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Thank you

Within just a mere couple of months, our worlds have been tipped upside down. We have been instructed to change our normal way of life for the greater good and wellbeing of the communities we live in, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within these communities. These challenging times highlight that the role Orana plays in the community is even more essential now than it has ever been before.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff and clients continues to be our number one commitment. Orana Management is responsible for navigating the organisation through these troubled waters to ensure staff and client wellbeing, and we are doing everything possible to achieve this. However, in all this uncertainty, I find myself reflecting for a moment upon what really makes Orana the organisation it is today and indeed, why I am so very proud to be its CEO. It is a reminder to me, that it is staff who actually make Orana ‘tick’.

Our frontline staff have an extraordinary power and privilege. On a daily basis they are not only supporting our clients, but they are also creating reasons to smile, making their day as enjoyable as possible, and building meaningful relationships with them. As frontline staff, they often have to forget their own challenges and support others.

I take this opportunity to highlight the incredible efforts of our front line staff – Client Coaches, Business Services Supervisors, the Capacity Building Team and staff in Respite, Day Options and Down Syndrome SA. You provide the vital support and services to many vulnerable people who are concerned and potentially struggling to understand the severity of this situation and in many cases, exposed to the risks of this virus. You continue to look after the needs of others before yourselves, even during these hard times.

You have stepped forward and stepped up to support Orana address this challenge. Throughout this time, you have remained steadfast and committed to adapting to this changing paradigm.

Thank-you for all your dedication, hard work, empathy, patience and kindness in supporting our clients not only during this challenging time, but all year round.

Thank you on behalf of the Board, thank you on behalf of Management and I thank you personally.

I would also like to thank Head Office staff for their flexibility and commitment in transforming their homes into makeshift work spaces. I am aware that some people were not comfortable with this move, but understood that it was a necessary step to take to ensure we follow the protocols set out by the Australian Government and the Health Department to stay home to minimise the risk of infection spread.

I am very proud and thankful for your exceptional efforts that make a positive difference to the lives of many.

I urge everyone to please take care of your own health and safety needs and that of your loved ones during this time. Stay safe.


Nick Mihalaras

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