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Chair and CEO's Report

We welcome you to the 2020 Annual Report for BaptistCare. This year has been one of milestones and challenges; a year where our perseverance and resilience has been stretched and tested.

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Chair and CEO's Report

We welcome you to the 2020 Annual Report for BaptistCare. This year has been one of milestones and challenges; a year where our perseverance and resilience has been stretched and tested.

We have deep gratitude for all that this year has encompassed. We believe we have become stronger, with an even deeper faith in our gracious and loving God, who has sustained us throughout our 75-year history, and especially this year.

The year began with events and activities to honour our 75th anniversary, and we launched a commemorative book capturing 75 stories, services, events and people who are part of the rich tapestry that is our history.

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 global pandemic has had a significant impact on our organisation, in particular as our aged care home, Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park, became the first home in Australia to experience a COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.

BaptistCare’s Crisis Response Team was activated and for 60 days we worked closely with the local Public Health Unit, the State and Federal governments, and health agencies until the outbreak was declared over in May 2020.

It was heartbreaking that six of our residents passed away from COVID-19, and their memories will be treasured by BaptistCare. We are however thankful that 15 residents and staff did recover.

Our unique experience with this outbreak led us to make a voluntary submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. This included the appearance of former CEO, Ross Low and Melanie Dicks, Residential Regional Operations Manager (Southern) to give evidence to the Royal Commission at a hearing on Monday 10 August 2020, followed by a letter of appreciation from the Commission for the beneficial contribution we made.

Managing our aged care homes throughout this health crisis has also been a significant activity, ensuring the utmost protection of our residents and staff with ongoing visitor restrictions in place.

While our COVID-19 response was preoccupying, the year also saw a new aged care home welcomed into our portfolio of homes in February 2020 (Bethshan Gardens Centre, in Wyee), the continued roll-out of our person-centred and relational care approach, MyTeam®, with 16 of our 18 homes successfully implementing the care model, and the celebration of all our aged care workers during International Nurses Day in May 2020.

Our BaptistCare at home division also experienced disruption to the delivery of their services but maintained home care focus on ensuring that clients who were at risk or isolated continued to receive care.

The At Home team continued to develop its Well-Living® program, focusing on the re-ablement of our customers through allied health staff and training our employees to ‘do with’, rather than ‘do for’ our customers.

The division also successfully applied for funding to provide clients with ‘Breezie’ tablets, enabling seniors to interact online and learn new skills, overcoming potential isolation.

For our Community Services teams, the health crisis was closely related to the ensuing economic crisis. With our customers already experiencing disadvantage and uncertainty, our teams moved quickly to secure funding from local Councils, enabling them to deliver emergency relief support into vulnerable communities.

The division also delivered research into the experience of migrant women working in Sydney’s lower-end brothels, covered exclusively via ABC’s The Drum and news platforms, developed mental health resources for the same client group, and supported rural and farming communities in the Central West as part of their ongoing commitment to providing places of hope.

Significant work continued on our Social and Affordable Housing Fund community housing developments. Our Newcastle, Central Coast and Blue Mountains locations were all completed this year, with seniors and single-parent families moving into much-needed secure housing.

Similarly, our Retirement Living division delivered key developments including the third and final stage of The Gracewood Community in Kellyville, stage two of our Maranoa Village development in the Northern Rivers, and commenced building and sales for our newest retirement living community in the ACT, Yarra Rossa.

We have greatly enjoyed ongoing collaboration and partnership with the Baptist Association, including our connection through the Pastoral Care Volunteers program, Train the Trainer Days and over the summer, working together to respond to disaster-impacted communities suffering from bushfires.

Financially, it has been an incredibly challenging year, and we are thankful to have qualified for JobKeeper in its first phase to help support our staff. The additional expenses relating to COVID-19 had a significant impact on our financial performance.

This year our staff and volunteers have met challenges no one could foresee, and in every instance, they rose to excellence, bringing to life our values and ensuring our customers and their safety continued to be our absolute priority. To all of our employees and volunteers, we thank you.

To all of our Directors, our Executive Team and Senior Leadership Group, we extend a deep appreciation for your skill, talent, insights and acumen. Thank you for your deep commitment to your teams and BaptistCare.

We thank Director Judith Carpenter, for her service including three years as Chair, and also express gratitude to Directors Robyn Worsley and Stuart Abbott, who both retired from the Board this year.

We also honour the 16 years’ service of recently retired Chief Executive Officer, Ross Low. Ross led the organisation with great aptitude and humility and as a model of servant leadership, retiring on 14 August 2020.

We know this has been a year like no other, however, we meditate on the words of Psalm 46 as we move into this next year: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”

Robert Dunn


Charles Moore

Chief Executive Officer

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Annual Report 2020