Our support services

Our support services

Our business is supported by a number of areas that provide professional expertise to ensure the effective functioning of our services, missional activities and churches. Support services include Business Development, Centenary Development Foundation, Public Relations and Communications, Human Resources, Procurement, Fleet and Sustainability, Sales and Customer Service, and Financial Services.

Business Development

Business Development govern a range of important functions for the organisation and have been busy in the past financial year managing our major developments, acquisitions, small enterprises, information technology and projects.

This year we managed the building and commissioning of the extension at Stanthorpe Aged Care, the commencement of construction at Warwick and Little Mountain, and detailed planning for the Gold Coast.

We worked on the acquisition of services at Acacia Ridge and Ingham, and managed a number of key technological upgrade projects.

In the 2018-19 year, work will continue on delivering our major development projects at Warwick, Little Mountain and the Gold Coast with planning continuing for Boonah. The transition to the NBN and planned data centre upgrades will improve our digital capacity and innovative operating and funding strategies will be investigated for business and missional enterprises.

Key achievements

Acquisitions

  • In November 2017, we settled on the purchase of two aged care services:
    • Mortimer Aged Care – a 38-bed facility located across the road from our Acacia Ridge Campus.
    • Palms Aged Care – a 50-bed facility located in Ingham (50km from our Rockingham Aged Care Service in Cardwell).

Enterprise Development

  • Operational and business support to Gidgee Inn and social enterprises, Access Place Gardens and Mowing and The Access Place Atherton.
  • Support to the Cairns Street Chaplains, with Safe Nights Precinct funding renewed for another 12 months.
  • Developed business plans for projects across the organisation, including Virtual Dementia Tour ™, and the cafes and community centres at our major developments and in sourcing grant funding for a program at Medical Santo.

Project Management Office

  • Supported the successful delivery of key strategic projects including upgrades to Aurion and SharePoint.
  • Managed the replacement of the billing software and tools for residential aged care and retirement living, and created the foundation of a Customer Relationship Management tool, which will enhance customer engagement across Seniors and Supported living in the first stage.

Major Projects and Commissioning

  • Completed construction and commissioning of an extension to Stanthorpe Aged Care Service to deliver a further 64 beds in a homelike cottage environment. Project cost $17.5 million.
  • Commenced construction of the Warwick Campus, which includes a 128-bed residential aged care service, a café and community centre with a 200 seat auditorium.  Project cost $36 million.

  • Commenced construction of Little Mountain Campus, which includes a 96-bed residential aged care service, a café and community centre comprising a 300 seat auditorium and an aquatic centre with two swimming pools. Project cost $37 million.

Information Technology Services

  • Rollout fibre optic wide area network to 80+ locations in Queensland and Victoria.
  • Responded to 23,000 help desk requests, up from 17,500 in 2016/17.
  • All systems and data maintained at or above our target delivery of 99.5% availability.

 

Centeneray Development Foundation

Centenary Development Foundation (CDF) is the treasury arm of Churches of Christ in Queensland and operates as a Religious and Charitable Development Fund under an exemption to the Banking Act 1959 issued by APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority). Any surplus funds generated are used to support our mission activities (including our community chaplains and to support churches during difficult times).

In 2017-18, the CDF client account base rose from 395 at 30 June 2017, to 452 accounts at the close of the financial year.

Weighted average interest rate earned at 30 June 2018 was 2.74 per cent, which is fair considering the Reserve Bank of Australia cash rate remains at a record low 1.5 per cent.
The net margin of interest and share income to earning assets was 1.59 per cent, which is favourable to that of the major banks.

We administer the Ministers’ and Employees’ Benefits Scheme (MEBS) on behalf of Churches of Christ in Australia. The decision was made by Churches of Christ in Australia to wind down MEBS by 30 June 2019. As a result, CDF has developed a new product called the Long Service Leave Provision Savings Account to enable Churches of Christ in Queensland employers to continue to save funds for their employees’ long service leave.

We also introduced two other new savings products. Growth at Call, for churches and paid staff, and the Chaplaincy Fund to assist in raising money for the work of our chaplains.

This year, we launched a new annual grants program for our churches. A number of churches applied, with six successful churches sharing in $23,447. Churches who missed out were invited to apply for a CDF Basic Loan, capped at $10,000 with a low fixed interest rate.

CDF also provided loans to churches that may otherwise have been difficult to secure, enabling them to improve their facilities and their outreach into their local community.

A new CDF website was launched to promote the products and services offered, with updated brochures and other collateral also assisting with the promoting the business.

Key achievements

  • New website, new brochure, documents and information sheets, new investment products, and a revised Funeral Plan booklet for clients to note important information that will make things easier for families.
  • Net Margin of Interest and share income to earning assets was 1.59%; favourable compared to the NIM’s of banks.
  • Supporting our churches through tailored loans and services.
  • Re-introduction of annual grants program.

 

 

Public Relations and Communications

The Public Relations and Communications group is responsible for all the marketing, internal and external communications, public and government relations, grants and tenders, events and branding activities for the organisation.

One key priority for 2017-18  was supporting our major development projects through each stage of their development, including marketing and advertising activities, community engagement and media management and branding.

Our flagship publication, Networking, was released quarterly with readership and distribution continuing to be strong. Work continues with the intent to make Networking a digital-first publication moving forward.

We continued our investment in our digital and social media presence, with new website launched for CDF in November 2017. Our Facebook pages continue to grow in engagement, with new strategies in place to engage with our online communities. The table below shows the number of likes for each of our Facebook pages at the end of the financial year.

Facebook pages

Facebook page Likes as at June 2018
Churches of Christ in Queensland 16,918
Churches of Christ Care– Early Childhood 8603
Churches of Christ Care – Children, Youth and Families 13,718
Churches of Christ Care – Seniors Living 11,066
Centenary Development Foundation 7091
Total 57,396

Website visits

Careers 42,674
Centenary Development Fund 2536
Children, Youth and Families 14,786
Churches of Christ in Queensland 150,686
Early Childhood 23,132
Family Support Services 6328
GIVE 16,656
Home and Community Care 28,928
Out-of-Home Care 27,839
Residential Aged Care 88,853
Retirement Living 72,528
Seniors Living 12,058
Volunteers 17,227

Our websites have continued to grow, with over 500,000 unique website views across our 13 websites. We have continued to focus on Search Engine Optimisation best practice to increase our traffic to our websites.

Our Marketing team ran a successful campaign for our retirement villages from February to June 2018, resulting in 28 settled contracts during the period from 366 enquiries and 118 individual village tours. Prospective buyers were encouraged to take a tour to go in the draw to win a $2000 gift card.

On 23 March we launched a new uniform range and supplier following extensive tendering and design process to ensure a range the meets the needs of our diverse workforce while being modern and suitable for our climate. Following the launch fashion parade, a road show travelled across Queensland and Victoria for staff to try the new uniforms and place their orders.

In the Government Relations and Policy area we released the organisation’s Addressing Domestic and Family Violence Position Statement. We also provided a submission to the federal review of religious freedom and to the federal inquiry on quality in aged care. Moving forward we will be coordinating involvement in the Royal Commission into Aged Care which will take place from late-2018 to April 2020.

We were instrumental in planning and delivering a number of key events throughout the year, including Centrifuge, Annual General Meeting, Ministers Forum, plus official opening at Kurrajong Townhouses and special events for NAIDOC Week, Youth CONNECT Launch and more. There has been great attendance at our large scale events that celebrate and acknowledged who we are as Churches of Christ in Queensland.

In the coming financial year we will be focused on communications and media management of the Royal Commission into Aged Care, community engagement and marketing to support our integrated communities at Little Mountain and the Gold Coast, and continuing to grow and nurture our thriving digital and social media channels.

Key achievements

  • 4 editions of Networking magazine released.
  • Silver Award by the Australasian Reporting Awards (ARA) for the 2016-17 Annual Report.
  • New website for CDF.
  • 12% increase in likes across our 6 Facebook platforms.
  • Received positive media coverage for VDT, Youth CONNECT launch as well as our major developments at Stanthorpe, Warwick and Little Mountain.
  • Managed major events including Annual General Meeting and Ministers Forum; Centrifuge; Youth CONNECT Launch in Brisbane and Townsville; Kurrajong Townhouses Official Opening; Wattle Apartments Official Opening; Regency Park Clubhouse opening; Kenmore Campus community event; Reconciliation Action Plan  launch; new uniform launch; and support for many more local level events and happenings.
  • Marked National Harmony Day, NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week with events at Head Office.
  • Completed an intensive project to stage display rooms and photograph all of our retirement and residential aged care services.
  • Assisted with community engagement activities for our major developments and acquisitions.
  • Key support of new Customer Relationship Management system development.
  • Increased capability of marketing technology stack to situate us for future benefit.

 

Bids and Tenders

Bids and Tenders identify, prepare and lodge tenders and funding submissions to philanthropic organisations and federal, state and local government for activities and services across our organisation and churches.

In 2017-18, we submitted 61 applications, with a success rate of 63 per cent. These tenders and grants fund a range of existing programs as well as new opportunities.

We were awarded $20,865,352 worth of grants and tenders, from close to $55 million applied for, plus funds from standing offer arrangements and bed licences, which we will receive when they are in place.

 

Human Resources

Human Resources provides advise and support services to the organisation, with teams in 2017-18 including Recruitment and Retention, Payroll, Industrial Relations, Learning and Development, Volunteer Services, Health Safety and Rehabilitation, and Inclusion and Diversity.

We partner with the organisation to improve the fit between people and strategic and operational objectives, streamline people management practices and implement a positive workplace culture, conditions of service and benefits improvements.  

Key achievements

  • The Aged Care Agreement, which covers support staff in residential services and the community, was negotiated and approved by the Fair Work Commission in 2017. In 2018 negotiations and approval processes continue for the Nurses Enterprise Agreement, Victorian Enterprise Agreement and Business Support Enterprise Agreement.
  • Supported the successful transition of over 90 staff in aged care and children and youth services to the organisation following acquisitions of new services.
  • Supported managers and staff through recent restructuring process and successfully re-deployed six employees within the organisation.
  • Introduced a payroll assurance function to examine, identify and correct payroll configuration and/or process issues causing inaccurate payments to employees. This led to identification, rectification and significant back-pay of underpaid penalties on leave takings to affected current and previous employees.
  • Responded to the issue of domestic and family violence and providing safe and supportive workplaces by introducing five days paid leave for any staff member experiencing domestic and family violence.
  • Health, Safety and Rehabilitation rationalised our large number of WorkCover policies and WorkCover Industry Classifications, resulting in savings of more than $1 million per year on workers compensation premiums. 
  • A flu vaccination program was conducted across the organisation in May 2018, with a 6% increase in participation over 2017. 
  • Learning and Development conducted the inaugural Management Development Initiative program for new managers in our aged care services. Of the program participants, 45% moved into acting or permanent higher roles.
  • We reached out to the service community beyond our organisation by providing expert training in a suite of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Mental Health First Aid programs to over 200 employees within more than 50 organisations.
  • Hosted over 500 Certificate III in Individual Support and Diploma of Nursing students for practical placement within our aged care services.
  • Coordination of initiatives in support of improved gender equity results, including a focus on women in leadership.
  • Released our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan in October 2017, and worked toward achieving the outcomes set out in it. Commenced planning for development of a our third plan, the Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan.  

 

Reconciliation Action Plan

In October 2017 we released our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, our second plan on our journey to reconciliation.

The Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan is an integral part of our strategic plan and is endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. It contains a range of practical activities to build stronger relationships and greater respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. It coordinates our actions and holds us accountable for improving the way we work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and businesses.

The plan forms a public commitment to improving the way we engage and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – as clients, colleagues and communities.

Our  Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan has an even stronger focus on building respectful relationships. It explores how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ views and voices can be heard across all levels of our organisation and services.

Key achievements

  • Successful partnership between Housing Services and Umpi Korumba (Indigenous housing provider) leading to further opportunities.
  • The essential but quiet development of relationships with Indigenous Elders and communities through the work of the Church and Community Engagement team, particularly the work of Uncle Max Conlon in supporting cultural knowledge in how to engage.
  • Contemporary and positive events for NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week and a number of events held by our services.
  • Desktop flags, acknowledgement plaques and other significant items that signal welcome to Indigenous clients and staff have been designed and sent to all services to be placed in reception and staff areas.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foster Care Campaign planned to increasing our access to Indigenous foster carers.
  • Procurement team is increasingly engaging with Supply Nation to continuously strengthen our relationships with Indigenous businesses.

 

Procurement, Fleet and Sustainability

In 2017-18 the Procurement, Fleet and Sustainability team modelled their work in managing our contracts, fleet vehicles and plant equipment, and our environmentally sustainable initiatives on our organisational values.

The team was recognised with a 2017 Fleet Environment Award for the purchase of low-emission vehicles, the use of solar power and electric vehicles, and the planting of over 7000 trees to offset our CO2 emissions.

Procurement were integral in the building of two new residential aged care services at Stanthorpe and Warwick, as well as ensuring that all supply and logistics issues flowed seamlessly for those services impacted by the Commonwealth Games. An external review of Procurement was commissioned during the year, which highlighted areas where we could add further value to our key internal customers, which will be actioned in 2018-19 period.

Driver safety will be a key priority for Fleet in 2018-19, with planned initiatives including an online driver behaviour program and targeted interventions based around the primary causes of vehicle crashes.

Key achievements

  • Together, Procurement and Fleet delivered $2.03 million in cost savings and cost avoidance.
  • At the new residential aged care services at Stanthorpe and Warwick, managed over $2.1 million of spend and achieved a 5% overall saving.
  • Donated three used buses to Toowoomba North and Bundaberg Church of Christ churches and St George Uniting Church.
  • Leveraged the support of a key supplier, Downtown Toyota, to provide bicycles and equipment to several young people from our Children, Youth and Families services so that they could compete in the Brisbane to Gold Coast cycling event. In atrocious conditions the young people completed the 60 km course, proving to themselves that they could do it.
  • Identified a number of opportunities for the organisation to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprises, including:
    • Purchasing Nallawilli photocopy paper (potential to add $3700 monthly to an Indigenous organisation)
    • Being the catalyst for a key supplier to employ an out-of-work indigenous young person
  • Signing a contract with a wholly-owned Indigenous temporary Nurse Supply Agency, New Start. It is a 100 % Indigenous owned Australian company, a certified Supply Nation supplier and an Indigenous Business Direct certified Supplier.

The numbers

630 Fleet units (including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and plant items)
11 million Kilometres travelled (14 times to the moon and back)
752,000 Litres of fuel used
$451,500 Savings achieved by Fleet in 2017-18
139 Contracts processed
$127 million Worth of contracts processed
315 Orders placed on behalf of the organisation
$4.65 million Value of orders placed on behalf of the organisation
$1,577,000 Savings achieved by Procurement in 2017-18
7000 Trees planted
1900 Tonnes of CO2 offset
6122 Litres of fuel saved thanks to our hybrid vehicles

 

Sales and Customer Service

Driven by the genuine belief that our products and services enhance people’s lives, it is our common responsibility to actively promote our sales message of lasting benefit with professionalism and honesty.

Through the combined efforts of sales, marketing and operations we are introducing the concepts of consultative and relationship-based sales skills that are grounded in our core values of behaving with integrity and being good stewards.

In 2017-18 we held a number of events, expos and open days to support our sales activities.

In the 2018-19 year, we will be working to meet occupancy targets for the new 128-bed Warwick Aged Care Service that opened in September 2018 and the 96-bed Little Mountain Aged Care Service opening in February 2019. We will also assist in implementing an integrated Community Care sales and marketing plan including digital and database marketing.

Key achievements

  • Managed the sales promotion, community networking and referral relationships with placement providers in support of the new Stanthorpe Aged Care Service including 68 new beds, with the facility regularly performing at or near capacity.
  • 8 sales expos and exhibitions, 11 sales events, 5 open days and sponsored and partnered with a number of events or organisations to support our sales and customer service objectives.

 

Financial Services

In the 2017-18 year, Financial Services were able to review and rationalise processes, and had the opportunity to enhance reporting and the analysis of results.

This has been a year of reviewing and rationalisation of finance processes and an opportunity to enhance our reporting and the analysis of our results.

Having two of our acquisitions, Mortimer Aged Care and Palms Aged Care occurring simultaneously, from the same vendor, meant there were fewer interruptions to business as usual and allowed the team to concentrate on improving other important aspects of our business.

In 2018-19, work will continue with the new Seniors billing system, which is due to go live, and means we need to now move onto replacing our financial accounting system. Our budgeting philosophy and processes need further review in particular given a new financial accounting system will come with new budgeting tools.

Key achievements

  • Successfully implemented all accounting requirements and processes around the business acquisition of Mortimer and Palms aged care services in November 2017.
  • Commenced the annual budgeting process earlier by creating templates and prefilling data prior to the budget model being available. This allowed greater time for review.
  • Performed a mid-year reforecast to budget, however this was a more detailed approach than 2016-17 and we reviewed not only the major operational services but also support services.
  • Rolled out the Visa credit card system with online coding and approval across all three Church of Christ in Queensland entities.
  • Placed EFTPOS machines in our residential aged care services, thus eliminating the receiving of cash at those locations.
  • Implemented the Redmap automated accounts payable system into Churches of Christ Housing Services Limited.
  • A Social Benefits Bond was created for young people placed in accommodation managed by our Housing Services  team that are supported by our Children, Youth and Families services. This is an innovative program requiring complex financial modelling and reporting.

Key statistics

  • At the 30 June 2018 we had a total of 468 active Financial Reporting Entities (cost centres) across the organisation (an increase of 6% on 442 at 30 June 2017)
  • For the 12 months ending 30 June 2018 we:
    • Processed 6000 bank files (an increase of 36% on 4420 for 2016-2017)
    • Processed 75,491 creditor invoices (an increase of 7% on 70,618 for 2016-2017)