CEO Notes: A Year in Review

It has been almost 12 months since Chief Executive Officer, Tracey Scanlan joined the Ability Enterprises ranks. She recently sat down to reflect on 2019, our achievements and the bright future of 2020 and beyond.

"It is an honour to write about and lead an extraordinary group of people who contribute to the ongoing success of Ability Enterprises. As an organisation, we have experienced a busy 12 months — one of growth, success and security.

In November 2019, we completed our first, full 12 months of the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Waste Management Contract. The security of this contract has provided a solid, financial foundation - supporting future business growth through a robust business framework.

Our contract with TRC has provided a vehicle to grow our workforce this year in the areas of Gatehouse operations and maintenance. Together with QBuild and Carers Queensland contracts, we are proud to be able to provide regular employment, paying award wages to more than 56 employees. I want to take this opportunity to thank the staff and management of TRC, QBuild and Carers Queensland. Thank you for taking a chance on Ability Enterprises and working as our partners to create "social good".

In the lead up to 2019, social enterprise Café Abuzz opened with the support of Darling Downs Heath (DDH). With a strong focus and passion for healthy eating, we made the difficult decision to close the café late this year. Unfortunately, the business was not the success we had hoped, with limited foot traffic impacting its viability. A warm thank you to the consumers, staff and visitors of the Baillie Henderson site for their support during the year. Thank you also to Café Manager, Laura, who was the consistent, cheery face of the business. We are proud to announce that Laura has obtained new employment and is looking forward to the next chapter.

This year, we welcomed a tech-savvy approach to business, overhauling our IT systems and moving to a computerised rostering and check-in/check-out system. Our staff embraced these changes with open arms.

In 2019, we have worked tirelessly towards continuous improvement, celebrated growth and welcomed achievements, including our win at the Buy Queensland Awards and Heritage Bank Business Excellence Awards. For any organisation, this is a momentous success. Our team should be incredibly proud of their efforts, including our successful management through effective business and budget practices and the continued delivery of high-quality services, across all our enterprises.

I express my thanks to the Board, both outgoing and incoming, for their trust and unwavering support. Moving into the organisation's eighth year, your leadership will continue to be the driving force behind sustainable growth and advancing opportunities for people experiencing barriers to employment.

A sincere thank you to our staff. Thank you for your dedication and supporting our operations which run seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Through soaring temperatures, gale-force winds, frosty winter mornings and hopefully in 2020, downpouring rain, you juggle the elements to ensure we continue to meet our KPIs. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You lead by example, demonstrating that it is possible to take lemons and make lemonade.

To our partners, supporters and the wider community, thank you for your ongoing support. If you see our staff over the Christmas period at TRC Waste Management Gatehouses, please say hello, exchange smiles and more importantly, leave knowing that together we can all contribute to the greater good of society.

Merry Christmas everyone! If you are lucky enough to get a break, take the time to enjoy it, be grateful, relax and most importantly stay safe. We look forward to seeing you in 2020."

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