In reflecting on the last five years as CEO of BISA, I think managing change has been a significant driver for Brain Injury SA, both through the maturing of the organisation, and in responding to significant external influences.
As an organisation, we view change positively, aware of how important it is that we drive a service forward that better includes and reflects the needs of the community we serve, whilst actively responding to broader community agendas to strengthen inclusion and drive progressive thinking in disability service provision.
The last financial year has brought with it its share of challenges, not least some ongoing disruption to services through the tail end of COVID, with illness impacting staff and clients alike. That said we have been pleased to ensure continuity in our service delivery, specialising in the needs of people with brain injury, as well as continuing to expand our services available during the year. This has included two significantly new initiatives, the Peer Support program and Be Well for Carers, both of which have been funded by the Lifetime Support Authority.
It has been impressive to see the Peer Support program commence with such success and impact, and we have really appreciated the collaboration that has occurred in getting it established, combining Psychology and teaching expertise alongside lived experience and input from the mentors in how the program has developed. Be Well for Carers has allowed us to reach out to the family members who support their loved ones with a brain injury, exploring options to strengthen their own self-care and resilience. We thank LSA for supporting us deliver these programs and we are pleased to share that they will be continuing in the coming year.
It is important that directions in services delivered by BISA continue to strengthen collaboration with and inclusion of people with lived experience of brain injury. To this end, this year we successfully complete a co-designed Disability Action Plan, for delivery over the next three years. The plan seeks to strengthen inclusion of people with brain injury through a focus on four key areas: improved understanding, influence and ownership, design and employment. The plan sets a path for BISA over the next three years that will be measured and reported on. It has been important to us that this plan was co-designed with people living with brain injury, and I thank all those that committed time and thought to its development. It does set some very clear expectations of the organisation in its consultation and involvement of its service users in service delivery, and growing this over the next period of organisational development is important.
In addition to our service provision, it is important to report on our work in advocacy services. This includes both our individual advocacy and NDIS appeals service, and drives organisational efforts in systemic advocacy. The roots of BISA lie in ensuring the voice of people living with brain injury are heard and their particular needs are addressed. We have been pleased to make significant submissions both to the Disability Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities and most recently the NDIS Review with attention to issues we have witnessed or identified. It was important to us to ensure that we could support the particular needs and experiences of people with brain injury to be heard and we will continue to pursue ways that we can assist the brain injury community contribute to National conversations on disability.
In closing I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers, including the Board, for their work over the last year. Our services can only be as good as the people who provide them and we are lucky to enjoy both a skilled and very committed team. We also thank all those that have supported or assisted us in other ways through the year, in advice, sponsorship or time. Most importantly, I thank all those living with brain injury who have chosen the services of BISA to meet their needs. We look forward very much to working with you in the coming year and continue to grow ways we can support you achieve your goals whilst continuing to work to reduce barriers that limit that occurring.
Chief Executive Officer