Chorus staff and volunteers roll up their sleeves and support people to live the life they choose, in their own home. With humility and a smile.
Chorus was created to do something different and 2019-20 was a year of creativeness, challenge and change.
As the year commenced, our intent was to achieve two things in parallel: consolidate our current core business and experiment with future ways of working.
For our core business, our focus was on our four commitments:
We achieved our purpose through our achievements against these four commitments. We know from feedback and growth in numbers that Chorus customers value our support. We have made great improvements in our safety performance, with the number of work-related injuries showing a consistent downward trend. Our financial performance was sound, and we navigated the short-term business interruption of COVID by both continuing to meet needs and ensure the health and safety of Chorus people. Our employee and volunteer surveys reveal a positive culture and good levels of engagement and optimism.
In working in different ways we were supported by the WA Government through a Lotterywest grant to launch the Fresh Approach program. Our intent was to test innovative ways of working that were more relational, nurtured the strength of local neighbourhoods, and had a positive impact on the wider health and care system.
Our Fresh Approach work was a deliberate and thoughtful effort to test our beliefs about how we could put the community back into community services. Over the course of 2019-20, we have worked with Chorus customers, employees and volunteers to show that services and teams could be re-designed to reduce administrative effort and have more time and energy to foster relationships. We have tested physical and virtual means of fostering stronger and more connected local neighbourhoods. And we have improved partnerships and coordination with other players in ‘local health ecosystems’.
While the Fresh Approach is visible everywhere in Chorus, we developed a structured program in two key locations: Bull Creek (in partnership with Lotterywest and the City of Melville) and Mandurah (in partnership with the WA Primary Health Alliance and the City of Mandurah). Our learnings from this structured program have provided us with a range of insights that will help us better reach our goals.
Even in a ‘normal’ year, best-laid plans tend to be disrupted; thanks to the seismic advent of COVID, our plans were shaken.
On reflection, though, and thanks to the extraordinary effort and commitment of all of Chorus – customers, volunteers, staff, directors, and supporters – we have been able to achieve and, in fact, accelerate our parallel goals of consolidation and innovation in 2019-20.
One of the fabulous things about being the Chair and the CEO of Chorus is that so-called ‘business as usual’ is extraordinarily inspiring. Every day, in big and small ways, Chorus people deliver on our purpose of enabling people to live the life they choose. Thank you to each and every one of you.
As a concrete milestone to signal the conclusion of post-merger integration and the creation of Chorus version 1.0, we celebrated the successful – though extremely challenging – implementation of a single IT system in September 2019. While to many this would be mundane-sounding, this achievement meant we were, for the first time, able to unify our view of the operational and financial performance of Chorus. This integrated view laid the foundation for further improvement in the way we support customers and communities, and also revealed our biggest challenges: customer processes were convoluted, and our financial sustainability was likely to come under increased pressure over the medium term.
The COVID onslaught was frightening and challenging to both our core business and our innovation work. We cannot be prouder of the way Chorus people rose to the dual challenge of continuing to meet needs while keeping safe and well. With the support of funding partners, we embraced unprecedented flexibility to adapt services, redeploy effort and hone in on what really mattered: the ongoing wellbeing of customers and all Chorus people.
In many ways, COVID has had a net positive effect on Chorus:
As 2019-20 came to a close, through a combination of planned and unexpected endeavours and a mix of long-term trends and more immediate issues, the people of Chorus were poised at the cusp of more substantial change. To achieve our potential, to consistently demonstrate the Fresh Approach to community service, and to have an expanding impact on Western Australia, we recognise and embrace the need to be different. To use an IT analogy, it is time for a major upgrade and in 2020-21 we will make some organisational changes to become Chorus 2.0.
As we reflect on the 2019-20 year and embark on a new year, customers remain at the forefront of our thinking and our actions. To ensure the best outcomes, our engagement in Chorus 2.0 will be through a touchstone of simple-local-efficient.
We thank all of you for your ongoing significant efforts and your commitment to progressing Chorus’ vision and strategy for achieving the Fresh Approach. In 2020-2021 we look excitedly to sharing the dividends of these different ways of being with people and communities across the State.
Dr Moira Watson (Chair) and Dan Minchin (CEO)
“I think I’m eating more healthy food now. Thank you, Chorus Kitchen, for my lovely meals and you do a lovely job!"
“What a great service in support of those that may be feeling extra vulnerable within our community. Thanks Chorus Kitchen.”
“Thanks to the staff! Mum is really enjoying the variety of meals and the friendly delivery helpers.”
“My parents are thoroughly enjoying the meals. The meals are of gourmet standard and the volunteer staff delivering are so amazing.”
“Thanks to Chorus I have a well-tended garden. It’s wonderful to look at. No more wild jungle for me.”
“My garden has never looked so good.”
“I’m very happy with my Waterwise garden which was put in by Chorus three years ago. It has matured into an amazing environment for Native wildlife, it is looking magnificent and it has given me a new lease on life.”
“The gardeners are my heroes, I can’t go without them.”
“I’m really grateful for this help. We want to stay in our home and the range of services you offer is fantastic.”
“The gardeners did the most fantastic job on my garden, I was so chuffed with their work ethic and how absolutely lovely they were. They worked from the minute they got there and didn’t even stop for a drink; the service was unbelievable.”
“I’ve just gotten out of hospital and to see my garden looking so beautiful has brightened up my day. I’m feeling so proud of my garden I just couldn’t believe what a great job they’ve done.”
“I could not believe how much was done in the allocated timeframe and the team worked together so well and very efficient.”
“The team work like trojans and were absolutely amazing.”
“The gardeners are truly wonderful. They do such a lovely job always and my garden looks beautiful after they have finished. Lovely people. Very grateful for all they do.”
“I have never seen the house looking so sparkling.”
“My Support Worker Sue is efficient and has a beautiful personality. I went to hang out my washing and Sue had already done it as she knew I had a sore back. We are in tune.”
“Support Worker Nicole is a lovely young lady who is very pleasant to deal with. Her cleaning is immaculate, the house sparkles when she has completed her duties and Dad is very happy with her services.”
“My Support Worker Amanda is efficient, caring; respectful and protective and great at what she does. There’s not many people I would feel comfortable showing my medical diagnosis and history with but I shared this with Amanda.”
"My Support Worker Leanne is very lovely and very accommodating. She does a nice thorough job and she does it willingly. Always cheerful, even at the end of the day when I am the last one; she still comes in smiling."
“Huge thank you to the transport team for getting me to and from so many appointments since medical conditions left me unable to drive. I appreciate you all, it means a lot to me to have that stress of getting to so many appointments removed.”
“Thanks to Chorus and your lovely drivers for the great transport service. During this uncertain time, this has made me feel so safe.”
“So grateful to Chorus for helping me get to hospital appointments. A big thank you.”
“Mum had an absolute amazing two afternoons out and the positive impact on her mental health is more than evident - thank you so very, very much.”
“Mum was beyond excited to see Support Worker Linda's familiar face and had a fabulous time going for a drive with her and grabbing coffee and talking about overseas travel and countries they have both been to - Linda has always been a favourite from coffee club days and she is looking forward to seeing her again.”
“Thank you all. The art class has made me feel human again, a part of something. All the crew at Bull Creek Centre are kind and lovely.”
“Thank you for the day centre outings, they have changed my life. The outings are wonderful and have made such a huge positive impact on my wellbeing.”
“Wonderful experience. Has assisted me to move forward in wonderous new ways that would not have been achievable without the support and dedication of all the amazing staff/team at Chorus. Thank you… Love you all.”
“Thank you for the efficiency from every phone call I have with admin/scheduling staff at Chorus.”
“The people on the phones do a fantastic job and are all so lovely all the time.”
“I am more than happy with my domestic lady cleaner. And am very happy with staff who are arranging more services for me regarding outing fortnightly and other things to get me out of my home. The ladies are all so friendly indeed.”
“Very, very happy with the service that we get and are very lucky to be able to have the service that you provide us.”
“The staff from Chorus have always been very polite and helpful. I can't thank them enough for the good work they do.”
“I am very satisfied with Chorus and trust to them the support for as long as possible.”
“They are great people always doing a great job. I tell everyone how helpful they are, thank you everyone.”