Our Annual Reports are produced to provide information to members and other stakeholders about financial and service delivery activities of the organisation.

I am pleased to present the President’s Report for 2017-18 for North West Youth Accommodation Service (NWYAS).

2017-18 has been a very busy year for NWYAS supporting young people. We have seen last financial year:

  • An extension of our Head lease portfolio from three properties to four.
  • Continuing to work to comply with the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) which has required a major task to review and refresh all policies and procedures.
  • A major extension of our volunteering program, welcoming in administration volunteers, students and project workers.
  • Development of a new Strategic Plan Framework 2018 – 2021.

The Manager’s annual report will report on another year of achievement and challenging work for NWYAS in helping young people in or near homelessness.

Our core activity is funded by Queensland Governments Department of Housing and Public Works under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to manage some 14 properties while at the same time providing specialised case-management support to tenants of the service. In this program a case-management framework aims to:

  • increase capacity and empower young people
  • maintain and increase independence in their time with NWYAS
  • support young people to understand their rights and responsibilities and the role of their choices in their situation.

The other significant activity for NWYAS is the Mobile Support program which sees NWYAS assisting young people and young families to secure safe, long term housing in the community through share-houses, private rentals and student accommodation.

I would like to place on record the organisation’s appreciation for the funding of the State Government and acknowledge the support and assistance of the Minister for the Housing and Public Works, and his Department. NWYAS has seen in this year the renewal of our critical service agreements, which are 5-year contracts. This gives us a sense of continuity and greatly helps us to plan and enrich our level and extent of services.

On a broader note, NWYAS continues to apply for a whole range of small grants which allows us to offer our young people more opportunities and support as part of our program. For these I wish to acknowledge:

  • Queensland Governments – Gambling Community Benefit Fund
  • Queensland Governments – Dignity First Fund
  • Mark Furner MP for Ferny Grove
  • Brisbane Airport Corporation
  • Lord Mayors Community Trust
  • Energex
  • Rotary Mitchelton
  • Hills and District Chamber of Commerce
  • Bendigo Bank
  • Street Smart

I would like to mention the continued support of a host of local businesses. NWYAS relationship with the Hills and Districts Chamber of Commerce is a very important relationship with the wider business community and I particularly acknowledge the work of Nicole in this area.

During the year we held a fundraising BBQ at Parliament House and I must thank Jim for arranging the use of the excellent facilities and of course, all those who made the event possible and successful. The behind the scene tour of the House was especially enlightening.

I want to place on record my sincerest thanks for the hard work and professionalism of Nicole and her team at NWYAS. The dedication and determination of staff largely shapes the quality and extent of care and assistance we offer the young ones who come to NWYAS. During the year our longstanding Finance Worker, Suzie Denis retired and, in her place, we welcome Kaja Holzhemier has been appointed. I also welcome back to the team Deon who had a break on maternity leave.

I thank my Management Committee which comprises a team of skilled and experienced volunteers who provide counsel and support for NWYAS. I appreciate the work of Holly as the Treasurer and Bec as Secretary. Other members I thank for their work on the Management Committee are Amanda, Linda, John, Judy and Jim.

Jim and Judy will be leaving NWYAS after many years of long and faithful service. Jim has been with the organisation some 28 years and in that time has seen many changes which have helped shape the organisation to what it is today. Jim brought to the Presidency of NWYAS a rich exposure to the issue of homelessness particularly via his work through the HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION into the REPORT OF THE NATIONAL INQUIRY INTO HOMELESS CHILDREN published 1989. Judy has been a valuable member of the Management Committee including as Secretary. I wish both Judy and Jim all the very best for the future in life beyond NWYAS.

In conclusion, let me say that the nature and extent of homelessness in our community will be shaped by social, economic and environmental forces far beyond our capacity to fully understand and predict. The collective strength of many and varied agencies to achieve solutions will depend very much on the goodwill and cooperation of those who want to help those in most need.

NWYAS must remain well focussed on its primary purpose and at the same time work within the wider community including other support agencies and in partnership with government. At an organisational level, NWYAS Strategic Framework for 2018-21 will help mould the organisation to best achieve its primary purpose to help young people.

To this end NWYAS will be shaped by four broad pillars. WE will

  1. strive to maintain our focus on continuous improvement and maintenance of quality services.
  2. challenge ourselves to focus on prioritising growth and excellence in service provision.
  3. ensure our governance and leadership is at the forefront of our values and best practice
  4. care and respect each other and ensures our staff and clients can feel and see our values and culture.

In closing, can I thank everyone for attending this AGM.

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