Come with us on a journey as we look back at our first year of being Chorus. In this annual report, you will see a collection of stories from customers, staff and volunteers which highlight the great work we do in our community.
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Once upon a time, three wise organisations looked to the future, and decided to merge. While many in the “community care” space built defences to ward off change, the leaders and governors of our forebears embraced it. They wanted to challenge the status quo, to change the game.
The foundations were laid many years ago, and since then our people have gone into homes and communities to provide support to those in need. Some are paid for this work, and some are not; but every individual makes a big difference to the lives of others.
Our people – we, all of us – care deeply about our communities and their members. But we resist the habit of treating people as numbers; of doing the job but ignoring the context.
We don’t “deliver care” or “provide help”; and we don’t talk about “our customers” – we don’t own anybody. We bring an egalitarian, good-humoured, human touch into the homes and lives of people.
We understand people don’t exist in a vacuum: they live in communities – cities, towns, neighbourhoods, networks, clubs, friends and families. While many observe a loss of community spirit, we see an abundance of good will and resources every day. But sometimes – often – these go untapped. Our approach, then, is to get results by being creative and courageous in connecting people.
When people meet us – customers, families, regulators, stakeholders – they notice something different. What is going on here? It’s easy to say and hard to do:
These attributes are as fundamental as they are rare.
At Chorus, we provide a community-based service which supports people’s needs later in life, when living with disability or on the mental health recovery journey. We create support plans quickly because we’re located in the communities we work in.
We have more than 1000 staff and volunteers who work alongside people with purpose and integrity so they can live the life they choose.
Cleaning, changing light bulbs, minor repairs, replacing smoke alarm batteries and locks, checking home security and cleaning windows.
Assistance with cooking at home and a healthy meal delivery service.
Pruning and trimming, lawn mowing, weeding, raking, tidying yards, moving pot plants, cleaning gutters, fixing reticulation, green waste removal and Water Wise gardening.
Shopping, washing, cleaning and banking.
Showering, dressing and personal hygiene tasks.
Assisting people to live in the community.
Assisting people living with disability gain employment.
Subsidised transport, one-to-one volunteer shopping assistance and group outings.
Home visits, outings, day centres and cultural activity centres.
Hobbies, exercise and arts programs, and other diverse activities.
One-off or regular opportunities for students, community and corporate groups, and individuals.
Over the past twelve months, Chorus has held true to its founding commitment to challenge the norm and do things differently. The organisation’s approach to developing and implementing its strategy has reflected this ambition during 2017/18. Our foundation draws wisdom from the heritage and philosophies of Volunteer Task Force, Care Options and Community First International. Our strategy has evolved as we have emerged, adapting to internal and external challenges and opportunities. We are committed to our “fresh approach” philosophy that people live their best lives when they are part of a community.
While the system for services in aged care, disabilities and mental health is becoming increasingly transactional, at Chorus we aim to nurture local communities so they become more connected, more supportive and more active. Of course, we provide personal support to many individuals; but we never forget that when it comes to delivering our purpose – to enable people to live the life they choose – the whole is much bigger than the sum of the parts.
The great achievements made this year would not have been possible without the passionate and determined efforts of the people within Chorus. I acknowledge the efforts of everyone who has worked tirelessly in pursuit of the Chorus purpose – thank you. It has been a big year as we have transitioned beyond merger integration and built an organisation with significant potential.
The Chorus Board has addressed the strategic challenge with thoughtful commitment, as it has all matters relating to the organisation’s governance. I thank each of the Directors for their support and contribution. Together with the CEO, Executive and staff, we are developing the future Chorus.
Dr Moira Watson
In the 2017-18 year, we have launched Chorus as a new player on the Western Australian community service landscape.
First and foremost, we are pleased to have delivered quality services to customers. While the world around us is extraordinarily fluid, Chorus customers continue to expect excellent support.
This support is only possible thanks to the daily effort and compassion of Chorus volunteers and staff. Survey feedback indicates we have a supportive and positive culture; these quantitative measures are matched by the extraordinary commitment I see whenever I get out to experience Chorus communities in action.
As we have moved through our merger completion during 2018, we have invested in a stable technology, business and organisational platform. While this is a work in progress, we have made great strides of late and are on track with our strategic blueprint.
In parallel with building Chorus from a merger of three, we have continued to innovate and grow. The organisation is 10 per cent bigger than it was when the merger was legally completed. More significantly, we have started to experiment with the Chorus “fresh approach to community service”; enabling people to live the life they choose by building deeper, local community connections. We are proud of some early steps we have taken in this direction:
While our focus is substantially on building the future Chorus, we maintain a strong sense of history. I wish to acknowledge our predecessor organisations, who passed on a legacy of community building and an appetite to do something different.
I want to thank all Chorus people from the bottom of my heart: staff, volunteers and customers. I particularly appreciate the support of the Executive team, the Board and the Chair, Dr Moira Watson.
Individually, we are one voice. Together, we are Chorus.
In October 2017, we were joined by industry partners and suppliers to publicly launch our new brand. Thank you to everyone who attended our Chorus brand launch and helped us celebrate.
Chorus received a cheque for $508,580 from Lotterywest, which was presented by Minister for Seniors and Ageing, Volunteering, Sport and Recreation, Minister Mick Murray, to our Board Chair, Dr Moira Watson, and CEO, Dan Minchin at the Chorus Ability Arts Centre.
The grant went towards projects associated with the completion of our business merger, bringing us closer to becoming “One Chorus”, including branding across our sites and vehicles.
Our brand reveal video was launched at the Perth Zoo event.
Episode four of the Chorus Voices Podcast delved into the topic of branding through the journey of Chorus. For-purpose veterans Dan Minchin and Louise Forster explored how to build a business that truly means something.
Episode one of our Chorus Voices Podcast explored work culture: What it means, how to build it, and what it can do for an organisation.
Ten staff members from Chorus Day Centres took 40 customers through Mandurah to see the Mandurah Christmas lights, including the Mandurah Canals and the famous Meadow Springs home with more than 300 Christmas trees.
We parked at our secret location and had a cuppa and mince pie while watching the fireworks. This is the second year we have offered this fantastic free event in Chorus Day Centre buses. It was a truly magical event.
Mrs Lee is a much-loved member of the community. The Chorus Multicultural Centre threw a party to celebrate her 100th birthday with her regular Tuesday crew and staff, the Mayor of Melville, four generations of her family and CEO Dan Minchin.
“Mrs Lee is a very pro-active person. She likes to go out every day and actively participates in our Chorus exercise sessions,” said Andy Lau, Chorus Multicultural Seniors Centre Team Leader.
Asked for the secrets of her longevity, Mrs Lee has nothing specific to offer; her children say that several qualities have helped, among them: hard work, simple living, purity of heart, generosity of spirit, stoicism, and boundless curiosity. She shares this gift with everyone she encounters, gratis.
Mrs Cousins has a great memory, and gets around by herself most of the time. She always prepares tea and biscuits for the Chorus gardeners, who have been looking after her garden for 10 years. They describe her as an “interesting and funky” woman with a wicked sense of humour.
After tidying up her garden, the gardening team took Jean out for a birthday lunch where everyone enjoyed fish and chips and had a wonderful time listening to her stories.
Mrs Cousins shared some 100 year-old wisdom: “It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t have, just appreciate what you have and be thankful for what you can do. Be open, honest and kind in your life and always help each other.”
(Pictured: Jean Cousins with the Safety Bay gardening team)
At the young age of 92 Chorus customer Betty won a gold medal at the National Australian Blind Tenpin Bowling Championships in Rockingham.
Betty loves staying active, bowling three days a week in Rockingham, Melville and Cannington, as well as attending Chorus Thursday Social Group at the Kwinana Day Centre. We were excited to celebrate her success at our Day Centre.
Other highlights included a visit to Government House, Chinese New Year and Holi Festival celebrations and lots of lunches both at our Day Centres and on outings.
Chorus customers live the life they choose with a Home Care Package.
Chorus offered this dance class to help seniors and people living with disability with coordination and agility.
Chorus looked at aged and in-home care and found out how the organisational landscape is changing. We explored what a day in the life is like for those giving and receiving care.
Chorus visited the Rockingham iPad group. We were inspired by the fantastic work Sheena was doing and we have now partnered with her to roll out this program with Chorus customers.
Jan saw Sheena’s photo in a local newspaper accompanying an article about an iPad group and decided to give the group a go. “I was apprehensive at first,” she said. “But I have three sisters with dementia, and I like to do things for myself and keep moving.”
Sheena first started the iPad group to equip older people with skills to navigate the online world. Four and a half years later the group has become its own community.
“To take on something new at this stage of life is courageous,” said Sheena. “But the people who are really courageous are the ones who come back the second time!”
The group all agree that Sheena speaks the language they understand. As Jan said: “As long as Sheena is here I wouldn’t miss it.”
Chorus is proud to be partnering with Sheena to roll out our BeConnected program. Our peer-to-peer program for seniors helps keep them connected.
Chorus met with Sheena, founder of an iPad group for seniors in Perth’s southern suburbs. The group brings people in the community together to learn how to use technology, find useful apps and be safe on the internet.
Episode three of Chorus Voices explored how technology can enable everyone to live the life they choose.
Toby came to Chorus Disability Employment Services (DES) with the aim of working in mental health or counselling. He wasn’t ready to come back to the workforce, but wanted to do something while on his own mental health recovery journey.
“If we can help people find out what they want to do, then they are much more motivated about finding work,” said Craig Hanlen, from Chorus DES.
Toby had life experience that could help customers – he’d never worked in mental health but he liked talking to people. Craig and Toby chatted about Toby going to university and also about the demand for male support workers.
With support from Chorus DES Toby is now studying mental health and is employed by Chorus as a support worker. “We are really lucky also that Chorus supports customers by offering them work opportunities if they are suitable for the role,” added Craig.
“If someone were on hard times and didn’t know where to go and what to do, I recommend Chorus is probably the best place to at least dip your foot in,” Toby added. “Chorus has been really great in helping me transition to where I needed to be.”
After experiencing a head injury at age 11, Glenn had to redevelop several motor skills, but that didn’t stop him from becoming the World Number One Disability Oarsman by age 21. He brought in a few of his rowing medals to show everyone at his Friday social group at Ray Street Activity Centre.
Glenn also attends the Life Skills Group on Wednesday, where he is learning how to cook, clean, shop and feel confident managing money. He met his girlfriend, Simone, there. Simone joined Chorus six and a half years ago and the pair have been inseparable since.
Chorus Kwinana Day Centre hosts a cooking and an art group on alternating days.
When asked what they most enjoy about the group, Gail said: “It’s good being amongst people, and I like to eat the food”. For Keith, it’s about “socialising and making friends”.
Home is different for everyone. Customers from our Ability Arts centre reflected upon the idea of home and painted a wooden panel showing what the idea of ‘Home is’ to them.
It’s all about “connection” at the Chorus Ability Arts music program. Participants explore creating new sounds, writing songs, as well as singing and dancing along to old favourites.
The Animaniacs youth group provides opportunities to socialise and participate in the community. The members continue to develop their personal goals outside the group, allowing natural friendships to form. It has provided ways to develop coping skills and strategies around managing mental health.
The youth have shown great personal development. One customer has gained supported employment; another has accessed TAFE; another is waiting to enrol in TAFE next year; and another no longer requires supports for mental health recovery. The group’s families have been overwhelmed by the engagement of the participants and communicated this back to the staff involved.
It’s was an exciting year of events, finishing off with a trip to Adventure World.
It has been a long journey for Doris. She began with Chorus in 2017 and has made remarkable progress in her mental health recovery.
A big step for Doris was engaging with Transpersonal Art Therapy through Chorus. Doris acknowledged the benefits from the therapy group and how it has helped her work through other areas of her recovery goals.
“With continued support Doris found the courage to engage with other community groups in areas of interest and nobody could wipe the smile off her face when she decided to purchase a new bike to access the Community Garden, her local church and to visit friends, who have become much needed supports to get her through the hard times,” added Chorus support worker Ann-Marie.
Doris couldn’t wait to test out her new bike.
Chorus developed a program to help people on their mental health recovery journey by teaching music, art and cooking.
A Chorus customer said the cooking program UCook helped him with life skills, routine and be independent. “It’s good to come along and be part of a group where you don’t think about what a chore it is. You just do it but at the same time you’re still learning those skills.”
The customer is also a part of a Men’s group where they work on projects together. “It’s been very helpful for me because these are skills I was never taught. It’s nice to feel useful. Some of the skills I learned here I’ll keep forever. I can’t understate how important the project is to me as a guy, as someone that’s never learnt these skills growing up”.
“This place is so comfortable and fantastic.”
Lex was 16 when commencing the recovery journey with Chorus. Lex was being bullied at school and refused to return.
In the first few months the mentors got to know Lex and explored activities that Lex enjoyed, including crochet, knitting and art. As Lex was unable to leave the house, Lex was supported in the home. Ann-Marie, Lex’s mentor, took clay from a Chorus pottery group and Lex made sculptures at home. Lex was then supported to leave the house and join the Chorus Upcycling group. Lex engaged with others, sharing stories of recovery and past experiences with the group. Lex produced a compelling art design using chairs and materials reflecting mental health recovery.
Lex got involved in the Mandurah Wearable Arts project at Ability Arts. Lex also helped set up a new Chorus youth group and came up with its name, “Anamaniacs”. Lex went on outings with the group including community barbecues, Fremantle Prison tunnel tours, bowling, gaming days, parties for Halloween and Christmas, rock climbing, basketball, volleyball, art therapy, yoga and the couch surfing event held in the community for homelessness week.
Lex has been supported to access NDIS and now has a plan which includes group support, skills development and therapy to assist with previous trauma. As part of Lex’s skill development Lex has been working on leaving the home alone, which Lex has been able to do.
Lex wanted to go to TAFE but attempts to attend failed. With support from Chorus Lex has now been successful in enrolling in a Certificate of General Education for Adults. Lex is well on the way to enrolling in a fashion design course and achieving the goal of designing costumes for drag artists.
Chorus stays connected with communities and remains up to date with knowledge and expertise by attending and taking part in industry and community events.
Chorus Ability Arts support worker and art facilitator Elli Moody submitted a design to the Big Splash WA last year and won the People’s Choice Award.
“The Big Splash WA is a trail of dolphin sculptures painted by WA artists,” said Elli. “The dolphins were auctioned to raise money for Perth Children’s Hospital’s adolescent and children’s mental health department.”
Chorus Head of Brand and People Louise Forster helped set up the Big Splash up in 2016-17 through an Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy initiative, which strengthens networks and leadership skills by giving back to the WA community.
Big Splash was launched at Elizabeth Quay.
The Mandurah and Rockingham Chorus Day Centres supported RSL WA by gathering donations for poppies for Anzac Day.
Some Chorus customers were unable to purchase a poppy due to a lack of transport. Chorus contacted the local RSLWA, who were happy to bring the poppies to the Day Centres instead.
Chorus attended the WA Country Health Service Kimberley, Mental Health and Drug Service conference in Broome.
Keynote speakers and workshops focused on sharing creative health care approaches and expertise to improve the health, wellbeing and social outcomes of customers, carers and families. Themed “We’re in it together”, the conference highlighted the challenges faced by local service providers involved in drug, alcohol and mental health care.
Assessor Brooke Mihala attended eight different sessions on topics such as treatment programs for dementia, mental health recovery, mindfulness techniques, and stress relief and prevention.
Hearing a presentation from Chorus customers, who were also mother and daughter, struck a chord with Brooke and many attendees. One has a schizoaffective disorder and is the first person in WA to access NDIS funding for psychosocial support. Hearing the duo speak about their journey proved emotional for the audience. “I think everybody in the room was in tears by the end of it,” said Brooke.
A highlight for Brooke was the ‘Choose Your Own Recovery Adventure’ workshop, an interactive session set up like a board game. Participants were given the role of a person experiencing mental health problems who had entered the recovery system. Throughout the game, players experienced positive experiences moving them forward on their road to recovery, or drawbacks which set them back. For Brooke, it was an engaging way of creating a better understanding of mental health and the difficulties people face when they enter the care system. Brook is currently working on introducing the game to Chorus as an interactive form of staff training for families involved in mental health recovery.
Chorus created a Tree of Belonging to celebrate our cultural diversity during Harmony Week.
Chorus Multicultural Activity Centre invited the Bull Creek multicultural playgroup for morning tea to celebrate cultural diversity together, showing that there is no age nor culture barrier to enjoying the company of others. The children were also taught how to play Mah-jong.
Chorus staff and volunteers celebrated Christmas with family at the Chorus Family Fun Day in Kings Park.
Some of the many events we attended this year include:
Chorus attended the launch of Great Southern Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Community of Practice on how to reduce the impact of mental illness, alcohol and other drugs. At the WA Mental Health Conference and Awards we learned that our team was well on track with services, such as our principles of recovery. A takeaway from the Aged and Community Services Australia conference was that health services is the fastest growing employment sector in Australia and support workers are one of the few jobs unlikely to by affected by automation.
Chorus created an award-winning garden at the Perth Garden Festival 2018. The Chorus Kaleidoscope Garden was designed for people of all ages and abilities, with a focus on people living with dementia.
The garden was inspired by Chorus volunteer Andy Creighan, who is living with early onset dementia. Before joining Chorus in 2014 as a gardening volunteer, Andy had very little interest in gardening. He began working in the community and doing an activity that was out of his comfort zone.
Andy’s attitude to life changed.
“I was a very negative person… I turned myself around to be more positive… I make the best of life… It’s not as bad as everyone thinks.”
Digging in the dirt and creating a garden can help someone living with dementia to find purpose and peace. It can also evoke memories of people and places.
A video showcasing our star attraction at the Perth Garden Festival – the Chorus Kaleidoscope Garden.
Gardening is in many ways a metaphor for health. A garden requires tending. It requires time, attention and caring. The more love a garden gets, the healthier and more beautiful it becomes. A garden spreads joy to all those around it.
Chorus Mental Health Recovery Worker Joan received a Certificate of Appreciation from her team in Bunbury and her manager Jerry nominated Joan for a WA Disability Support Award.
Joan said her work is driven by her desire to make a difference. “I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve in life. I want to use my knowledge and experience to give something back and help other people get what they want in life.”
Joan’s customers also sing her praises. In his testimonial supporting Joan’s award, customer Matthew says: “Joan is always enthusiastic and that inspires me to keep going. I feel she is genuinely interested in my success.”
Disability Employment Consultant Kirra received a nomination from customer and now Chorus Booking Assistant Kelly for the WA Disability Support Awards 2018.
Kelly’s life changed three years ago when a routine medical procedure left her in paraplegia. Kelly was determined to overcome the challenges of her new condition and find work, but two years and three service providers later, Kelly had not found employment.
Kelly started working with Kirra at Chorus to update her resume, prepare for upcoming job opportunities and restore her confidence. Only three months later, Kelly was employed at Chorus.
“Kirra has given me back a lot more than she can ever know. I can’t thank her enough and I believe with all my heart that she deserves this award,” said Kelly.
Pictured: Chorus staff Kirra (left), Kelly (centre) and Louise (right)
At Chorus we encourage all staff to spend a day in someone’s shoes and take a day out of their schedules to participate and learn about a different part of the organisation.
Chorus Head of Brand and People Louise Forster swapped her laptop for a mower. She enjoyed being part of the Chorus gardening team, meeting customers and making a difference in the garden.
Pictured: Louise (left) takes a break with Ben (centre) and Maurice (right) from the Chorus North Perth Gardening Team.
People and Culture Specialist Kerry Morrison was quick to pounce on the opportunity and joined the gardening team at the Wanneroo Depot’s tool training.
Kerry was inspired by the team’s dedication to safety. She found it very helpful to her usual role to see how the training is delivered, and even learnt some useful tips. “I was amazed at how much the gardening team need to know…Not a ‘walk in the park’ by any means,” she said.
Pictured: Kerry learns about mowers from Alex
Congratulations to Chorus volunteer Mario for winning the Multicultural Volunteer Award at the Volunteer WA Awards.
Mario volunteers at the Chorus Multicultural Community Centre in Bull Creek every Wednesday assisting the Italian elders group. He helps in the kitchen with meals and loves interacting with customers and other volunteers.
“It’s good to be involved, to give back something to the Italian community for example, because they have someone who can speak their language when they come here on a Wednesday and it makes it so much easier for them,” Mario said.
He has been volunteering for Chorus for nearly 15 years and has no plans to slow down. He encourages everyone to take a step back and consider taking on a volunteering role.
“Irrespective of what your background is, you can come along and become a volunteer in some areas in which you’ve got skills which you normally don’t use. And that’s really what it’s all about.”
“I just love helping people so you feel like you’re achieving something.” Said Phyllis.
Chorus Kitchen volunteers Phyllis Paganoni and Lois Portelli met in 1995 on their very first Meals on Wheels delivery. The pair deliver meals in the Melville area every week and have become known as the much-loved ‘Tuesday girls’ to Chorus customers.
“Once you are retired and have time on your hands, I think it’s a great thing to do to give something back to the community,” said Lois. “I believe you really get what you give, and certainly volunteering with Chorus has enriched my life in many ways, not least because I met Phyllis and we have such a wonderful friendship.”
Phyllis and Lois deliver more than 80 meals to the homes of seniors and people living with disability every month.
“We just fit in with each other,” added Phyllis. “For the first 15 years I drove and Lois was the runner. After my husband passed away and I’d come back, I said: well, you can drive now.”
It’s a true community friendship. Chorus customer Verna has meals delivered three days a week and went to school with Phyllis’ sister. She loves that the pair stop to have a chat and check up on her. “I’m not only happy with the meal, I’m happy with the delivery girls, absolutely!” she quips.
Lois and Phyllis’ story was also featured on Channel 7’s Today Tonight.
During National Volunteer week we asked volunteers what does ‘Give a little. Change a lot.’ mean to them?
What’s the difference between doing a job and loving it? Dan Minchin and Louise Forster talked about creating an organisation where people love coming to work.
We talked to some of our amazing volunteers to find out what it’s like to be a volunteer in the Chorus community.
Chorus is governed by a Board whose role is to set the strategic direction of the organisation. They monitor performance against our strategic plan and government contracts and are responsible for organisational governance.
Moira is an experienced company Chair and Director on a range of Boards with a background as a senior leader in ASX listed companies and as an executive director in government and senior leader in academia. Moira is the Associate Dean Quality Standards and Accreditation and the MBA Director in the School of Business and Governance at Murdoch University and formerly was the Managing Director of Chutzpa
Moira holds a PhD in business management, is a graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. Moira is also Chair of Diabetes WA, Chair of Parkinson’s Australia, Councillor with HBF, a Director with Diabetes Australia, and a Director with Diabetes Australia Research Limited and is an appointed member on a range of government advisory groups.
Moira was originally the Chair of Volunteer Task Force, appointed in November 2013.
Ray is the Principal of From Left Field management consultancy, supporting the Aged Care and Social Enterprise sectors. Formerly, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Amana Living and prior to that CEO of the City of Fremantle. Ray was the winner of the WA Excellence Award for Aged and Community Services in 2017.
Ray is currently a Member of the Statutory Planning Committee of the WA Planning Commission, the Deputy Chairman of writing WA, a Director of United Way WA, a Director of Ocean Gardens Inc and Chair of Tiller Cycles Pty Ltd. Formerly he was a Director and Deputy President of Aged and Community Services Australia, Chairman of Aged & Community Services WA, President of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Therapy Focus Inc. and Chairman of the West Australian Maritime Museum Advisory Board.
Ray was originally a Director of Community First, appointed in May 2016.
Craig is a finance executive with more than 20 years of experience gained from a broad range of roles in both Australia and UK leading finance teams through strategic change, international expansion and corporate re-structuring. He is experienced in financial services, media, retail and production sectors. Roles have included extensive involvement with sales, brand and marketing, product development, operations and IT in addition to core finance disciplines.
A Fellow of The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants since 2007, Craig is currently CFO Technology and Transformation for Bankwest.
Craig was originally a Director of Volunteer Task Force, appointed in April 2014.
Ian is an IT leader with 20 years of diverse strategic and hands-on experience in the technology, finance and health insurance industries both in the UK and Australia. He has demonstrated strengths in setting strategy, leading cohesive teams and in the delivery of value. Ian has led large teams and been accountable for managing large budgets. With superior analytical skills he delivers organisational benefits, using both operating model and IT solutions to provide business outcomes.
Ian is currently Regional IT Manager for Tronox.
Ian was originally a Director of Volunteer Task Force, appointed in December 2015.
Tony has significant international commercial experience having held senior operational and finance roles with Tate and Lyle PLC, a UK multinational corporation as well as being a director of the Tate and Lyle Group subsidiaries and related companies.
Tony has 17 years’ experience as a Director. He currently holds non-executive directorships at The Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-Operative Ltd, Ngarluma Ngurra Ltd and Collaborative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products.
Tony was originally a Director of Community First, appointed in May 2016.
Geoff practised in the accounting profession for some 35 years and on his retirement from practice in 2005 was an Audit and Assurance partner and former managing partner of the Perth practice of BDO. He was National President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2002 and awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007. Geoff is a Director and chair of the Audit Committee of Poseidon Nickel Limited, and was formerly a director and chaired the audit committee of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and AVEA Insurance Ltd.
He was until recently a member of the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board, and was previously a Board member of the Small Business Development Corporation in Perth and chaired a trustee aboriginal corporation Gumala Investments Pty Ltd.
Geoff was originally a Director of Care Options, appointed in September 2015.
Stuart has held executive positions in the public, private and not for profit sectors and currently operates a successful corporate and communications consultancy. From 1998 to 2013 he was Chief Executive Officer of Southern Cross Care (Western Australia) Inc., a leading provider of services to the aged, those with a disability and people with mental illness. Previously he had held CEO positions in the not-for-profit sector and was a senior executive in the public sector having been a regional director of health in two Australian states. He also worked for 10 years as a tenured academic at UK and Australian universities.
Stuart has held a number of board and committee positions in the human services and is currently a member of the Western Australian Mental Health Tribunal.
Stuart was the inaugural Head of the WA Council of Official Visitors and received the Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal for outstanding service to providers and clients in the mental health sector.
Stuart was originally a Director of Care Options, appointed in September 2015.
Barbara has over 25 years’ experience in community services and development management in local government and currently holds the position of Director, City Engagement at the City of Kwinana. In her previous role at the City of Fremantle, she was responsible for managing a range of diverse services similar to those offered to the community by Chorus, and as a consequence has considerable knowledge of and a commitment to ensuring quality service delivery to the community.
Barbara was originally the Chair of Care Options, appointed in 2009.
Chorus has 400 dedicated employees and more than 600 volunteers across all our service areas and corporate functions.
Chorus management is driven around a culture of self-belief – the philosophy that individuals want to make positive contributions. We believe high performance and excellent service comes from enthusiastic and empowered individuals with high levels of job satisfaction.
Executive managers have a broad range of business skills and qualifications, as well as experience with mergers, culture change programs, implementation and migration of systems and processes.
Dan joined as our inaugural CEO in February 2017. As a community leader and social entrepreneur, Dan is gratified by the opportunity to steward the creation of Chorus, building on the legacies of Volunteer Task Force, Community First International and Care Options.
Previously, Dan was Silver Chain’s Head of Strategy and General Manager, East Coast. Through this role he lead Silver Chain’s expansion beyond WA, to now a national innovator in community healthcare. He has also worked as a strategy advisor and consultant to some of WA’s best-known organisations.
He is a member of the Council of Methodist Ladies College, and has previously been Chairman of Primary Care WA and the WA Music Industry Association.
Dan has been fortunate to complement his practical experience with study at Harvard Business School, Melbourne Business School, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the University of WA.
We are doing something special at Chorus. I’m optimistic that by joining forces and embracing market change, we will enable customers to live the life they choose, in turn showing a real impact on the community at large.
Louise joined Chorus (then Care Options) in June 2016 as the Executive Manager Business Development. Soon after starting, the Chorus merger was in full flight and she was appointed to the role of Head of Brand and People in May 2017. Her current role oversees People and Culture, Marketing and Communications and Business Development with the purpose to provide strategic, tactical and collaborative leadership to align our people and culture to our Chorus brand promise.
Louise brings extensive experience as a senior manager within the community services sector. She has worked at many leading organisations and has led projects in innovative areas such as consumer directed care, co-design, experiential learning and contemporary media (including audio, digital and social media and film).
Louise holds Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of London and an MBA from the University of Western Australia for which she was a BHP Billiton MBA Scholar.
I want to make a positive impact on the future of our community and in this role at Chorus I can do that.
Jamin Hirte is an experienced executive with expertise is in customer experience, digital, operations, financial analysis, strategic planning and business intelligence.
His role at Chorus is Head of Customer Operations, with responsibility for the customer service delivery and supporting operations.
Prior to joining Chorus in August, he had spent 14 years at RAC, where he held senior management and executive roles within Sales, Roadside Assistance, Motoring and Digital and Information.
His major achievements at RAC include optimising Roadside Assistance, building a needs based sales culture, and establishing the first start up accelerator in Western Australia. For Roadside Assistance he utilised existing insight to better manage the member expectations, leading to improved net promoter score, 10% reduction in expenses and greater workforce optimisation. Prior to RAC, Jamin worked in Investment Banking and Retail Banking, where his area of speciality was pricing and financial analysis.
He is a graduate of Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Program), University of Western Australia (Executive MBA) and Curtin University (Bachelor of Commerce – Finance).
Fionnuala joined Chorus in February 2018 as Head of Enabling Services, responsible for developing strategies to deliver optimum solutions in technology, assets and procurement and operational excellence.
With a diverse background which spans over 25 years in the health and social care industries, her roles have included health service development and management, not-for-profit leadership and advocacy. Originally from Ireland, she has a clinical background as a Registered General Nurse and has combined this with her strong academic base to carve out a career path in the management of community and health services both in Ireland and Australia. Fionnuala’s background and experience give her a particular focus on driving value for money whilst striving to deliver on improved customer outcomes.
Since coming to Australia, Fionnuala built her not-for-profit experience as Executive Officer for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of WA before joining HBF in 2015 where she spent three years leading HBF’s health programs and services provision. There, she developed a reputation as someone whose calm and empathetic approach led to success in leading organisational change.
Fionnuala is a graduate of University College Dublin (Masters of Development Studies and Diploma in Economic Science) and the National University of Ireland, Galway (BA in English and Economics).
I strongly believe in the power of community and connections to deliver better health and social outcomes. At Chorus we work to help individuals build stronger connections with their own community, and the potential for positive impact is boundless.
Ryan’s role as Head of Finance at Chorus has the responsibility for the finance, legal and governance functions.
With over 15 years experience as a strategic finance executive from a broad range of domestic and international roles, his career has spanned a number of industries including aviation, construction and mining. Ryan has over two years of experience in the care sector, where he was most recently Executive General Manager Strategy and Growth for one of Australia’s largest privately owned home care groups.
In addition to his core finance disciplines Ryan has also had extensive involvement in product and service development, brand and marketing, sales, mergers and acquisition and information technology.
Ryan is a graduate of CPA Australia and Edith Cowan University (Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting and Finance).