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10 years is only the beginning
Jane Morrell, our Founder & CEO reflects on the past 10 years, our response to the impacts of COVID-19 while giving a view into the future for our community.Updates
When asked to write something about starting Carer Solutions ten years ago so many thoughts run through my mind….
Firstly, ten years. Wow. A decade crazy right?!
I started this journey as a 31-year-old who had absolutely no idea what lay ahead of me, truly. To use that wonderful term, we call hindsight I describe it as a complete surrender to an incredible opportunity and simply letting it take me away….
Take me away like a raft down a river sometimes – calm, serene and beautiful, picturesque and at other times manic and scary, wading my way through storm after storm through the roughest of waters. All the while never, ever giving up keeping my head above the water sometimes just! with the passion for what my organisation represents and seeing the impact I was making in the lives of people living with disability my only constant and driving force.
People pull out all the clichés when it comes to starting a business and as a business owner – budding or seasoned you’ve heard them all. And it takes a lot more than most will ever know or come close to understanding to operate a business, let alone a successful one.
I have always viewed it as my complete honour and privilege to be able to design, own and operate something that exists to improve the quality of one’s life. How much more fulfilled could a 9 to 5 get right? Not much more, let me tell you.
Nothing brings me more joy then sitting down with someone, speaking about how hard they are finding things and working with them toward a solution. It was in doing just this, which is what brought about my vision for Carer Solutions.
Understanding that people were completely over not having the ability to control their own lives in the disability sector – they had thoughts and distinct ideas on how they could live their best lives and were frustrated that no one (government or organisations!) were listening, actioning, or providing them with solutions that REALLY worked for them.
They wanted and deserved better. Better designed services that put them FIRST. I mean truly, put them first. Services designed around the individual, their individual needs and the INDIVIDUAL making their OWN choices.
Sounds ludicrous to say that a decade ago this level of choice and control didn’t exist.
But it didn’t and it made me mad. Mad and bewildered?!
Mad, bewildered, disappointed, and downright horrified – how could we live in country like Australia and not be treating and providing citizens of our society with different needs the services and supports they deserve? And access to things that “normal people” can access.
It made no sense.
It still doesn’t.
I had to do something and a decade ago I did, and my own life and the lives of the thousands of Australians that Carer Solutions services have impacted have never been the same since.
As I have said this decade, and most certainly the last couple of years haven’t been without its challenges.
During this global pandemic we had to pivot literally overnight to running our entire operation from each of our team members’ lounge rooms! a task that was initially quite daunting and difficult given we pride ourselves on face-to-face and being so accessible to our Partners. Thankfully, we have managed this successfully and it meant fundamental changes to our business model which in effect in means we are now more accessible to our community due to the pandemic, which is a definite positive.
Also, managing our growth as Covid-19 was unfolding and ensuring that whilst we had a new set of challenges to navigate that we remained steadfast in my commitment to ensure that the brand was the best possible representation of who we truly are.
This means from how we look and feel right through to the culture of the organisation ensuring we had not only the right roles in the business to manage our growth but that we are employing the right type of humans to represent Carer Solutions that is – high-performers that are innately connected to our unique approach and purpose.
This commitment to growth and ensuring we can scale our services and increase our impact translated into over 17 new roles being created and recruited for in the last twelve months and 6 new roles currently being recruited for. And, to top this off we are undergoing a beautiful rebrand and are just about to introduce the exciting, fresh new look to our community.
I consider myself one of the extremely lucky ones to have found my calling in life and it is with privilege and a grateful heart that I move forward.
And for this reason, I get out of bed every single day.
Around 4.4 million Australians are living with disability – thousands is not enough, I have a long way to go.
Founder & CEO, Carer Solutions