ILC Individual Capacity Building Program Grant Opportunity 2019-2020

The NDIA recently opened grant applications for Individual Capacity Building funding. This is the first of three ILC programs that will open in August and September, with forthcoming programs for mainstream capacity building and economic participation. See below for our summary of the grant program.

  • Grants for:
    • Disabled Peoples Organisations/ Families Organisations (DPO/FOs)
    • Priority Cohort Led (PCL) Organisations
  • Opening date: 19 August 2019
  • Closing date: 30 September 2019 11pm
  • Outcomes for people with disabilities to
    • increase the skills and confidence to participate in and contribute to the community and protect their rights.
    • feel motivated, confident and empowered to act.
    • increase participation in and contribution to community activities.

1.   Disabled Peoples Organisations/Families Organisations (DPO/FOs)

DPO/FOs are organisations run by or for people with disabilities and/or their families. For organisations with paid staff and a board, the participation of people with disability and/or their families as board or staff members (or both) must be at least 50%. If the organisation has no paid staff, at least 50% of the organisation’s volunteers must be people with disabilities and/or their families. The DPO/FOs must actively demonstrate their commitment to the social model of disability which seeks to remove barriers to access mainstream services and live an ordinary life.

Total funding available: $80 Million (excl. GST)


Individual Capacity Building (ICB)

  • activities that guide the capacity of people with disability by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to set and achieve their goals.
  • for the primary and direct benefit for people with disability, and developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability.
  • ICB activity maximum funding: $600,000 per year up to three years (total of $1.8 m)

 Organisational Capacity Building (OCB)

DPO/FOS who apply for Individual Capacity Building (ICB) activities can in addition apply for Organisational Capacity Building (OCB) activities.

  • OCB activity maximum funding: $50,000 per year up three years to (total of $150,000)
  • Smaller organisations can alternatively apply for small grants up to $30,000 per year (GST excl.) for up to three years by using a simplified process (without the requirement to demonstrate the capability of the organisation). The grant can be used for ICB activities only or for a combination of ICB and OCB. The total of $90,000 for the grant life cannot be exceeded.

2.   Priority Cohort Led (PCL) Organisations

a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or organisations, who must be registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporation (ORIC)
b) Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities

Total funding available: $20 Million (excl. GST)


Individual Capacity Building (ICB)

  • activities that guide the capacity of people with disability by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to set and achieve their goals.
  • for the primary and direct benefit for people with disability and developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability.
  • ICB activity maximum funding: $600,000 per year up to three years (total of $1.8m)

Smaller organisations can alternatively apply for small grants up to $30,000 per year (GST excl) for up to three years using a simplified process (without the requirement to demonstrate the capability of the organisation). The grant can be used for ICB activities only. The total of $90,000 for the grant life cannot be exceeded.

What activities can be funded?

Individual Capacity Building

  • Peer led support groups for people with disability
  • Peer led support groups for parents, carers and siblings of people with disability
  • Capacity building activities that enable people to speak for themselves
  • Leadership and professional development activities (individual or group based)
  • Other activities to develop the capacity of individuals with disability
  • Scaling or extending previously ILC funded individual capacity building activities

Organisational Capacity Building

Only DPO/FOs can apply for three of the following activities, in addition to their Individual Capacity Building activities:

  • Upskilling, training or developing existing or potential staff, volunteers, board members
  • Developing and delivering strategies and activities to strengthen the involvement of people with disabilities and/or families and careers
  • Developing and delivering strategies and activities to support knowledge and skill transfer between board members
  • Establishing and maintaining partnerships to collaborate with other organisations
  • Improving organisational systems or processes to deliver organisation efficiencies
  • Strengthening the quality of organisational activities
  • Strategies to upskill the organisation
  • Developing organisational strategy
  • Scoping and developing a business case for revenue generating services that lead towards financial independence

Grants up to $90,000 over total grant period

Projects are likely based in local communities and provide support for

  • existing peer led groups for the costs associated with running the group
  • small scale projects or pilot projects that contribute to building the capacity of people with disability in the community
  • capacity building of a place-based community or community of interest, while also strengthening the infrastructure of the group.

Applicants who are currently receiving ILC funding through a previous ILC grant round may apply under this grant, however they cannot apply for funding that duplicates activities or projects that have already received ILC funding to deliver. Applicants can submit a maximum of two applications under this grant round when they apply once in their own right and the second application as the lead of a consortium. Acting as an auspicor does not count towards the number of applications that an organisation is eligible to submit. The detailed grant requirements are outlined in the Individual Capacity Building (ICB) Program Grant Opportunity 2019-2020 here.

Dr Ellen Schuler 
Business Consultant 
Phone: 1300 284 364

Get ready for the upcoming ILC grant rounds

The NDIS has announced the upcoming ILC grants totalling up to $222 million across three grant rounds.

  • Individual Capacity Building Program 19 August – 27 September 2019
  • Mainstream Capacity Building Program 9 September – 18 October 2019
  • Economic and Community Participation Program 9 September – 18 October 2019

If your organisation is planning to apply for an ILC grant it is advisable to review potential fit now and start planning ahead. Grant applications will only be open for five to six weeks and good preparation can help reduce the stress of preparing and writing your grant application. Specific details of each program will be available in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines on the Community Grants Hub when the grants are open for application.

Need help with an ILC idea?

We’re running a series of free workshops across South Australia in August 2019 for organisations that are interested in applying for an ILC grant. 

Register now.

Individual Capacity Building Program:

  • Focus on organisations run by and for people with disability (DPOs) or their families and carers (FOs).
  • Organisations who are not DPOs/FOs may be funded if they support a specific community of people (so called Priority Led Organisations) e.g. cultural or linguistically diverse groups.
  • Grant application period: 19 August – 27 September 2019
  • Grants will start in February 2020 and can provide funding for up to three years.

The grant activities seek to achieve outcomes for people with disabilities to:

  • have the skills and confidence to participate and contribute to the community and protect their rights.
  • have increased motivation, confidence and empowerment to act
  • participate in and benefit from the same community activities as everyone else.

Activities must build the capacity of people with disabilities by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to set and achieve goals. Activities must be for the primary and direct benefit of people with disabilities and developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability.

DPO/FOs can also apply for funding to improve their organisational capacity to deliver their mission and the ILC program. The Organisational Capacity Building funding is exclusive to DPOs/FOs and can only be funded as part of a broader project to build the capacity of individuals with disability.

Mainstream Capacity Building Program

  • Focus on mainstream health interfaces
  • Grants application period: 9 September – 18 October 2019
  • Grant will start as of March 2020 with funding up to 2 years.

The grant activities seek to achieve outcomes for people with disabilities to use and benefit from the same mainstream services as everyone else.

For this round, activities must support improvements in the delivery of accessible and inclusive mainstream health services. They should help overcome barriers to inclusion such as lack of knowledge, information or skill, attitudes and culture, governance and administration, infrastructure and resources, communication or remote location.

Economic and Community Participation Program

  • Economic participation stream focus on employment
  • Social and community stream focus on community life
  • Grants application period: 9 September – 18 October 2019
  • Grant will start as of March 2020 with funding up to 3 years.

The grant activities seek to achieve outcomes for people with disabilities to:

  • participate in and benefit from the same community activities as everyone else
  • actively contribute to leading, shaping and influencing their community
  • have the skills and confidence to participate and contribute to the community and protect their rights

Activities in the Economic Participation Stream include capacity building for employers, pathways to employment and fostering entrepreneurship.

The Social and Community Participation Stream seeks activities that establish education resources for the community sector to improve contemporary understanding of pathways to participation and leadership. Activities could also enhance the capacity of local communities to identify areas to improve inclusion practices and to create tools for change. Funding is also provided to increase awareness and understanding of disability, e.g. in sporting associations or specific sectors, or to create networks that connect people to opportunities. Training for volunteers to better relate to, or work with peoples with disabilities can also be provided through this grant program.

We expect a third Economic and Community Participation Program potentially this year and more grant rounds available in 2020/21. The Activating Community Inclusion stream aims to address community attitudes towards disabilities and provide opportunities for people with disabilities to be included in everyday life. 

The outcomes of the National Information Program (which closed in May 2019) have not yet been announced.

To date the ILC program has awarded 350 grants to community organisations to a value of $138.5 million (GST exc.).  More information about the ILC program is available on the NDIS website and CBB webinar series.

CBB will be running free workshops across South Australia in August helping organisations learn how to design and plan for an ILC project. Following the grant announcement from NDIA we have extended the registration dates.

Organisations can also apply for one on one support which, is designed for organisations who need more time and input to develop their project proposals, ready for when the 2020 grant rounds open.

If you have any questions on the program, please just drop us an email at

Dr Ellen Schuler 
Business Consultant 
Phone: 1300 284 364

Inclusion projects – what do they actually do?

Inclusive Sport SA
Image credit: Inclusive Sport SA

In my blog last month, I wrote about disability inclusion and the human right for people with disabilities to live an ordinary life. 4.3m Australians live with some form of disability, and 2.5m of them are under 65. You don’t have to be a great mathematician to work out that that’s a lot more than the 460,000 people with disabilities who will be supported by an NDIS plan. And that’s why inclusion is so important.

The NDIA’s information, linkages and capacity building (ILC) grant program provides funds for projects to improve inclusion of people with a disability. Pretty much any type of organisation can apply for a grant, and you don’t need to be a registered NDIS provider, or even a disability services provider.

So what do inclusion projects actually do?

Over the last month we’ve been running a series of webinars as the first part of our ILC Ready program to help organisations understand ILC funding, and to develop their project ideas and project proposals. As part of these webinars we’ve spoken to a range of organisations who have received an ILC grant to understand more about their inclusion projects. In this month’s blog, we’re looking at different ways of improving inclusion, through some examples of inclusion projects in practice.

Overcome barriers to accessing services

When Anglicare SA noticed that they had a much lower uptake of their services from people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, they decided to do some research into the issue with Flinders University. The research found that stigma was the biggest barrier to people from CALD communities accessing disability services. Some of our views on disability are heavily influenced by culture and experience, so Anglicare SA applied for an ILC grant to develop a video to tackle stigma around disability. The video is called “In our own words” and features people from different cultural backgrounds talking about their experience of living with disability, or caring for a family member with disability. Anglicare SA is sharing the video with communities and other service providers to improve understanding of the needs of culturally diverse communities.

Similarly, City of Playford, in Adelaide’s north, also noticed that people from CALD communities were not accessing services. They took a slightly different approach to research, working alongside residents through the process of accessing services, and observing the barriers that they were facing. These included cultural, language and system barriers. They tested out these assumptions, by reaching out to the other local service providers to find out if they’d noticed the same things. They had. Together, they realised that all these pain points had something in common: they were happening at the frontline, across many different service systems. City of Playford, City of Salisbury, and the Department of Human Services decided to work together, by applying for an ILC grant to create a CALD toolkit for frontline staff working across different social services. Their aim was to empower the first person in the frontline to work around cultural, language and system barriers, so the person seeking help would get the support they needed the first time.

Engage people with disabilities in communities and organisations

HCO were already running Neighbourhood Links group in Mount Barker, based on a UK program called the Keyring model. Neighbourhood Links brings together a group of up to eight people with intellectual disability, who are living independently or intending to move out of home, with a facilitator who also lives in the area. All participants live within close distance of each other, creating a linked-up support network. Each month, one of the Neighbourhood Links participants hosts a meeting to catch up and talk about issues that are important to independent living, or different topics of interest, such as the Federal Election. For the Mount Barker group, this created an opportunity to develop knowledge about our electoral and government system and how to vote. The facilitator builds a relationship with each of the participants, and helps them to come up with their own solutions to daily living problems both independently, and as part of meetings. They provide on-call and drop in support to participants and attend the monthly meeting.

The evaluation of the existing HCO program showed that participants were more engaged in their local community and less socially isolated. HCO was awarded ILC funding to expand the model from the Mount Barker group to five further groups across the Adelaide Hills and surrounding area.  

Inclusive Sport SA have a good understanding of the barriers to inclusion of people of all abilities in mainstream sports and recreation.  One of the main challenges happens again, at the frontline. When people in community sporting clubs are unsure about how to include people with different abilities, and are concerned about doing it ‘right’, the result can be that nothing is done, and the person with disability ends up leaving the club.

Inclusive Sport SA’s ILC project addresses inclusion from three perspectives.

  • For the community: Inclusive Sport SA are surveying club members, parents and participants of mainstream sports clubs to benchmark the current attitudes in sport. In addition, their Well Played campaign uses the message “Play Together Play Well” with social media content, such as their Humans of Sports in SA stories, to help people see the benefits of including people of all abilities in sport.
  • For people living with disability: there is a self-driven Participant Advisory Group of six local and high performance athletes and coaches with lived experience of disability, as well as resources developed by people with disability, for people with disability. The advisory group’s aim is to help the sector implement initiatives that take the views of people with disability into account.
    Inclusive Sport SA are working with people with disability to make short videos on topics like: how to deal with an umpire’s decision, how to meet people at your club, and what to expect as a player.
  • For the sport and recreation sector: Inclusive Sport SA met with key state sport administrators about inclusion of people with disability in club sport. They found opportunities to share knowledge, provide training to the sector, and bring together the many great resources already available to improve inclusion in sport.

They are building an online hub where major sporting bodies, community clubs, service providers, prospective participants and their families can connect with each other, and share supports, events, competitions and strategies that work.

Inclusive employment

SACID used its ILC grant to establish SA Inclusion Point, an information service. SA Inclusion Point employs people with intellectual disability as inclusion workers to

  • Speak with groups about how to include people with disability
  • Help make easy read information
  • Set up groups for people with intellectual disability so they can have their voice heard
  • Help at workshops and events

Making this inclusion meaningful included ensuring recruitment and employment processes are accessible to people with disability, such as presenting position descriptions in an easy-read format; and paying award rates for the work. The inclusion workers have developed workshops focussed on skills development and the right to safety (which was their own suggestion).  SACID have also received an additional ILC grant that will see people with intellectual disability have a greater voice within the organisation and wider community through the establishment of a reference group that will advise the Board, and peer action groups focused on creating more inclusive communities.

Tennis player and TV presenter Dylan Alcott has launched Remove the Barrier, a campaign to tackle the unconscious bias that makes it difficult for people with disabilities to secure employment. Currently only 54% of the one in five Australians living with disability are employed, which is twice the general unemployment rate. The campaign includes tips on actions you can take to remove the barriers to employment, including wording of job advertisements and flexibility in your recruitment process. Whilst Alcott’s campaign is not ILC funded, it’s a great example of work to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, and has the support of big name brands like Nike, ANZ and Medibank.

Creating inclusive environments

Given the number of Australians living with disability, it makes commercial sense for businesses to include them as customers. Autism SA’s Autism Friendly Charter is a website for businesses and organisations to access online training, and sign up as an autism friendly business. Autism SA has been funded through ILC grants to make the charter national, and to design an app mapping safe, autism friendly spaces, activities, businesses and services. Similarly, Beyond Bank are also designing new branches to be more inclusive for people with disability, as you can see in this video about engaging people with disability in the design of a new Canberra branch.

Feeling inspired?

You can learn more about the ILC projects discussed above by watching our webinar recordings here. You can also book onto one of our ILC workshops, touring South Australia in August. These will help you to develop your inclusion ideas into potential projects. If you’re based in and/or operating in South Australia, you can apply for one to one support from our team of business consultants here, to help you develop your ILC project proposal. We will be providing one to one support to 20 South Australian organisations from October to December.

This program is funded by the South Australian Department of Human Services through its NDIA Community Inclusion and Capacity Development Grant to provide support to South Australian organisations for ILC readiness. It is free for participating organisations.

If you have any questions on the program, please just drop us an email at

Jane Arnott
General Manager, Consulting and Business Services
Phone: 1300 284 364

Prepare for a new way to attract donations and volunteers

If your organisation works with consumers rather than businesses, now is a great time to consider if Instagram should be one of the communication channels your organisation uses to connect with your customers, potential customers and supporters.

If you’re completely new to Instagram and you find any of this content confusing, we’ve posted a brief glossary below…

Why now

Instagram launched donation stickers in America earlier this year. Whilst this new way of getting people to donate hasn’t been released in Australia yet, it’s the perfect time to start using Instagram in preparation for the launch, especially if you’re looking to engage with 18 – 34 year olds.

In the middle of July Instagram turned off their like count in Australia. So you can no longer see the number of people that like a post (unless it’s your own).

Mia Garlick, the Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Instagram in Australia and New Zealand told the ABC “We know that people come to Instagram to express themselves and to be creative and follow their passions. And we want to make sure it’s not a competition.” This is an advantage for new pages, as a low level of engagement as you build your Instagram presence won’t be visible to users. Although people can still see how many followers you have on your account, people can no longer see that you only have two or three likes on a post, so they can make their own mind up if they like the post and act accordingly, rather than wondering why it’s only got a few likes and then not wanting to stand out.

Engage with young adults

64% of Instagram users are aged between 18 – 34 [1]. Whilst this age group supports crowdfunding activities, it’s less likely to give to charities. Instagram donation stickers will allow organisations to receive donations via the Instagram app on people’s mobile phones and tablets. This is important as 80% [2] of crowdfunding donations are made via mobile devices, so this is a platform where people are happy to provide donations.

Whilst the primary purpose of your Instagram page is to connect with customers, there is also the potential to increase your volunteer base. Although 43.7% of adult Australian’s volunteer, this number drops to only 37.7% of 18-34 year olds. Instagram provides an opportunity for you to connect with this demographic and encourage volunteering.

Start your Instagram page now

If you don’t already use Instagram the sooner you start the better. Don’t wait until the donation sticker feature is released in Australia to get started. Building an audience on Instagram will take time. By starting now you’ll get time to learn and develop a style that your audience engages with, whilst still reflecting your mission. You’ll have time to build a relationship with your subscribers and build trust, so when donation stickers become live, they will want to support you and advocate on your behalf with their followers, by putting stickers on their Instagram stories to raise money for you.

Things to remember

Before you start an Instagram account you need a strategy. Review your marketing strategy to understand which target segment you are appealing to and what your position to this segment is. Build your Instagram content strategy around this and decide what story you’re going to use Instagram to tell, and what solution you are going to offer people. You can’t just copy your posts from Facebook or LinkedIn over to Instagram. They are different environments and people expect different things.

Instagram is image focused, so start to collect images. The best way is by using your smart phone (so if employees are banned from using their phones at work, you may need to revise your organisation’s policy to get the best results, or consider other options). The best photos will be ones taken in the moment, not staged, so make sure people involved with your organisation know what sort of photos you want to take. You may have sensitivities around taking photos of the people you support, in which case you can decide to take pictures from their point of view, to show what they are seeing.

Maximise your chances of being found. Your ‘name’ and ‘bio’ are the only two searchable fields in Instagram, so make them count. Don’t repeat your organisation name in your bio as space is limited, instead use search insights from your website and weave the most searched for terms into a sentence.

Free help to improve your images is available

There are various apps available that can help you improve your images, even if you’re not skilled in Photoshop. Apps like ‘Snapseed’ allow you to tweak your image at the press of a button, so search for image editor in your app store and find one that works for you.

If you want to brand your images or always have a certain colour as a border that ties back into your brand, you can find apps like ‘Canva’ by searching for graphic design apps that need no creative skill to use.

Live video and Instagram Stories (images or videos that disappear after 24 hours) are very popular with the younger demographic and ‘Unfold’ is the go-to mobile app to allow you to add text and design features to your story. Like the other apps, this needs no design skill and if you’re like me, you’ll soon start using these apps for your personal account too. If you’d rather create stories from your desktop, ‘Stories Creator‘ allows you to convert images (not videos) into stories from your web browser.

If you want to provide people an overview of what an hour or day with you looks like, you can use an app like ‘Life Lapse’ which allows you to do time lapse photography for free. The result is a video made up of individual photographs.

Track your results

A simple spreadsheet may help you track results like the number of followers and the engagement (likes, shares and comments) of individual posts. Once you get over 1,000 followers tools like this one can be used to generate reports showing your audience demography, follower growth and important audience insights to allow you to generate relevant content.

As a benchmark according to Phlanx (a social media marketing platform), the average engagement rate on Instagram based on the number of followers is:

  • 1k to 5k = 5.6%
  • 5k to 20k = 2.43%
  • 20k to 100k = 2.15%
  • 100k to 1m = 2.05%
  • >1m = 1.97%

New to Instagram and completely confused?

What is it? It’s a social media platform, much like Facebook or LinkedIn, but heavily based around photos and videos. You can like and comment on posts in much the same way as on other platforms. It’s mostly used by 18-34 year olds, so is a good platform to use if they are your target age group for buying your service, donating or volunteering.

Bio: your bio page gives background information about you and your number of posts, followers and the number of Instagram users you are following.

Stories: are Instagram pictures or videos that disappear after 24 hours.

IGTV: in addition to posting to your page and stories, videos can be posted to IGTV. These advantage of posting to IGTV is that the videos can be longer than on your page or stories, which are restricted to 60 seconds and 15 seconds respectively.

If you need any help creating a marketing strategy to understand who your stakeholders are, what your positioning is and creating measurable objectives; or creating an engagement plan to communicate with them, you can book a free consult.

Tom Rippon
Marketing Consultant





National NDIS worker screening database delayed

The NDIS Commission has postponed the introduction of a national NDIS worker screening database until 2020.

In the interim, and since the introduction of the NDIS Commission in all Australian states and territories (except Western Australia) on 1 July, there are transitional requirements for NDIS Worker screening in each state. Workers continue to require a current check in the state or territory in which they work. Details for acceptable checks in each state are listed on the Commission website here.

Interim requirements in South Australia

In South Australia, existing workers in a ‘risk assessed role’ must have a valid clearance for a

  • Department of Human Services Disability Services Employment screening (issued in the last three years)


  • Department of Human Services Child-related Employment Check SA child related employment screening (issued in the last three years and before 1 July 2019).

New workers in SA or workers whose check expires after 1 July 2019 will need to apply for a Department of Human Services Disability Services Employment Screening check. A Working with Children Check alone will no longer be acceptable for providing NDIS supports. If workers are working with children they will also require a new Working with children check.

Checks can be lodged by the individual or the organisation. Organisations are required to register with the Department of Human Services Screening Unit.

Records of your workers

NDIS providers will be audited to ensure relevant checks are in place, and also on the record keeping of all workers who engage in ‘risk assessed roles’. Records must be accurate, complete and in line with the NDIS (Practice Standards-Worker Screening) Rules 2018, updated regularly and kept for seven years. The Commission website outlines the details that the list of workers needs to include.  

Contracts with your contractors

NDIS providers who engage contractors and other organisations in the provision of NDIS supports or perform work on their premises need to be aware of additional obligations. NDIS providers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the worker of the contractor who engages in a ‘risk assessed role’ holds the necessary check. An up-to-date contract with the contractor must be in place. This needs to impose a range of obligations on the contractor that are outlined in Section 13 (4) of the NDIS (Practice Standards-Worker Screening) Rules 2018. The NDIS Commission can request access to the contracts and records relating to contractors, and your audit may review how you meet your obligations.

Risk assessed roles

All risk assessed roles in an organisation will require a screening check including

  • key personnel (including board members, senior executives, manager, team leaders)
  • roles for which the normal duties include the direct delivery of specified supports or specified services to a person with disability
  • roles for which the normal duties are likely to require more than incidental contact with people with disability, including volunteers and subcontractors.

It is the obligation of the NDIS provider to assess each roles within the organisation (including contractors) to identify all ‘risk assessed roles’.  The NDIS Commission website lists three helpful examples to illustrate what is considered ‘more than incidental contact’.

Action plan for providers

Although organisations have been engaging in worker screening for a while, many providers have not yet taken notice and implemented the NDIS (Practice Standards-Worker Screening) Rules 2018. Here is an action plan for your organisation:

  • Assess all roles in your organisation, including subcontractors, and establish a list of ‘risk assessed roles’
  • Understand the interim screening rules in your state
  • Ensure checks are up to date and in line with the interim requirements
  • Ensure your record keeping is in line with the rules
  • Review if your CRM is capable of recording all necessary fields. Have you discussed your recording requirements with your software provider?
  • Establish responsibilities for maintaining all records. Are suspensions, expulsions and incidents recorded and responded to? Is your organisation alerted before checks expire?
  • Communicate the new requirements to your contractors and update your contracts
  • Update all relevant policies and procedures e.g. your staff intake policy.
  • Communicate the change to your staff and your board

When you have worked your way through this list it is advisable to conduct an internal audit, not only of your records but also your internal controls and risks that the worker screening might not capture.

For questions or feedback, please contact CBB’s Business Consultant Dr Ellen Schuler.

NDIS consultant

Dr Ellen Schuler
Business Consultant 
Phone: 1300 763 505

10 easy ways to protect your brand’s reputation – online

Over the past months the news has been filled with public figures who have lost their jobs due to posts or comments they’ve made on the internet.  Whilst some were recent posts others were in the distant past, but it still came back to haunt them. An organisation is just like a person, over the years comments, news stories and customer reviews leave a story on the internet. So what can an organisation do to protect or improve their organisation’s reputation?  

Continue reading…

ILC Inclusion

I grew up in an era when my peers with disabilities were educated in a different ‘special’ school. In our regional high school with over 800 students, we had two pupils with a visible disability. Even children with dyslexia were taken out of their classes and bussed to a different site for extra lessons to support their literacy. People with disabilities were excluded from mainstream services and therefore marginalised, creating a sense of difference, of ‘otherness’, between those of us that are temporarily able-bodied, and people with disabilities.  No-one benefits from this model – not people with disabilities, not their families and carers, and certainly not society as a whole.

Continue reading…

Five ways systems and processes can negatively affect your organisation

“A business that looks orderly says to your customer that your people know what they’re doing.”― Michael E. Gerb

Systems and process, the ‘how’ you do the things you do in your organisation, may seem boring and of not much importance, but they matter more than think.

Inefficient ways of conducting your work can include using outdated tools or technology, double handling information and a lack of transparency in the work being done. These are some of the most common ways systems and processes are outdated and inefficient. Using fax, paper forms and technology that hasn’t been updated in years are specific examples of these.

There are five ways this can negatively affect your organisation.

1. Frustrate staff

Something small may not be annoying in itself, but if it has to be repeated multiple times a day, every day, it can quickly become frustrating and demoralising.

2. Poor customer experience

When your internal systems are weak, your customers and users of your services are often impacted by a poor customer experience. Conversely modern streamlined processes often result in great customer experiences.Customers using good mobile applications to book services often comment on positive experiences such as not having to re-enter personal details (as they are saved in the app) and being able to make their booking at any time of the day.

3. Dangerous

Manual outdated processes have a much higher chance of mistakes. For example paper forms can allow endless mistakes to occur – often undetected – whereas an electronic form with built in validations can ensure data accuracy and prevent a number of mistakes. Mistakes and errors can administrative annoyances or they can be much much worse.For example a paper form will almost always ask the customer to fill out their name and personal details such as date of birth, every time they complete the form. Electronic forms can of course save these details and provide a greater customer experience. Furthermore safeguards can be put in place to prevent errors and increase accuracy. One organisation that was using paper-based forms reported that a number of customers had changes in their date of birth from form to form, highlighting just how susceptible to error the continued use of paper forms can be.

4. Costs

The longer something takes and the more mistakes that need to be addressed, the more it will cost your organisation. This is especially true of staff, which are often one of the biggest overhead costs for organisations. The cost is both financial and opportunity cost, as other work cannot be completed if staff are too busy correcting errors. Non-value tasks hinder an organisation’s ability to maximise the impact they are making, as staff are pulled away from value add activities to complete non-value, but perhaps urgent, tasks.

5. Can’t grow

If your organisation grows with inefficient processes and systems, it runs the risks of having more frustrated staff, more customers with a poor experience and more mistakes that need your attention. As you grow, the impact that your organisation is making is likely to be greater, however the problems and inefficiencies currently being faced will also be greater which may in turn may cause staff to leave, leave customers unsatisfied and result in the objectives of your organisation not being met.

You may be asking, how do you know if you have internal systems and processes that require your attention? Two key sources of feedback are your staff and your customers. Pain points and/or complaints will often reveal a poor system or process. Furthermore, intuitively you will know that certain systems and processes need updating. Chances are you’ve had good experiences as a customer with other organisations or you’re using a system that the whole world knows is outdated and have a thought to yourself, there has to be a better way.

CBB has a number of consultants with experience in processes mapping and the streamlining of systems and processes. For an obligation free consultation, please contact us on 1300 763 505.


Dimitri Matsouliadis
Business Consultant
Phone: 1300 763 505

Building a cash bridge

Building a cash bridge

“When you build a bridge, you insist it can carry 30,000 pounds, but you only drive 10,000 pound trucks across it” – Warren Buffett

All organisations need cash to live, breathe and operate on a daily basis. Cash is very much like oxygen, not really a big deal until you don’t have any and then it’s a really big deal, really quickly. Furthermore it doesn’t matter how healthy you are, if you’re without air for a short period, you’re in trouble.

Organisations are exactly the same. An organisation can be extremely prosperous for many years but become unstuck if they are left without the required cash to meet their commitments for even a short period of time. How long will employees be willing to work without pay? How long will suppliers continue to provide their services on credit?

It’s a scary thought, but cash flow risk can largely be mitigated by building a strong reserve. All shortfalls in cash must financed. They can be financed through financiers such as banks, your suppliers offering credit, or your own cash reserves/savings.

Cash reserves are the safest, easiest and most reliable safe guard against cash flow issues.

To state the obvious, cash is an asset that your organisation owns, an asset that you control and, most importantly, an asset that doesn’t need approval from a third party (such as a bank) to access.

So how much cash should your organisation put aside? This is a difficult question and will largely depend on management’s risk tolerance and the perceived risks that your organisation may face in the future. For example, risks such as your cash-flow cycle, income model (ie block funding in advance or individualised payments in arrears) and competitor landscape should all be considered when evaluating risk. Understanding the kind of financial or cash flow risks you are facing will help you to identify the level of reserve needed to protect your organisation.

An organisation with management that are not overly risk averse and not overly concerned about any perceived future risk, may not believe that they need large cash reserves. Conversely an organisation that is worried about the future risk they may face, may choose to build large cash reserves.

As a general rule at least three months of all expenses should held in cash in reserve. Ideally six months will be held, and 12 months plus is, of course, a much more conservative approach. When evaluating how much cash to hold in reserve it is also important to consider the timing associated with risks. For example if your organisation has a risk of losing funding but will be given a minimum of three months’ notice, then this should be factored in.

The rationale here is, if no income at all came in – not a single dollar – how long would you need to operate to get yourself back on track or at minimum payout all your obligations to staff and third parties? However if the likelihood of you losing all your income at once is low, you should reflect this when setting your reserves level.

As outlined above, a number of factors need to be considered and analysed. When considering these factors, an independent qualified adviser will be able to help you navigate your options relative to your risk exposure, and ensure that you calculate the appropriate amount of cash reserves for your organisation.

To find out how CBB can assist, please get in touch with Dimitri:


Dimitri Matsouliadis
Business Consultant
Phone: 1300 763 505

When leadership is an impossible job

Impossible leadership

As a Brit living and working in Australia, I’ve been reflecting on the mess that is Brexit, and, in the wake of Theresa May’s resignation as British Prime Minister, what it tells us about leadership, and the impossible job. Leadership – given its embeddedness in individual and organisational psychology – is a complex topic. There have been millions of words written about it, some based on sophisticated studies, and some of which are probably nonsense. What follows are my personal reflections and observations based on a 25 year career of working with leaders, and being in leadership positions myself. Central to the meaning of ‘leadership’ is that it requires followers. I’m not a fan of the term ‘followers’ because it implies subservience – definitely not something I want from the people I work with. However, leadership does require a team. You can’t lead in a vacuum, or without vision. These are the two key features that have been lacking in the last three years of the British Prime Ministership, making leadership a near impossible job for Mrs May.

  1. Leadership rests on shared vision

Rule #1 of leadership: develop a vision – or at least some common goals and objectives – that your team can commit to. With significant divisions within the UK Conservative party regarding the shape Brexit should take, Mrs May has been unable to build consensus within her own team. The same weekend that Mrs May resigned, I read articles about the Australian Federal election, and the anti-vaxxer movement. Both cited research showing that, when presented with evidence that contradicts their opinions, people hold on to their existing opinion more strongly. Our human tendency to look for evidence that validates – rather than challenges – our viewpoints, coupled with social media’s propensity to present more of what we like, means most of us live in an echo-chamber with inadequate perspective on the broader world. More dangerously, we heavily criticise politicians for changing their standing on an issue, making them reluctant to actually listen to evidence and shift their position. One British political commentator, Peter Oborne (who was a Brexiteer) has publically changed his stance on Brexit and urged others to do the same. Although his story has been widely shared, it’s had little impact. Instead, positions have become more entrenched and more polarised, and the behaviours more vicious. Little space is left for negotiation or compromise, and there’s scant hope of creating a shared vision across the ‘team’ responsible for delivering Brexit.

Shared vision depends on diversity and a healthy culture

We hope that, in our professional lives, we operate with a more open mindset, with the capacity to take on board new evidence, and alternative perspectives. This is why diversity in teams – of experience, perspectives and thinking styles – is so important. Challenging and testing assumptions is critical to busting groupthink and building a robust, shared vision that everyone can get behind. But to build a consensus, you need a safe environment for constructive challenge and considered debate. It’s pretty difficult to have honest face to face discussions if everyone’s watching their back and waiting for the next manoeuvre. Which brings us to point two…

  1. Leadership requires team support

Leaders are only as good as their teams. Team support is vital to getting the work done, in thinking through challenges, in creating new opportunities, in innovating improvements. You can’t do it alone, and you certainly can’t do it if your team are fighting and undermining you (and each other) all the time. This has clearly been another major challenge for the UK Prime Minister. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have people in your team that want your job (and who have the competence or potential to do it). They can stretch you as a leader and build a pipeline for succession. What’s not good is having people that are openly hostile and trying to unseat you. Exit Mrs Theresa May, British PM.

Build a stronger team with clear behavioural expectations.

While we would hope for better behaviours in the workplace, people’s professionalism can’t always be assumed. A behaviours framework that sets explicit and objective expectations of workplace behaviour – towards each other, clients and stakeholders – is useful here. Formalising a behaviours framework gives you criteria against which you can recruit and select new employees, and manage those whose behaviours undermine the integrity and values of your organisation.

Support for Leadership

Whilst we hope that the febrile environment of national politics is not played out in not for profits across Australia, organisation cultures – and organisation leaders – do need to be nurtured and cared for to keep them healthy. You can read more about how to avoid a toxic workplace here.

If you have concerns about the culture in your organisation, or you’re a leader that needs a bit of external support, get in touch with Jane:

Jane Arnott
General Manager, Consulting and Business Services
Phone: 1300 284 364