Interchange Western and Gateways set to merge

Interchange Western and Gateways Support Services set to merge to create more opportunities for people with a disability

Last night Interchange Western (ICW) members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a proposal to merge with Gateways Support Services. This merger will create a stronger organisation to provide more opportunities for people with a disability and their families. The merger proposal will be finalised once funding bodies confirm their approval.

Maria Govers, President of Interchange Western, welcomed the result, saying both organisations are excited by the proposed partnership.

“We are excited by the opportunity to unite to enhance our capacity to more effectively support the people with disabilities and their families who we currently assist. The merger will also make the most of new opportunities which will be created by the National Disability Insurance Scheme roll out across Victoria.”

The organisations say last night’s vote to enable the merger to proceed, is the culmination of more than 12 months of board negotiations, consultation and extensive due diligence.

“The idea for Interchange Western to merge was not a decision taken lightly and the board conducted extensive research in identifying an appropriate merger partner. Gateways not only shares similar values to us and are highly respected in the disability sector, they also have valuable NDIS experience which will benefit us when the scheme transitions into the Western region in 2018,” Maria Govers added.

Gateways President, Dr. Bernie Jenner said “both organisations share a culture of respect, empowerment and collaboration, and seek to be effective and efficient in the ways they respond to the needs and potential of each child and adult with a disability and their families. Gateways and Interchange Western plan to maintain and expand existing services, and to also increase opportunities for the current staff.”

Under the new structure, current Gateways CEO Rosemary Malone will be the CEO and Chris Wright will take on the role of Gateways Area Manager for Western Melbourne.

“Gateways have been part of the NDIS in the Barwon region for almost four years and as a merged entity we look forward to sharing this experience and knowledge to support Interchange Western staff and families new to the NDIS.” Gateways Support Services CEO Rosemary Malone said.

“There will be no changes in service delivery and supports throughout this process and we’ll be working closely with Interchange Western board members, staff, volunteers and clients to ensure the best possible outcomes and a smooth transition,” Mrs Malone added.

Interchange Western CEO, Chris Wright added that, given the changing nature of the disability sector, the decision to merge positions Interchange Western for continued growth, success and better outcomes for the people we support.

“We believe everyone will benefit from the decision to merge with Gateways. Our staff are very happy to be joining a strong organisation like Gateways, who share our values and commitment to making a positive difference in the community. We believe it will provide a strong platform for us to continue to provide our current services as well as growth and working to increase service options for our participants across the Western region as the NDIS approaches,” Chris Wright said.

Subject to confirmation of the transfer of government funding, it is expected the merger will formally take place later in 2017. We will continue to engage and communicate with our clients, volunteers, Members and workforces to keep them fully informed of the changes.

Gateways CEO Rosemary Malone, Gateways President Dr Bernie Jenner, Interchange Western President Maria Govers & Interchange Western CEO Chris Wright welcome last night’s vote in favour of the proposed merger of the two organisations
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