Conference - Opening the Door to our Future

Written on the 28 April 2014 by Jonty Whitehead

Conference – April 4th 2014  - Opening the Door to Our Future

On April 4th, I went along as a Board member the CLASS conference on “Opening the Door to our Future” held at Auchendarroch House.  It was well attended by representatives from the Board, all tiers of management and many staff members from the various CLASS services.  There were several interesting and relevant presentations, a fun game of ‘Getting to Know You’, a brain storming session and much information.

The NDIS featured largely and it is clear that the transition to this will be a huge undertaking for our organisation.  Already much work has gone into preparation for the change and our CE and Executive Management have a good grasp on how to adapt and seem well aware of potential pitfalls. The promise is that the NDIS will go ahead, though it may well take longer to implement than the government has forecast, but CLASS is keeping up to date with future plans.

I was impressed with the turn-out and enthusiasm of staff, the knowledge base of our senior management and their encouragement to our precious support staff who will, it was emphasised, be key to CLASS success in the future. As if we didn’t know!

It was all in all an important initiative taken by our concerned and very able CE, as it is vital that we know as much as possible what will lie ahead.

We also bade farewell to our General Manager, Graeme Kerkin as he leaves for warmer climates and a big thank you to him.

As I mentioned, I attended as a Board Member but though I had schooled myself to remain objective as a parent, I fell into a subjective panic quite early in the piece.  Thanks to Barb and Mark for their solicitous response! But as soon as the words “goal” and “choice” are mentioned I am well aware of how little of the latter there really is. I imagine myself no longer here and able to speak to my son, who can’t speak for himself and I simply fail to cope.  Despite all the intellectual and rational self-talk, I fall into an emotional swamp.  But knowledge is power they say and if mine fails me on the longevity scale, I have no doubt that CLASS will be the best place for Simon to be.  I urge families to attend any future conferences CLASS may provide on the NDIS and things to come.

Thanks to Mark and his conscientious staff for a really good initiative and particular gratitude to Mark for his enormous and consistent efforts to ensure a quality service for our people now and going forward and the obvious consideration and appreciation of his entire staff.

It was a good meet.

Jonty Whitehead

Author: Jonty Whitehead


We are proud to offer services for people with disabilities in regional South Australia with a focus on personalisation through Person Centred Active Support and Individualised Planning. Our client services include :

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