Annual Report 2020 2020-11-19T17:24:13+10:00

ANNUAL

REPORT

2020

ANNUAL

REPORT

2020

35 years proudly supporting Gippsland Primary Producers & Small Businesses become more

PROFITABLE · RESILIENT · SUSTAINABLE

CHAIRS

MESSAGE

2019 - 2020 was a year of great challenge navigating through substantial demand and adaption with our community experiencing its most difficult hardships in recent history; ongoing drought, extreme fires and a continuing global pandemic.

RFCS Gippsland responded immediately, aligning with many other agencies providing on-ground support, informing and relieving additional stressors of accessing urgent crisis and recovery assistance. Although demand substantially increased by extending services to small businesses as well as primary producers, the Board Directors and management took pride in overseeing a valuable community service providing the experience; capability and agility to quickly scale-up and ensure our community received personalised and ongoing support.

The future will be continuous change for us all. We are committed to ensuring improved quality support of our respected farmers and business owners through these challenging times.

Aubrey Pellett

RFCS

PROGRAM

Rural Financial Counsellors and experienced Small Business Support Officers change lives of rural and regional business operators with independent personalised financial assistance – tailored to individual needs

photo credit: Lynda Rasmussen

HOW WE WORK WITH CLIENTS

Navigate out of financial stress
Analyse Financial Position
Identify Viable Options
Develop plans to improve cash flow
Implement Changes & Improvements
Reduce Financial Risks
Access Industry Support & Programs
Help Achieve Long-Term Goals & Quality of Life

FUNDING

BODIES

RFCS Gippsland is a registered charitable non-profit organisation providing Rural Financial Counselling Services and Small Business Support Programs, funded by Federal and State Governments

We are grateful for support that ensures viable rural communities

RFCS

TEAM

Directed and operated by a team of qualified experts in finance, agriculture and small business with a passion for supporting Gippsland communities

We sincerely thank 2019 retiring Board Members, Richard Habgood & Garry van Sinderen for their significant years of service and contribution to the growth of RFCS Gippsland

L-R: Garry van Sinderen, Aubrey Pellett (Chair), Richard Habgood

OUR

OBJECTIVE

Our sole focus is on achieving positive financial & wellbeing outcomes for our clients & customers

Ensure our clients achieve a
VIABLE FINANCIAL FUTURE

CRISIS

RESPONSE

While Gippsland struggled through 3 years of drought, devastating fires…then the pandemic

RFCS Gippsland continued to be there supporting vulnerable communities

EXPERIENCE IS CRITICAL

Years of preparation and agility allowed for immediate & practical response to triple crises, ensuring community members continued to receive valuable, on the ground support
Immediately mobilised personnel for on-ground support

Appointed additional personnel

Established remote working capacity

Specialised our Support Staff to help navigate government programs

Employed additional personnel dedicated to small business support

Trained clients & provided online capability to apply for support, operate, remain informed & keep connected

Implemented internal systems & tools to manage, monitor & improve service & operational efficiencies

Managed work capacity, development, training & wellbeing of staff

Advocated for farmer & small business needs to government & industry

Worked with the RFCS Network & Government funding bodies to improve performance reporting

Are expanding services to ensure client wellbeing is supported

2019-2020 was the year of extreme challenges causing unprecedented pressure on businesses, farmers & families

These conditions also created challenges for service providers and government agencies to deliver urgent crisis & recovery support… while operating in a covid-restricted environment

EXECUTIVE

MESSAGE

In the face of extreme pressures, our Rural Financial Counsellors and Support Officers stepped-up to service our community in their time of most need.

I couldn’t be more proud of their passion to help - not only in their counselling and service roles, but even as firefighting and support crews, whilst also managing their own personal risks.

I, and on behalf of our community, give my heartfelt gratitude to our team for their dedication, devotion and willingness to help and work with a range of agencies to make peoples lives easier during this unprecedented time in Gippsland.

Kylie Holmes

SUCCESS

MEASURES

Client feedback & outcomes determine our success

CLIENT IMPROVEMENT

100%

SERVICE QUALITY

100%

CLIENT SATISFACTION

100%

Success measures result from client responses of both an independent annual survey conducted by Federal Government as well as an internal satisfaction survey.  30% of clients completed the surveys contributing to fantastic results of positive client outcomes and service provision

Enhancement of Client Skills & Business Capabilities

% Improvement of client engaged in these activities

Survey results: clients exiting service during 2019-2020

Improved Understanding Relevant Business Planning Areas (KPI 1a) 100%
Improved Confidence in Making Business Decisions (KPI 1b) 92%
Implemented Business Strategies (KPI 3b) 93%

National survey results: clients >1 year 2019-2020

Note: Activity data reporting is undergoing improvements to better capture performance & client outcomes

Low results of ‘Developed Business Strategies’ is due to number of crisis activities undertaken with clients transitioning into strategy planning during 2021

% Client Activity Outcomes

Data results from government reporting system

65%

Established Goals (KPI 2a)

38%

Clients Achieved Goals (KPI 3a)

28%

Developed Business Strategies (KPI 2b)

Counsellor service excellence and client satisfaction

% CLIENTS

RECOMMEND SERVICE

100%

RECOMMEND SERVICE

% Excellence Counsellor Knowledge, Understanding & Service

% Satisfaction of client engaged in these activities

Results from surveys completed in 2019-2020 by clients exiting the service

CLIENT

PROFILE

The RFCS program assists a range of Primary Producers & Small Business located throughout South-East Victoria

50%

OVERALL CLIENT INCREASE
previous 8 year average
Additional increase to previous year record 225% increase to overall client demand 7 year average

57%

COUNSELLOR DEMAND INCREASE
previous 8 year average
Average number of Clients per Rural Financial Counsellor

Support Officers were employed to assist Customers access crisis and recovery programs

874

BUSINESSES
ASSISTED
2019-2020

Primary Producers & Small Businesses

425 CUSTOMERS
449 CLIENTS 


200 New & Returning Clients
149 Finalised Service

Customers – receiving short-term assistance with information & access to crisis and recovery support program

Clients – receiving a range of long-term planning & support services

CUSTOMERS SUPPORTED 2019-2020

Primary Producers & Small Businesses who received individual assistance with information and access to crisis & recovery support during 2019-2020

PRIMARY PRODUCER CLIENTS TOTAL - Historical

The RFCS Program was expanded to support non-primary producing small businesses impacted by drought in Eastern Gippsland

During 2019-2020, this support was expanded to include All Small Businesses impacted by bushfire and the pandemic across whole of Gippsland

INDUSTRY BREAKDOWN - 2020

% industry types

INDUSTRY BREAKDOWN - Historical

% industry demand 4 year trend

Clients transition through 3 priority phases from Crisis support through to Planning & Recovery activities

Various activities and depths of service are undertaken within these phases for clients to achieve immediate & future financial relief

Client activities 3 year comparison:

More clients have been seeking crisis support from Government assistance due to drought (2019) and fires (2020). Rural Financial Counsellors spend more time focused on planning activities and assisting clients achieve goals during recovery phase of client activities

% ACTIVITIES BREAKDOWN

Percentage of phased activities undertaken per year

CLIENT

STORIES

Real stories of impact RFCS Gippsland have on clients’ lives… representing thousands of rural business clients over 35 years 

FINANCIAL FUTURE SAVED BY RFCS
Calculation Error Nearly Ruined Generational Farmers
READ THEIR STORY
SUPPORT ENABLED FAST RECOVERY
Bushfire Devastation to Operating within 6 months
READ THEIR STORY
BROKEN DREAMS TO HOPE AGAIN
Bankruptcy Threat to a Win-Win Proposal
READ THEIR STORY
OVER-WORKED LIFE BALANCE
Discovering Opportunity Out of the Ashes
READ THEIR STORY
Previous
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STRATEGIC

FOCUS

Continuously be industry leaders, improve services and enhance value to our community and clients

Be a valuable community service

Testimonials are sourced from 2019-20 client exit surveys

Future Direction is to maintain strategic focus on Empowering clients with holistic services targeting

Wellbeing · Change
Opportunity · Risk
Information · Advocacy

PERFORMANCE

Effectively engage and support clients to improve their financial outcomes

VALUE

Continuously raise awareness & be beneficial to our communities

GOVERNANCE

Implement effective systems & processes to monitor financial & operational compliance

PEOPLE

Develop supportive environment of shared experience with wellbeing a priority

FINANCIAL

SUMMARY

Execution of program funding is conducted with strong fiscal responsibility & governance

$2.697M

TOTAL
FUNDING

$1,086,941
Federal & State Funding

$1,508,490
Special Funding

$101,506
Other Support

Significant increase in Special Grant Funding in 2020 due to Governments’ response to crisis providing additional resources to meet client demand

Special Grant Funding received to support Small Businesses and clients impacted by drought

$1.867M

TOTAL
EXPENDED

$918,583
Employment Expenses

$39,118
Board Directors

$749,062
Special Grants

$749,062
Other Costs

Carry-over funding has put the service in a great position to continue providing recovery & expanded services into 2021

Special Grant Funding received in June 2020 will provide additional on the ground resources in 2021 that our clients have asked for – results from National client surveys conducted

Other Donated funding in 2019 received by Red Cross Australia ($1m) was distributed directly to drought affected farmers

NEW

IDENTITY

Because we do more.  Rural Financial Counselling Services Gippsland Victoria is now simply named … RFCS Gippsland

STAY

INFORMED

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RFCS Gippsland

Annual Report 2020

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