Note from Chair

In reflecting on the past 12 months, my mind is drawn to the ongoing natural disasters that occurred in the form of storms across the Dandenong Ranges, South Gippsland, Gembrook, Don Valley, Healesville, Lancefield, Kinglake and Woori Yallock in June 2021. Being asked to support our communities, as we have done so before in March 2019 and January 2020 with the horrific bushfires, I was proud to know that our experience and connection to our community was once again being called upon to support those communities across central and northern Victoria impacted by flooding of the Goulburn, Loddon and Campaspe Rivers. These natural disasters have such lasting impacts on our communities, and knowing that Windermere is there gives our community and our Board great comfort.

Together with a dedicated Board this year, we have continued our oversight of the 2020-23 Strategic Plan, having received many presentations and reports on progress. With an ambitious plan, we are seeing significant progress in areas of our Employee Value Proposition, Cyber Security and our Welcome and Inclusion and Information Management. The refurbishment design stage for our Narre Warren office involved redesigning, pricing and identifying key construction partnerships to complete this work. It has been a long process; however, I am confident that this early focus on detail will be borne out in our overall vision of a more appropriate space for consumers and staff.

This year we saw the departure of a long-serving Board member Ricki Ryan. Ricki had served on both the Board and Chaired the Finance & Audit Advisory Committee for twenty years. His contributions will continue to live beyond his impressive tenure. During the same period, we welcomed two new Board members, Kelly Dickson and Elke Gjergja, along with two new Advisory Committee members Guy Peckham and Tharshini Balasundaran. Every year our Board and Advisory Committee membership grows stronger, and I am always pleased by the contributions made by our Volunteer Directors and Committee members, including participation in additional planning sessions outside of our usual meeting calendar.

The period of 2021-22 was not void of its COVID challenges however our ongoing commitment to working with our staff and consumers enabled us to remain focussed on what mattered, and that is our service delivery. I thank all at Windermere, its management, the Board and Advisory Members, our Life and Association Members, and look forward to continuing my contributions as Chair over the next twelve months.

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Gary Castricum

Note from CEO

Each year I always enjoy presenting our annual impact statement. The part I enjoy most is sharing the achievements of our consumers and of our staff. Each and every one of our staff is deeply committed to providing the best experience for our consumers and contributing to how we can do it better. Once again, I am confident you will be able to see this throughout our Impact Report and its wonderful annual presentation of achievements.

One of the key highlights across this period was the launch of our Welcome and Inclusion Strategy at the May 2022 All Staff Forum. With almost 200 staff present, we were able to commence our commitment to learning, rethinking and hearing the voice of those with lived experience to build a more inclusive organisation. I would really like to extend my thanks to our magnificent panel, focusing on our four priority areas of CALD, Disability, LGBTIQ+ and Indigenous, for helping us on the day to understand the challenges and opportunities by asking us to look beyond stereotypes, long held prejudices and to collectively commit to building inclusion across all layers of our organisation. It was a great day and one that continues to inspire our thinking and actions. As the CEO, I fully recognise that inclusion is reliant on action, leadership and broad thinking across our service delivery, policy development and our workplace. Together with all our staff, I look forward to progressing our inclusion work in the years to come. This year we also committed further to continue building a stronger evidence-based approach to our practice. As always, we were truly excited to continue our valued partnership with the Parent Research Centre moving from an Excel spreadsheet to a real-time database collecting and reporting consumer outcomes and supporting our staff to develop an even deeper understanding of their practice approach and, more importantly, the impact they can create together with our consumers. Already the data is identifying some great outcomes. In closing, I would acknowledge our consumers who inspire us every day to be the best we can be. To all the staff of Windermere, I also thank you for all that you do and your unwavering focus to make Windermere a better place, I thank the senior leadership group for their drive and energy, for the support I receive every day from those who I work with most closely I am always grateful for the challenging discussions, the divergent views and capacity to remain focussed on what matters. Finally, to the Board, I also thank you for your contributions and sound governance.

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Dr Lynette Buoy
Chief Executive Officer

Our Impact


lives of children, families and individuals were
supported in many different ways, including:

Family wellbeing

Community strengthening

Crisis, assault and trauma

Child development, education and support
60 people
every single day require our services.

What our community
is saying about us

Strategic Plan 2020-2023

Doing it Better Together

Our strategic plan guides our operational priorities and strategic direction while supporting our purpose and vision as an organisation. Our Impact Report follows the themes of our Strategic Plan, being:

  • Improve lives
  • Ask, Listen, Act
  • Do More & Do It Better
  • Evidence Matters

The Strategic Plan sets a framework for us to focus our energies and resources and work toward outcomes and common goals and has the themes of:

Improving Lives

Innovation, evidence and
accountability drives everything we do

Our framework for best practice

The Practitioner Coaching Framework (PCF) provides a new approach to traditional case management. The focus is on building the capability and capacity of our consumers to lessen their reliance on our services and empowering them to problem-solve for themselves.  The approach is a very powerful way of promoting the long-term development, well-being and safety of those we work with. 

Following an extensive training and induction program, the PCF has now been adopted across our Integrated Family Services, Homelessness and Family Violence programs. The focus has been on equipping our team to coach consumers to develop their own projects and plans to achieve the goals that are important to them.

Nomination for the 2022 Victorian Protecting Children Awards

Windermere’s PCF was nominated for the Minister’s Award for Innovation in Protecting Children. This award recognises an individual, team or group demonstrating innovative approaches and creative intervention to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Healing after fires and floods 

In June 2021, following the unprecedented Victorian storm and flood events, our team initiated a rapid emergency response and case management support for the thousands of people impacted by the disaster.

The team also continued to act on behalf of Bushfire Recovery Victoria as single points of contact to support the recovery and healing of those affected by the 2019-2020 Victorian bushfires.

Our case management includes facilitating links into appropriate grants, clean-up assistance, mental health and financial counselling supports as well as temporary housing and more.

Critically the Bushfire team also supported the delivery of the isolated townships project, which sponsored projects and activities in remote areas of bushfire impacted East Gippsland.


Supporting and protecting families

During the year, we continued to provide a range of specialist services that strengthen and protect children and families, many of whom are in complex situations and require intensive support. Many of their needs and vulnerabilities were exacerbated by the pandemic. A large part of our services involved linking those we work with into appropriate supports or providing practical assistance.


Hope for a future beyond challenges

Tara and Adrian, who live in the Yarra Ranges with their toddler Grace were severely affected by the storms and floods in June 2021. Their home was rendered uninhabitable due to extensive damage, and they currently live with family.

During the storm, a large tree branch fell through the roof of Grace’s bedroom just moments after Tara had removed her from her bed. Unable to leave, they waited out the storm. They still recall the fear and anxiety of that night and the frightful close call.

In the aftermath of the storm, their problems compounded. They faced significant challenges with their insurer and property clean up and fell into financial difficulty without funding for alternative accommodation.

Overwhelmed and concerned for their mental health, Tara and Adrian engaged with the Windermere Recovery Support Program. On behalf of the family, Windermere identified insurance, private property clean-up, mental health and financial hardship as support areas. As a result, the family secured referrals for legal support, financial counselling and therapeutic support and continues to receive recovery support contact every fortnight.

Tara and Adrian now feel they have clear goals and support and, in turn, better mental health and overall family functioning. They still have challenges but are hopeful about their future.

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Expanding our NDIS services to meet needs

The number of people supported by our NDIS and early childhood early intervention services continued to increase over the year. We are now offering therapy services to both adults and children and with our large and growing team of Plan Managers, we are now expanding to support more NDIS participants across Victoria.
Many of the families and individuals we support have challenges that have been exacerbated due to the pandemic. To best meet their needs, we continue to focus on service expansion and attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce.

We continue to build systems that encourage close collaboration between all of our service teams. This has allowed us to ensure we are providing holistic support and advice to families who may have come to us through different services, such as our Early Learning Centre.
We also continued to improve our consumer onboarding process by refining a series of automated emails which help ensure that our consumers receive appropriate information at different points in their journey with us.


After a lifetime of struggle, Lee has the right supports

Lee has had enough struggles to last a lifetime but with Windermere, she finally felt supported and comfortable.

“At six, Lee suffered an acquired brain injury after surgical complications, that left her paralysed on her left side and needing to learn how to speak again. She went to a special school and learnt independence and was also awarded compensation so that she was financially supported.

However further difficulties in life stripped her off even more independence, and she needed to rely on a range of extra support services.

Unfortunately, many of these services were unreliable, and Lee felt she couldn’t trust them.

“I wasn’t happy at all. I would get ready to go out, and then nobody would turn up to take me out,” she says.

With Windermere’s NDIS support coordination, Lee felt comfortable and supported. Her support coordinator helped her to make the most of her NDIS plan and ensure she got the support she deserved.

Lee’s mother, retiree Anne, had previously managed all of Lee’s needs and felt hugely relieved that they had found a service they could trust.

“Lee’s support coordinator is remarkable, she leaves no stone unturned for us,” says Anne.

Lee says she is grateful to her mum Anne who is “so caring and loving”, and also to Windermere and her support coordinator “, who are excellent.”

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Supporting victims of crime and assault

Our Victims Assistance programs across Gippsland and Southern metropolitan Melbourne provide information and advocacy to victims of crime as they engage in the justice system and case support to address their other recovery needs.  This includes referral for legal and therapeutic support or external support services.  Additionally, our Koori Engagement Workers provide culturally appropriate support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims of crime. 

Being physically present at a police station ensures that victims of crime receive more immediate, responsive and effective support, and during the year, we expanded our police co-location sites to include Morwell Police station.

Recognising that consumers often require urgent and complex responses, we have streamlined our pathway referrals that relate to complex criminal events, such as homicide and vehicle-related deaths. This means we can better ensure that those who are bereaved can receive a more rapid and trauma-informed response.

To further meet the needs of our consumers, we also focussed on building and maintaining our profile in local communities as an option for male victims of family violence. This was supported by the recruitment of specialist Family Violence Victim Support workers.  


Seamless support through loss and trauma in challenging times

When Teresa lost her daughter to homicide, the challenges seemed insurmountable with Covid-19 lockdowns and while coping with grief and loss. Timely and necessary supports from Windermere eased some of the burden allowing Teresa and her family to navigate the many difficulties.

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When Teresa was referred to our Victims Assistance Program she was in severe distress, simply holding it together to focus on the tasks that needed her immediate attention. This included preparing for interstate travel and caring for her daughter’s four-year-old son who had been placed permanently in her care. Fortunately, Teresa had family and friends to support her, but stage four lockdowns were in place posing unprecedented challenges.

We supported Teresa to navigate the many complexities compounded by Covid-19. This included providing her with a wide range of supports that included psychological first aid. We also assisted with repatriating her daughter’s remains from Melbourne to Tasmania where Teresa lived and securing the necessary travel exemptions. Our case worker also established an open line of communication with relevant officials to gauge the status of the criminal investigation.

In those first six months our case worker overcame many challenges to make the entire process as seamless as possible and Teresa and her family were deeply grateful. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without all your help,” was a sentiment expressed time and again.

Our team continued to support Teresa and her family over the next phase that covered the committal hearing, trial and sentencing.

Meeting needs in our early childhood
and care services  

During the year, our Early Learning Centre (ELC), Family Day Care and Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) teams continued to focus on providing quality education and care amidst the backdrop of the pandemic.

Thanks to the dedication of our team, we were able to ensure continuous operation and care at Windermere ELC, with only minimal closures due to Covid-19. With the easing of restrictions, our two Early Childhood Teachers at the ELC reconfigured and adapted programs to increase incursions and enrichment activities. Through our partnership with nearby Monash University Peninsula Campus, Occupational Therapy and Early Childhood Education students also offered additional support for the children’s developmental needs.

Our Family Day Care service substantially increased during the year. In part, this was due to the intake of nearly 30 educators who transferred from another service when it closed in September 2021. We also improved services for our families by increasing our support team and providing a new, streamlined electronic enrolment format.

The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets national benchmarks for the regulation of early childhood education and care, and the Family Day Care team were proud to be awarded a successful assessment in line with the NQF as meeting all standards.

We have also enjoyed steady growth in our Out of School Hours Care (OSHC). During the year, we operated at four local primary schools that have all seen increases in enrolments.


Nirmala finds the support she needs for her family day care

When Nirmala immigrated to Australia and had her first child, she decided to change her career path from an accountant to educator. She completed a Diploma in Childcare and started up her own business as a Family Day Care educator under a council run Family Day Care in 2020.

When her service announced they would be closing their Family Day Care in late 2021 Nirmala wanted to continue to be an educator.

This was when Nirmala turned to Windermere. She had heard of Windermere’s good reputation and was looking for a Family Day Care with good processes and standards. Now Nirmala also feels very comfortable working with Windermere’s Family Day Care team and can access all the support she needs.

“They have all been very friendly and so far I am very happy with Windermere. They have supplied all the documents I need and organised all the safety checks very quickly,” she says.

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Providing support for families

We continue to focus on empowering and protecting children and families.

Over the course of the year, changes were made in our counselling team to better meet our consumers’ needs. This included significant redesigning of the intake role, which has ensured that new consumers have initial access to a highly experienced staff member who can provide an expert and timely assessment of their needs.

Windermere was also funded to provide one of two Family Services Specialist Disability Practitioners in the Southern Melbourne Area, along with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA). These roles, which sit within our Integrated Family Services Team, concentrate on the health, well-being and safety of families, with a special focus on enabling our consumers to link to appropriate disability supports.

During the year, we also:

The TRAK (Therapeutic Recovery for Adults and Kids) Forward program works with parents and children to recover and heal from family violence. Working in partnership with Anglicare, we are now proud to be delivering the program to families in the Gippsland area.

We also refined our Kids on Track early intervention schools based program. After observing an increase in a number of serious disclosures, such as sexual abuse or family violence, we now ensure the program is cofacilitated along with a Family Services Practitioner.

Our Family Violence Case Management provides intensive case management support to families who live within the Casey and Cardinia and Dandenong regions and have experienced family violence.

This includes risk assessment and safety planning, providing a listening ear, advocacy, information, safety plans and referrals to other services and supports. During the year, we also improved our consumer safety by streamlining our homelessness and family violence case management intake processes and risk management responses. This improved rapid response model enables us to respond to urgent situations more effectively.

Our Homelessness funded services continue to provide support to families experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness in the Southern region.

During 2021/22:


How Lauren reclaimed her life after family violence

When we first knew Lauren, she and her daughter Poppy were in a risky financial position and in a threatening family violence situation.

When Poppy was a toddler, Lauren realised that the environment she had with her partner was unhealthy for her daughter and decided to move out. At the time, Lauren’s mother was in palliative care after a cancer diagnosis, and Lauren was her primary carer. Lauren was exhausting herself looking after her mother and Poppy, all the while worrying about her former relationship.

Windermere supported Lauren with a range of practical supports, including trauma counselling, a relationship support group and a parenting course.

Lauren also applied for a business grant and started her own cake-making business. Slowly, working multiple jobs, Lauren’s financial situation improved. She saved up enough money for a car and painstakingly researched building her own home.

Lauren and Poppy now live in a new home on land Lauren bought. My counsellor “has been my constant support through all of this. She has always just been there for me. She has taught me to focus on what I can control and to believe in myself,” says Lauren.

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Keeping our kids on track

Our Kids on Track (KoT) early intervention school-based program is delivered in conjunction with Victoria Police to grade 5 and 6 students. The eight-week program educates young people on safety in the real world and addresses at-risk and difficult behaviours to ensure they stay on track.

Every year the program returns to Victorian Primary Schools in the southern Melbourne region to cover important topics and issues that are not part of the standard classroom education. The program empowers students to make safe and positive choices, better preparing them to navigate real-world issues related to drugs and alcohol, anger management, consent, mental health and more. It continues to be a vital tool to support well-being and secure their futures.

Below are some excerpts from the thank you cards students wrote at the end of a recent program.

“Thank you for teaching us all about the outside world. You are always willing to help and encourage others to have a go and be confident. Everyone learnt so many new things during Kids on Track, we will miss you.”

“You have helped me with anxiety and mental health. Thank you so much! I loved having you here.”

“Thank you for teaching us about our emotions and how to deal with ones that are hard to deal with.”

“I guess all I want to say is thank you. I will always remember you for helping me through a tough time.”

Supporting families over Christmas

Our annual Christmas appeal, Merry Mission, provided for many local families who would otherwise have done without. In 2021, due to Covid-19 we collected tax deductible donations and distributed virtual hampers and gifts through a voucher system, rather than providing physical items.

Our 2021 Merry Mission distributed:

928 digital gift and hamper vouchers

Reached 464 families

Raised $37,500

The difference Merry Mission makes

Supporting and strengthening the Cranbourne community

Supporting and strengthening the Cranbourne community

Windermere is the Communities for Children (CfC) Facilitating Partner for Cranbourne. CfC Cranbourne works alongside Community Partner’s whose activities support children and families of Cranbourne through the following vision statement:

Cranbourne is a thriving, diverse and inclusive community where children and families feel heard, are connected and have a sense of belonging as they are supported to reach their goals.

In 2021 the CfC Cranbourne Team also undertook a community engagement and consultation project, “Project Kids – 3977”, to assist in developing a new Community Strategic Plan (CSP) for 2022 – 2026. The CfC Cranbourne CSP responds to community needs which were identified as priority areas of fostering positive family functioning, supporting parents to increase knowledge and skills, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, and increasing social connectedness through diversity and inclusion.

**infographic here**

Baby Makes 3

4 first-time parents were supported with the transition to parenthood.

Beyond the Violence

19 children (0-19 years) and ten parents who had experienced family violence were supported to build resilience and re-establish relationships.

22 professionals were supported to build skills and knowledge in responding to the needs of children and parents who have experienced trauma.

28 parents were supported in becoming new parents.

6 Parents/carers attended the facilitated ADHD support group.

212 people received outreach information Another 157 received information and advice over the phone.

Connected with 309 community members at outreach locations

ADHD support group supported ten parents

Multicultural Women’s Group supported five adults and three children

Provided phone or online support to 67 individuals during Covid-19

Library has Legs: Early Years Literacies Outreach Program

This program includes the Koorie Kids Playgroup, Balee Koolin Bubup Bush Playgroup, Learning with Community, Community Engagement, CALD Community Outreach, Multilingual story times and Literacy Kits.

  • VACCA Koorie Kids Playgroup – supported 5 adults, 8 children
  • Balee Koolin Bubup Bush Playgroup – supported 6 adults, 8 children
  • Connecting two Worlds: Traditional Art & Symbols, Dreamtime stories, dance & song – supported 57 people
  • Mandarin Storytime – supported 6 adults, 21 children
  • Farsi/Dari Storytime – supported 32 attendees
  • Literacy kits were loaned 577 times
  • AUSLAN Storytime – supported 4 adults, 11 children

94 families, including children, were provided with essential early literacy support.

14 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and 90 Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) families were supported in early literacies, including in their home languages, through playgroups and story times. 

Boys on the Bounce (BoB) & Girls on the Go (GoG) – 10 week program strengthened cultural, community and educational engagement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys and girls aged 9 – 12 years.

14 children attended the Boys on the Bounce and Girls on the Go and were supported to engage with school and culture.

10 parents received advocacy and support.

School Attendance Support Program

25 adults and 37 children at risk of disengaging from education, received one-on-one support for their wellbeing and to return to school.

Tuning into Kids (TIK) – General, Dads and CALD groups

63 parents were supported to recognise and understand their child/ren’s emotions and build positive relationships.

Like, Like You – Upper Primary (ILLYUP)

198 primary and secondary school children were supported to develop respectful, equitable and healthy relationships, along with skills for positive mental health.


8 fathers were supported to develop knowledge and skills in restoring and repairing their relationships with their children.

Ask, Listen, Act

Through the voice of our employees
and consumers, we drive a cycle of
continuous improvement.

Understanding our consumer journey

A qualitative research project designed to better understand how we reach, engage and best support our community has nearly been completed.

Through in-depth interviews and identifying key themes and recommendations, this important research piece assists us in identifying and exploring ways we can improve our consumer’s experiences with us.

During this process, we spoke to the following:







Giving our children a voice

Part of empowering our young people and ensuring their safety means that we need to ensure that they have the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect them.

A working group on the Voice of the Child was established to focus on developing a framework that incorporates the new child safe standards and provides evidence based strategies to enable our young people to have a voice at Windermere. The framework will inform review and establishment of new systems and practices to ensure we have safe avenues for our young people to express themselves.


Storytime at the ELC

The children at Windermere ELC were encouraged to write and share their own books that expressed their thoughts and feelings.

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Increasing consumer safety

Many of the families and individuals who access our services are often impacted by multiple factors and challenges. These often include trauma, mental health, family violence, homelessness and early childhood developmental concerns.

As a result, we developed a Consumer Risk Management & Collaborative Panel to provide intensive support and consultation around consumers who have complex and/or high risk presentations.

Mums & Bubs Program

The young mothers we work with in our Mums & Bubs program have all struggled with homelessness, often due to unsafe family situations, violence or abuse.

By providing safe, medium term accommodation and extensive mentoring we were able to provide a genuine opportunity to these mothers to change their lives and give them the chance to care for and nurture their babies in a safe environment.

During the year, we also:

Improved life and parenting skills

Following strict COVID regulations, our Mums & Bubs House was at maximum capacity, accommodating six mums and six babies during the year.

Reviewed and improved the house procedures

Do More and Do It Better

Through creating opportunities and
generating growth, we do more of
what we do well to reach more

Building for the future

During the year, we commenced an extensive refurbishment of our head office at Narre Warren. As a consequence, we relocated staff to other Windermere sites. Primarily this has involved a substantial increase in the use of our Pakenham-based office over the year.

To ensure minimal disruption to the needs of our consumers, we found temporary consultation and office spaces a short distance away from our Narre Warren office. This has allowed us to continue to offer on-site appointments to our consumers and a work site to our staff who prefer a Narre Warren location.

Warragul Community
Fun Day

In April we were delighted to a host an all inclusive Community Fun Day to celebrate the relocation of our Warragul office. The new office is close to other community services and provides a more suitable space for both staff and consumers.

Windermere flexible ways of working (WoW)

During the year we formalised our Windermere Flexible Ways of Working (WoW) model. This hybrid-model of work enables our teams to work both remotely and on-site. The aim is to increase our productivity and efficiencies while also encouraging a healthy work life balance.

Optimising our IT

We continue to improve and optimise our information technology infrastructures to improve flexibility, efficiency and security. During the year, we successfully integrated an organisation-wide telephony, meetings and video conferencing system, Microsoft Teams. Staff now have a single contact number that can be used from any location across multiple platforms, from PCs to mobile devices.

We also migrated our servers based at Narre Warren to the Azure cloud. This has increased our data security and reduced the likelihood of outages and failures due to environmental elements affecting our property, such as fires and floods.

Over the course of the year, the IT team also replaced over 80 computer devices across the organisation, ensuring that staff have access to up-to-date technology.

Special fundraising events

In March, in light of the pandemic and our future needs, we held our very last Bounce of the Ball football-themed lunch and Windermere Classic Golf fundraising events. This year our Golf and Bounce of the Ball events raised money for our Kids on Track program. Historically we have held several annual fundraising events. In light of the changing external environment and our organisational needs, we are now developing a new approach to fundraising which will no longer focus on events.

We thank every one of our wonderful friends and supporters who have supported these events.

Grateful thanks

Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported our events for over a decade. The funds raised have allowed us to continue our work to support and strengthen our community.


Adapting group support programs to improve outcomes

Moving a feeding group support program to an online format in term 1 2022 resulted in some unanticipated benefits for families.

The feeding group support program “Mighty Munchers” was for children with sensory challenges with food or diet limitations. The 11-week program was designed to encourage positive experiences with food and helps to broaden children’s exposure to less preferred foods.

“Moving the program online (due to Covid-19) actually made it more accessible for many of our families trying to fit it into a busy schedule or who had to travel long distances due to being in a rural location,” says Ricky, Windermere Occupational Therapist.

Ricky and dietitian Emma ran the program together. They found that it was helpful to the children to join virtually as they were already in a familiar environment where they felt safe and comfortable.

“Although face-to-face is often preferred by families, we know that we can have positive impacts in a virtual mode of delivery. For future programs, we will potentially look at offering a combination of virtual and face-to-face formats so we can make the most of both forms of delivery,” says Ricky.

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Extensive early intervention training and education

Windermere’s Allied Health Graduate Program is a 24-month-long program offering comprehensive training for Speech Pathology, Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy graduates. Windermere gives these graduates educational opportunities in an early intervention setting focusing on valuable transdisciplinary skills and a key worker model, an approach where one worker is allocated as the primary contact for a family.

Occupational Therapy graduate Hannah Vondrasek completed the Allied Health Graduate Program in 2022 and applied for the program as she was drawn to its many benefits. “I liked that Windermere uses a key worker approach, and being in a multi-disciplined team means you can draw on wider support if you need it,” she says.

Hannah also recognises that having two full years of training allows sufficient time to develop the required clinical expertise as well as reflection skills that help to gain confidence, experience and self-awareness. She marks as a highlight the opportunity to learn from those with hands-on experience through day education programs as it serves to consolidate skills. While she enjoys formal training and education, she appreciates the impromptu support that’s readily available. “It is important to have both your managers and colleagues there to support you, not just the formal structure,” she adds of her experience at Windermere.

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Evidence Matters

We don’t assume, we seek to know &
then co-create solutions.

Data informed decision making

The implementation of an integrated Continuous Practice Improvement System has allowed us to capture and analyse real time data so we can better identify practice standards and ultimately determine if we are helping our consumers to make a difference in their lives. We can now more readily identify areas that require further review and build evidence to drive quality improvement.

For example, we can identify trends, such as how many of our consumers live with family violence or whether the perpetrator is living at home.

Our family services team are now using tailored data dashboards to provide a centralised and interactive way of recording our consumer’s progress. The evidence gained from the dashboards are further used to monitor outcomes and improve professional practice.

Quality improvement

A Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) register was established to centrally record our progress towards a range of organisational projects and initiatives. The CQI Register will enable us to more efficiently and accurately monitor and assess achievement against our planned areas of activity.

We were very proud to again meet all Human Services Standards (HSS) and Quality Improvement Council Health & Community Services Standards in our mid term accreditation review. This audit focusses primarily on evidence of HSS compliance, with a report of findings provided to the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) mid term audit. This is conducted to ensure that we are remaining compliant with the Human Service Standards required of us.

The auditor stated:

"What you’ve achieved in responding to the Covid-19 crisis is something about which you should be very proud. Your communities and their vulnerable members would be much worse off without your passionate, dedicated, yet safe and high-quality supports. Embedded throughout your response to Covid-19 were actions that show strong compliance with the requirements of these standards. But not only that, the long list of projects that you continued to work on, further attest to your unwavering commitment to exceed what is required."

Our Employee Value Proposition

During the year, we re-imagined our Employee Value Proposition (EVP). There have been two major components within the EVP, which we're reviewing our Employee Experience and the commencement of developing a Capability Framework. Once complete, the Capability Framework will allow us to strategically identify our core capability requirements across Windermere, now and in the future.

The EVP will also guide our processes to increase our workforce agility and guide our training and recruitment strategies in alignment with our strategic plan.

Welcoming & Inclusion

A highlight of the year was the launch of our Welcoming & Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan at our May All Staff Forum. The strategy places diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do and who we are as an organisation. The strategy was developed after an extensive consultation process and identified four priority groups that require the most attention for us to become a more inclusive and diverse organisation, namely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the Disability community, those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALD) and the LGBTQI+ community.

Thanks to you

Thanks to your generosity and support
we continue to change lives,
strengthen families and impact our

In 2021/22 we received





Our Volunteer Board &
Committee Members

Gary Castricum – Chair

Alane Fineman – Vice Chair

Mark Findlay – Treasurer

David Sagar

Malcolm Bailey

Rod Wiedermann

Dr. Janine Pickering

Kelly Dickson

Elke Gjergja


Ricki Ryan
(departed November 2021)

Advisory & Sub-Committees

Service & Enterprise Risk

Finance & Audit Committee

Remuneration & Succession
Advisory Committee

Narre Warren Capital Works Advisory Committee
(commenced July 2021)

Each of the sub-committees are comprised of external and internal members with appropriate expertise or qualifications.

Grateful thanks to our generous donors

Our wonderful donors and supporters have provided vital contributions
to support our work and our community strengthening programs,
including Kids on Track and our Mums & Bubs program (Strachan House).

Significant Supporters
(donated $5,000 or more)

Carl Strachan OAM

Ian & Joan Ball

Ray & Dawn King


Carl Strachan, OAM


David Parkin, OAM

Matthew Richardson

Corporate and community supporters

Trusts & Foundations

Ducas Paul Foundation

The Russel Foundation


Effective, quality services
with financial prudence.

Financial Performance

Windermere continues to maintain a strong financial position ensuring organisational sustainability and ongoing commitment to providing effective and quality services to our communities most vulnerable.

In line with our vision of “do more and do it better”, we continue to invest in strategic projects with the objectives of further strengthening our organisation’s position with improved systems and processes to build resilience and meet future challenges.

Our current year's strong financial result is driven by continuing support from our funding bodies, prudent financial management and steady demand for our Fee for Service programs, as well as the revaluation of Windermere-owned land and buildings. We are ably supported by our competent workforce and engaged Board and Committee members, delivering a strong financial position. We are confident to continue to deliver services benefiting our consumers and community.

Our Financials

Windermere offices are located at a number of sites across South Eastern Victoria.

Contact us for more details:

Phone: 1300 946 337