As the year draws to a close, we at Afea would like to reflect on and express our gratitude for the challenging yet incredible year that was 2021!
Here are our year’s highlights:
We continued to make an impact
In 2021, we continued to expand our teams, and we now have 85 office-based staff and more than 1,000 carers across Sydney! With our team able to provide services in a wider area, we were able to provide 346,000+ hours of care to more than 1,500 families.
We expanded to western Sydney
Parramatta was where Afea was born more than a decade ago, when our founder and CEO Esha first rented space in a GP’s practice. Now our spacious and fully accessible Parramatta hub has plenty of room for our carers and staff to connect on training and team building days. The hub serves as their home base before heading out to see clients in the local community.
We didn’t stop there: we opened another hub in Liverpool! The Liverpool team has already claimed a name for themselves – “The Liverpool Lions” – bringing a powerful roar of energy to Sydney’s South.
To quote our Liverpool Team Leader Mervin, “There is a community of people living with disability and people who require aged care who can benefit from our services. With us here, reaching out to clients and Carers is easier, and it’s accessible and welcoming to everyone.”
We furthered our connections in the community
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our stalls at the Sydney Disability Expo, Nepean Disability Expo and the Ready Set Connect events across NSW!
These were our first face-to-face events in over two years, and nothing beats being able to connect with our community and fellow providers in person. We look forward to seeing you all again in our 2022 events!
We took care of our clients and each other
When NSW went into lockdown, we quickly pivoted our services to ensure continuity of care for our clients as well as for our carers and staff members.
We provided virtual disability support services, especially for clients who required social support and wished to connect with their carers even during lockdown.
The Afea team also took part in the STEPtember challenge to raise funds for people living with cerebral palsy. Together we completed 611,263 steps!
We looked after our mental health through various creative initiatives to support our Afea staff who are working from home. The team took part in online yoga and Zumba training sessions, a virtual Taronga Zoo tour, and a 12-day Mental Health Challenge to keep each other active and positive.
We made it a point to prioritise our mental health and overall wellbeing, allowing us to be resilient in the face of social isolation. This also allowed us to look after our clients and help them cope with the challenges they face.
When restrictions began to ease, we came together to celebrate Diwali and the International Day of People with Disability.
The International Day of People with Disability is a global initiative aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. We celebrated the occasion with our lovely carers and clients at our hubs in Chatswood, Parramatta and Liverpool.
We awarded them all with a Certificate of Appreciation and pin, and it was such a delight to see everyone’s faces glow when receiving them! We’re so proud of our carers who are helping to grow a more inclusive Australia. Thank you for celebrating such an empowering day with us!
One of the highlights of the past few months of lockdown has been watching the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games. It was amazing to see these athletes work so hard to represent Australia.
We recently discovered that we have a Paralympic champion in our ranks! One of our clients, Wayne Maher, represented Australia in kickball in the Seoul Paralympics in 1988. Read more about Wayne’s story here.
We were recognised as a great place to work
With our team’s hard work and determination, Afea continued to thrive even in the midst of a global pandemic.
We also celebrated our appearance on the Australian Financial Review’s Fast 100 Companies List! The list ranks organisations across Australia that have shown the most growth over the past three financial years. Among a list of so many tech players, we’re especially proud to be an organisation driven by humans caring for humans.
In 2021, we were recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s Best Places to Work. Officially, we received an AFR Boss Best Places to Work award because of our Anniversary Bonus scheme. In this scheme, we award our employees a bonus on each work anniversary so that they feel increasingly valued for their time. We love that we received the award for this scheme, as it’s a wonderful way to give back to our employees!
We were also named Employer of Choice for Sydney Metro by Business NSW! This award ‘recognises a business that has implemented strategies and initiatives to create stimulating and supportive workplace environments’. That’s got Afea written all over it!
We developed the “Afean Way”
We know we have a strong culture, but we wanted to come up with a clearer definition for it. This year, we developed The Afean Way, distilling what sets us apart from other organisations in nine principles that characterise and define the way we operate, behave and think.
Thank you to our staff, carers and clients for another amazing year, despite the challenges that came our way. We hope to continue to make a positive impact in our community in 2022!