‘Every encounter matters’ is the theme for this year’s annual report and it is a profound call to action. It means recognising and responding to each person, every time, and treasuring his or her unique dignity in accordance with Our Vision.
The notion of encounter has a deep spiritual significance in the Catholic tradition... it implies reciprocity, connection and intention.
The culture of encounter is something that Pope Francis has spoken about often and strongly encourages. He uses the term frequently to communicate the idea of reaching out, of going past ourselves and of being there for others, particularly the vulnerable or neglected.
It involves deep active engagement – as Pope Francis said: “not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening… allowing yourself to be moved with compassion.”
It also recognises the value of the small gesture, the everyday moment and the importance of consistency.
For a healthcare provider, there is a very practical application for this type of encounter. This richer, person-centred notion of encounter, which places ideas of service and reciprocity at the centre, is the ideal of encounter we aim for at St John of God Health Care as a ministry of the Catholic Church.
It is also a call to be open and welcoming. In October last year, Pope Francis tweeted: “The culture of encounter means recognising that we are all children of God, despite our differences.”
We embrace this inclusive view at St John of God Health Care, and offer hospitality to all.
Modern healthcare is complex and increasingly technology-driven. As one of Australia’s largest and longest standing providers, St John of God Health Care is at the leading edge of advances in healthcare and we ensure we provide access to the highest quality research, technology and clinical expertise.
We recognise that people are often anxious, indeed vulnerable, when faced with challenges to their health and wellbeing. Our goal is to provide the best that modern medicine and technology can offer without losing sight of the person at the centre - to provide the best possible experience and care for patients and clients, to address their needs and foster a reason to hope.
Welcome to new Trustees
In 2017-18, we farewelled Therese Temby AO after 14 years of service as a Trustee. Therese was a source of wisdom and insight and fulfilled her role with dedication and a great generosity of spirit. We are fortunate to have benefitted from her experience and expertise and I thank her for her astute advice and counsel.
I’m delighted to welcome two new Trustees. Danielle Cronin joined us in January and Susan Pascoe AM commenced with us in May, and both have outstanding credentials in Catholic leadership and the not-for-profit sector. Danielle has held senior roles in education, and Susan was the inaugural Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission. I look forward to working with them both.
Board and Group CEO acknowledgements and new appointments
St John of God Health Care has been fortunate to have had dedicated and committed board members and I thank those who completed outstanding service during 2017-18.
Tony Howarth AO served as a member of the St John of God Health Care Board for 17 years, including 14 as Chairman. We were very blessed in having Tony’s leadership, his deep commitment to the Mission, his passion for the ministries and his skill and wisdom. His stewardship and collaborative leadership were exemplary and we are deeply thankful to him for sharing our journey.
We are also very appreciative of the contributions of Mark Bahen and the Hon Robert Knowles AO who concluded their terms of appointment in December 2017. Mark was with us for nine years, including six as deputy chairman and he was an important contributor to the Finance and Investment Committee. Robert joined us from Victoria and we benefitted greatly from his insights, wisdom and experience as a former state government health minister.
The past year also saw us farewell Dr Michael Stanford AM, who led our organisation as Group CEO for 16 years. Michael was an outstanding leader who grew the organisation substantially and we will be forever grateful for his leadership of the Mission and stewardship of the organisation.
We warmly welcome back the Hon Kerry Sanderson AC, who has previously served on our Board, as our new Chair. Kerry knows our organisation well, has an impeccable record for service to the community at the most senior levels and excellent credentials to lead our organisation in our Mission to offer hospitality, hope and healing.
We also welcome James McMahon and Adrian Arundell who joined the Board during the past year. James has a diverse background and highly distinguished career in the Australian Defence Force and Adrian is a prominent business leader with excellent commercial acumen across a range of industries.
I am also very pleased to welcome back Dr Shane Kelly as our new Group CEO. Shane was previously with St John of God Health Care as a hospital CEO, and has an illustrious background in public health and Catholic healthcare. We feel very fortunate to have him leading this organisation and I know he will lead St John of God Health Care, over the next era, with capability, skill and dedication to the Mission.
As exemplified by our departing Trustees, Board and executive members, Therese, Tony, Mark, Robert and Michael, we are fortunate at St John of God Health Care to have a caring and committed community of caregivers, volunteers and doctors. I am very proud to present an Annual Report that demonstrates to you the work they have done over the past twelve months, how they give expression to our service ethos to make every encounter matter, and how they continue the healing Mission of Jesus Christ.