We are proud of our workforce and committed and invested in their growth and development. During the year, a range of initiatives were introduced to identify potential and capacity building in our employees. From a health and wellbeing perspective, the safety of our employees have always been a top priority and we delivered a range of health promotion activities, awareness programs around R U Ok? Day, SafeWork and IDAHOBIT and injury prevention activities to ensure a safe workplace environment for everyone.

November 2019 saw the organisation recognising and rewarding extraordinary staff and volunteers on their achievements and services. We also acknowledged our outgoing President, Mike Debinski, for his seven years of voluntary service to Jewish Care and for his dedication, guidance, leadership and tenacity, through which we have seen enormous growth, particularly in the areas of aged care, disability and social justice services. To our past Treasurer, Rohan Filer, who retired from the Board after nine long years, we thank him for his commitment and diligent service to Jewish Care.

Faced with one of the biggest global health challenges of our time, we adapted and made changes to our learning and development approach facilitating a safer pathway for engagement and communications via online platforms such as Zoom. We offered flexible working arrangements and 130 staff commenced home working within two weeks of COVID-19 spreading in Melbourne. We introduced a new Learning & Development Essentials program that combines statutory training with information on mental and physical wellbeing across Jewish Care and provided access to high quality employee assistance services to ensure employees mental health and wellbeing.

We made significant advances in the areas of inclusive practice and gender equality this year. The Rainbow Tick Accreditation in recognition of our work to ensure the LGBTIQ+ community is not only valued, but actively engaged in our organisation, more female representation in senior leadership positions, including the Board, Executive and senior management and organisational wide education on inclusive practices were successful outcomes.

Learning & Development

We continued to provide opportunities for growth and development, despite the pandemic, and used a range of methods from formal face-to-face to online training sessions. Fifty-nine students were placed in our residential aged care homes and six students across disability, Active Living Services and Individual & Family Services.

The two integral training programs for new employees, Ethos Day and Orientation Day, continued to deliver, immersing new recruits in the cultural and spiritual aspects of Judaism and Jewish Care’s multi-faceted operations.

The new Learning & Development Essentials program for residential aged care staff provided insights into elder abuse, privacy and dignity, dementia care, infection control, aged care quality standards, positive workplace behaviours, emergency procedures and occupational violence, and clinical manual handling.

The two-day annual Ethos Retreat offered 40 leaders from across the organisation an opportunity to develop strengths, health and relationships for effective leadership.

Recognising Staff and Volunteers

We have always been grateful for the wonderful support received from our employees and volunteers, and their valuable contributions were recognised at the annual Staff and Volunteer Service Excellence Awards.

Employee Assistance Program

Our Employee Assistance program in conjunction with LifeWorks manages the wellbeing of our staff through access to high quality employee assistance services, wellbeing resources and self-help tools available 24 hours, 7 days per week.

LifeWorks through their highly professional and caring team of qualified psychologists and social workers provided effective solutions across a wide range of issues impacting on our staff’s health and wellbeing. These included conflict and communication, maximising performance. depression, anxiety and stress, relationship and marital problems, children or family member concerns, elder care issues, addictions, career path issues, work life balance, work stress and grief and bereavement. An integral part of the program was Crisis Support this year with impacts of COVID-19 felt across our staff causing depression, anxiety, work stress and grief.