From the Board

Chairperson’s Report 2020

In 2020 MACASA continued to provide exceptional service to our clients under what was a very trying circumstance. When the COVID-19 pandemic started and the first cases in South Australia emerged in March, the staff and volunteers at MACASA were quick to respond. The Board met weekly, instead of monthly, to help support the team to be able to respond quickly and effectively to the rapidly changing situation. We saw an increase in demand for our meals, which meant that we had to quickly scale-up meal production and add additional support to the kitchen. Restrictions on movement and the need for social distancing posed challenges to the organisation, but again the team responded quickly. We were unable to host lunches at the Community Centre or coordinate social outings so we pivoted to taking social activities to our clients’ homes. The innovation and creativity that the services team demonstrated was wonderful to see and they did an incredible job ensuring services continued in a COVID-safe manner.

The Government recognised that older members of the community were most at risk during the pandemic, and additional funding was quickly made available to MACASA to help us provide support to a growing number of clients. While the pandemic has had a negative impact on so many elements of our community, the financial windfall has helped MACASA during a time where our grant funding has been falling short of what we need to adequately meet operating costs. As you may be aware, in 2019 the Board was required to implement strategies to reduce costs and mitigate financial risks. In 2020, that risk has been lessened through a significant one-time increase in our funding. Unfortunately we can expect to have to operate on our regular funding from 2021 so MACASA will have to continue to carefully monitor its finances.

The organisation is still facing many long-term challenges. For many years government funding has been insufficient to cover the operating costs of MACASA, and without the commitment of our many dedicated volunteers, we would not have survived for over 25 years. A change to the funding program has been looming for several years, but has been consistently deferred. Our expectation is that at some point in the near future the government will make changes to the grant program and the impact on the organisation is unknown.

The new Aged Care Quality Standards which came into effect in 2019 have added extra pressure to the organisation. Unfortunately the Standards don’t differentiate between different kinds of aged care support all that well, meaning that MACASA must meet the same standards as a residential facility. MACASA failed to meet some standards in the 2019 Quality Review and the Board continues to focus on ways in which to meet the Standards with our existing resources. I am confident in the quality of the services that MACASA provides, but we must also ensure that we are able to demonstrate that quality to the standard expected by the government.

We have had quite a few changes to the Board this year. Kim Murphy and Alan McLaughlin retired from the Board but we are excited to welcome Igor Brunoli as our new Treasurer and welcome back Helen English as Secretary. It is critically important that we have a strong and diverse Board to oversee the strategic direction and operations of MACASA. We have worked hard to recruit new Board members but have only had some success. We would welcome members of the Maltese community and family of our clients to volunteer on the MACASA Board and hope to grow the Board to at least seven members in 2021.

MACASA’s strength continues to lie in its dedicated staff and volunteers who provide outstanding service to our clients. Without them the organisation would not have endured for so long, and the Board is grateful for their loyal and ongoing commitment. I am extremely proud of how well our people have responded to the pandemic and their commitment to our clients is to be commended.

Sharon Scott

Chairperson.

MACASA Annual Report 2019-2020
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Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2019

Annual Report 2018