Board of Directors
The Board of Directors has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the aims and objectives of Somerville as per our Constitution (2005) are carried out at the highest prevailing standards.
The composition of the Board of Directors of not less than 5 or no more than 15 Directors is determined by nomination to the Annual General Meeting as per our Constitution (2005). Nominators are encouraged to seek fellow members with express knowledge, experience and/or training in related services, genuine community interest and varied experiences who welcome the challenge and ultimate responsibility of a dynamic organisation.
A General meeting of the members shall be held at least once in every 3 months.
We currently have four life members whose contribution has been significant to the Agency’s existence.
The Agency’s central management incorporates 3 support services - Human Resource and Administration, Finance and Maintenance. These services provide support, assistance and expertise to the programs in areas such as technology, recruitment, staff development & training, purchasing, budgeting, payroll, general accounts, repairs & maintenance to buildings, vehicles and equipment.
With staff of over 220, Somerville brings together the labour, skills and enthusiasm of its employees and volunteers to give practical expression to the Christian - humanitarian ideal of a caring and sharing society.
The quality of a community service is a direct reflection of the commitment and vision of its employees.
The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the overall management of the Agency and is supported by eight (8) Managers. Each Manager is responsible for the day to day activities within their service.
Somerville encourages active participation of all Agency employees in the establishment and ongoing effectiveness of its programs.
To ensure a cooperative culture within the workplace specific forums have been scheduled. Whilst these forums are in situ, informal communication is also fostered to promote and increase quality service delivery.
The Agency has a Staff Advisory Forum (SAF) whose charter is to contribute to the improvement of Agency services and to disseminate information on Agency developments. This group is also responsible for addressing occupational health, safety and training issues; and to promote and maintain equal employment opportunities based on the principle of merit regardless of gender. Membership consists of staff from each Agency facility. This group meets quarterly with the Chief Executive Officer.
Relations with Other Agencies/Bodies
Somerville also encourages managers and staff to be involved in Boards/Committees/Forums outside the Agency. The Agency views this as professional education of staff which enhances relationships and fosters mutual education and important networks.
Somerville maintains regular contact with other agencies and peak organisations via specific representation, day to day work and scheduled liaison.
Training and Staff Development
Somerville is committed to providing training and staff development. Training is formally scheduled on a six monthly basis. Areas such as Manual Handling, Occupational Health and Safety, Mealtime Assistance, etc are held monthly at Somerville’s Training Room. External training is also available.
Somerville provides at least four social functions throughout the year for staff and their families. Somerville is committed to providing a workplace which fosters good working relationships and actively promotes team building and inclusive practices.
Somerville publishes quarterly newsletters circulated to more than 1000 external bodies to promote the Agency’s diverse activities and to share information. Internal newsletters are circulated to Agency staff to keep them up to date about the Agency and employment matters and day to day events. Disability Services also publishes quarterly newsletters for staff and clients. In addition, the Agency distributes pamphlets to different organisations, medical practitioners, schools, libraries, electorates, etc to promote the services we provide.
Somerville also holds community sector breakfasts, morning or afternoon teas/lunches in Darwin and Katherine each quarter. Representatives from government and non-government sectors, private enterprises, church, other organisations and parents/guardians of Disability Services clients are invited to attend. It is an opportunity to discuss current topics and agendas relevant to the community. Somerville is also committed to regular liaison and membership of both NT and National bodies, associations and boards relevant to our various programs.
Evaluations and Reviews
Somerville is committed to regular review and evaluation of its operations and policies on at least a twelve monthly basis. A commitment to revisiting our mode of operation is consistently maintained.
We are comfortable with, and support the statement that, there is always room for improvement. It is within our organisational nature to embrace change imposed by external factors as well as maintain self assessment as a method of improving our services to the community.
Policies and Procedures
Our policy framework is extensive, allowing for thorough guidance, authority and direction which enables Agency employees to work within the parameters of shared understanding.
Filing and Archiving
In June 1998 Somerville introduced a comprehensive review of our agency documentation, considering format, filing, archiving and disposal. Our new system is based on the "Ellivremos" model, and after much research and many years in operation we find it to be a very efficient system.
Somerville’s operational procedures are documents and systems which assist employees to better understand the many and varied functions of our service. These procedures cover a broad range of day to day activities eg: recruitment, rosters, use of information technology, meetings, schedules, etc.
In an era of ever changing technology, Somerville strives to be at the leading edge. Our architectural environment was set up to accommodate our needs and conforms with the standards of information technology. Somerville is committed to ensuring that staff are empowered and comfortable with technology issues through on-going training and support.