Uniting for greater impact

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Wimmera Mail-Times

From this month, all Wimmera Uniting Care programs and services will continue under the Uniting name.


UNITING Wimmera executive officer Wendy Sturgess believes the formation of a new entity means the organisation is better placed to provide services and adapt to changes in the community services sector.

The group joined with 21 other agencies from Victoria and Tasmania, plus two business units.

Widespread reforms in the community services sector prompted the changes.

"The National Disability Insurance Scheme is one big one, and there are big reforms in how we work with children in out-of-home care," Ms Sturgess said.

"There are a lot of legislative reforms happening, which means that as a united entity we have a much better opportunity of future-proofing our business to deliver better-quality services.

"In our network we have really strong expertise in areas like leading-edge disability programs, and drug and alcohol and early years programs.

"There are a lot of areas where there's pockets of expertise across other agencies.

"With us all under one umbrella, we can have greater impact."

Ms Sturgess said staff responses to the change were encouraging.

"They understand that with such big changes, we need to move with the times and become more efficient, and ensure consistency in our service delivery," she said.

"Change creates uncertainty for some, but this will create a lot of opportunities for further employment and enhanced employment opportunities by way of training and skill development.

"There were rumours there would be significant redundancies here, but there were no redundancies related to the creation of Uniting."

Ms Sturgess said Uniting would become the largest community service organisation in Victoria and Tasmania.

"That means we have an opportunity and responsibility to not only deliver services, but also drive better quality and consistency of services," she said.

"We will be able to access internal and external training, and that is going to be important as we move into a more competitive, consumer-driver market.

"There will be opportunities for employment and training that we wouldn't have been able to access quite as easily."