September 2020

  1. I started work on 10 August, as the new General Manager, and now well and truly have my feet under the desk, and sleeves rolled up. My professional background is – I started my working life as a registered nurse; then for various reasons changed career direction and studied law and business; then I worked as a lawyer for a long time and then moved into senior management roles, mainly in the human services sector (health, disability services, aged care). I have also worked in executive roles in all levels of government (federal, state and local council) so know how that “system” works. I hope I can use my skills and experience to further grow and strengthen BFC into the future.
  2. Firstly, let me start by acknowledging the wonderful work your organisation does. From my observations over the past three weeks, I have been very impressed with the passion, commitment and enthusiasm of staff for ensuring the services we provide are respectful and of high quality. This is always a good base on which to build any organisation.
  3. However, whenever anyone joins an organisation with “fresh eyes”, and after speaking with clients and staff, I have learned of some things we can do better. Your management committee members, clients and staff have been very open and frank in sharing suggestions for improvements. Over time, we will address those suggestions. We may not be able to do everything suggested, because of government regulation or costs, but we will certainly consider the “why, when and how” for all reasonable suggestions.
    If you, as a member of BFC have suggestions for improvements in how we do things, I would be pleased to hear from you.
  4. Last year, your management committee developed a strategic plan to guide BFC into the future. I attach that “Plan on a Page” – a summary of what the management committee decided.
  5. One challenge for the organisation will be looking for additional sources of income. It is always a risk for any organisation to rely predominantly or solely on one source of income. That is presently the case with BFC, with 99% of our funds coming via NDIS service provision. To decrease BFC’s financial risks, we need to consider new sources of income.
  6. Seeking new sources of income goes hand-in-hand with better promoting and “marketing” BFC. We need to let the broader community know what we do, and what we can do. So, into the future, you may see the BFC name being promoted more. However, the best marketing is always word-of-mouth, so please share this newsletter, encourage those you meet to support BFC, and if you know of anyone who may be interested in being a support worker for BFC, please tell them to get in touch with us.
  7. Another issue the management commitment believes needs addressing is improving BFC’s organisational structure to better meet current client needs, support all staff, and ensure the organisation is able to capture opportunities for growth while complying with all the rules and regulations (Federal, State and Local government laws) that apply to what we do. Over the coming weeks, we will finalise that new structure, so we have the right people doing the right jobs.
  8. A further issue that needs to be addressed is our technology systems. (Some may say unfortunately, but…) the future is digital and automated, so we must get technology systems working for us to maximum advantage. This will not be something that can be addressed quickly, so we will need to “chunk it down, and attack it a bite at a time”. However, over time we need to move to many more things being done via technology, including recording client files, staff recruitment and induction, and staff time-keeping to name a few.
  9. We underwent an interim NDIS audit about a month ago, with good results. Our next full NDIS Audit is scheduled for 12 – 14 October, and the assessors will want to speak with a range of stakeholders, including possibly some members. So, you may be approached by our office staff regarding participating in the Audit process.
  10. Finally, enclosed in this post pack is the Annual General Meeting papers. I hope you can attend, and I look forward to meeting you then if you do.
    As part of the oversight of BFC, the management committee (which is my boss) is a committed group of volunteers who give generously of their time to ensure the governance of BFC is robust and transparent. The management committee is seeking additional members, so if you, or someone you know may be interested, I encourage you to consider the enclosed “advertisement” calling for committee members.

I hope to distribute these newsletters periodically to keep you up-to-date on what is happening within BFC. If you have any questions about this newsletter, feel free to get in touch with me. Best email is which is a confidential email address.

Enough from me now – I look forward to any feedback / questions you may have on this newsletter. I also look forward to meeting you in person, some time soon.



Faileen James
General Manager
Bowen Flexi Care