We acknowledge the mental and emotional fatigue many of us have experienced due to COVID-19 throughout the past year. We are indebted to our staff and volunteers, and the supporters, partners and funders who have demonstrated continued compassion towards people in need. Despite the numerous challenges of responding to COVID-19, we are grateful to God that nearly all of our services and programs have continued to be safely delivered in communities throughout Australia.
We are particularly proud of our organisation’s response to the pandemic. Keeping people safe is at the heart of everything we do and we have taken extra precautions to ensure our work environment is safe for our staff and those we serve. Our Aged Care staff are all fully vaccinated and in partnership with local health authorities, we set up vaccination clinics in our community housing at Common Ground in Sydney and the Mission Australia Centre (MAC) in Surry Hills.
In addition to the physical safety of our staff we have deployed a range of responses to support the mental health of our staff, especially those working at home and grappling with the challenges of lockdowns and restrictions.
One year into our 20-25 Strategy, we are pleased with the progress made. Some highlights include:
Construction of the Coffs Harbour MAC and 40 one-bedroom social housing units will be complete this year, thanks to donations from our supporters and partners
in June 2021, Mission Australia Housing Partnership Limited purchased off plan 130 units at Mid-Town Macquarie Park in Sydney to make available as affordable housing
Advancing the development of new alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres in Cairns and Batemans Bay
Establishment of our first Community of Focus initiative in Cairns South
We formed a new alliance of sector partners in South Australia to work towards ending homelessness
Our Founding Purpose
For over 160 years, Mission Australia’s Founding Purpose has stood the test of time.
“Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God.”
During the year we finalised the ‘Unpacking our Founding Purpose’ charter, providing greater clarity on what our Founding Purpose looks like in practice.
As you enjoy our first digital Annual Report, we hope you are encouraged by the fruits of your contribution. Thank you for your support as we strive towards an Australia where all of us have a safe home and can thrive.
Ken Dean Chairman
James Toomey CEO
James Toomey’s final year as CEO
In October 2021, James announced his intention to step down from his role as CEO by March 2022.
“It has been an absolute honour to serve Mission Australia in my various roles, and being CEO has been the greatest, most humbling and rewarding experience,” says James.
In 2020, we launched Mission Australia’s 20-25 Strategy with a vision for an Australia where all of us have a safe home and can thrive. In the past year, we are proud of our progress in our four strategic areas of focus. From the construction of a new Mission Australia Centre in Coffs Harbour to expanding our Alcohol and Other Drugs Facilities in Cairns and Batemans Bay.
Construction of the new Mission Australia Centre in Coffs Harbour commenced in early 2021. Made possible by donations from Mission Australia supporters, the new MAC is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that people on the Mid North Coast have access to the services they need and a safe place to call home.
Balancing work and three children as a single-mum, Mary was overwhelmed. She felt unsure about the future but when she connected with our ParentsNext team, Mary began to feel hopeful about the future again.
Living with impaired vision, everyday things were difficult for Larry. When he connected with our NDIS Local Area Coordinator in Western Australia, Larry’s life took a turn for the better. Today, Larry is thriving and has even volunteered to help others living with a disability.
Our Impact Measurement helps us understand how our services improve the lives of our clients and the communities we serve. We measure our impact by asking our clients questions about their wellbeing when they start a service and when they exit.
Funded by the Federal Government, our Reconnect services support young people at risk of homelessness. Our impact measurement data shows that when young people left a Reconnect service, they were more satisfied with their life as a whole than at the start.
*Matched data collected from January 2020 to July 2021 (n=176)
1 International Wellbeing Group (2013). Personal Wellbeing Index: 5th Edition. Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University
Research & advocacy
Mission Australia provided submissions to the Federal Government on a range of issues, including:
Inquiry into homelessness in Australia 2020
Indigenous Voice Co-Design Interim Report
An Inquiry into the human rights implications of the ParentsNext program.
We furthered our collaboration with the community housing and homelessness sectors, advocating for more social and affordable housing and a national strategy to end homelessness as part of Everybody’s Home.
Mission Australia continued to advocate for adequate income support for people in need and to combat intergenerational poverty as part of the Raise the Rate for Good campaign.