2017 – Year in Review

2017 was a big year for us – we had a lot of new additions to the team, settled into our new office and increased our focus on collaboration. A big year means big numbers, so we’ve broken them down below to start things off:

2017 by the numbers

New team members: 14

Emails sent by the team: 102,364

Emails received by the team: 192,936

Business workshops held: 75

Business clients we assisted: 2,342

Young people mentored: 220

Students placed in work placements: 468

Young people we worked with in total: 965

Schools we worked within: 19

Our growing team

This year we welcomed a lot of new faces to the team – 14 to be exact. Faces from all sorts of backgrounds, with all kinds of experiences. They’re all wonderfully capable people and join the rest of the team as passionate individuals who are the backbone of what we do. The team is spread out across the region but enjoyed the 4 whole team meetings we had throughout the year, with a special focus on collaboration across specialities.

Valuing and engaging with the community

Graham Baxter (CEO) and Janine Linklater (ASBAS Business Advisor) meets with Federal Small Business Minister, Michael McCormack MP to discuss the Australia Small Business Advisory Service which we deliver throughout the southern region of NSW & ACT.

As a community-based organisation, we value the communities within which we work. Engagement with our clients and the wider community is one of our core aims and this year has seen a lot of involvement and collaboration from all our teams.

Students befriending retirees (their words, not ours)

Julia Willson (Program Facilitator) with some of her students.

Guest speakers can make a big impact on Links to Learning students and this year’s classes had visits from PCYC, Fire dept, Save a mate drug training, Dept of Fair Trading – scam alerts and how to buy a car, Landcare, Pathways support worker, Commonwealth Bank, Centrelink, Academy of Interactive Education, Mechanics – Car safety, and business owners.  They’ve also visited the local aged care and disability facilities, TAFE, museums, the zoo, the Aust Institute of sport, locals with inspirational stories and even had mock job interviews.

Making an impact on lives

Our team has the potential to make an impact on the lives of many people – business clients, young people, students and staff, are just some of the people they come into contact with on a daily basis. For many of us, this ability to have an impact is one of the main reasons we do what we do.

From Jae Lear (Program Coordinator): I think one of the most successful stories for me this year is working with a young indigenous girl, who was referred to me as she had attempted suicide and was dealing with some mental health issues. She had left school and needed direction and assistance to find employment. With my support and guidance, she applied for a few positions including an identified position within a government agency. She was successful in getting the job and commenced a business administration traineeship in which she regularly tells me how much she enjoys her job. She has also obtained her Provisional Drivers Licence during that time, which was out of her reach before. She has made vast improvements in her personal life and from all reports, is very happy with her decision to take on the traineeship. She has also referred others to the Pathways Support in which they are also reaching their goals too.

Some feedback Kris Laird (Business Advisor) received.

A testimonial Deb Wood (Program Facilitator) received from one of her students: Thank you for helping me.  I think this class made my week.  I know sometimes I was a bit of a tool, but you always managed to fix the problem and for that I’m grateful.  Also having that class and finishing it made me feel like a better person and my grades have picked up.

Students who were part of the Salvation Army Souperhero Day (left) and mosaics created by Year 10 students (right).

Students built a roof for their scooter cage (left) and students planting a bush tucker garden (right).

Travelled far and wide… sometimes nowhere at all

The business advisory team are always on the road, travelling from business to business. The rest of the team are much the same as well, travelling between schools, events, and projects. This means our team covers thousands of kilometres a year.

Chris Kowal (BINTRIM) and Paul Coker (Business Advisor) promoting Bintrim and Business Connect at the Narooma Renewable Energy Expo in November

Sometimes, this also means they end up going nowhere at all.

Steve Kargas (Business Advisor) was going nowhere when he came across a farmer moving his flock.

Business advisors Kris Laird (pictured) and Deborah Sams helping businesses after the floods is Lismore.

Some of the sights our team sees on their travels.

The year was not a waste

Looking back at the BINTRIM Program, Program Manager Geoff Pryor concluded, “We registered over 500 companies spread across our region under the BINTRIM program and almost 4000 tonnes of waste was diverted from landfill covering all range of materials from plastic, cardboard, paper and containers.”

So no, this year was not a waste (excuse the pun).

In fact, in 2017 we were able to build on 2016 to make this year the success that it has been.

The last whole team meeting for the year followed by our Christmas lunch party.

We look forward to 2018 as more plans come to fruition. As always, we appreciate all comments (below) and you can contact us if we can be of assistance, and join on us on Facebook as well.