00 9 Annual Report by qkz10053

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									                                                                                                                                                                    2009 Annual Report

         HEAD OFFICE :
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         Woolloongabba QLD 4102
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EM PL OYM E NT SERV ICES                AC Q U IRED B RAIN IN J U RY S U P P O RT S E RVI C E                        RE S I D E N TI AL S U P P O RT SE RV I CE   THE ‘DO IT’ CLUB   P E R SO NA L H E LP E R S & ME NTO R S P RO GR A M   LI FELON G P LA N N IN G SUP P ORT P ROGRA M




         BAYSIDE:                           CABOOLTURE:                                         IPSWICH:
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         openminds.org.au
acknOwledgeMents                                               2009 GeoGraphiCal
Open Minds would like to acknowledge and thank the following
organisations for their funding and support:
                                                               map

                                                                     Gympie

                                                                               Noosa Heads
                                                                             Nambour
                                                                             Maroochydore

                                                                                Caloundra




                                                                               Strathpine


                                                                                   Brisbane


                                                                                       Beenleigh
                                                                   Ipswich
         Queensland Health
                                                                                            Nerang




Community Partners
Our mission
Open Minds supports people with mental illness,
intellectual disability or acquired brain injury to
live independently and well within the community.

                                                                 Our Vision
                                  Our vision is for an organisation trusted, respected
                      and valued for supporting individual recovery and achievement,
                                       with quality services delivered by professional,
                                                     well trained and supported staff.
Contents
chair report                                                                         4
ceO report                                                                           5
Board of directors                                                                   6
governance and strategic Planning                                                   10
Organisational chart                                                                12
Marketing and communications                                                        16
earle duus award                                                                    18
service delivery and Programs                                                       21
Milestones                                                                          34
client testimonials                                                                 38
chair report
i am pleased to present to you the 2009 annual report of Open Minds.                Open Minds succeeded in delivering
                                                                                    services to our clients through a number
during 2008–2009, Open Minds continued to work towards achieving our
                                                                                    of key partnerships with state and federal
stated goals of supporting people with mental illness, intellectual disability or
                                                                                    government agencies, and i would like to
acquired brain injury to live independently and well in the community.
                                                                                    thank them for their continued cooperation
i am pleased to report that our operations towards those goals were                 and support for our organisation and its
achieved in a profitable manner.                                                    programs throughout 2008-2009.
the Board continued to review the strategic plan for the future of                  we continue to observe an increase in acceptance and awareness of
the organisation during the year and was pleased to note satisfactory               mental illness in the community due in part to improving positive media
achievement of the plan. this plan includes strategy to expand the                  coverage and awareness of mental illness. Open Minds contributes to
operations of the organisation in a responsible and controlled manner,              this by presenting the earle duus award for outstanding achievement
based on appropriate opportunities that may present themselves                      during Queensland health’s annual Mental health week achievement
and are within our financial capacity. The strategy has included tender             awards. a number of very worthy groups and individuals in the
submissions for government programs this year and we will continue to               community are recognised at these awards, and Open Minds was
assess other opportunities as they arise.                                           delighted to see the 2009 earle duus award to the Brook recovery,
                                                                                    empowerment and development (red) centre.
we recognise that over half of the current services provided by
Open Minds is funded by disability services Queensland and that the                 we have made key staff appointments during 2008–2009, which will
funding provided to deliver those services is highly constrained. the gap           continue to strengthen the management of the organisation. i would like
between funding provided and the true cost of service delivery means                to thank our staff and management for their hard work in supporting
that Open Minds is required to subsidise the delivery of these services             our clients and the organisation.
and maintain and replace assets employed.                                           i would especially like to thank our ceO, Bernard wilson, and the
the organisation focused this year on how this funding will be provided             members of his leadership team who have each contributed greatly to
in future years and the fundraising initiatives by Open Minds which will be         our ongoing, successful and efficient delivery of services.
necessary to meet this demand. a fundraising strategy was developed and             i would like to acknowledge and thank the present Board members for
adopted and resources were dedicated to this task during the year.                  their commitment to Open Minds during the year. i greatly appreciate
in 2008–2009, Open Minds experienced growth in services and service                 their substantial commitment and expertise.
delivery. achievements included:
                                                                                    i mention, in particular, the deputy chair Mike gilmour, treasurer and
•   Review and implementation of the strategic plan for Open Minds.                 Finance, compliance and risk committee chair, louise cox, Board
                                                                                    members claude huddy and elissa Morriss who have provided years of
•   Development of a fundraising strategy.
                                                                                    service, and our newest members Jacqui hardman and Paul Mazerolle
•   Targeted service growth to meet community needs and prudent                     for volunteering their time and expertise to ensuring the responsible
    operations management to deliver services across each of our                    governance of Open Minds.
    established areas, including Personal helpers & Mentors Program
                                                                                    upon my retirement this year as the chair of Open Minds, i would
    (PhaMs), employment services, lifestyle & community Participation,
                                                                                    also like to thank each of the current and past Board members who
    and our acquired Brain injury support service.
                                                                                    have given their time and service to Open Minds during my time on
Opportunities for growth and improved performance by our                            the Board and as the chair wish the best of fortune to the Board, the
organisation in the future include:                                                 management and the organisation for the future.
•   Continued focus on our Acquired Brain Injury Support Service to
    deliver increased and enhanced services to the wider community.
•   Ongoing participation in the Employment Services market, which is
    currently being reorganised by the federal government.
•   Other government-funded programs appropriate to our skills and                  ted stewart
    abilities in our geographic sphere.                                             chair


4         OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
ceO report
Open Minds has performed strongly in 2008–2009 in delivering our
mission to provide community-based support to people with mental
illness, intellectual disability or acquired brain injury. the organisation
provided a sound commercial result and we look to the future with
confidence and capacity.
                                                                              emerging new disability employment services (des) policy
Open Minds’ service provision includes: lifestyle, community                  platform. the federal government wound down the Personal
Participation and residential programs; our acquired Brain injury (aBi)       support Program (PsP) in June 2009, and the disability
Support Service; our Disability Employment Service; and five Personal         employment network (den) will be replaced in early 2010
helpers and Mentors (PhaMs) services.                                         with a reformatted des Program B. Open Minds employment services
                                                                              has the capacity to respond to these changes and continue to support
at the heart of what we do is a commitment to working alongside
                                                                              up to 200 job seekers as they prepare for, find and sustain suitable
individuals and focusing on their strengths to enable individual
                                                                              open employment.
achievement and recovery. this principle guides our staff to embrace the
standards and support services they would expect for themselves. we           the work of Open Minds continues to be strengthened by positive
believe our clients deserve the very best in support and we take very         relationships within the sector, the community and government. i take
seriously our responsibility to deliver.                                      this opportunity to express appreciation for our ongoing professional
                                                                              relationships with state government representatives from the
The 2008–2009 financial year was a period of consolidation and focus          department of communities – disability services, Queensland health,
as we continued our vital work in each of our program areas. Our              the acquired Brain injury Outreach service (aBiOs), and the federal
key focus is the professional service provided to the many hundreds           government department of Families, housing, community services
of clients we support across greater Brisbane each year, and the              and indigenous affairs (Fahcsia) and department of education,
professional support and development of our 150-plus staff.                   employment and workplace relations (deewr).
Open Minds achieved a sound financial position, reporting a net profit        in delivering our services to the community, i would like to thank the
of $283,000. income increased 25 per cent to $8.37 million, the growth        experienced and dedicated staff of Open Minds for their continuing
mainly attributable to the full year effect of new PhaMs services and to      professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment. as a team we are
growth in the lifestyle and residential programs. Open Minds’ net assets      vigorously committed to delivering client and stakeholder satisfaction
increased seven per cent to $3.86 million.                                    and pursuing systemic and performance improvements.
Our lifestyle support services, with funding from department of               i would also like to thank the Board of Open Minds for their sound and
communities – disability services, represents more than half of Open          principled governance of our organisation, in particular the chair ted
Minds’ funded programs and provides intensive and extensive support           stewart, the deputy chair Mike gilmour, and the Finance, compliance
to more than 100 clients. these services incorporate ongoing support          and risk committee chair louise cox for their leadership and advice.
for Project 300 (P300) participants, adult lifestyle support (alsP) and       to directors claude huddy, elissa Morris and our newest Board
residential support.                                                          members Paul Mazerolle and Jacqui hardman, and on behalf of all
Our acquired Brain injury (aBi) support service continues to support          the stakeholders of Open Minds, i extend my appreciation for their
individuals living with and recovering from brain injury and we continue      substantial and generous commitment of time and expertise.
to promote and develop our capacity to meet community needs for               Open Minds looks to the year ahead with confidence and optimism,
these services.                                                               seeking growth and sustainability and, most importantly, quality,
The PHaMs program is highly valued for offering flexible, personalised        expertise, effectiveness and accountability in all the services we provide.
services to people living with severe mental illness. Our five PHaMs sites
in inner Brisbane, south Brisbane, Bayside, ipswich and caboolture have
additionally brought considerable added expertise to the Open Minds
team, which is providing benefits across the organisation.
employment services experienced a year of considerable change and             Bernard wilson
demand owing to new government policy and the introduction of Job             Chief Executive Officer
services australia, which replaced the former Job network, and an


                                                                                                                                                        5
BOard OF DireCtors
                                                Queensland, a director of the south east
                                                alliance of general Practitioners and
                                                a director of the Metropolitan south
                                                institute of taFe. Previous appointments as
                                                a director, company secretary and senior
                                                financial and commercial management
                                                positions have included the uniting
                                                healthcare group, royal Flying doctor
                                                service, Boystown Family care and James
Edward Stewart (Ted)                            hardie industries ltd. Mike has been a        Elissa Morriss
chair                                           director of Open Minds since May 2005.        director
ted stewart is the chair of the Board of
                                                                                              elissa Morriss is a neuropsychologist
directors of Open Minds and has served
                                                                                              employed part-time with the Acquired Brain
as a director since november 1986. For
                                                                                              injury Outreach service of Queensland
more than 10 years from 1986 to 1996,
                                                                                              health. elissa has worked as a psychologist
he was a partner in the law firm Flower &
                                                                                              in the area of community rehabilitation
hart solicitors. he is currently the managing
                                                                                              with individuals with acquired brain injury
director of Moonstruck Group, a family-
                                                                                              for 20 years and is also a part-time tribunal
owned hospitality and property investment
                                                                                              member with the guardianship and
business operating Vino’s restaurant and
                                                                                              administration tribunal, Queensland. elissa
Bar, eagle street Pier and city and stewarts
                                                                                              is a churchill Fellow (2005) with interests
Wine Co, Qld, a family-owned business
                                                                                              including the management of challenging
since 1905.
                                                Claude Huddy                                  behaviour and brain injury education. elissa
                                                director                                      has been a director of Open Minds since
                                                claude huddy is the national programs         september 2003.
                                                and contract manager for sarino russo
                                                Job access. For the previous 26 years he
                                                was employed by the then department
                                                of employment and workplace relations
                                                (dewr) as senior contract manager
                                                for the Job network, commonwealth
                                                employment service regional manager and
                                                the south Brisbane area programs manager.
Mike Gilmour                                    he was a director and chairman of BaBi
deputy chair                                    Youth & Family support from 1982–2002,
dip acctg, MBa, FcPa, Faicd                     a Wynnum-based organisation supporting        Louise Cox
                                                homeless youth through the provision
Mike gilmour is a professional accountant                                                     Finance, compliance and risk
and experienced chief financial officer and     of accommodation and other specialised
                                                support services. claude has been a
                                                                                              committee chair
has particular experience in the health and                                                   BBus(Mgt), BBus(accy), llB(hons), llM,
manufacturing sectors. he is an experienced     director of Open Minds since
                                                                                              graddiplegalPrac, FcPa, Ftia, FaiM, Maicd
company secretary and director with             september 1994.
                                                                                              louise cox is both an accountant and
a strong commitment to corporate                                                              solicitor, currently working as the general
governance and the not-for-profit sector.                                                     manager for raj lawyers. she holds degrees
he is president of the Queensland division                                                    in law, accounting and marketing and is a
of cPa australia, a director of the centre
for rural and remote Mental health



6        OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
fellow certified practising accountant (FCPA).
louise has worked principally in the role of
chief finance officer for both not-for-profit
and for-profit organisations over a period of
16 years. She sits on a number of not-for-
profit boards and is on the executive of
the caxton legal centre inc’s management
committee. louise has been a director of
Open Minds since February 2005.                  Professor Paul Mazerolle
                                                 director
                                                 Professor Paul Mazerolle is director of
                                                 the key centre for ethics, law, Justice and
                                                 governance and the Violence research
                                                 and Prevention Program at Griffith
                                                 university. he is also a research associate
                                                 at the centre for Youth at risk, st thomas
                                                 university, canada, and editor of the
                                                 australian and new Zealand Journal of
                                                 criminology. Paul undertakes research into
Jacqueline Hardman (Jacqui)                      the processes that shape criminal offending
director                                         across the life course, the consequences
Jacqui hardman is the managing director          of violent victimisation for criminal
of Hardman Recruitment, a Brisbane-based         offending, youth violence, and intimate
company specialising in legal, accounting and    partner violence. he is engaged in a series
hr recruitment with connections in sydney,       of funded research projects examining
Melbourne, adelaide and the uk. Jacqui           juvenile offending behaviour, repeat violent
holds a Master of Business administration        victimisation, intimate partner homicide, and
from the university of Queensland and            violence around licensed establishments.
prior to her current position held a             Many of these projects address offending
number of senior management positions in         behaviour, including violence pertaining to
Brisbane, including chief executive officer      indigenous and non-indigenous people. Paul
of a commercial law firm and director            holds a Phd in criminology, a Masters in
of the legal & human resources division          criminal Justice and a Bachelor in sociology.
at davidson recruitment. as a seasoned           Paul has been a director of Open Minds
professional in the legal and human              since June 2009.
resources arena, Jacqui has vast experience
in understanding recruitment and business
management practices. Jacqui holds current
memberships with the Queensland law
society, australian human resources
institute, australian institute of Management
and women in Finance. Jacqui has been a
director of Open Minds since January 2009.




                                                                                                 7
senior ManageMent teaM




Bernard Wilson
Chief Executive Officer
MBa
Bernard has more than 20 years’ leadership       Janifer Willis
and management experience and has held           Chief Financial Officer
various senior roles and consultancies           B.Bus (acc), cPa                              Julie Williams
within not-for-profit organisations, including   Janifer commenced with Open Minds in
more than eight years specialising in                                                          client services Manager
                                                 September 2008 as a specialist in the not-
disability services and the community sector.    for-profit sector, where she has worked for
                                                                                               dip appsc (hrcs)
Bernard commenced with Open Minds                                                              Julie brings a wealth of experience and
                                                 more than 14 years. Prior to Open Minds,
in early 2007. His qualifications include a                                                    passion for quality service delivery to
                                                 Janifer worked as the finance manager
Masters of Business administration and he                                                      the role of client services manager. with
                                                 at save the children Queensland, the
has a passion for business, communications                                                     10 years’ service at Open Minds, Julie
                                                 australian red cross Queensland and the
and team building.                                                                             has worked across our service divisions,
                                                 ipswich turf club. Janifer has a Bachelor
                                                                                               including the acquired Brain injury support
                                                 in Business (accounting) and is a
                                                                                               service and the lifestyle support service.
                                                 qualified CPA.
                                                                                               Moving into the disability sector following
                                                                                               completion of tertiary studies in applied
                                                                                               science, human services and community
                                                                                               services management, Julie has extensive
                                                                                               knowledge and experience in psychosocial
                                                                                               rehabilitation and recovery-orientated
                                                                                               practices in mental health.




8         OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
Suzanne Desailly
Program Manager, Personal helpers
and Mentors Program (PhaMs)
B.Psych, Postgrad dip clinical Psych         Rae Corbin
suzanne has a background in clinical         human resources Manager
psychology and has worked in mental          dip Bus (hr), dip appsci
health and acute terms for the past 12       rae’s background includes a variety of roles
years. Before joining Open Minds in          – human resources, office management           Paul Hethorn
december 2007, suzanne was senior            and management of her own business in          employment services Manager
psychologist at Pine rivers Private          the medical industry. Before joining Open      B.Behsc
hospital – a specialist mood, anxiety        Minds, rae held the role of manager and        Paul completed a Bachelor of Behavioral
and substance disorders inpatient unit.      hr generalist in the development of a          science in 1997 and entered into the
Prior to that, suzanne travelled overseas    start-up company in the health field and       employment services industry in 2000.
and spent five years working in mental       has previous experience with chandler          Over the years, Paul has diversified his
health for the national health service       Macleod (recruitment). rae has also            knowledge and experience across several
in the united kingdom. while in the uk,      worked for the leukaemia Foundation in         federal government-funded employment
suzanne managed roundwood Psychiatric        an executive assistant and hr capacity. her    programs, focusing on the disadvantaged,
day service in london and worked             qualifications include a Diploma in Human      disability and mental health areas. he has
as a psychiatric intake officer for Brent    resources and diploma in applied science       also travelled extensively overseas and has
community Mental health services. Before     and she holds certificates in marketing and    lived and worked in china. Prior to joining
moving overseas, suzanne worked as a         recruitment and selection. rae has won a       Open Minds in February 2008, Paul opened
psychologist with the community mental       scholarship with the australian                and managed a centacare employment
health team and the acute care team of the   institute of Management and is now             office in Maroochydore – delivering
townsville district integrated Mental        studying a post-graduate Certificate in        job network, disability employment and
health services.                             Professional Management.                       personal support services.

                                                                                                                                      9
GoVernanCe and strateGiC planninG
GoVernanCe                                                         Corporate soCial responsibility (Csr)
the governance processes of Open Minds are managed and             the Board and management of Open Minds recognise the
overseen by an experienced and professional Board of directors.    importance of the environment and community in the conduct
                                                                   of its service and business activities.
the Open Minds governance framework has been drawn from
asX governance Principles, and it forms the basis of the Open      whilst the nature of our services to the community and those
Minds governance processes.                                        facing disadvantage are the mainstay of our csr aspirations
                                                                   Open Minds increasingly seeks to understand and manage the
in addition to the Board of directors meetings, formal Board
                                                                   impact of the organisation upon the environment and the wider
committees include the Finance, compliance and risk (Fcr),
                                                                   community. Open Minds is working actively to limit its carbon
committee, governance committee and remuneration
                                                                   footprint.
committee.
the Board conducts an annual strategic Planning process to
develop and ensure appropriate planning mechanisms and
measurements are in place and are implemented. such plans
are monitored and periodically evaluated and adapted to
ensure currency with the Open Minds mission and the changing
marketplace and environment.
the Open Minds strategic summary document which offers
insight into aspects of our planning process, and our governance
policies and constitution are available at openminds.org.au




10      OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
GoVernanCe FraMewOrk




                                                             Open Minds australia
                                                                Governance Structure
                                         supporting people with mental illness, intellectual disability or acquired brain injury

         Finance Compliance and                                                 Members                              Governance Committee
              Risk Committee
     Finance, compliance, risk, audit and it                                                                            governance framework
                                                                                                                          and principles, board
                      Board Working Party                                                 Board                      nominations, corporate social
                   remuneration of Board, ceO and                                                                    responsibility, and appropriate
                  senior staff who report to the ceO                                                                    stakeholder engagement

                               Financial auditors
                                                                             delegation
  Independent Assurance




                                                                                                  accountability



                               des accreditation

                               dss accreditation

                               rtO accreditation
                                                                                                                       clients and families
                          deewr compliance reviews
                                                                                          CEO
                                                                                                                              staff
                          Fahcsia compliance reviews




                                                                                                                                                       Stakeholders
                                                                                                                         Funding bodies
                             client advisory group
                                                                  Senior                                              donors/benefactors
Consultative




                                                                                                      Company
                                academic and/or                 Management                            Secretary
  Forums




                                                                   Team
                              institutional Forums                                                                          Members

                                  Peak Bodies                                                                                Patron

                              industry associations                      Open Minds staff                                 community



                                                                                                                                                           11
 orGanisational chart


                                                                            BOARD OF DIRECTORS


                                                                                               Chief Executive
                                                                                                   Officer

                                                                     Executive
                                                                     Assistant


          CLIENT SERVICES                            EMPLOYMENT SERVICES                                                    PHAMS                               CORPORATE SERVICES

                 Client Services                            Employment Services                                      Personal Helpers & Mentors            Communications        Chief Financial
                     Manager                                     Manager                                                  Program Manager                   & Fundraising            Officer
                                                                                                                                                              Manager

                                                                                                                                                               Quality
                                                                                   Employer                       Team Leader         Team Workers x 5         Manager          Assistant
 ABI Coordinator              Lifestyle Support    DEN Coordinator               Engagement
                                                                                  Consultant                     Inner Brisbane          Peer Support                          Accountant
                              Coordinators x 3
                                                                                                                                         Worker x 1        Human Resources
ABI Senior Support                                  Employment                                                                                                Manager            Payroll
   Workers x 2                                      Consultant –
                                                      DEN x 5                                                     Team Leader         Team Workers x 5                           Officer
                             LLS Senior Support                                                                  South Brisbane
                                Workers x 4                                                                                              Peer Support
  Support Team                                                                                                                           Worker x 1      HR & Training       Accounts Payable
     Worker                                                                                                                                               Coordinator            Assistant
                               Support Worker                                                                     Team Leader         Team Workers x 5
   ABI Service                      Team                                                                           Caboolture            Peer Support                         Administration
  Development
    Manager                                                                                                                              Worker x 1      Receptionists          Assistant
                                   Residential
                                   Coordinator                                     Lifelong Planning              Team Leader         Team Workers x 5                            Asset
                                                                                    Support Officer                  Bayside             Peer Support                            Manager
                             RES Senior Support                                                                                          Worker x 1
                                Workers x 2                                                                                                                                   IT & Systems
                                                                                                                  Team Leader         Team Workers x 5                           Support
                             Residential Support                                                                     Ipswich             Peer Support
                                Worker Team                                                                                              Worker x 1




 12           OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
13
FinanCe,
inFormation                                           Financial Performance                           Revenue
                                                                                                      Expenses
                                                                                                      Surplus

teChnoloGy and                                        9,000,000
                                                      8,000,000



aDministration
                                                      7,000,000
                                                      6,000,000
                                                      5,000,000
                                                      4,000,000

in 2008–2009, Open Minds returned an operating        3,000,000
                                                      2,000,000
surplus of $283,000 compared to an operating
                                                      1,000,000
surplus of $145,354 in 2007–2008. Operating
                                                                0
surpluses are necessary to help fund capital                         2009           2008            2007
                                                      -1,000,000
expenditure that is not typically funded by
recurrent government subsidies. surpluses
are also required to build a buffer of reserve
funds for any future unexpected events. the           Revenue breakdown                     ABI
current year operating surplus is 3.4 per cent                                              Disability Services
                                                                      1.9%                  Employment
of operating revenue (2008: 2.2 per cent). this                              8.4%
                                                                                            Services
represents only 13 days operating expenditure            29.2%                              Other Income
for Open Minds, (2008: eight days).                                                         PHaMs
                                                                                            Investment Income
income increased by 25 per cent to $8.37
million for the year. this increase is attributable
                                                         0.5%
to the five Personal Helpers and Mentors                                            49.2%
(PhaMs) programs operating for the                           10.8%

full 12-month period for the first time.
additionally, there has been an increase in
government grants from both disability
services for our lifestyle and residential             Financial Position                         Total Assets
programs and department of education,                                                             Total Liability
employment and workplace relations                                                                Total Equity
                                                       7,000,000
(deewr) for our employment services.
                                                       6,000,000
Open Minds’ financial position strengthened
                                                       5,000,000
during the year with closing net assets of
$3.86 million, an increase of seven per cent.          4,000,000

                                                       3,000,000
cash balances and reserves at year end
                                                       2,000,000
remained strong at $2.92 million. Other
asset movements included improved                      1,000,000

receivables balances and a decrease in the                       0
                                                                     2009            2008            2007
market value of financial assets.




14       OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
Expenses breakdown                          Employee Benefits     Twenty-three vehicles are currently leased and are represented
                                            Expense
          17.8%
                                                                  by the interest bearing liability balance of $302,000. it is planned
                                            Depreciation and
                                            Amortisation          that these vehicles will be repurchased on termination of the
                                            Other Expenses        lease, early in the next financial year. An additional five vehicles
   3.6%
                                                                  for the PhaMs teams were taken on under operating leases in
                                                                  addition to the existing 20 vehicles already leased.
                                                                  the total liability balance of $2.2 million includes $1.1 million in
                                                                  deferred income and funds received in advance.
                                78.6%
                                                                  the breakdown of expenses is consistent with the previous
                                                                  years with the Employee Benefits expense representing 78.6 per
                                                                  cent of the operating expenditure. this highlights the essence of
                                                                  our motto of ‘people supporting people’.
                                                                  depreciation and amortisation is also in line with last year at 3.6
                                                                  per cent of expenditure, with no major capital investments being
Departmental breakdown                     Lifestyle and          made during the year.
                                           Residential Services
                  9.1%
                                           ABI
                                                                  Other expenses include the cost of the motor vehicle fleet and
      6.8%                                 PHaMs                  items such as insurance.
                                           Employment
                                           Services               the departmental breakdown highlights where the funds are
                                           Administration         spent. this graph provides a picture of our activity. although the
                                                                  lifestyle and residential support services remain our largest
  30.3%
                                                                  program, the importance and growing strength of the PhaMs
                                   45.5%
                                                                  program is highlighted.
                                                                  the 2008–2009 year represented a year of consolidating
                         8.3%
                                                                  performance for Open Minds and a strengthening of financial
                                                                  performance and position.
                                                                  the audited concise annual Financial report and full statutory
                                                                  annual Financial report for the year ended 30 June 2009 are
                                                                  available to members upon request or may be downloaded from
                                                                  openminds.org.au.




                                                                                                                                         15
marketinG
and CommuniCations
as we draw closer to Open Minds’ centenary of service in 2012,        as Open Minds’ services continue to
we continue to participate in community activities and events         grow, we continue to review and expand Nicola Payne
which showcase the organisation and provide opportunities for         our marketing and communications
fundraising, including the 2008 and 2009 Melbourne cup charity        efforts to raise awareness about why our work is so vital and
luncheons which raised $20,000. we thank the city of Brisbane         to maintain and strengthen our reputation within community,
lions club and Vino’s restaurant for their support in 2008 and        corporate and government circles.
Vino’s restaurant’s continued support for this event in 2009. we
also participated in disability action week and Mental health
week celebrations, which included Open Minds’ sponsorship
of the earle duus award for outstanding achievement at
Queensland health’s annual Mental health achievement awards.
additional marketing and fundraising in 2008–2009 resulted in
a $20,000 grant from the Gambling Benefit Community Fund,
which was used to improve space within the woolloongabba
office to facilitate meetings with clients, service providers and
potential sponsors.
in early 2009, we were delighted to receive sponsorship from
Flower & Hart Lawyers for our important client-led social and
peer support club, the ‘do it’ club. this sponsorship has been
allocated to the appointment of a peer facilitator. this person
will have experience of living with mental illness and through this
                                                                                               “we completed a
experience he or she will develop and lead a new peer-support                                 successful rebranding
program within the club. this sponsorship will enable the club
to expand its already vibrant social program, and we extend our                               of Open Minds’
appreciation to Flower & hart.
in 2008–2009 we completed a successful rebranding of Open
                                                                                              corporate logo and
Minds’ corporate logo and colours, which has strengthened our                                colours, which has
brand and recognition of the vital community services for which
we stand. the new logo colour is fresh and the logo represents                               strengthened our
how Open Minds builds a bridge between staff, clients,
community and our clients’ future. the ‘arc’ of our brand links                             brand and recognition
the two halves of the Open Minds name and represents Open
Minds reaching out to and supporting people with mental illness,                            of the vital community
intellectual disability or acquired brain injury.
                                                                                            services for which
Following the rebranding project, we have a fresh and
complementary brochure suite and marketing materials, including                             we stand.”
a new e-newsletter. These materials have been distributed
amongst the community and at various events in which Open
Minds has participated in during 2008–2009.

16       OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
                                      Celebrating the
                                                      Melbourne Cup
                                      Bernard Wilson,                Charity Luncheon
                                                      with event Maste                 , Open Minds CE
                                                                       r of Ceremonies                 O
                                                                                        Brett deHoedt




               eek Celebrations
Mental Health W




                                  Volunteers, prom
                                                  oting Open Mind
                                                                 s at the Melbou
                                                                                rne Cup Charity
                                                                                                  Luncheon

                                                                                                        17
earle Duus award
For the second consecutive year, Open Minds partnered Queensland             about earle Duus
health to present the Mental health achievement awards in 2009. the
awards are designed to acknowledge the achievement of individuals and        a Brisbane philanthropist, the late earle duus provided a bequest
organisations who have worked to improve understanding, awareness,           to Open Minds, from which Open Minds established the earle duus
service provision and the general betterment of the Queensland               Award. Earle Duus was a financial accountant and his passions were
community’s mental health. a total of seven awards, including Open           music and the arts.
Minds’ earle duus award are presented to the winners.                        his love of the australian bush resulted in frequent trips to
individuals and organisations were acknowledged and rewarded at              Queensland’s national parks, which he captured in the many landscape
the Queensland Mental health week achievement awards on 10                   paintings he produced in his later years. earle duus’s experiences
October at Parliament house in 2008 and in 2009 at the Victoria Park         in living with chronic depression motivated his bequest to enable
conference complex on 9 October.                                             continuing resources to be available to promote people and activities
                                                                             that improve the lives of people with mental illness.
congratulations to Brook recovery, empowerment and development
(red) centre, the winner of the 2009 earle duus award at the Mental
health achievement awards. the Brook red centre is a consumer                Winners oF the earle Duus aWarD
operated and driven non-government mental health service established         Celebrating 11 years
in 2000. the centre incorporates consumer input to their service activity,
management and governance structure, making them an industry leader          2009 – the Brook red centre
in adopting the principles and practice of the intentional Peer support      The Brook RED Centre is a mental health consumer-directed non-
approach in australia. with international links and networks in the usa      government organisation located on the inner southside of Brisbane,
and new Zealand, the centre provides programs and activities to 170          which promotes health and ability by developing a framework for
consumers residing in the Princess alexandra hospital catchment and          peer support with mental health consumers. it is an industry leader in
Metro south health district.                                                 adopting the principles and practice of the intentional Peer support
the Queensland Mental health achievement awards will once again be           approach in the mental health sector in australia.
held in partnership with Open Minds in 2010.                                 2008 – Mr sam thompson
                                                                             sam thompson has lived with the pain and stress of a mental illness
                                                                             but, with the support of his family, has turned this experience into a
                                                                             constructive and life-affirming challenge. In 2008, Sam completed an epic
                                                                             journey on his scooter covering more than 2000 kilometres between
                                                                             gladstone in Queensland and Mallacoota, Victoria.
                                                                             the motivation for sam’s journey was to promote awareness of suicide
                                                                             prevention amongst rural youth, and to provide moral support to
                                                                             teenagers and young adults by sharing his story. sam’s story is truly
                                                                             inspirational and provides hopes for others with mental health issues.

                                                                             2007 – Brain injury association of Queensland
                                                                             the Brain injury association of Queensland seeks to be the lead
                                                                             community-based organisation in Queensland providing support,
                                                                             advocacy and information to people with acquired brain injury (aBi),
                                                                             their families and to individuals or organisations that share the aBi
                                                                             experience in any way and for any reason.
                                                                             BiaQ was presented with the earle duus award for its website, which
                                                                             provides excellent and invaluable information for those living with or
                                                                             affected by brain injury.
2009 Earle Duus Award Winner, the Brook RED Centre and Open Minds
Chair Ted Stewart


18       OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
2006 – Micah Projects
Micah Projects is a not-for-profit organisation located in several areas
around Brisbane’s inner city, that responds to people who experience
exclusion, poverty, injustice and social isolation so that they may
experience inclusion, economic wellbeing, justice and connection within
their community of choice. Micah Projects was recognised for its work
on the problem of homelessness in Brisbane.

2005 – sailability Bayside
sailability is based at Manly and is part of a worldwide organisation that
gives people with a disability the opportunity to access a range of sailing
activities. sailability received the award for its achievements in advancing
the opportunities within yachting for people with disabilities, and for
promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities within all mainstream
yachting activities.

2004 – the Big issue
The Big Issue began in the UK in 1991 and has spread to five states
throughout australia. the magazine provides people experiencing a
range of disadvantages with an immediate opportunity to work, earn
an income and rebuild their lives. the Big issue was recognised for the
positive impact its fortnightly publication has made to the homeless,
long-term unemployed and individuals at risk of being socially excluded.

2003 – nundah house
nundah house provides access to a comprehensive range of
supported and mainstream community activities and groups for people
experiencing a mental health problem. nundah house was chosen for
the award to celebrate their achievement in advancing people with a
psychiatric disability within the community.

2001 – Ms dianne spence
2000 – Mr Malcolm campbell
                                                                               2008 Earle Duus Award Winner, Sam Thompson
1999 – Mrs denise ryan                                                         and Open Minds CEO Bernard Wilson




                  Queensland Health
                                                                               2009 Mental Health Award winners



                                                                                                                            19
employment serVices
                        Open Minds’ employment services                 access to up-to-date
                        provides employment programs and                information on local
                        support for the purpose of increasing           employment opportunities,
                        the participation in open employment            career pathways and
                        of people who are experiencing                  training options.
                        disadvantage, disability or mental illness.
                        in 2008–2009 these programs were the
                        Personal support Program (PsP) and
disability employment network (den) program.
until June 2009, Open Minds successfully conducted the PsP in
contractual partnership with Ostara australia. in 2008–2009 we
guided and assisted more than 100 people experiencing significant
non-vocational barriers in returning to the workforce. Among
our clients’ achievements was the nomination of two of our PsP
participants, James and adam, for the Ostara national awards’
inaugural BraVe award. James won the award and adam received
a high commendation. as the PsP was folded into the new Job
services australia (Jsa) program from July 2009, employment             (L–R) Open Minds Employment Services Manager Paul Hethorn, award
services no longer delivers that program but continues to offer         winner James, Open Minds CEO Bernard Wilson
and develop a range of employment supports and other initiatives        and Ostara Representative
including our den program.
Our den program is dedicated to assisting people who encounter
barriers to finding meaningful and sustainable employment. In           Building cOnFidence and MOtiVatiOn
2008–2009 we worked with many supportive employers who                  thrOugh Our JOB cluB
offered excellent employment opportunities to our clients.
we also secured more work experience prospects for clients,             a job seeker with aspergers syndrome initially had anxieties
which took the front seat in light of the global economic crisis. in    about attending Open Minds’ Job club environment. her
doing this we have been able to more broadly demonstrate to             Employment Consultant discussed Job Club, the benefits of
local employers the business benefits of employing people with          attending, what the environment was like, the activities that would
disability and mental illness. during the year, a large percentage of   be undertaken and the supportive nature of other participants.
work experience opportunities were converted to permanent               the job seeker agreed to give our Job club a go. she was
employment with supportive and enthusiastic employers.                  supported by her consultant through her anxieties and fear of
                                                                        participation, took part in assisted job search activities and was
Our Job club continues to present positive outcomes for clients,
                                                                        empowered to undertake self-directed job search. She attended
ranging from finding informal peer supports to attaining great
jobs. we offer our job seekers a Job club room where they               several more sessions and built confidence and motivation along
are greeted by dedicated consultants keen to assist with their          the way. Before too long, with assistance from her consultant,
vocational advancement.                                                 she applied for a job at a restaurant. within a day she was called
                                                                        for an interview and attended with excitement. she gained
Our continued relationship with the Queensland government’s
                                                                        employment and through our ‘in work support’ services remains
skilling solutions Queensland remains a key component of our
                                                                        gainfully employed. while attending Job club she learnt to interact
employment assistance to job seekers. It provides face-to-face
                                                                        with others, which assisted in diminishing the social isolation she
vocational assessments specifically for people with a disability,
                                                                        had previously experienced.
                                                                                                                                           21
aQuireD brain inJury
suPPOrt serVice                                                                   liFestYle rehaBilitatiOn
                                                                                  PrOgraM
the Open Minds acquired Brain injury (aBi) support service is                     we develop individual and creative lifestyle
a specialist unit. Our 20 support teams deliver community-based                   support plans collaboratively with clients, their Thea Isles
rehabilitation and participation programs to meet the complex needs of            families and other community services
30 individuals recovering or living with an acquired brain injury. through        to enhance daily living skills, promote independence and encourage
specialist skills and flexible, personalised programs our ABI support             community participation. These plans are flexible and diverse to
service promotes rehabilitation, independence and social participation            meet day-to-day support and rehabilitation needs, engage clients in
for clients in the greater Brisbane region.                                       fun and interesting activities, and endeavour to meet clients’ personal
                                                                                  lifestyle goals. the program also includes a focus on sourcing vocational
the service provides programs under three streams:
                                                                                  opportunities and training. One of the great successes of this program
rehaBilitatiOn, suPPOrt and cOOrdinatiOn                                          is our ongoing work to assist young men with an acquired brain injury
                                                                                  and complex needs living in Queensland health institutions to move
we work collaboratively with clients, their families and existing                 to supported community-based accommodation. We collaborate with
rehabilitation service providers to provide a comprehensive                       other service providers to create a thorough transition plan, work with
rehabilitation and recovery-focused support program, at the centre of             the men to strengthen their independence, and together can achieve
which are individuals’ strengths and goals. we develop programs and               profoundly positive change in these men’s lives.
facilitate access to rehabilitation specialists in areas such as physiotherapy,
occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, counselling and              aBi suPPOrted accOMMOdatiOn PrOgraM
clinical psychology, neuropsychology, mental health services and other
                                                                                  we currently support seven people with an acquired brain injury to live
allied health treatment.
                                                                                  in supported and supervised rehabilitative accommodation in newfarm.
                                                                                  in this setting the aBi team supports clients to develop life skills and
                                                                                  the rehabilitation goals they need to make the transition to
                                                                                  independent living.

                                                                                  stePs PrOgraM
                                                                                  as part of our aBi service, we offer the skills to enable People &
                                                                                  communities (stePs) program, which is a localised peer support group.
                                                                                  stePs receives funding from Queensland health through the acquired
                                                                                  Brain injury Outreach service (aBiOs) and provides social support in
                                                                                  a group environment and an opportunity to discuss issues related to
                                                                                  living with a disability. individuals learn new social skills to improve their
                                                                                  lifestyle, social interactions and connections within the community.




                                                                                  ABI Support Worker and clients
liFestyle suPPOrt serVice
the lifestyle support service has experienced an exciting and              resulted in our client services Project 2009. this project established
rewarding year of growth, progress and achievement. we welcomed            seven key deliverables to enhance service delivery and client outcomes,
many new clients into our service who were eager to continue their         refine our operational framework and further improve the quality
recovery and re-establish their lives in the community. The foundations    of our systems. Our aims include practices to improve the planning,
for each client’s support is in the development of personalised and        provision and documentation of supports to meet each client’s needs
measureable recovery and support plans, which establish personal goals,    and preferences in a responsive, measurable and accountable manner.
promote good health and wellbeing and foster community inclusion.          the key deliverables include:
                                                                           •   A new service structure including the introduction of Senior
                                                                               support workers and a key worker role to enhance access for
                                                                               clients and their families to engage with staff who know their
                                                                               circumstances well, who encourage and inspire, improve team
                                                                               communication and accountability and evaluate progress.
                                                                           •   The introduction of new Individual Recovery or Support plans for
                                                                               each client in consultation with families and key stakeholders. the
                                                                               plans encourage clients to identify goals and opportunities, embrace
                                                                               good health and wellbeing and celebrate achievement.
                                                                           •   The appointment of a specialist consultant clinician to provide
                                                                               regular guidance and mentoring to coordinators in managing
                                                                               complex client issues.
                                                                           •   Professional supervision and leadership training programs for
                                                                               coordinators and senior support workers.
                                                                           •   The strengthening of recovery-orientated and person-centred
                                                                               practice through workshops with recovery specialist helen glover
                                                                               and other trainers.
                                                                           •   Developing and delivering a two-day client services ‘Support
Client celebrating his mountain climb success
                                                                               worker training’ program.
                                                                           •   Enhancing quality systems with policy and procedures designed to
together with family and key stakeholders our clients consider their
                                                                               provide greater direction, guidance, efficiency and accountability.
hopes and aspirations, needs and dreams and we work together to
reach those goals and milestones as an integral part of recovery and       One of our service’s greatest strengths is our workforce. Our client
personal growth.                                                           services Manager leads a team of three experienced lifestyle support
                                                                           service coordinators who manage a diverse and complex client
this year the lifestyle support service delivered individualised support
                                                                           caseload, supervise staff and engage with key stakeholders. each
to more than 90 men and women living in greater Brisbane, logan,
                                                                           coordinator is supported by two senior support workers with a team
ipswich, redcliffe and redlands. we proudly support 45 Project 300         of support workers to deliver outreach supports in the community.
clients, the largest group in Queensland funded under this successful
mental health initiative, and a further 12 housing and support Program     the lifestyle support service employs more than 45 dedicated and
(hasP) clients in their recovery. client intake has increased by more      skilled support workers, many with four to 10 years’ experience in
than 10 per cent in 2008–2009 with additional hasP, adult lifestyle        mental health and disability supports at Open Minds. Our commitment
support Program (alsP) and Young adults existing case of the state         to best practice through a highly skilled and talented workforce is
Program (Yacs) funding secured for new clients. the service currently      evident in our training and professional development programs. we
delivers more than 1300 hours of supports each week.                       continue to support our staff to gain tertiary qualifications including
                                                                           Certificate IV in Disability or Non-clinical Mental Health with a further
Our commitment to continuous improvement and best practice in              15 staff successfully graduating in October 2009. in 2008–2009 we also
2008–2009 included a client services review in november 2008, which        introduced our support worker training program for all service staff,


24        OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
                                                                                their health and wellbeing, enjoy
                                                                                ‘do it’ club activities and retreats
                                                                                with friends, relax on holidays at beachside
                                                                                apartments, re-engage in vocational training and
                                                                                complete taFe courses, step back into the paid workforce,
                                                                                learn guitar and attend rock concerts, play regular sport and cheer
                                                                                on peers in our ‘all sorts’ touch footy team. these are just a few of
                                                                                the stories of recovery, progress and personal growth our clients have




Clients enjoying one of their annual fishing trips
focusing on disability service standards, quality systems, our professional
framework and effective support services founded in recovery-
orientated practice. we value and appreciate the passion of our
lifestyle support service staff and their dedication to disability services,
willingness to adapt to change and provision of high-quality supports to
our clients and their families.
the lifestyle support service has built strong collaborative relations
with key stakeholders including significant partnerships with Department
of Communities - Disability Services, Housing and Homelessness and
Queensland health. Our close collaborations and sector development
programs include: the recovery Orientated Mentoring Project (rOMP),             Staff and clients enjoying each others company at a BBQ
Disability Services – Growing Stronger initiative, Disability Services -
Positive Futures project, centre of excellence for Behaviour support,
                                                                                achieved. For some, however, the year has brought struggle, setbacks in
Project 300 and hasP funding initiatives, Metro south health and ngO
                                                                                health and wellbeing and changes in personal circumstances. But with
service collaborations.
                                                                                support our clients’ resilience and strength prevails with renewed plans
Service initiatives and collaborative associations with the Office of the       for change and hope to get back to their best. client achievements, no
adult guardian and Public trustee, Queensland Police, Queensland                matter how big or small, are recognised and celebrated, many through a
alliance, Queensland university and australasian society for the study          personal brag book which captures special events and memories.
of the intellectually disabled (assid) all contribute to our goal of
                                                                                the lifestyle support service also encourages community connections
achieving benchmark standards in service delivery. Positive affiliations
                                                                                and new relationships through active participation. Our service and
and participation in disability and mental health services sector
                                                                                clients enjoy close affiliations with many local community services
development enables our service to stay at the forefront of service
                                                                                including reclink, stepping stones clubhouse, Mental illness Fellowship,
delivery and best practice for the benefit of our service, staff and clients.
                                                                                Brook red centre and west end community house.
the highlights of 2008–2009 have undoubtedly come from our clients.
For many it has been a busy and rewarding year, establishing new                the lifestyle support service appreciates and thanks everyone who has
homes, participating in new activities and overcoming old hurdles. the          supported our service, staff and clients throughout 2008–2009 to reach
introduction of new person-centred recovery and support plans has               new standards in high-quality service provision and personal achievement.
seen many new and exciting personal goals explored and challenges
overcome. we have watched our clients bring about positive change in


                                                                                                                                                         25
resiDential suPPOrt serVice
the residential support service provides specialist support to clients         to foster a true sense of home, our service strives to provide the
with a mental illness, acquired brain injury or intellectual disability who    qualities essential for a home and real home life. Our clients also enjoy
require high-level support and care in their own homes or within shared        a weekly night out at their local club or restaurant, cooking classes and
group homes. the service delivers residential support in two ways:             art groups. through their individual recovery or support Plans, personal
                                                                               goals have included establishing a vegetable garden and sharing fresh-
•    In-home support to assist clients to live independently in their own
                                                                               grown vegies with family and neighbours; artistic accomplishments such
     home; and
                                                                               as entering artwork in shows; hobbies including cards and gardening;
•    Around-the-clock rostered support in a co-tenancy (up to three
                                                                               family days and regular barbecues. Our clients enjoy going to work via
     persons) shared home.
                                                                               day programs and attending retreats, movie nights and local educational
                                                                               courses of interest. we actively encourage and support family
                                                                               involvement, developing close and open relations with family and friends
                                                                               who appreciate the home environment their loved ones enjoy.
                                                                               Our residential support service coordinator leads a team of two
                                                                               senior support workers and 23 specialist and dedicated residential
                                                                               support workers. training in all aspects of residential care and support,
                                                                               as well as professional development, is a priority for our service. all
                                                                               support workers receive specialist training in personal care, medication




George creating one of his masterpieces with the help of his Support Worker

Our service currently supports eight clients in a residential setting across
four homes located in sunnybank, doolandella, tanah Merah and our
most recent co-tenancy residential home in Coopers Plains. In-home
residential supports are provided to a further six clients residing in their
own homes in Brisbane.
in 2008–2009 the residential support service welcomed three new
clients for in-home residential and community supports. Our clients’           Clients enjoying one of their regular community outings
supports are funded through department of communities – disability
services under a range of programs including Project 300, housing              and workplace health and safety. Our service uses a training calendar
and support Program (hasP), Young adults existing case of the                  identifying key skills, qualifications and knowledge necessary for best
state Program (Yacs) and hostel response. the residential homes                practice residential care and support. this year the service supported
are modern low-set brick houses allocated by the Department of                 six staff to complete their Certificate IV in Disability to enhance their
communities – housing and homelessness services.                               professional skills and development.

Our residential support service is committed to supporting each                we wish to extend our thanks to our partners in government, in
client to:                                                                     particular the department of communities’ disability services and
                                                                               Housing and Homelessness Services, Queensland Health and the Office
•    Establish and fulfil their personal goals                                 of the Adult Guardian, who continue to provide much-appreciated
•    Maintain life skills and develop self-reliance                            collaborative support and assistance to our service and clients.
•    Exercise freedom of choice
•    Enjoy a ‘real home’ and home life                                         we also thank the wonderful families who support their loved ones
•    Establish and maintain relationships                                      in our residential service. we appreciate their involvement and look
•    Participate in family and community life                                  forward to another year of enjoyable barbecues and activities.

26         OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
Do it Club
Open Minds’ ‘Do It’ Club is a client-led activities group committed to      initiative within the club
creating opportunities for Open Minds’ clients to access a range of         led by a peer facilitator
activities and events in their local community. the ‘do it’ club not only   with personal experience of
facilitates social interaction, it also provides a platform for clients     mental illness. special thanks to
to participate in activities that promote independence and                  Flower & hart lawyers for their
community connection.                                                       generous support.
activities and events are designed to bring clients together, build
relationships, enhance social skills and get everyone enjoying the fun
things in life. the ‘do it’ club comprises a group of client volunteers,
supported by an Open Minds employee, who volunteer on a monthly
basis to plan activities.
throughout 2008–2009 our clients have participated in a range of
activities and events facilitated and promoted by the ‘do it’ club.
highlights have included a visit to seaworld in november 2008, an
easter BBQ in Orleigh Park in april 2009, a night of dinner and dancing
in June 2009 at the kedron wavell service club as well as regular dinner
and movie nights.
in december 2008, the ‘do it’ club was instrumental in organising
our annual Open Minds client christmas Party. More than 120
clients attended the function at the Broncos leagues club, enjoying
a traditional christmas lunch and a musical medley entertainment by
clients and staff.
the ‘do it’ club also organised two weekend retreats. in May 2009, 35
clients attended a three-day retreat in Luther Heights near Coolum,
which included activities such as astronomy and star gazing and a scenic    A day on the green
cruise on the noosa river followed by a BBQ lunch. in June, another 20
clients attended a three-day retreat at ‘The Outlook’ in Boonah. Clients
took part in a number of the outdoor activities available including
canoeing, trekking and lots of singing by the campfire.
in 2008–2009 we also worked closely with reclink, a recreational
organisation providing a diverse range of free and low-cost activities
for people facing disadvantage. the ‘do it’ club entered Open Minds’
‘allsorts’ team in reclink’s annual touch football competition, reaching
the grand final series in June and finishing a credible fourth place. We
also entered a team in reclink’s lawn bowls competition and partnered
with the Mental illness Fellowship of Queensland to enter a team in a
Reclink-sponsored volleyball competition and won it!
we thank all our client volunteers and Open Minds’ staff who have
worked hard together throughout 2008–2009 to organise many well-
enjoyed activities, events and retreats.
looking forward, our ‘do it’ club is set to strengthen and expand thanks
to new sponsorship from Flower & hart lawyers, which will help us
to expand our social activities as well as develop a new peer-support
                                                                            The Allsorts Touch Team

                                                                                                                27
personal helpers
& mentors proGram
Open Minds delivers the Personal helpers & Mentors Program                 One of the most positive aspects
(PHaMs) in five locations in the southeast Queensland region – Inner       of the program is the inclusion
Brisbane, south Brisbane, ipswich, caboolture and Bayside. PhaMs takes     of Peer workers into the PhaMs
a strengths-based, recovery-orientated approach to supporting people       team structure. Peer workers have
whose functioning has been limited due to severe mental illness. since     personal experience of mental
our first PHaMs service was established in July 2007, we have continued    illness and not only connect with
to experience a huge demand for the program; so far we have                program participants in a unique
supported more than 400 participants across our five teams.                way, but also play an important role in providing expertise and
support and mentoring through PhaMs can take many forms and is             consultation across the organisation. Peer workers promote a culture
flexible to meet the needs of each person. Our experience shows            where program participants’ point of view and preferences for recovery
that positive outcomes for program participants come in many shapes        are respected and championed. Many participants express a sense
and forms. PhaMs has supported people to enrol in taFe and other           of relief after meeting our peer workers – they describe feeling
training and education courses; obtain paid and voluntary employment;      motivated and encouraged by talking to
reconnect with family members and friends; access local community          someone who has struggled with similar
                                                                           issues that affect their life and wellness.        I like the support I
groups, clubs and services; increase confidence using public transport;
                                                                                                                               get from my PHaMs
and access sustainable accommodation. above all, Open Minds has seen       Open Minds was pleased to partner with
PhaMs play a key role in creating opportunities for people with mental
                                                                                                                               worker. I am a single
                                                                           the Mental illness Fellowship of Queensland         female who lives on
illness to move forward in their recovery and reconnect with               and Ozcare to deliver a joint PhaMs
their community.                                                                                                                her own, with no
                                                                           presentation at the Queensland alliance
                                                                                                                                children and I am
PhaMs has been a positive addition to Open Minds’ services, with           ‘altering states’ conference in June 2009.
                                                                           the presentation focused on key areas of
                                                                                                                                a pensioner.When
more than 35 staff joining us to deliver PhaMs and bringing with them
                                                                           program innovation and highlighted program            I joined PHaMs in
a diverse range of qualifications and experiences. Ongoing professional
development is integral to ours PhaMs work and, in 2008–2009, training     achievements and outcomes. it was exciting            September 2007,
opportunities have included a two-day workshop on understanding            to be able to share positive experiences of            I had high anxiety
clients who hear voices and promoting recovery, facilitated by leading     PhaMs with others from the mental health               and was unable
mental health consumer advocate Arana Pearson; a two-day suicide           sector in Queensland.                                   to use public
intervention skills training workshop conducted by community action                                                                transport. PHaMs
                                                                           in 2008–2009 Open Minds laid the groundwork
for the Prevention of Suicide (CAPS); a two-day strengths-based                                                                     has helped my life
                                                                           for a productive partnership with the life
workshop run by St Luke’s Innovative Resources; and a five-day peer
                                                                           Promotion Clinic at Griffith University. The clinic
                                                                                                                                    to move forward.
support course organised by renowned peer-support advocates Sherry
Mead and chris hansen. Open Minds has also supported 13 PhaMs              is part of the World Health Organisation-affiliated
staff to obtain a Certificate IV in Mental Health (Non-Clinical) through   australian institute for suicide Prevention and research (aisraP). the
the Metro south institute of taFe.                                         partnership will bring a psychiatric registrar on-site for meetings with
                                                                           PhaMs teams, assisting with insights into complex case management
                                                                           and providing educational sessions. the partnership will forge ongoing
                                                                           education and training collaboration as well as opportunities for Open
                                                                           Minds to participate in aisraP research activities.
                                                                           the year has also seen each PhaMs team collaborate with its local
                                                                           Queensland health service integration coordinator to support the
                                                                           implementation of the COAG-initiated care coordination model.
                                                                           This process has seen the public mental health and non-government
                                                                           community mental health sectors forge greater links to more effectively
                                                                           support those with severe and complex mental health needs living in
PHaMs participant picnic                                                   the community.

28       OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
phams client ParticiPatiOn
satisFaCtion surVey
Open Minds is committed to ensuring consumers have a voice in the             • 49% of respondents indicated
delivery and review of our programs. in March 2009, Open Minds                  they were satisfied ‘all of the time’.
commissioned an external agency to design, implement and analyse a            • 42% of respondents indicated they were
survey to measure client satisfaction in the delivery of PhaMs.the survey       satisfied ‘most of the time’.
measured satisfaction with the service and support provided as well as        • 7% of respondents indicated they were satisfied ‘about half of the time’.
confidence in the abilities of PHaMs staff, and provided respondents with     • 0% of respondents indicated they were ‘seldom’ satisfied.
an opportunity to identify areas for improvement.                             • 2% of respondents indicated they were ‘never’ satisfied.
                                                                              Figure 3.1
The overall findings indicated that PHaMs is highly regarded by
                                                                              30
participants. when asked how they felt about the service they received
from PHaMs, 49 per cent of program participants said they were satisfied      25
                         ‘all of the time’ and 42 per cent said they were     20
                          satisfied ‘most of the time’.                       15
I like being         in terms of how participants would best describe         10
able to have          the effectiveness of PhaMs in supporting them            5
contact with          to achieve recovery goals, 49 per cent of
                                                                               0
a real person,         respondents indicated PhaMs was ‘essential’ for                All the       Most of        Half the       Seldom             Never
                       achieving their recovery goals and 44 per cent                  time         the time        time
at least once a
                        of respondents felt PhaMs was ‘important’ for
week. PHaMs             achieving their recovery goals.                       Question: which of the following best describes the effectiveness of
helps me think                                                                PhaMs in supporting you to achieve your recovery goals?
about goals I need      the performance of PhaMs workers, as
                         reported by participants, was the key factor         The overall findings (see Figure 3.2) indicate that the majority of PHaMs
and I can get an         in the success of the program. eighty per            clients believe that PhaMs is ‘essential’ or ‘important’ to achieving their
idea of what to do        cent of respondents agreed their PhaMs              recovery goals. Of the surveys returned:
first.They support        worker had helped them develop strategies           • 49% of respondents indicated that PHaMs was ‘essential’ for achieving
me and really listen       to achieve their personal goals, and 91 per          their recovery goals.
when I’m extremely         cent of respondents said the time spent            • 44% of respondents indicated that PHaMs was ‘important’ for
depressed.                  with their PhaMs worker was worthwhile              achieving their recovery goals.
                              and helpful to their recovery. Participants     • 7% of respondents indicated that they were ‘not sure’ if PHaMs was
                              felt PhaMs could do more to assist them           important for achieving their recovery goals.
to develop interpersonal skills and improve relationships with family and     • 0% of respondents indicated that PHaMs was ‘not important’ for
friends. Open Minds responded to these needs by developing a 10-week            achieving their recovery goals.
self-confidence program aimed at supporting participants to enhance self      • 0% of respondents indicated that PHaMs was ‘totally unrelated’ to
esteem and positive relationships with family and other members of their        them achieving their recovery goals.
social network.                                                               Figure 3.2
The results of the satisfaction survey confirmed the effectiveness of         30
PhaMs in supporting people with mental illness on their recovery journey.     25
example of survey responses:                                                  20
                                                                              15
Question: which of the following indicates how you feel about the service
you receive from the PhaMs Program?                                           10
                                                                               5
The overall findings (see Figure 3.1) indicate that the vast majority of
                                                                               0
PHaMs clients are satisfied ‘all of the time’ with the service they receive          Essential Important Not sure                 Not      Totally
from PhaMs . Of the surveys returned:                                                                                           important unrelated
                                                                              * some qualitative responses for inclusion in the report (in boxes):
                                                                                                                                                             29
liFelOng Planning support
proGram
In September 2008, Open Minds was one of five non-                    to hold a free play-based event for children of all abilities. More
government organisations in Queensland to secure funding to           than 20 families participated in the event, which included sing
deliver the lifelong Planning support Program, a pilot program        and grow activities and playing with farm animals. activities were
funded by the department of communities – disability services.        structured in a way that all children could participate on an equal
Open Minds delivers the program in redlands. the lifelong             basis regardless of physical and intellectual abilities. the intention
Planning support Program supports people with a disability,           was to break down the perceived barriers to accessing
their families and carers to access mainstream and disability         early childhood programs experienced by parents of children
assistance and services in their local communities and works with     with disabilities.
communities to foster inclusion of people with a disability.
Our Lifelong Planning Support Officer (LPSO) assists people
to connect with a range of programs and services by offering
information and referral assistance, as well as short-term
community linkages. Our lPsO also works with other service
providers and community organisations to promote initiatives
that strengthen the opportunities for people with a disability to
gain meaningful involvement in their communities.
since the program began, our lPsO has received more 100
referrals in redlands and has assisted people in a variety of ways,
including support with the process of attending a guardian
                                                                      Disability Action Week 2009
and administration tribunal, accessing carer respite funding,
participating in local community activities and securing funding
for specialised disability equipment.
an important aspect of the program is an emphasis
on community capacity building – recognising
and using the talents, resources and abilities that
are present in the community. in august 2009
Open Minds hosted a free workshop, ‘a good life
for all: enabling communities to include People
with disabilities’ for community organisations and
people with disabilities facilitated by Jane sherwin.
the workshop promoted the need for people with
disabilities to be active participants in community life
and to be supported to develop ordinary community
relationships.
to celebrate disability action week 2009, our program
officer partnered with local early childhood agencies

30       OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
human resOurces
in 2008–2009 Open Minds’ human resources department, which             achieved by introducing a mobile outreach HR service to offices,
comprises a human resources Manager, human resources and               a wide range of training and support and services, including
training coordinator and reception team of three, has focused          introductory training for support workers, and the development
on providing efficient and effective management of all human           of a formal professional supervision framework of which Open
resources across all Open Minds’ departments. important                Minds is a recognised mental health sector leader.
priorities have been recruiting to meet program growth,
                                                                       the implementation of a formal professional supervision
streamlining training and managing a changing industrial relations
                                                                       framework across the client services department involves
environment..
                                                                       training staff in supervision techniques, models and styles. staff
                                                                       are observed in the supervision process and accountability
                                                                       systems are linked to quality and performance. it is an important
                                                                       tool for development and enables staff to have one-on-one time
                                                                       with their manager.
                                                                       another new initiative in 2008–2009 is the addition of a virtual
                                                                       library for staff to research any areas of their work for which
                                                                       they need information. this enables us to communicate more
                                                                       effectively with our Support Workers in the field.
                                                                       we also support the development of students by working
                                                                       closely with the education sector and we are taking on more
                                                                       social work and community students as part of their placement
                                                                       programs. some students have become valuable members of
                                                                       staff after they have completed their placement and Open Minds’
                                                                       ongoing support of students also brings fresh knowledge into
 Staff member receiving certificate                                    the organisation.

Our recruitment activity created 15 new roles across the
organisation in line with the structural changes that have been
implemented, which have enhanced staff career development                      OPen Minds
paths and contributed to staff retention. the opportunity to take
on more clients through program growth has also increased staff                 Quality system
numbers. On average we recruited seven new staff per month in
2008–2009, including a casual staff pool of 90, to reach a total of
160 staff by financial year’s end.
during the year we successfully rolled out training development
support for staff to attain a qualification in Certificate IV Mental
health, community work and disability work. we now have
an impressive 26 staff who have graduated with one of these
qualifications and more staff will be taking up study. These
qualifications will continue to be offered to staff on an ongoing
basis in the training calendar.
we have also focused in 2008–2009 on building the professional
skills of our Support Worker staff in the field. This has been

32        OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
Quality
sYsteM
Open Minds delivers services according to
its core principles of quality, expertise,      Denise Alexander
effectiveness and accountability and is
committed to complying with all statutory, regulatory and legal
requirements. to assist with the achievement of this quality system
objective, Open Minds has developed and implemented a quality
system framework that is underpinned by adherence to:
•   Commonwealth Disability Services Standards
•   Queensland Disability Service Standards
•   National Standards for Mental Health
•   Australian Quality Training Framework Standards for Registered
training OrganisatiOns
the emphasis of Open Minds’ quality system is on ensuring a body of
knowledge and procedural guidelines for our staff which are subject
to the process of continuous improvement. the development of
our quality system is the responsibility of our Quality Manager who
receives advice, feedback and guidance from the Quality Management
Committee (QMC), the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of
directors.
QualitY ManageMent cOMMittee (QMc)
the QMc is responsible for representing the interests of Open
Minds’ stakeholders in the ongoing maintenance, continuous
improvement and implementation of, as well as accountability
for, quality service delivery. the QMc is composed of key Open
Minds personnel who represent our client group, support workers,
coordinators and managers. the QMc meets monthly to oversee
the development, implementation and continual maintenance of the
quality system.
wOrkPlace health and saFetY cOMMittee (whsc)
Open Minds is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all
employees and others who may be in the workplace including clients,
visitors, contractors and suppliers. Open Minds’ workplace health and
safety committee (whsc) is an essential part of delivering on this
commitment and is the primary vehicle for employee and stakeholder
consultation in the workplace.
The WHSC is composed of a Workplace Health and Safety Officer
(whsO), workplace health and safety representatives (whsrs)
and managerial appointees. the primary function of the whsc is
to support cooperation between Open Minds’ management and
employees in developing and carrying out measures to ensure health
and safety within the workplace. it is also responsible for providing
clear procedural guidance and accountability to all personnel.


                                                                      33
milestones




1912 Queensland wattle league was formed to raise funds to establish               employment in usual work settings within the community.
      art scholarships for young australian artists to study abroad.        1970 emphasis shifted to providing services for people at the
1918 the Queensland wattle league changed its focus during the                     activity therapy centre and encouraged people to obtain paid
      great war and became involved in providing assistance for                    employment in usual work settings within the community.
      servicemen and their families. The League established an artificial   1987 to assist people to learn the necessary skills to live in a
      limb program and an orthopaedic ward at rosemount hospital                   group housing model within the community, a supported
      and provided rehabilitation for returned servicemen.                         accommodation service was established. later, the emphasis
1957 The League was re-constituted and added “for the disabled” to                 shifted to supporting people to live in housing options of
      its name. a sheltered workshop and an activity therapy centre                their choice.
      were created. These were the first centres of their kind that         1991 a supported employment service for people with an intellectual
      provided services for people with disabilities in Queensland.                and/or physical disability who were seeking open employment
                                                                                   within the community received funding as a separate service.
1958 the league began providing services for people at the
      activity therapy centre and encouraged people to obtain paid          1991 Joining of the department of housing and the league saw
      the provision for quality and affordable furnished units for      2007 the Personal helpers & Mentors Program established the inner
      people lacking the financial resources to access appropriate            Brisbane pilot site.
      housing options.
                                                                        2007 Open Minds was successful in obtaining five sites for the Personal
1994 the activity therapy centre made the transition to a bulk mail           helpers & Mentors Program – inner Brisbane, south Brisbane,
      and packaging small business, with provision for vocational             ipswich, caboolture and Bayside.
      options for clients who found individual jobs within the
                                                                        2008 the acquired Brain injury (aBi) support service won a disability
      community not an option.
                                                                              action week award – community Organisation category.
2000 the acquired Brain injury (aBi) support service was established.
                                                                        2008 Open Minds was successful in commencing the lifelong Planning
2003 the league changed its name to Open Minds and moved to its               support Program, with assistance from disability services
      current annerley road, woolloongabba premises.                          Queensland.
2004 the Open Minds Bulk Mail service was passed on to                  2009 Creation and implementation of contemporary re-branding for
      work solutions.                                                         the organisation. closure of Personal support Program (PsP).

                                                                                                                                             35
employee snaPshOt


                                                                                                  Andrew Weber
                                                                                                  south Brisbane PhaMs worker
                                                                                                  i’ve been lucky enough to work for
                                                                                                  Open Minds for the past three years in
David Dunn                                                                                        a number of different roles and the thing
employment engagement consultant                                                                  that continually stands out in my personal
i have only been with Open Minds for                                                              experience is the care, compassion and
a short time but during that time, i have                                                         encouragement of my colleagues. in an
been able to establish a strong rapport                                                           industry that requires a certain amount
with many of our job seekers and working                                                          of humility and humanity to connect
clients. i enjoy getting to know the                                                              sufficiently enough with clients to assist in
clients and helping them to realise their                                                         fostering change, i am consistently thankful
                                                 Bree Leon
employment goals, as well as being part                                                           for the opportunity to imprint my own
of a very passionate and caring team that        employment consultant
                                                                                                  personality on my role and use it to make
works tirelessly to assist our clients. i also   there is no better feeling than when a
                                                                                                  a difference in the community. Self-care is
enjoy meeting with prospective employers         client is successful in gaining work but my
                                                                                                  an important issue for people who assist
and building strong relationships with           greatest achievement at Open Minds has
                                                                                                  clients with mental health issues and the
current, supportive employers as well            been Job Club, a facilitated job-searching
                                                                                                  uniquely relaxed atmosphere created by my
as educating them and their staff about          support for clients. in the time this has been
                                                                                                  Open Minds colleagues has allowed me to
disability employment. i strongly believe        up and running, i’ve seen a great increase
                                                                                                  remain energetic and enthusiastic about my
that the employer and the co-workers our         in interaction from clients who were
                                                                                                  work. i feel the best part of my role is that
clients work every day are more important        socially isolated or lacked the confidence
                                                                                                  it still has a very real element attached to it.
than the job itself so i always encourage        to interact with others. Many clients have
                                                                                                  Meeting up with clients and autonomously
my clients to disclose to their employer         not only gained employment but made
                                                                                                  managing my own caseload gives me, in
that they are with Open Minds so we              great friendships out of Job club and it
                                                                                                  my opinion, the best opportunity to have
can all work together and make the job a         has now become not only a job-searching
                                                                                                  a positive affect on my clients’ lives as well
success. From my first day at Open Minds I       support but a social session where clients
                                                                                                  as the ability to share in their successes.
could see that everyone is very passionate       in similar situations can meet and talk about
                                                                                                  everyone in the client services industry
about what they do and, although i am            their struggles and share motivation and
                                                                                                  will tell you that helping to bring about
still getting to know people in the other        coping strategies. it is great to walk in the
                                                                                                  change and positive progress in their
services and areas of Open Minds, i witness      room and feel like I’m interrupting! Open
                                                                                                  clients is the best thing about their job and
the dedication and caring nature of people       Minds is unlike any other organisation i’ve
                                                                                                  i’m no different. to enjoy those moments
supporting clients every day, which makes        ever worked for. i have had many clients
                                                                                                  first-hand in the knowledge that it is a
me feel part of one large caring and             comment on how welcome they feel when
                                                                                                  direct consequence of your own efforts is
passionate team.                                 they come into the office. Everyone is so
                                                                                                  exceptionally rewarding.
                                                 passionate about what we do here and will
                                                 go above and beyond to ensure our clients’
                                                 needs are met.




36        OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
Bianca Sargeant
Peer support worker                              Elizabeth Holmes                                Sean Neave
i value the opportunity to gain knowledge        senior support worker                           support worker
and experience from an organisation that         i really enjoy working at Open Minds            it is an honour to have the opportunity
makes such positive contributions to the         with like-minded people who share a             to work with such a variety of clients and
lives of many people. i also value, and am       client-centred approach. It is a great joy to   within an environment that has a strong
very grateful for, the opportunity to be a       know that i have contributed to positive        emphasis on enhancing my skills through
part of these contributions and, hopefully,      outcomes for clients, whilst working within     training. with this training i have been able
help with the positive outcomes that they        a terrific team.                                to achieve better outcomes with clients
achieve. the best part of my role is listening                                                   and have gained a greater understanding
to the experiences of clients and giving                                                         of the needs of the clients i support. i
them the space to talk. i think encouraging                                                      believe this has helped me to build rapport
people to find their voice and tell their own                                                    with clients and, in turn, has led to positive
story is the most empowering thing i can                                                         recovery outcomes. Open Minds should
do. it gives me great insight into the lives                                                     be congratulated for constantly improving
of others with a mental illness. i also have                                                     work practices that improve service
a wonderful team and i love working with                                                         delivery.
them! I am so happy every time I come
into work!

                                                 Craig Brearley
                                                 IT & Systems Officer
                                                 My role is largely behind the scenes
                                                 supporting staff in their collective efforts
                                                 in our community. it is both a challenging
                                                 and rewarding experience and one i came
                                                 into quite by accident. Prior to Open Minds
                                                 i worked as a community development
                                                 service coordinator in a rural town, where
Denez Nassif                                     staff were multi-skilled to keep things         Marianne Stoykovic
support worker                                   running smoothly. My unofficial additional      support worker
Open Minds makes an important                    role was internal it support. now in an         i enjoy working at Open Minds as it feels
contribution to the disability services sector   it role with Open Minds my community            good to work with clients and to see
and working in a sector that works towards       development background regularly helps          them grow. what is really rewarding is the
ensuring rights, justice and quality of life     me to better communicate with our staff         rapport and mutual trust that i have with
for those people living with a disability are    about their technology needs and to             clients and there is nothing that makes me
some of the values that are dear to me. it       assist clients with their various activities.   smile more than seeing the joy and fun on
is important work that strives to support        i have always found staff at Open Minds         their faces. as a support worker, in a team
people in everyday living in the hope that       to be enthusiastic, flexible and accepting.     of many, it is encouraging to see everyone
independence, strength and self-confidence       their laughter and support make it a very       support clients to achieve their goals.
will encourage and strengthen people’s           enjoyable place to work.
community involvement.


                                                                                                                                             37
client testimonials
JaMes                                     James first came to Open Minds as a client in February 2008. James has
                                          shared his history of living with mental illness and the battles that he has
                                          faced, but he has also shared something more with his Personal support
                                          Program (PsP) consultant, with whom he has worked to beat adversity
                                          and achieve life-changing goals.
                                          James is 45 years old and has a longstanding history of depression and
                                          anxiety. Prior to, and throughout the initial stages of participating in
                                          Open Minds’ PsP, employment service he had attempted suicide. James
                                          had little self-esteem and believed that he couldn’t gain employment
                                          due to his mental illness and limited skills.
                                          After hospitalisation and his fifth contact meeting with his PSP
                                          consultant, James knew that he had found the right place and the
                                          right program to support him, at the right time. it was during this
                                          appointment he realised that with support from his friends, family,
                                          support groups and Open Minds he could achieve his goals.
                                          James’ main goal has been to gain and maintain employment – in a field
                                          where he feels able to contribute to the community and society at large.
                                          He decided that he would like to work in the mental health field so he
James with Open Minds Consultant, Emma
                                          could eventually support others through their recovery journeys. he
                                          also wanted to inspire and support other people with mental illness in
                                          informal settings.
“i just feel so much better about
                                          Within five months of his first appointment with Open Minds, James
myself now. there was a time in my        was offered a position as a support worker at the Princess alexandra
life when i didn’t think that i could     hospital in the psychiatric ward. the prerequisite for this role was
                                          completion of a Certificate III in Community Services. James didn’t see
‘do it’ or that i was worth anything.     a challenge – he saw an opportunity and he has recently enrolled at
                                          Westside Training Jobs Australia to complete this qualification. James
i’m studying, i’m independent and         was delighted and very proud of his achievements and progress, and has
                                          now completed his first two sessions.
soon i’ll be working – it’s amazing.
                                          For several months he has been actively participating in support groups
i’ve now completely turned my life        by setting an example, inspiring and encouraging other people with
around and i couldn’t have done this      mental illness. each week he shares the knowledge and skills that he has
                                          gained through his recovery journey to support and cheer on others as
without the support of Open Minds.        they strive towards wellbeing and independence.
                                          The skills that James has acquired have increased his self-esteem and
My motto is that i don’t suffer from      self-worth, demonstrating that he is able to achieve his goals. More than
                                          ever before, he has a passion for getting up each day and going to work.
a mental illness – i’ve learned to        But more than anything, James now knows that there is no limit; he can
live with it and the challenges that it   achieve anything that he wants.

sometimes brings.”                        through this journey, James has come to acknowledge that he is a
                                          valued member of society and that through his contribution he can
James                                     assist others, so they can achieve their dreams.



38       OPen Minds annual rePOrt 2009
Some of the fine people I am getting support from at Open Minds           It is with great enthusiasm
are Andrew, Ela and John. They are not frightened of people and           that George and Russell
they are such thoughtful souls. It’s hard to know where you belong        have watched their garden
in society, but Open Minds gives you a place where you can be             grow. The vegetable patch is
happy. My personal helper and mentor, Andrew, helps me organise           producing small amounts of
appointments and official forms. He has encouraged me to do               fresh herbs and vegetables
really big things. Andrew helped me to trust other people, which was      with the odd splash of colour
really important for me. His support has given me the confidence          in a few summer plants. Also
to go to social groups like Stepping Stones and Brook Recovery,           being watched with a keen
Empowerment and Development (RED) Centre. Generally, I used to            eye is the strawberry patch;
feel like staying home all the time but now I feel like going out. With   fruit have sprouted and it is
the help of Open Minds anything you want to do can be achieved.           now just the ripening that is
Greg – South Brisbane PHaMs participant                                   needed. Everyone is waiting
                                                                          and watching, all unsure
                                                     Being supported by   who will have the first taste!
                                                     Open Minds has       Both gardens were built from the bottom up by clients and staff, an
                                                     really influenced    interest that blossomed with the garden. The question still remains:
                                                     my entire life and   Who will get the first strawberry?
                                                     lifestyle. Working   George and Russell – Residential clients
                                                     with a support
                                                     worker who is able   Open Minds is positive and life-affirming. The support given to me
                                                     to communicate in    has been very beneficial. A definite lifesaver.
                                                     my language has      Wendy – Inner Brisbane PHaMs participant
                                                     made each shift
                                                     very stimulating –   I like being with the PHaMs program because the support I receive
the removal of a communication barrier has made a huge impact             from my worker is very helpful. I hope to achieve confidence and
on my ability to express myself. Through this program I have been         self-esteem from the encouragement and support that I receive
exposed to the freedom of community access, such as visits to the         from my worker in many areas of my life. I like the fact that I decide
Gold Coast, the markets, barbeques, swimming and playing snooker,         what areas we work on and that it’s not governed by the support
and I have even taken part in sports like sailing, through Sailability    worker. I hope to be able to put into practice the things I learn from
at Manly. The main benefit that I have received from my support           my PHaMs worker in regard to domestic duties. I am very happy
worker is the newfound ability to make my own choices and take            to have been accepted onto this PHaMs program and I feel I really
control of my life – this is something I have not had the privilege to    needed the assistance PHaMs has been able to give me.
do in the past, mainly due the fact that I do not speak English. I feel   Lorelle – Bayside PHaMs participant
as though small decisions I make during each shift are triumphs,
compared to the past. Over the past year, I have been taking public       I am afraid that words are not sufficient to express the many ways that
transport, and it has greatly improved my health. My diabetes is          the Open Minds PHaMs program has helped me. Open Minds has
now under control, I feel fit and a lot healthier, and I can now climb    been a lifesaver for me when there was nothing and no one else. My
up hills without panting or overtiring. I have become a more active       PHaMs worker was able to help me with things that friends and family
member of my community – at Swara, Sailability and the Mental             couldn’t and wouldn’t help with. After trying to get help from so many
Health Fellowship Club – and I am looking forward to many more            other places, I was unable to find any support until I found Open Minds.
memories!                                                                 I am sincerely grateful to my helper and mentor from Open Minds.
Meng Ung – Lifestyle Support Service client                               Christine – Bayside PHaMs participant

                                                                                                                                                39

								
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