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Resilience and renewal

“Well, it wasn’t what I expected.”

For all of us, starting a new job or school, or moving into a new area, comes with certain expectations. I admit that I was looking forward to stepping into the role of CEO, embracing the opportunity to meet team members face to face, on the first day. I was going to turbocharge my way around the sites (in the opening weeks) and see what the front-line teams are doing, as they are always the pointy end of our mission.

However, my first day came and went with the challenges of COVID, a sparsely (human) filled office, no easy access to services and an early need to assess where we are at as an organisation with COVID, from vaccination rate (low) to service impact (high). It wasn’t what I expected.

As you know, I have come from Victoria, a state that has been battered around for two years by multiple waves and variants of COVID. All the while, front line services (those like Baptist Care SA) have continued to be there for the most vulnerable. During the challenges, personal and corporate resilience has been demonstrated again and again, it has been strengthened and so often leaned on.

One of the positive outcomes of the experience in Victoria was the need to innovate in service delivery, responding to extraordinary challenges and difficulties, to fulfil a mission. This was so often led by those on the front line.

In advance of my arrival, and since commencing as CEO I have also seen this here at Baptist Care SA. Those who are in the most challenging circumstances, namely clients and front-line staff, show the rest of us what can be done. Our teams working across the services, from homelessness and disability through to child protection, take on the challenge, even when it is (very) hard.

For the rest of us, who are not client-facing, we too should be challenged. Challenged by their approach, courage, resilience, and teamwork. And take up our roles, ensuring we do all that we can do, individually and corporately, to be enablers of the mission.

During my first 90 days in the role, I will be meeting with as many of you as possible, listening, learning, and sharing my observations, the challenges, and delights found in Baptist Care SA.

Combined with the current experience and challenges we are facing in SA, our response as an organisation, and a new season in leadership, I am looking forward to experiencing a time of renewal for Baptist Care SA. A strengthening of resolve for Mission, grounded in our values.

I want to ensure that we all understand our part in the enterprise. That we are all able to connect to the vision; that our direction, and what we do today, are connected, clearly identifiable and embraced.

Well, that’s enough said for my opening round. I look forward to getting to know you.  Right now, take a few minutes to reread the Vision, Mission and Values (below).  Seek out one value that personally resonates with you. Take it on as a challenge, embody it, promote it, and measure yourself against it. I might just ask you about it.

Shane Austin

 

Our Vision

Baptist Care SA, motivated by Christ’s servant heart, aspires to be a leading, life-transforming agency, founded in a faith community that is engaged in client-focused care.

 Our Mission

Baptist Care SA expresses God’s love and compassion for people, especially those at risk or marginalised, by journeying with them toward the attainment of their full potential.

 Our Values
  • Integrity – ensuring personal and corporate transparency and the highest ethical standards
  • Compassion – treating people and communities with empathy, dignity and fairness
  • Empowerment – releasing individual strengths that promote personal and community transformation
  • Innovation – fostering a culture of continuous improvement, staff engagement and improved client outcomes
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