By Rachel Afflick
PINARC had an eventful year as it continued to meet the challenges of DisabilityCare Australia, the organisation's annual general meeting today heard.
Chief executive officer Marianne Hubbard said the Ballarat-based disability support service continued to make a positive difference in people's lives.
Pinarc's strategic plan was about creating a strong and flexible organisation that could remain viable under the national disability insurance scheme, Ms Hubbard said.
"We're really fortunate to be next to the (Barwon) launch site and we can listen and learn a lot from their experience.
"We've started the conversations with our staff about the reality of this introduction.
"We will be a mission-based community business. We will be in a competitive market."
Ms Hubbard said Pinarc was seeing an increasing number of families facing separation from their kids, because there was not enough funding and support for families in need.
"We hope this will change into the future," she said.
But new ICT technology had allowed the organisation to increase access to services in the past 12 months, she said.
iPads were one of the most popular items and were now used in all program areas.
Pinarc chair Doug Cameron said it had been a year of significant changes for the disability support service
"I'd encourage people to embrace the changes and they will be all the better for the people of Pinarc," he said.
The meeting heard Pinarc had introduced several fee-for-service programs for the day when clients and their families chose which provider would deliver their service.
New programs based at the Ballarat Specialist School Farm had grown since the beginning of January offering skill, development, social connection and participation in the community.