Jude Emmer, CEO Wesley Mission Queensland
Welcome to Wesley Mission Queensland’s quarterly newsletter Insight. Through Insight we will be sharing with you WMQ highlights and how our services are responding to sector issues.
We have hit the ground running in 2023 at Wesley Mission Queensland. Already this year we have launched our latest specialist disability accommodation offering and a free opt-in initiative for employees and volunteers to wear pronoun and LGTBQIA+ badges. Work continues on Stage 2 of Rosemount Retirement Living with completion on track for the end of October/early November.
Our staff were relieved to enjoy a Christmas that was considerably less challenging than the COVID-impacted year previously. We hope this continues as we all operate in a business-as-usual scenario that has adapted well to living with the impacts of the pandemic.
Getting some breathing room from COVID has allowed us to move forward with our transformation plans for the business. This is an exciting era for the organisation as we work to ensure we are agile enough to adapt to new opportunities, allowing us to provide more tailored services and programs for our customers. Key to this will be embracing new technology to create efficiencies and thinking creatively about what challenges the people we serve will be facing in the future and how we can make sure we are able to respond appropriately.
Thank you for your continued interest in Wesley Mission Queensland and the services we provide.
CEO Wesley Mission Queensland
Wesley Mission Queensland has opened its thirteenth specialist disability accommodation, a collaboration with government and the property industry that has resulted in six brand new homes for people living with high care needs.
WesleyCare Murarrie, a $4.5 million development featuring world-class high physical support features and contemporary design, has opened to help address the shortage in specialist disability accommodation.
Wesley Mission Queensland partnered with RF Corval and Community Housing Limited (CHL) on this project, a great example of how developers, government, industry and the community can work together to build, equip and support living environments that young people with high care needs can choose to live in comfortably and safely.
Learn more about WesleyCare Murrarie.
We are also bringing six new SDA apartments at Hope Island to market. Applications are being taken now. Please contact [email protected] for more information and inspection bookings.
Progress continues on Stage 2 at Rosemount Retirement Living which will offer 50 new two and three-bedroom apartments at Sinnamon Park in Brisbane’s west.
Rosemount Tynan, as Stage 2 will be known, comprises three integrated buildings – East, Central and West.
Building started in May 2022 and has now reached construction of the final/top level (Level 4) with the project due to be completed towards the end of October/early November 2023.
A further milestone has been the commencement of the glazing system which starts to change the way the construction looks, slowly changing the look from a construction site to a home.
These apartments have been designed to cater to the “modern” retiree, with research finding potential buyers were interested in bigger spaces, hence the redesign to two and three bedrooms. Other features include European appliances and an electric car station for the use of residents.
For more information, see Rosemount at Sinnamon Park.
Last year we announced our WMQ 2032 Project, positioning Wesley Mission Queensland to meet future opportunities and challenges. We are proud of our long history of supporting people in need, but as a forward-thinking organisation we know we must be agile enough to adapt to changing environments and embrace new technologies, research and data.
By growing our capabilities and collaborating both internally and externally we will not only continue to support older people, and those living on the margins but also help address issues facing the sector. Those that require urgent attention include workforce shortages and housing affordability and supply. We are also focused on support for families and individuals living with a disability and mental health challenges.
We want to embrace the opportunities the 2032 Olympic Games will bring to the region and are optimistic about what kind of changes we might see from such a major global event.
Our Organisational Transformation team has been actively engaging with all levels of staff across the organisation to ensure we capture feedback and insights from our people on the frontline. The stories from our customers are integral as we look at ways, we may redefine the organisation to ensure it stays relevant and sustainable.
It is an exciting time for the organisation, and we are energised by this project and the benefits it will have for our customers, staff and the community.
At Wesley Mission Queensland, we believe in creating an inclusive and safe environment for all individuals, including those who identify as LGBTIQA+. That's why we've launched a free opt-in initiative for employees and volunteers to own a set of pronoun and LGBTIQA+ badges.
The badges serve as a symbol of inclusivity, allyship and can make a big difference in breaking down barriers and creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere for all employees and clients.
In order to receive the badges, interested employees and volunteers must complete an online training course that educates and builds awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the workplace. It helps participants reflect on their own values and social perspectives as well as learn about inclusive language, key concepts of allyship and specific actions that can improve social and cultural aspects of DEI.
We are proud of our diverse workforce and client group and hope this strengthens our positive culture which supports people to be their true selves.
A quarterly newsletter from WMQ's CEO Jude Emmer.
I write to you in the wake of the federal budget, which was announced late last month. There were few surprises and we are pleased the budget delivered in line with expectations of the aged care sector. We are hopeful the measures being introduced to combat homelessness and workforce shortages will make a real difference however, we know there is a long road ahead. While largely categorised in the media as a ‘safe’ budget, our work in the community shows us that many people are feeling anything but safe.
Inflation, interest rate rises, the housing crisis and skyrocketing cost of living expenses have combined to create a perfect storm for many of those who were already under pressure. What we are also seeing in our emergency relief services are people having to access help for the first time.
While the state of the world can feel a bit bleak at times, we are heartened by our ability to make a positive on the lives of those doing it tough. We are reminded of our mission to walk alongside those in need, and the commitment of our people to this mission remains unwavering. We will continue to advocate for funding and services to support those who are vulnerable or marginalised, and we welcome any opportunities to work together to address the challenges facing the community.
As we move into the festive season, I wish you a restful and relaxing time spent with family and friends and all the best for the new year.Warm wishes,
To celebrate Queensland Seniors Month, we asked seniors in our communities to share their stories. Our 60 Second Seniors video series is a heartwarming and inspiring look at what you can continue to achieve with a positive spirit, a good sense of humour and strong connections to family and the wider community. From a hypnotist-cum-magician to the tale of a travelling harmonica and everything in between, these are stories worth being told.
The Brisbane North Safe Space Network initiative has been launched in Redcliffe to offer an alternative form of support for people experiencing distress and vulnerability.
As Network Coordinator of the community-based movement, WMQ will coordinate member organisations offering support in community spaces and places, away from hospital emergency departments.
Local businesses and community centres such as libraries, cafes, hairdresser outlets and more can sign up to be part of this ground zero network that aims to break down barriers to social isolation by creating a sense of belonging in the community.
“Seeking help when in distress or suicidal can be difficult with a system that is complex and that people often find difficult to navigate,” said Wesley Mission Queensland Safe Space Coordinator Nat Scott.
“The Safe Space Network creates a compassionate village in response to that problem by putting people at the heart,” said Ms Scott. “It is a joined-up approach that offers a warm pathway of care connecting people between safe spaces and safe places and vice versa. It is a unique model that we are piloting in North Brisbane.”
It is being piloted for the first time in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region with federal funding through the Department of Health’s Community Health and Hospitals Program (CHHP).
Wesley Mission Queensland has partnered with RF Corval to deliver six new state-of-the-art disability needs apartments in Brisbane’s East.
The $4.5 million development will now bring immeasurable value to six high-care needs Queenslanders who will live independently in a new home at Murarrie.
Wesley Mission Queensland’s General Manager for NDIS Joanna Thomson said the purpose of this new development, is to assist with reducing the housing shortage Australians with significant disability are facing.
“While more than 17,600 people with disabilities currently live in supported housing, an estimated 2,088 are still searching for suitable accommodation,” Ms Thomson said.
“Wesley Mission Queensland has 57 high care needs apartments available for Queenslanders living with a disability, but we are busy working on future growth in the sector. Our disability housing program is a great example of how developers, government, industry and the community can work together to build, equip and support living environments that young people with high care needs can choose to live in comfortably and safely.”
The spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments are world-class in terms of their high physical support features and contemporary design and are built to SDA [Specialist Disability Accommodation] standard. The development also boasts a communal rooftop terrace.
“At Wesley Mission Queensland we promote social interaction to ensure our clients can live independently, but also enjoy a social and happy life. The Terrace has outdoor dining, barbecue facilities and plenty of space for residents to host guests or just get outside and take in the view across the Murarrie Recreation Reserve.
“Wesley Mission Queensland provides the access to these new apartments and can deliver supported in-home independent living care services, including a 24/7 monitored emergency call system.”
The new apartments are located at 45 Northcliffe Street, Murarrie. They offer onsite parking, and are conveniently located close to transport, shops, recreation and other services.
For further information or to see an apartment please call Wesley Mission Queensland on 1300 207 162.
With Christmas just weeks away, thousands of Queenslanders are facing the reality that they may not have a Christmas meal this year.
Wesley Mission Queensland’s Red Bag Appeal aims to provide essential ingredients and gifts to families doing it tough. For services like our Emergency Relief Hub, which operates five days a week, they see this every day of the year. Operating since 1985, this service is one of the last remaining of its kind in Brisbane. Helping people from all walks of life, they provide a range of support options for people in need including food parcels, counselling, referrals and workshops.
What can start with a simple offer of food can lead to a conversation about further assistance for things like employment pathways, substance issues, mental health concerns and affordable housing.
Last year we provided over 1,000 Red Bags at Christmas time to men, women and children in these situations. They come to us when they have nowhere else to turn. This year, with the rising cost of living, we’re anticipating that figure to increase significantly.
It may not seem like much, but to the men, women and children who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, it means so much more. It means there is food to feed the kids, and themselves, with the money saved able to pay bills or maybe put petrol in the car so they can get to work. It also means that we’re supporting parents and individuals to make meals that are inexpensive, nutritious and filling.
Since I last wrote, Australians have voted in a change of government and we have been pleased to already see its commitment to helping the vulnerable and elderly in our communities. The government’s decision to raise the minimum wage will directly benefit our staff and clients, helping them adjust to the cost of living pressures so many of them are currently facing.
While we welcome this increase, we will continue to advocate for further support for aged care workers to help address the sector-wide workforce shortages, safeguard the sustainability of the industry and ensure workers are fairly remunerated.
WMQ's aim is to create an Australia where all individuals and communities can flourish.
To celebrate Reconciliation Week, WMQ hosted a Cultural Awareness Training Workshop for all staff to learn the distinction between Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country, as well as the effects of colonisation still felt in First Nations communities.
Like many of you, COVID-19 once again dominated the start of our year as borders opened and community transmission quickly spread. Our staff have done an incredible job of managing our homes during this time, but we too faced the unfortunately common challenges of staff shortages, limited access to RATs (in the early days), waste disposal and visitor restrictions.
We have now had two years of living with this virus, and we continue to feel the ripple effects as we navigate this new environment with the knowledge that life as we knew it pre-COVID may never return.
There is no denying the past two years have been a trying time for many people. Small business and their staff have been hit by the impacts of COVID-19 and recent floods in Queensland and New South Wales.
Wesley Mission Queensland offers a range of mental health services that can specifically help with some of the effects these challenging times have had on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
We are delighted to announce the Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, as Hummingbird House’s new patron.
Wesley Mission Queensland’s Hummingbird House provides short break stays, family support services and end-of-life and after death care for children with life-limiting conditions.
Wesley Arts takes centre stage
Newly-formed service Wesley Arts has launched, continuing WMQ’s strong history of recognising the benefits the arts provide for people living with disability, or on the margins.