UPDATE RE CHANGES TO UNITING CARE WODONGA FROM 3 OCTOBER 2016
This letter is to provide you with an update about the process of change underway as UnitingCare Wodonga moves to the new single organisation, Uniting (Victoria Tasmania), with effect from 3 October 2016.
UnitingCare Wodonga is a founding agency of the new entity and will be joining with other Uniting Church community service agencies to form Uniting (VicTas).
This is an important and positive change. It will give us access to broader resources and skills to meet our clients’ needs. It will enable us to create a more effective way of operating so we may give greater support to our clients and strengthen our presence in our local community.
It will give us a stronger advocacy voice and provides the best opportunity for us to continue to work with your organisation in our local community by helping us to respond to the changes happening within the community service sector.
What will happen from 3 October?
There will be no change to our day-to-day operations and UnitingCare Wodonga will continue to provide ongoing care and support for the marginalised and disadvantaged in our local community, working with a number of different emergency relief provider in our community.
The main change is that governance and legal responsibility for our Agency will come under the new Uniting (VicTas) Board from 3 October 2016. From that day each of the 22 founding agencies will share the same Board which will guide our collective future.
While this means the current Board of UnitingCare Wodonga will no longer have a governance role, many of the current Board members will be staying on in an advisory and support role going forward.
Why are these changes occurring?
The changes underway are taking place behind-the-scenes and largely concern governance and administration. When we do join together with the other agencies we will have a different name and identity but this won’t be until mid-2017.
Changes occur from time to time in any service, the change should not affect the way our clients access our services. In fact, the move to Uniting VicTas should provide us with access to broader resources so we may strengthen and expand the services we offer.
The community services and welfare sector is experiencing a lot of changes. Moving to a single organisation will help us to better respond to changes within the sector relating to funding and demand for services. Joining together with other Agencies will allow us to broaden our services and give us a stronger voice to advocate for improved services and social justice for the marginalised and disadvantaged in our community.
What will this mean for UnitingCare Wodonga?
UnitingCare Wodonga will remain as active as ever in our local community – delivering the same quality emergency relief services for those doing it tough in our local community, with the same professional staff and volunteers with the same commitment to care as we do now.
The work we are doing in our local community is still needed. Our commitment to work with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged will not change. The need for the work we do in our local community will certainly not diminish in the future.
We are grateful for the important work undertaken by our volunteers in assisting us to support and care for our clients. We know it would be impossible for us to deliver the services we currently provide without the contribution and support we receive from our volunteers. We therefore still need your ongoing support to continue to make a real difference to people’s lives.
We will continue operating as UnitingCare Wodonga during 2016/17. We expect the work to join the 22 agencies into the one organisation will be complete by the middle of 2017. When that happens we will change our name and our logo.
All of the agencies involved in this merger have a rich history of providing care and support to our different communities. Since our beginnings in 2001, with the support of the St. Stephen’s congregation we have accomplished a lot. Working closely with other Agencies throughout Victoria and Tasmania to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice, will mean that together we can do more.
What happens with donations made to UnitingCare Wodonga?
We will continue to need donations so our services and local activity will continue. The people who benefit so much from the donations we receive remain in need. Government funding does not cover everyone who needs our support, especially some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
During this transition period UnitingCare Wodonga will continue operating with our own ABN and DGR status. Any donations we receive will continue to be used to support our local programs or services in our local community.
Where to from here?
We are asking you to continue to engage with the work of our agency on our local community.
Our commitment to our clients remains the same. We will continue to work closely with them to support them through difficult times. We will continue to provide the services in our local community that you care about. We will continue to work closely with other local providers of Emergency relief services, including through the Albury Wodonga Emergency Relief Providers Network, to make a real difference to people’s lives.
We are committed to keeping you informed of all relevant developments as they unfold and you are welcome to ask questions.
Anne-Marie Humphries Naomi Jansen
Chairperson, Board of UnitingCare Wodonga AgencyManager,UnitingCare Wodonga