President’s Annual Report 2017

During the past year Gateway has again made some significant gains and also has had challenges that we constantly need to address.
The work that we have obtained from our various contractors including the city of Dandenong and the City of Casey plus our packaging work, woodwork and cleaning contracts have provided us with significant income for our operations. Whilst we must operate as a business we also need funding from other sources, mainly from the government and our valued donors and sponsors.

Because of the continuing NDIS rollout with which we have to grapple constantly, this provides significant challenges for our administration and operational capability. Fortunately because of our very efficient management and supervisory staff, headed up by our CEO Alan and ably assisted by Faye, Bob, Henry and others we are generally able to keep up with these requirements. None the less, this stretches our team to their limits at times and there must be more provision given by the government to employ qualified help in this area, particularly for small ADE's like ours.

As always the enthusiasm, loyalty, and work ethic of our wonderful employees continues to inspire us all. To see the diligence of our employees, to hear of their superb work from our customers, to witness their cheery demeanour in the parks and gardens as well as in our factory is something that very few workplaces could emulate. This has been the hallmark of Gateway industries over the years – may it continue for many years to come!

The NDIS scheme will impact on our employees over the next few years. Because each employee will be considered on a case by case basis it is unclear as to how many of our people will remain at Gateway and how many will stay. We hope, of course that most if not all of our employees will stay at our industry.

The Board has been considering a number of options for our industry, particularly after 2019. Comparatively small ADE’s like ours may have to look to some kind of liaison with other services to remain viable. This process will continue during the next two years or so. In this regard we have been greatly assisted by our professional and highly experienced consultant, Hans Langendam who has presented the Board with a number of alternatives which he has worked through with us. On behalf of the Board and myself personally, I would like to sincerely thank Hans for his involvement with us.

Also on behalf of the board I would like to express our sincere thanks to our many valued customers and assure them of our high quality work at all times. These include the City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey, High Caliber, Pacific Rail, Gates Australia, Denzo.

Without the help of our donors and sponsors who have provided much needed capital equipment Gateway would find it very difficult to operate. I would like to thank our principal sponsor Segue and our donors The Rotary club of Dandenong, The Joy Smith foundation, The Berwick opportunity shop, Australian Post Dandenong Letters Centre, and Alko international. A financial loan from Sunset Amber has also helped greatly with our cash flow.

Our Board of Management comprises members who have a variety of interests and skills. They include vice president David Smith, businessman, secretary Chris Hanson, a lawyer, our treasurer Geoff Johnson an accountant, Conn Christoforou, businessman and parent of one of our employees, our employee representative Nicci Guttery and myself. I have had many years as a teacher and lecturer in Special Education. I would like to sincerely thank my fellow Board members for their significant contribution to Gateway during the past year, particularly for their wise counsel and hard work on a number of Committees.
We do have two vacancies on our Board and I would like to talk to anyone who feels they can make a real contribution to Gateway, particulary anyone with Board experience and community or business contacts. Ladies most welcome!
We would welcome applications from any interested people to become members of Gateway. Subscription is $5 per annum. Application forms are available from myself or at Gateway. Applications are considered at a Board meeting and applicants notified.

The forthcoming year will again provide many opportunities and challenges. The Board will be involved in much discussion on the future of Gateway and the ramifications of the NDIS situation. However I feel that with the excellent support and enthusiasm of our management, staff and our wonderful employees we can look forward to a promising future.

[Russell Smith]