything we do. IDS will continue to provide flexible and tailored support that recognises their individual needs, aspirations and goals.