IMPACT's Community Hub: a one-stop-shop of service providers

You are here: Impact
Last updated:
06/04/2021

Providing documentation or receiving advice from multiple service providers can be a time consuming and exhausting process.

Visiting one provider after another can take hours, if not days or weeks to complete, depending on one’s available time.

That’s why IMPACT Community Services has decided to host a Community Hub.

The aim of the Community Hub is to bring Bundaberg services together in one place to work collaboratively and provide a one stop shop for mutual clients.

IMPACT’s Support Services Manager Sandra Higgins said the hub will prove a huge time saver for people and allow the community to streamline service delivery.

“Having assisted clients for many years though my varied roles, I have witnessed how time consuming it can be going from one service to another, filing out a variety of forms and needing to copy and attach documentation,” Sandra said.

“By being able to do this all in one place as well as having the facility to copy and scan documents while you are here, will cut down the running around for clients and the wait times to get forms lodged or to find out information.

“We see that members of the community will benefit from this service by being able to come and get any information, forms and soft introductions to services that they may not be aware of but could utilise, and the support services will be able to network and exchange information on each other’s programs and services, so it’s a win/win all round.”

IMPACT's Community Hub to provide easy access to multiple organisations

The services in attendance will work collaboratively with each other to make it easier for people to access services and gain the help and support that they need.

“We are trying to make things a bit easier for people that may have mobility issues or not have access to transport,” Sandra said.

“We have a bus stop right at our front door so come over at take advantage of a one stop shop for services.

“If this is successful for people, we hope to attract more service providers and build a convenient community access point for service delivery.”

The Community Hub will host its first meet on Thursday May 6, and continue on the first Thursday of each month moving forward.

So far in attendance will be Wellways, Wide Bay Sexual Health, B Transformed Health & Fitness, Central Queensland Indigenous Development, Step Up Step Down service, a free legal service, Meals on Wheels, Carers Gateway, the Department of Housing, a Justice of the Peace to witness documents, and two financial counsellors, one from Uniting Care and the other from The Salvation Army.

IMPACT’s Community Navigators will also be on hand to assist people with filling in forms or directing any queries people might have.

If you are interested in attending, click here to register or phone 4153 4233 today.

This service has been established by IMPACT as it continues its work to improve lives in the Bundaberg region.

IMPACT Community Services has welcomed two new Directors to its Board

On Monday, Marketing and Business expert Giovanna Lever and CQUniversity Associate Vice-President for the Gladstone and Wide Bay Burnett Regions Luke Sinclair joined the not-for-profit, which now features nine Directors.

IMPACT has been helping people improve their lives since 1978 and last year helped more than 5000 people access life-changing supports.

Chair Leanne Rudd, who replaced David Batt in the role late last year, said the addition of Ms Lever and Mr Sinclair would provide even more experience and knowledge to a Board that has a diverse range of expertise and experience.

David Batt pens his final chairs report

Ms Lever’s ability to build and transform brands into sustainable business models is built on the back of her business acumen acquired from over 20 years commercial experience across the agriculture, education, health, community development, tourism, and sport industries.

Mr Sinclair has worked in education and training for over 15 years across primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors, with experience in local and international curricula. Additionally, he has started and successfully run two of his own businesses in the trade and fitness industries.

Directors of IMPACT Community Services' Board provide a wealth of aligned skills

Other board members include:

Board Chair Leanne Rudd owns local business The Money Edge where she provides professional financial and business advisory services to small and medium size businesses.

Deputy Chair Neil McPhillips operates a number of businesses across a diverse range of industry sectors and is accredited in Board and Business Governance.

IMPACT announces new Board Chair at AGM

Secretary Dr Talitha Best is a Clinical Psychologist, researcher and academic with expertise and experience in the education and training sector, research, clinical governance and delivery of health care services.

Treasurer Vanessa Fryer has worked in technology, project management, risk and compliance across varying industries including healthcare, education and financial services and now works within the business, finance, and technology sector to provide governance and delivery assurance over strategic projects.

Director Professor Helen Huntly oversees CQUniversity’s vocational education and training (VET) and higher education course development and delivery across the region.

Director Martin Barrett is an experienced banker who is Managing Director of ASX listed Auswide Bank Ltd.

Managing Director Tanya O’Shea joined IMPACT in 1999 and has worked in a range of management positions prior to being appointed Chief Executive in 2011.

To find out more about the work happening at IMPACT have a look through our website.

Meet the Board of IMPACT

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" IS A WEEKLY COLUMN WHERE TANYA EXPLORES KEY ISSUES. THIS WEEK TANYA DISCUSSES THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPACT'S SUPPORTED EMPLOYEES.

At the end of each year IMPACT Community Services celebrates milestone employment achievements with its staff.

In December 2020 there were a number of employees who reached significant milestones with the organisation, and we thank each and every one of them for their dedication to our cause and their commitment to their work.

STRONGER TOGETHER: Celebrating our long serving employeesTwo of these employees, Derek Heidke and Anne Marie Wyatt who work at IMPACT’s Material Recycling Facility on University Drive, celebrated an impressive 30 years of service in December.

And Peter Beddie who also works at the MRF was awarded for his outstanding service of 15 years.

I am told that when Derek, Anne Marie and Peter were presented with their plaques, they were humbly grateful for their awards but were more eager to get back to the job.

These are employees who have witnessed incredible change throughout their work lives.

IMPACT took over the facility in 2002 which was previously operated by Independence Incorporated.

In the beginning, the centre used to process 10 truck loads per week.

Now, they’re handling up to 40 truckloads per week with the MRF recycling 7,800 tonnes of material last year.

STRONGER TOGETHER: Choose to Challenge this #IWD2021

We often publicise the work our supported employees do and the huge amounts of recycling they process each year, but we don’t often get to acknowledge them on a personal level.

These are people who may have struggled to gain employment, even though they have largely employable skills and the willingness to give anything a go.

The work environment at the MRF is also an incredibly supportive space that feels more like a family than a workplace.

Everyone is respectful towards one another and take their roles seriously, but they also have a lot of fun in what they do.

The management and supervising team do an outstanding job with our supported employees across our social enterprises by offering ongoing support, training and guidance, and it shines through when you see these places operating in full swing.

I work in the community services sector because it provides a sense of real achievement when I see lives changed for the better.

The MRF and supported employees are just one example of this, and I am overcome with pride when I see our staff and participants grow, prosper and transform their goals into reality.

STRONGER TOGETHER: IMPACT Community Choir Sings for Joy

WELCOME TO QUEENSLAND WOMEN’S WEEK AT IMPACT! 

To celebrate the event, which runs over 11 days from March 3 to 14, we will be sharing a series of Q&A stories with some of our exceptional female staff from across the organisation.

Introducing Leanne Rudd, Bundaberg businesswoman and Board Chair at IMPACT Community Services.

Queensland Women's Week: Introducing IMPACT's Board Chair

What is your role at IMPACT, why do you enjoy the work you do, and what drives you to be the best you can at your role?

I am the Chair of the Board of Directors at Impact. The Boards’ role is to provide strategic direction for the future of the organisation. It is a voluntary position. I am passionate about being part of our local community and helping people. IMAPCT is really community focussed and helps so many people. I love working with a great team of caring and highly skilled people who are passionate about what they do. The IMPACT team provide a variety of programs to support our local community. I am energised when hearing about the amazing outcomes from the work IMPACT does. I get to advocate about this great organisation and  I feel in some small way that I can support a great team of people and see the organisation grow in a variety of ways.

Queensland Women's Week: Meet Maxine

Who is the woman (can be more than one) who has inspired you most in your life?

There has been no one individual woman that has inspired me. I have been inspired by many amazing women.

What are their exceptional qualities?

I have been inspired by their determination and never give up attitude. They understand that sometimes sacrifices need to be made but they are not afraid to speak up for what they believe in which takes them out of their comfort zone. They empower and support other women.  

Do you have a personal anecdote about them?

It would have to be their “self-reflection” - They are happy to have a laugh at themselves.

What is your message to young women today who are trying to make their mark?

Embrace who you are and be truly authentic in everything you do. Be really clear on the outcome that you are seeking and make steps each day to reach your goals. Make sure your environment is set up to make positive choices. We all have life experiences we need to deal with but have confidence to ask for support to problem solve and make change. Life is too short to “sweat the small stuff” – just get over yourself.

Queensland Women's Week: A Q&A Series

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" IS A WEEKLY COLUMN WHERE TANYA EXPLORES KEY ISSUES. THIS YEAR FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY TANYA TALKS ABOUT CHALLENGING EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE.

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge. Raising our hand high and choosing to speak up for equality.

Equality, diversity, inclusiveness, equity – powerful words that we hear used regularly. Sometimes interchangeably.

But what do these words actually mean and how can we demonstrate them?

STRONGER TOGETHER: Choose to Challenge this #IWD2021

The difference between diversity and inclusion

Verna Myers suggests that diversity is like being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance.

Diversity and inclusion are therefore two very different things.

Diversity is the things that make us different.

It could be our race, gender, sexuality or religion.

Inclusion on the other hand, is the choice that we make about how we each respond to the incredible diversity that surrounds each of us.

The simplest way that I have heard it explained is to think of diversity and inclusion like making a cake.

Diversity is all of the ingredients necessary to make the cake.

The milk, sugar, flour – each of them very different yet all very important.

Inclusion is making the mix work.

The ultimate value is when all of these ingredients are mixed together in the right proportions so that the cake tastes great.

We want people to enjoy (and admire) our latest creation!

It is the same with inclusion.

Just like the ingredients in a cake, recognising individuality and uniqueness is key to creating inclusive environments where diversity can be celebrated.

Celebrating Queensland Women's Week: A Q&A series

Incorporate other key values to spark change

Understanding equality and equity is also important.

If we remain with the cake analogy, equality happens when we mix the ingredients together in the same way.

Equity is recognising the difference in the ingredients, respecting them for their unique characteristics and treating them individually.

STRONGER TOGETHER: Choose to Challenge this #IWD2021

We do this, not because one ingredient is more important than the other, but because each ingredient is different.

Milk must be kept in the fridge.

Dropping an egg will cause it to break.

Adding plain flour instead of self-raising flour will stop your cake from rising.

Focusing on the special characteristics of each ingredient, the use of each ingredient and how it responds to the other ingredients.

This is what makes a cake taste great.

When we apply this same principle to people, then and only then will inclusion occur at a level that benefits other people and recognises their greatness.

One ingredient does not make a cake.

An individual cannot be inclusive if they are not willing to mix with others.

Inclusion is a choice.

Put your hand up on 8 March.

Choose to speak up for equality and reach out to those around you to celebrate the amazing diversity that exists within our community.

STRONGER TOGETHER: IMPACT Community Choir sings for joy

Welcome to Queensland Women’s Week at IMPACT! 

To celebrate the event, which runs over 11 days from March 3 to 14, we will be sharing a series of Q&A stories with some of our exceptional female staff from across the organisation.

Today you get to meet Maxine, one of our Intensive Family Support workers.

Celebrating Queensland Women's Week: Meet IFS's MaxineWhat is your role at IMPACT, why do you enjoy the work you do, and what drives you to be the best you can at your role?

My role at IMPACT Community Services is an Intensive Family Support (IFS) Case Manager within a Domestic and Family Violence Framework of Best Practice - DFV Specialist.  I enjoy the work that I do because a personal goal of mine is to “create a better world”; conscientisation is key.  In this role I am able to, hopefully, positively influence those I work with to achieve respectful, thriving and healthy relationships.

I am driven by all the people I meet and also by the children I come into contact with who might need their mother and father to respectfully co-exist with one another while putting in 100% effort to creating an uplifting, empowering and healthy home-front for them to springboard from.

Interesting but off-topic: In the DFV world and where 85%+ of violence and abuse comes from men towards their women and most often in front of their children, many questions arise. Like, can someone stop their oppression of someone (physically, psychologically, sexually, socially, financially)? And if so, how long will that take? What will happen if/when she decides she cannot ever trust him again and wants to leave? How are the children impacted by the shouting, screaming or the toxicity in their home grounds?

Who is the woman who has inspired you most in your life?

There are many women who have inspired my understandings and how I have worked over the years.  As a 9-year-old my learning about Joan of Arc really influenced me because I continue to be inspired by strong ‘warrior women’.  Currently I am following Vandana Shiva who began her works by installing a Seed Bank in response to the privatisation/patenting of natural resources; and I am following Indra Nooyi who has been voted the most influential women on Earth.

What are their exceptional qualities?

I think those women inspire me because of  their exceptional quality of Being – facta non verba – they walk their talk. The women who have been my role models are those who know the struggles of calling out oppression fearlessly (and relevantly) and most concisely.  You must be able to name the problem in order to resolve the problem to action for change.

What is your message to young women today who are trying to make their mark?

Do not be afraid to make mistakes, do not be freaked out by feeling uncomfortable in challenging situations – make your truths transparent. If you are wrong, it's okay. Learn by it, learn from it. Laugh a lot, and sing loudly. Read, Susan Jeffers' book, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” or listen to the audio book. Mind the thoughts you keep, strive for respectful, interdependent healthy relationships, know what you stand for and what you won’t stand for. And just as importantly, learn how to defend/resource yourself in times of trouble.

Visit the Queensland Women's Week website

Welcome to Queensland Women’s Week at IMPACT! 

To celebrate the event, which runs over 11 days from today, March 3 to 14, we will be sharing a series of Q&A stories with some of our exceptional female staff from across the organisation. 

And what better way to begin the week than with a woman who needs no introduction; IMPACT's Managing Director Tanya O’Shea. 

Celebrating Queensland Women's Week: A Q&A series

What is your role at IMPACT, why do you enjoy the work you do, and what drives you to be the best you can at your role?

I am the Managing Director of IMPACT Community Services.  I am inspired by people. People who turn up each day leaving their own issues at the door to support others. People who choose to improve their life or the lives of their family. People who stop engaging in behaviours that are harmful to themselves or others. People who recognise that they need support to make a change. This job has been a gift, inspiring me to push boundaries, challenge myself and contribute – give back to something way bigger than me.

Who is the woman who has inspired you most in your life?

Professor Helen Huntly, OAM. Helen was my teacher in high school, my boss when I started working as a part-time aerobics instructor and is one of my current bosses (as a Director on the IMPACT Board). Her commitment to the education sector and dedication to community capacity-building is an inspiration.

What are their exceptional qualities?

It feels like Helen has been my informal mentor, cheering me on from the sidelines my entire working life! She never sweats the small stuff, is genuine, responsive and not afraid to tell me what I need to hear. Most important of all, she believes in me, reminding me that I have got everything that I need already within myself to do what needs to be done. She empowers in a way that leaves me feeling like 'I have got this.'

Do you have a personal anecdote about them?

Helen comes from a health and fitness background, having been a secondary school PE teacher and part-time aerobics instructor before commencing at CQUniversity over 20 years ago. Even though her job is incredibly demanding, she still runs 5km daily, nowadays referring to her exercise routine as more of slow shuffle than an energetic dash!

What is your message to young women today who are trying to make their mark?

In the words of Judy Garland, ‘Always aim to be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else’. Having role models and mentors is important, however to build trust and strong relationships, you need to be comfortable enough in yourself to be yourself. You cannot do that if you are always trying to be like someone else. Remember, you have got this.

Visit the Queensland Women's Week website

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" IS A WEEKLY COLUMN WHERE TANYA EXPLORES KEY ISSUES. TODAY TANYA TALKS ABOUT DATA IN BUSINESS.

Being informed in business is a pivotal aspect in achieving ongoing success.

Knowing your audience, exploring the demand, and being nimble enough to pivot to remain relevant are important aspects of running a profitable business.

Offering something that people want or need is ideal, but how do we stay informed about our consumers and up to date with demand?

This is where data comes in.

Understanding the power of data

STRONGER TOGETHER: Utilising data in businessOperating solely on word-of-mouth often isn’t enough these days, and it leaves businesses at risk of becoming irrelevant and wondering why.

Through data collection, businesses and organisations can identify who their target market is, how their consumers know about them, what marketing material they respond to and how to keep them engaged.

With this knowledge businesses are given a sense of clarity that can be used in a number of ways.

IMPACT is currently on a data journey; we know how important data is and we are striving to improve the way we capture, store, manage and use data to fulfil our vision.

We have developed a data strategy with the purpose of harnessing existing and future organisational data to integrate day to day operations and improve decision making.

The aim is to improve the way that we do things, including the quality of services that we deliver to our customers.

We value feedback and want to better understand what participants want to ensure that we are delivering the programs and services needed; not those that we think are relevant.

STRONGER TOGETHER: Try an attitude of gratitude

Using data to inform business decisions

We understand data is a strategic asset that helps us become more informed.

For example, a recent perception survey we conducted found one-third of our consumers were not seeing us on social media.

Knowing this, we have been able to target other areas outside of social media where potential clients might see us and feel the desire to engage with our programs.

Feedback surveys are one example of data collection that can be used to improve services and customer experience, which can also assist with streamlining business workflows and have a significant impact on strategies and processes.

It can also be used for our website, so people can find the information they need much more quickly.

Put simply, data can help inform any business decision we make, while also supporting us to meet the changing needs of our customers.

Data collection and marketing strategies can at times attract a distasteful reputation, which is why it’s important businesses know their responsibilities and have a secure means of storing information when collecting data.

Your business relies on consumers returning to provide repeat business, so respect for them and their privacy should always be of upmost importance.

STRONGER TOGETHER: Have the Ovarian Cancer conversation

JENNA Williams has been supported every step of the way on her journey to leadership at IMPACT Community Services.

IMPACT has a rich history of growing its own workforce and Jenna is the latest in a long line to benefit from the organisation’s approach of embracing on-the-job professional development.

Jenna, 33, joined IMPACT’s finance team in 2017.

Since then she has worked hard to upskill and in October, 2018, she took on the team leadership position.

Last year Jenna was selected by IMPACT management for a Foundation of Intentional Leadership program, run through the Institute of Mangers and Leaders.

Jenna said she nominated for the program because she wanted “to be the best I could for the team to help them succeed”.

She said the 12-week program, which involved workshops in Brisbane and regular coaching sessions, armed her with the tools she needed to lead others.

IMPACT has also helped Jenna by financially contributing to her further studies in the accounting field.

“I’ve never worked for an organisation that cares so much about its staff as IMPACT,” Jenna said.

“When it comes to professional development, they really are invested.”

Jenna, a mum to seven-year-old Owen, said her journey into the world of finance wasn’t what she’d initially envisaged.

After completing her studies at Bundaberg North State High School, she moved to Brisbane and “having always been better at English than maths” put in place a plan to go to university to one day become a drama teacher.

But that pathway wasn’t for her.

Jenna’s career took off on a different trajectory after she landed a role at IMPACT.

She’d done some finance work at a previous job which helped get a foot in the door.

“I’ve really enjoyed the on-the-job learning,” said Jenna, who is a Zumba instructor outside of work.

“I didn’t think I’d end up where I am, but I love the role and we’ve got a really good team where everyone gets along and we all pitch in to help each other.”

She said the organisation’s leadership set a positive environment.

IMPACT’S chief executive Tanya O’Shea and many senior staff have all risen through the ranks.

“The management here focuses on developing staff,” Jenna said.

“I would recommend working at IMPACT to anyone.”

WHEN asked what makes IMPACT Community Services stand out from other employers, Anton Ranger responds with just one word: “positivity”. In his line of work, so-called ‘burn out’ is common.

“Some days as a disability support worker are hard, but the people - staff and participants – make it enjoyable to come to work every day,” Mr Ranger said.

“There is real camaraderie here; a friendly banter between staff. Managers have an open door policy and we are encouraged to debrief and talk openly in a confidential setting.

“We know we can drive out of here and leave it all behind at the end of the day, and pick it up in the morning.”

Part of a team

He said staff and clients were made to feel like they’re part of a team. 

“I get a real kick out of seeing how much participants have achieved in 12 months and then helping them set new goals,” Mr Ranger said. 

“There is a culture here at IMPACT that says all goals are worth pursuing. While some people may say certain outcomes are unrealistic for our participants, we see the value in the process.

“A drivers licence, for example: it may not be possible for all clients to attain the plastic card in their wallet at the end of the day, but we can help them learn road rules and develop comprehension skills. We can be a shining light to steer them in the right direction to reach their full potential.”

Mr Ranger said staff were encouraged to follow their individual interests and strengths at IMPACT.

“I’ve played in bands most of my life, and enjoy being involved in the IMPACT Community Choir. And at various times they’ve called on my previous work experience to contribute to other programs and teams,” he said.

Great work-life balance

The father of four had a varied career interstate and overseas in radio, aged care and remote indigenous services before his search for a better lifestyle led him to IMPACT.

“Bundaberg ticked all the boxes – great outdoor lifestyle, affordable and not too populated, but with all the amenities,” Mr Ranger said.

“Working at IMPACT, with a nine day fortnight and family first policy, has given me work-life balance.”

envelopephonemap-marker icon-angle icon-bars icon-times
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram