Orana is a South Australian not-for-profit organisation that provides employment, accommodation and respite services to over 500 people with intellectual disability.
The Mentally Retarded Children’s Society of SA Inc. was established in 1950 by a group of parents, who wanted education, employment and accommodation opportunities for their children within the local community at a time when institutionalised care in Adelaide was their only alternative.
The society’s aims were:
1. To seek education or training facilities for people with intellectual disabilities
2. To establish “sheltered workshops”
3. To establish residential hostels
With the setting up of a number of workshops over the next few years we found ourselves in business and hunting for customers. In 1980 the name was changed to Orana, which is an Aboriginal word for “Welcome”. This new name better reflected the now outward looking organization.
Today, after more than 50 years, the multi-faceted manufacturing and packaging operation continues to grow because everybody wins: by satisfying the needs of our employees who love what they do, they also satisfy the needs of our customers who love what they get.
How Orana works for our employees
In 2007 over 400 people with disability are discovering new abilities by learning a range of skills in the safe and supportive environment of our 11 Business Services across South Australia. Apart from the skills, they also gain the stimulation, self-esteem, social contact, a sense of independence and that all-important pride in a job well done.
How Orana works for our residents
Orana provides the opportunity for people with disabilities to live independently in a homely environment with individualised support. Our professional carers encourage and support our residents to take part in a wide range of leisure and social activities.
Alternatively, in Whyalla and on South Australia’s West Coast we provide a respite service that gives carers a rest or assistance in an emergency situation.
How Orana works for our customers
Orana was one of the first disability service organisations to achieve Quality Accreditation and we pride ourselves on having a ready and willing workforce producing a wide range of quality services and products:
- Timber and metal manufacturing
- Commercial furniture production
- Industrial sewing
- Packaging & filling
- Retail furniture, pets & accessories and plants
Strategic Plan for the organisation
Orana’s objective for many years was to blend in with the local community. As a result we have traditionally had a very low profile. However, in 2004 we developed a Strategic Plan for the organisation, incorporating a new Vision and Mission.
Our Vision is to be acclaimed for excellence in services to people with disability.
Our Mission is to be a caring, capable and viable organisation, providing a range of services to meet the needs of people with disability in our community.
In line with this, we have developed strategic operational plans in the areas of Marketing and Business Development, Human Resources, Business Operations, Client Services and Finance & Administration.
Our need to promote our services to ensure that we are a viable and capable organisation into the future, will see us marketing ourselves much more than in the past, not only as a professional supplier of Business Services, but also as an Employer of Choice both within and outside of the disability sector.
By Trevor Goldstone (CEO)