What a year it has been! When I read my final message of 2019, it is clear I could not have imagined the challenges 2020 would bring; it’s safe to say none of us could. A new year however, brings new opportunities.

Access has not been left unscathed in this trying year. With many government funds being directed towards the country’s post-COVID recovery and the closure of our external borders, Access has faced significant challenges.

Due to this, I, together with SSI and members of Access’ leadership team, have had to make some difficult decisions in order to reduce costs and ensure client service remains the priority. We have and always will, commit to our service delivery and we now work towards a more sustainable and strong future in 2021.

Despite the tough year, there were still moments of celebration, which I am grateful for. We saw significant growth in our NDIS program, the growth of our Culturally Responsive Practice Training, and we were awarded a contract to deliver the National Youth Framework Training in Queensland.  We also came up with new and innovative ways to deliver programs and services to clients with the help of technology. Our offering of the ParentsNext program, which has proved so helpful to so many, has also been extended in 2021. Of course, we continued to help new arrivals and refugees settle and prosper in Australia, which is always at the heart of our support. I am so proud and honoured to be a part of the Access team and so inspired by the staff’s incredible work.

Please note, Access will be closed over Christmas and New Year, with Friday, 18 December being the last day in 2020. We will return to work Monday, 4 January 2021. Our NDIS and Harmony Place services will still be operating during this time, and The Access Gateway will be open for pre-arranged appointments.

I thank you all for your support of Access this year, and wish you a very safe and happy holiday season with your loved ones. I look forward to what next year brings.

Take care,