CLA welcomes Russell Nelson

It is a privilege to introduce myself to you all, in the recommencement of our quarterly Community Living Association newsletter. My name is Russell Nelson and it is with considerable humility, that I have the honour to take on the mission as the new Chief Executive Officer of this wonderful organisation.

Firstly, I must thank all the participants, employees and families who have greeted and welcomed me during my first month in Albany, with wonderful warmth and sincerity.

Given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the threat it poses to public health, Community Living Association has made numerous changes to the way we work. To reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 and to maintain social distancing, the majority of our administrative staff were instructed to work from home and our field support staff undertook numerous changes to ensure that we could continue supporting our participants. This has been an exceptionally challenging time for all and I would like to commend CLA’s staff and our participants for their understanding and outstanding behaviour during this crisis. I could not be more delighted about how the Albany and CLA community have pulled together during this time.

My commitment to a totally consumer centric mindset for the future of CLA is driven by my own lived experience of disability. This I believe, is in keeping with our current transition to the NDIS service paradigm, which is represented by the words “Choice and Voice”. We are currently enacting changes to our organisation which will enable these words not just to be a nice tagline, but a reality!

One of the first courses of action that I have taken in conjunction with our board was the replacement of our aging operational information technology system, to a state of the art cloud-based system which was chosen for its excellent ability to assist us in managing our daily operations with such things as rostering, scheduling and case management. But more importantly, the new system will allow our participants and their carers the ability to see in real-time, exactly all the important financial, rostering and goal management information about their individual plans 24/7.

“My commitment to a totally consumer centric mindset for the future of CLA is driven by my own lived experience of disability.”

Capacity development is a great passion of mine. In this respect, I look forward to expanding extensively, the ability for our people to get out and about into the community, get involved and interacting in numerous new activities both physical and cognitive. Many of these new options for social interaction, learning and achievement, will be occurring at our new safe space facility at 56 Cockburn road and across the greater Albany area.

I look forward to meeting everyone who is a part of this fantastic organisation over the forthcoming months. By interacting and working together we will ensure that we keep moving forward to achieve the best possible lives to be lived for all concerned.