Westhaven reaches 550 staff through service growth and expansion

Westhaven reaches 550 staff through service growth and expansion

NDIS boost: Dubbo disability service Westhaven Grows

An unprecedented spike in demand for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services from Westhaven has paved the way for a new era of growth for the iconic Dubbo institution.

In its latest annual report, Westhaven revealed its NDIS income more than doubled in the 2018/19 financial year, to now stand at almost $20 million

Children services income more than tripled and is now at $18.5 million while grant funding has declined significantly from about $5.6 million to almost $1.9 million.

In response to more people with disability choosing Westhaven to deliver support services, the organisation’s workforce has more than doubled in the past two years. With more than 550 staff now working at Westhaven, the organisation has cemented its position as one of Dubbo’s biggest employers

“We are constantly recruiting… support workers are our biggest demand area, and that’s the largest number of staff,” Westhaven’s chief executive officer (CEO) Andrew Everett said.

“We’re also on the lookout for corporate staff and with the rollout of Google technology, which allows for collaboration and remote working, we’re also able to look at employing more corporate staff in different locations like Orange or Bathurst because you no longer need to be in the office every single day in order to do your job.”

Westhaven’s growth has seen it expand its service offering to residents in Orange, Nyngan and Broken Hill, Mr Everett said.

“We’re creating a really great culture here,” he said.

“If [staff] see an opportunity for a process improvement or a better way of doing something, then they’re encouraged to make those changes so that we can deliver a better service to our clients.

CELEBRATING GROWTH: Westhaven CEO Andrew Everett with staff members Matthew White and Susan Coggan. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

“We also do celebrate our diversity, we have about 29 per cent of staff who identify as culturally and linguistically different, we have about 16 per cent of our workforce who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and we have about a 50,50 split on male and female.”

Mr Everett said Westhaven strove to hire the right people, whose personal values matched up with Westhaven’s.

“Working in the disability is a unique opportunity and it requires a special set of skills and empathy and that’s what we look for during our recruitment process,” he confirmed.

Westhaven clients, families and staff will celebrate the organisation’s success at a bi-annual ball in Dubbo on Saturday night

Story by The Daily Liberal, Ryan Young
Published 24 October 2019