In this piece, we take a look at what a year of growth and development has looked like for the Community Services Industry Alliance, and we discuss what exciting adventures come next.

When the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) recently held its Annual General Meeting, both the Chair of the Board (Heather Watson) and the CEO (Belinda Drew) reflected on the changing nature of the organisation’s business now that it’s three years old.

Tremendous foundations have been laid for the future successes of the CSIA, and the role they set out to play in changing the landscape of the way our Industry does business.

With this in mind a number of things have recently taken place to reset the company strategy.

Firstly, a stakeholder review took place which showed categorically that their stakeholder vision was well aligned with their corporate vision.  This, of course, is always a good place to start.

Heather Watson, Chair of the Board, said at the meeting that the future challenge would be to continue to communicate what the CSIA does, engage the industry, and have a clear understanding of what the organisation is delivering.

Watson also talked about the recent governance review of the CSIA Board which was done to ensure there was a good skills mix, solid Chair and Board succession plan, and increased governance sophistication to reflect the changing nature of the business.

And in extremely good news, the Board offered a further five-year contract to the inaugural CEO, Belinda Drew.

Belinda Drew, CEO CSIA

Belinda has now been tasked with developing a staffing structure that will reflect the changing nature of the business, with a specific focus on new systems and programs.

Belinda proudly addressed attendees at the AGM, saying that the organisation was now moving from start-up to sustainability.

“We have moved beyond activity alone to projects and emerging programs of work in areas such as disability, child and family, gender parity and competition policy,” said Drew.

“And in the next year we’re predicting further growth that will result in this program of work deepening in scale and scope.”

Future scope of the CSIA

So, what were some of the highlights in the year gone by?

  • The Laying Foundations Report was developed in partnership with the Queensland Family and Child Commission. This included the development of an industry development agenda through state-wide consultations
  • An Industry-led approach to investment reform within the child and family services sector
  • A focus on Industry excellence in relation to child safe / child friendly organisations
  • The formation of the Community Services Reform Council with 12 members across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia
  • A range of education events designed to support new ideas and thinking across the Industry
  • Co-delivery of WorkAbility Queensland and further development of the most comprehensive package of workforce-focused work delivered in the NDIS anywhere in Australia
  • Beginning Industry development for the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building project within the NDIS
  • Delivering the very successful Ignite and Unite: CSIA Women’s Business Breakfast series
  • Undertaking work to address gender parity in the Boards of community service organisations.

Principles and approach for the CSIA’s future

A new strategy for the future of the CSIA in 2018 and beyond

  • Industry engagement and leadership will remain a critical element for driving quality outcomes
  • Of course, none of this is possible without CSIA’s key stakeholders, partners and collaborators.  This is, and will remain, a central part of the CSIA approachk. ‘Working Together’ is part of the DNA of CSIA.
  • CSIA has strong relationships with governments abd will remain ever vigilant to ensure that doesn’t change and that a positive Industry agenda (in terms of policy reform and industry development) can be taken forward.

A new strategy for 2018

  • For the past three years, the CSIA have been able to focus and organise their work around the following themes:
    • Industry investment
    • Industry development
    • Industry profile
  • The organisation is now moving to a new strategic focus as they refresh their agenda for the next three years
  • The new strategy is currently awaiting feedback from the Board and will be launched in more detail in 2018.