Early October saw the Calxa Team attending the QCOSS 2015 State Conference in Brisbane. The topic for this year was “Individuals building thriving Communities“. With an underlying concept of sustainability, the conference kicked off in appropriate fashion with an excellent welcome by local cultural ambassador Danny Doyle.

The spirit of co-operation and collaboration was apparent from the start with a series of vibrant speakers and a unified theme running the length of the proceedings. For Calxa, this was even more evident as we had the pleasure of sharing a stand with our close friends at Connecting-Up.

Over the two day period, we were able to meet with a wide cross-section of the sector and had many an interesting conversation along with the chance to collaborate and discuss relevant issues with both service providers and those involved directly in the Queensland social services. Ultimately everyone attending the conference left with a feeling that the changes the sector is experiencing (or about to experience) are something that need to be embraced and acted upon with an open mind and a belief in moving forward.

Connecting people with Information

Seeing the need to connect those less fortunate with essential information services, David Spriggs from Infoxchange took the stage on day one to introduce an innovative new service called “Ask Izzy”. This smartphone-based app has been developed to provide the homeless with an accurate and up to date database of information and connectivity to essential services. Infoxchange has tailored a product that will make a huge difference to those in need.

It highlighted the importance of technological innovation at a grassroots level and the true need for the sector to embrace new technologies in order to maintain a sustainable and equitable path for the future.

Guiding the Ship

One of the key speakers at the conference, Juanita Wheeler from the boutique Brisbane based consultancy firm, Full and Frank, spoke of the “Science of Story-Telling” and its relevance to organisations wishing to make a difference. Her workshop was well received and it led her to discuss with us the importance of directorship within the NFP sector. Juanita saw the massive effect board-room decisions have on the direction of organisations and was passionate about the quality of directorship. Her comments echoed the importance that we at Calxa place on a smooth and accurate flow of financial information within an organisation. Without quality inputs, it is impossible to ensure quality outputs – Reporting is everything!

The “bigger picture”

With the focus on innovation and adaption to (inevitable) change, conversations between participants began to generate around the introduction of the Nation Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

While not specifically the topic of the conference, it had to be said that in the back of most participants’ minds, the questions around funding, were imminent. The impending roll-out of the NDIS in July 2016 has seen a huge upswing in those wishing to upskill and “tool up” for the new system. The importance of technology and good governance was expressed only too evident throughout the conference. Ultimately conversations began to center around the challenge of maintaining sustainability and remaining financially viable in an increasingly competitive environment.

The roll-on effects of the NDIS on other areas within the Social Services sector saw the Calxa team kept busy endeavoring to answer as many inquiries from those who saw the importance of accurate financial information as a true way to move ahead.

The general feeling that the NDIS will have a massive effect on funding to other sectors was a huge factor as the conference was coming to an end. At Calxa, we see the need for collaboration and innovation within the industry and a true sense that organisations are looking to adapt within a very short period of time. NOW is the time to act because those that don’t will be left behind