MontroseAccess made a momentous move late last year to their new premises at BTP Westlink Green, readying for the Government’s disability reforms, which will see a change in the landscape of disability support in Queensland.
The not-for-profit organisation moved from their Consort Street location in Corinda after 76 years at the site. CEO Linda Apelt said the decision was a strategic one. “By modernising our facilities and resources, reducing costs and locating ourselves in a growth area, MontroseAccess will be better able to continue the excellent standard of care which we are known for throughout Queensland.”
Their move comes at the same time as changes to the National Disability Insurance Agency, which will see a shift in the way disability support is offered to the community, and will allow people with disability and their families’ greater choice and control over support services.
“This is a major milestone in our history and will enable MontroseAccess to grow and be in the best position for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2016,” Ms. Apelt said.
“The new state-of-the-art headquarters features a range of cleverly designed amenities and décor to provide greater support for our staff and clients.
“It is located close to public transport with all-ability access and major road networks to enable clients, families, staff and supporters to easily reach and park at the new HQ. We are well-positioned to provide high quality service to young Queenslanders with a disability for decades to come.”
Despite the positives, the Consort Street location will be missed by staff and clients. “The site at Corinda has been vital to creating MontroseAccess as it is today. Whilst we are sad to leave this landmark site, our future at Darra is brighter because having a purpose built site will mean a whole new experience for our young clients, families and staff.”
The organisation made sure that the old site was commemorated, throwing a party to celebrate the sale of their historic site and 80 years of caring for generations of children with disability. “Former clients, carers and staff from across Queensland were invited to join the party, witness the preparation of a time capsule on our historic site and provide photos or memorabilia for inclusion in the capsule for preservation.”
A memorial stone has also been placed in the foyer of their new premises. “The stone is a foundation stone from the original building at Corinda in 1937. It is a historic reminder of the 76 years that Montrose has spent at Consort Street.”
But with every new beginning, there are challenges, and Ms. Apelt explained that despite government funding, community assistance is still very much needed and welcomed. “Our biggest challenge is to fund the gap between government funding, which we appreciate receiving, and the high level of service we provide. We very much rely on and value the support of the community.”
MontroseAccess is not letting any obstacles get in their way though, the organisation already has big plans for the future. “There are exciting changes ahead for us as an organisation in the next few years, including building a special Respite Centre on the Gold Coast in 2015, with the support of a major donor,” Ms. Apelt said.