This annual report covers the financial year of 2021 – 2022. In a year where we continued to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and re-opening of Western Australia to the world after 696 days, ending one of the world’s longest border closures, we have remained focussed on providing a safe place for young people to grow and thrive and are driven to making a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.
2021 – 2022 saw us reflect on where we are going, resulting in the development and the launch of our Growth for Impact Strategy.
Through the annual report we will share the stories that illustrate the meaning of impact. If you have a positive impact on just one person, the impact on that person is immense and what it means to them can often be indescribable. Here at The Y WA we strive to make that impact on not just one but many.
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to our 2022 Annual report. This is the first Annual Report from me as CEO. I had only just started last year and was warmly welcomed by the outgoing President Justin Eve. As I write my first welcome I also welcome and acknowledge our new President Chris Campbell. Chris has been on the Board of the Y since 2019 and has generously accepted the Presidents role. Thank you, Chris, for your generosity and dedication to the Y in Western Australia.
I am so appreciative of the Board for giving me the leadership opportunity at the Y. My first year has been full of joy, new learning and excitement as we work together to achieve our five-year strategy. I have experienced a Y that is doing amazing and impactful work with children, young people and communities across Western Australia. Our impact across the state is possible as we have a talented and diligent Board. Thank you to all the Board members for your guidance and support.
This Annual Report highlights some of the brilliant people we have in the Y as well as some of the impact we are having on people’s lives. What a privilege to come to work knowing that your role is to lead an organisation that aims to make a positive difference in the lives of the people we know. This year I have experienced the inspiration of our staff, children, and young people. I have whole heartedly experienced our belief statement ‘We believe in the power of inspired young people’.
This year the Board launched their Growth for Impact 2022- 2027 Strategy. This strategy builds upon the previous 10-year strategy and intends to accelerate the success of our Early Learning Centres (ELC) by delivering a school readiness programme and doubling our ELC footprint across the state. The Growth for Impact Strategy recognises the need for us to be a data driven organisation investing in a high performing culture that people love to work in. One of the tasks in the strategy is to discover successful model for meaningful, sustainable, long-term impact on community wellbeing at scale in WA.
The new Growth for Impact Strategy has refocussed our efforts to be outcome oriented with a clear theory of change resulting in individual and community impact. The refocussing on strategy has also helped us build our Executive team with two new members. Allison Ross is leading our People and Culture portfolio and Anjie Brook is leading our new portfolio of Education, Youth and Leisure. Although early days in their working journey with the Y their impact has been considerable.
The year 2022 saw some amazing growth for The Y. This year we opened our first Y Vocational School. The school opening brings to fruition years of planning and the Board’s desire to assist young people who have disengaged from school. The Y Vocational School is a safe place for these students to learn and to develop the skills to transition into the workforce, further education, or training. We also opened three new ELC’s in Kalgoorlie, Brabham, and Baldivis. Beautiful new centres providing outstanding and safe childcare for local families. We have also ventured north with the acquisition of a childcare centre in Broome. Incredible achievement in one year!
This year has not been without its challenges. Our Early Learning Centres and Out of School Hours Care excelled amid the workforce challenges facing the industry across Australia. I have been so impressed and proud of how we have been able to continue to deliver excellent childcare and before and after school hours care despite the workforce challenges. A testament to our staff and their dedication to the work of the Y. Thank you to all our staff for the work you do, your efforts are appreciated.
I hope you enjoy the glimpse into our work and impact this year that this report offers. I look forward to reporting on our Growth for Impact strategy development and impact next year and sharing with you the stories of our work.
President of The Y Board
What an incredible first year it has been as President of the Y WA. It has been a privilege to chair the organisation through some significant progress and achievements this year and my colleagues and I are very proud to be reporting this progress to you today.
Our year began by welcoming Dr Tim McDonald as CEO to the Y in August. A new CEO is a significant undertaking and milestone, and it has been refreshing to have Tim not only join us but set the tone for an incredibly productive and collaborative relationship with the Board in the process.
Tim and his Executive have worked hard to journey with us and set our strategic direction for the next five years – Growth for Impact. We have been impressed by his energy, enthusiasm and clarity and look forward to the years ahead as we pursue impact for young people, within the communities they reside, with Tim at the helm.
In terms of achievements, I am pleased to report we have been able to oversee several significant milestones this year, including the opening of the Y’s first Vocational school in Mirrabooka and the opening of key new Early Learning Centre Services in Kalgoorlie, Brabham, and Baldivis. On both these fronts we expect to have more exciting news to share in the year ahead.
In terms of our overarching strategy, we are excited to endorse significant strategic work in pursuit of deep, evidence informed impact, with School Readiness in our ELC’s and Work Readiness in our Vocational schools front of mind. We have also endorsed key strategic work on our People strategy – an absolute necessity in this post COVID world and have set the agenda for our desire to be truly data driven in pursuit of evidence informed impact.
Our strategy is an ambitious, yet balanced workplan that makes clear our intent to see the world through the eyes of young people, use their voice to identify the impact we need to create to increase their individual and collective capacity and therefore help them to deliver long term impact in their communities.
It’s at this time of year that I have the privilege of acknowledging and thanking those that have contributed to our journey and welcome those who have joined. To that end, I would first like to acknowledge the efforts of our retiring Directors, Ben Rosser, and Sheila McHale. Both have made significant contributions in the Boardroom and to the organisation directly, and we thank them for their tireless efforts and contributions. Thanks also to departing members of the Executive, Shane Mauger and Suzanne Carroll for their respective contributions.
We welcome Penelope Harris and Tricia Tebbutt to the Board as new Directors and welcome Anjie Brook (Executive Manager of Education, Youth and Leisure) and Allison Ross (Executive Manager People and Culture) to the Executive team.
Our theme this year is the Meaning of Impact. On behalf of the board, I welcome you to read the content of this report with interest and look forward to reporting more exciting developments under Growth for Impact in the year ahead.
As Youth Advocate at the Y WA, I have had the immense privilege of connecting with, learning from, and hearing the voices of young people from across WA – and Australia!
In my role, I have gained incredible insight from young people into the key issues that they care about and been able to provide this insight directly to the CEO, Executive Leadership Team, and Board of the Y WA. I have consulted with over 60 young people on the Y Australia Amplifying Youth Voices Report on Employment, am an editor for Y National’s WhyNot platform, had the opportunity to connect with young people at our youth services and programs, and supported the CEO’s Youth Advisory Committee.
Facilitating the creation and development of the CEO’s Youth Advisory Committee has been a highlight of this year. The group was established to provide direct advice and support to Dr Tim McDonald in relation to youth issues. This group of diverse young people come together with a wealth of experience, energy, and passion for serving their communities.
Young people and their voices have been at the forefront of the Y since its inception back in 1844. Their stories, lived experiences, opinions, and ideas have contributed to the development and growth of youth programs, guided leadership, and influenced decision-making in various capacities, including most recently with the Y Australia’s alignment to the global Vision 2030.
The Y is committed to putting the principles of youth voice into practice by creating opportunities for youth to speak, be heard, and be listened to. The continued success of our Youth Parliament program, the brilliant work of the HQ Youth Squad in the WA youth music scene, the creation of the Youth Advisory Committee to the CEO, and more, are all examples of the Y believing in the power of inspired young people.
I look forward to continuing to support the Youth Advisory Committee in guiding the direction of the Y in its commitment to young people, building our capacity for integrating meaningful youth voice and participation into all spaces, and supporting and amplifying young people’s voices across the Y.