In 2007, Better Together (originally called Caboolture Participation Network) was established as a service arm of a larger service. Our mission was to be responsible for a social inclusion campaign and promote and support the valued roles and relationships of individuals with a disability and/or mental health issue in the social, civic and economic life of Caboolture.
In 2014 Better Together, with the support of the local community, become incorporated as a service in its own right: Better Together Assoc Inc.
Why Better Together believes being a small person-centred, connected and authentic community organisation is the best model?
Better Together values the benefits of remaining a small organisation in order to ensure a quality service. In a politically engaged life of large organisations it is not uncommon for large service providers to lose sight of or never get to know the personalities, aspirations and fundamental needs of the people supported and what they have personally achieved.
Why Better Together continues to carry on as a small community organisation?
We are not a government agency although we do receive funding from the state government. We are not a business although we do ensure that our services are completed in an efficient and businesslike manner. Community organisations have their own identity and reason for existing. A healthy society has a healthy third sector made up of many community organisations. Community organisations are seen as being part of the third sector, with the government as the first sector and the business world as the second sector.
Characteristics of a people-centred, connected and authentic community organisation:
- The community organisation has a strong identity and clear direction that is driven by principles and delivered in accordance within the guidelines of the National Disability Support Scheme. The organisation understands clearly their reason for existing and alters its directions in line with the needs of the people it supports.
- The community organisation has a set of values that guide its development. These values are known and held by everyone in the organisation.
- The community organisation accounts firstly to the people it supports and then to other stakeholders including government.
- Leaders in the organisation accept and recognise others for their unique gift and seek to draw out, inspire and develop the best within others.
- The community organisation balances good management practices with leadership, never losing sight of its core service or allowing “red tape” to distract them from their core service. It seeks to develop organisational capacity to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the people it serves while staying financially viable.
- The community organisation is committed to the right relationships with all people; the people we assist and the important people in their lives, their staff and people in the wider community.
- The community organisation encourages voluntary action from the wider community.
- The community organisation works for the common good of the society where citizens participate and are connected. The community organisation seeks to build social capital – trust, reciprocity and networks between individuals and / or groups in the community.
- The community organisation values personal integrity amongst its members.
- The community organisation works collaboratively with other organisations in the community sector, as well as with others in the business and government sectors.
All of the projects and services of Better Together are managed by a voluntary management committee representing the people who use the service, family / advocates of these people and other interested people in the community. This management committee is elected by the organisation’s membership at the Annual General Meeting, and meets monthly during the year to oversee the management of the organisation.