This year has seen many dramas and unfortunate outcomes involving Kellock Lodge and the Wangaratta Anglican Diocese as our approved provider. At the same time, the final outcome of ultimate community ownership and management of Kellock, staffed by local dedicated people provided the best and most just possible outcome for Kellock and Alexandra.
In a meeting attended by myself and Jim Kinniburgh at Wangaratta in October 2106, the Bishop and his amalgamation consultants made it clear that the amalgamation of St John’s Village in Wangaratta and Kellock was on the agenda for consideration. This intention was eventually confirmed at a Kellock board meeting between the Bishop, his consultants and our board on 7 May 2018. Prior to this meeting, our board recognised that we had not met seven of the 44 expected outcomes required of a Commonwealth funded aged care facility but had implemented strategies and practices to comply which had been accepted by the accreditation agency. At a subsequent board meeting the board unanimously rejected the proposition of amalgamation.
The following three months saw many attempts to force what became a fractured board to agree to the amalgamation. With the magnificent support of the community, staff and a small number of board members committed to the community of Alexandra vesting control of the situation, we now have the final outcome with Kellock being independent of the church and owned and managed locally. The angst and distress caused by this aggressive approach by the Bishop and his consultants did immeasurable harm to the health and well-being of many people and was managed poorly.
Throughout this whole distressful process, the staff, led by our CEO, Donna Walsh, maintained a caring and professional approach to the organisation and our residents and should be thanked. We can now say with some pride that their future is now more certain than what would have been offered under the amalgamation umbrella.
On the financial side of our business, this year has also been a tumultuous one where, apart from government funding cuts affecting all aged care businesses, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on consultants and lawyers appointed by the Bishop to effect the failed amalgamation and to address the quality agency issues had a significant impact on our bottom line. Fortunately, after many years of responsible financial management by this and previous boards, we have been and will in the future, continue to operate effectively as a going concern.
This year we said farewell to long time board member Bev Dunn who joined the board in 2003 and was our special guest at our board dinner in February 2018. Bev, who was in business for many years in Alexandra was our contact between the residents and the board.
Up until this time, our well-balanced board, whose intentions at all times was to ensure the best interests of the residents and staff, worked as a dedicated team to achieve these ends. We can all be proud of what we and all the former board members have achieved and have left the community with what we believe to be a marvellous institution.
In conclusion, the Bishop required the resignation of myself and my board and the appointment of an interim board before he would proceed with the change of ownership processes. I add a copy of my resignation sent to the Bishop on 16 August 2018 to conclude this report.
“Dear Bishop John.
Over 15 years as a Board member, a member of the Finance committee and for the past 5 years Chairman, I have seen Kellock Lodge develop from a 30 bed to 50 bed ageing in place institution that has been completely rebuilt and refurbished into an excellently presented facility we see today with dedicated care to our residents as a number one priority and with the support of the Alexandra this has been achieved. This has been achieved with great personal time and dedication by our well balanced and qualified Board over the years to achieve this end.
It is with regret I submit my resignation from the Kellock Lodge Board but in doing so I wish the new interim Board my personal good wishes and my interest in the future of Kellock Lodge will remain.
John M Sharwood”