Jodie Baker, the former Moonya Community Services CEO who will continue to helm operations at Moonya’s Murray Street base, with Connecting Skills Australia CEO Mike Anderson during yesterday’s handover (Monday). G221213
AFTER months of uncertainty, Moonya has emerged from voluntary administration with new operators. Administrators Gess Rambaldi and Andrew Yeo of Melbourne-based firm Pitcher Partners announced on Friday that Moonya has entered into an agreement with Connecting Skills Australia (CSA) – a not-for-profit organisation that has, coincidentally, provided services to people with disabilities or social disadvantages for the same amount of time as Moonya has been operating (around 60 years). The Pitcher Partners statement confirmed that CSA will continue to operate Day Support Services from Moonya’s Murray Street (Wonthaggi) premises, and that the offer includes continued employment of all supported Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) staff. The statement said offers of employment will also be made to Moonya’s care and support staff to enable ‘a smooth transition…with minimal disruption to customers.” CSA’s chief executive, Mike Anderson, was at Moonya yesterday (Monday) for the official handover and he confirmed the Moonya name will live on. “We’ll have a new sign up but it will still be known as the Moonya site,” Mr Anderson said. “The organisation (Moonya Community Services Inc) will no longer exist, but we want to be preserve its history.” Mr Anderson said Moonya’s operations will remain “pretty much the same” as they have during the administration period. The Gardening service, which provides employment for up to 27 people, will continue with plans to expand the service. “It won’t be a policy of cutting back, it will be a policy of expansion and growth,” Mr Anderson said. “All we need now is for people to realise that (changes) won’t happen overnight, but we’re here for the long haul.” He confirmed, however, that the op shop, kindling and printing services will not be part of the operation. CEO of Connecting Skills Australia Moonya site, Jodie Baker, admitted it had been a “challenging” six months, but the CSA purchase was “the best possible outcome for Moonya”. “CSA has a very similar service delivery and very similar values,” Ms Baker said. CSA has operations in Frankston, Mornington, Seaford, Oakleigh and Thomastown. State minister for disability services and reform, Mary Wooldridge, said she was “delighted” to see services secured in the area and that she gave “very clear direction” to the Department of Human Services (DHS) when Moonya went into voluntary administration on January 9. “I am delighted no stone was left unturned as the Department worked with the administrators to come up with a solution that ensures continuity of services,” Ms Wooldridge said Bass MP Ken Smith said it was pleasing that people with disability could continue to get services in their community. “Having been involved with Moonya over the years, it was sad to see it go into administration, but I am very pleased that another organisation is picking up these services,” he said.