There’s something about this time of year that makes people feel a bit uneasy. Yes I know it’s Spring and the weather should be turning as we leave Winter behind, albeit a pretty mild one. It also heralds the onset of the end of the year with ridiculously premature Christmas advertising, school formals, annual general meetings and even end of year functions getting in early to avoid clashes.
And we repeat the old ’where has the year gone’ lament. Due to the timing of the deadline for newsletter articles I’ll have to give you a preview of the Annual Report which I will have delivered at our AGM on September 25. At the time of writing however, there is an air of uncertainty surrounding the AGM and the future of the current Board of Management. The best I can do is to pretend that things are ‘normal’.
The 2017 Report continues in the same vein as last year with an outstanding result financially and serious progress on our building project. An end of financial year surplus of $700,000 is great news for Yallambee. Even with the committing of $1million of our own reserves and the borrowing of a further $1million, our financial projections going forward are very promising. Despite the ever present uncertainty of Government policy on Aged Care funding we believe we have established business and operating plans that will sustain our cash flow.
Our expanded and fully refurbished facility will soon be valued at around $9million – and in a few years we believe it will be debt free and owned by the Millmerran community.
Some who don’t know the history of Yallambee may well ask how this could be. Many of us who did know how it all began have probably forgotten or are not fully aware of much of what has transpired between the first couple of Millmerran Centenary Celebrations Committee meetings in 1979 and where we are today.
This is not the place for a lengthy history lesson but it was the ‘brainchild’ of Harry Curtis, named (Yallambee) by Marj Sander, Norma Jenkins and Lil Funk and lovingly nurtured by hundreds of committee persons, donors, volunteers and workers through to the mature, successful and prosperous ‘adult’ that Yallambee is today.
Yes, there have been periods of unhappiness, financial strains, relationship breakdowns, losses and grief but as it is with families we pull together and hopefully heal wounds, recover and move on to greater things. And that is what I was honoured and pleased to be able to report on at our AGM.
As a Board of Management we are never complacent and we never lose sight of the importance of the trust the community and our residents and families place in us. I am proud of my Board of Management and I am overwhelmingly grateful to our staff, volunteers and supporters who have all contributed to a most successful year.
If you were at the AGM you would have heard me report that our utilisation of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) means that we are earning our major Federal Government funding subsidy at ‘industry best practice’. In a nutshell this means we are doing as well as the best in the business when it comes to assessing the care needs of our residents and applying for the maximum amount of daily subsidy available for each and every resident. It requires considerable knowledge of the quite onerous criteria attached to the eligibility of the resident and their individual needs.
Clinical Care Manager
Our Clinical Care Manager Maxine Noone has done a great job in ensuring that we are at that best practice level. Various other health specialists and consultants have input into the assessments and a slip up by any one of them can mean that money has to be repaid. One of the other key elements of our current strong financial position has been the turnaround in our wages/income ratio.
Where once we were running at 106% wages/care revenue we are now operating at industry best practice levels of 65 -70%. There was some pain involved in getting to this position but our successful accreditation and auditing outcomes demonstrates that our care levels have not been compromised. We have Registered Nurse coverage or available on call 24/7 and our Personal Care Assistants have supported management’s strategies with more dedication and application to their roles.
There will always be things in life that you can control but more often than not the ledger is tipped the other way. Take the weather for example. As I finalise this newsletter I am sadly watching the excellent start to the winter crop sowings wilt before my eyes. Although not dependant on farming any more I grieve for my brothers and sisters-in-arms on the land at times like this. Our district has hard working farmers embracing modern and best practice farming methods only to be met with disappointment when they should be rewarded for the risks they take and the effort they put into feeding and clothing the world.
At Yallambee, we adopt a similar modus operandi – try to make good decisions based on the best advice and research, try to control the risks and have faith that you are doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time. And pray for good weather.
John Rogers, Board President, MCRV Inc.