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CEO Report

As we proceeded through the year to June 30 and all our staff got fully vaccinated, we had the opportunity to ease workplace restriction and have clients and staff back on site. Although we still live with the uncertainty of new COVID outbreaks among our staff and clients, they have been well supported by effective communication and improved technology during this time. In a sense, COVID had an upside in that new flexibility has emerged for staff and clients where attendance is more manageable.

The TaskForce business has had a positive year as turnover increased from $10.8 million to $13.8 million. Bringing new insights and dynamic leadership, TaskForce has secured Catherine Raine as our new CFO, supporting our growing business. A key factor supporting our growth is the combination of the productive work across the executive and leadership teams, securing new opportunities and delivering consistent and quality outcomes for clients and funders. The expansion of our team to include Lisa Abbott in the Executive Manager Social Impact and Growth role added impetus to our submissions and networking across the community and government.

While our new venues in Frankston and Cranbourne had slow beginnings due to lockdowns, they are now becoming key hubs in our TaskForce geography. They have provided expanded regional bases for our operations and are very quickly at capacity as our business grows. These hubs provide a terrific opportunity to grow our wraparound service model with the capacity for multiple and diverse programs and partners co-locating at one site.

This year, we had terrific success in implementing the expanded contracts in our education and employment services through the increased funding from Jobs Victoria for employment services, including the AfriCareers program for people from African backgrounds.

Our education services have grown rapidly, with the expansion and demand for our professional development courses through our training calendar and tailored training packages for government and not-forprofit organisations. Our client courses have also been a huge success and are supported by funding from the Victorian Government.

The ongoing success of our South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN) funded ResetLife programs in Cranbourne and Moorabbin has supported over 200 participants and their significant others through a recovery journey that addresses the multiple and co-occurring needs of individuals, families and communities experiencing addiction issues.

TaskForce has had a very positive year expanding our state government funded AOD services. This is complemented by the Living Free program, which continues to expand in the Frankston Mornington Peninsula region, supported by a federal government grant of $1.2 million for the next two years.

Our Cockatoo Community House continues to grow and deliver programs and services for the whole community. The Cockatoo storm recovery project, supported by the Victorian Government, launched this year. It will support the local community to build  capacity and  a community plan to improve preparedness and recovery from major natural disasters through workshops, community development activities, and community assets.

TaskForce is fortunate to have multiple sources of funding across 40 programs. In AOD services, our biggest business segment, our major funders are the Victorian Government and the South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network. This combination of federal and state funding enables TaskForce to provide a variety of interventions to empower people through life changing services, wraparound support, and pathways.

I thank:

  • The TaskForce Board and President for providing exceptional support to the CEO and the Executive Team during the year
  • The Hon. Martin Foley MP, the Hon. Gabrielle Williams MP, the Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP, Nick Staikos MP and Paul Edbrooke MP
  • Victorian Department of Health staff Kathleen Alonso, Gary Morris, Elzbieta Zorska, Michael Mack, Melissa Arduca, Katherine Whetton and Amanda Mason
  • SEMPHN CEO Quin Pawson and Allen Curry
  • Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety staff Gabrielle Levine and Beverley Garratt
  • Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board staff Robyn Downie, Val MacGregor and Jeremy Brewer
  • Sharon Wishart and the Victorian Department of Transport
  • Our consortium partners across all our programs

To our Board and to all our staff, thank you for your dedication and commitment realising the potential in everyone.

Ray Blessing