What can we do better, more of, or differently?
September saw more intensive activity on our qualitative and quantitative evaluation processes. We’ve had another bumper connections usage of Homebase, and the financial sessions are proving popular. QBE Hut is proving very suitable for the in-house outsourced wellbeing services we offer members of the veteran community. Our Service Delivery Team have seen a 16% increase in client numbers and referrals. Operation NAVIGATOR completed a useful working group with key players for the upcoming trial. Sales of our EKO Coffee (roasted by Dominion and powered by Ottos Townsville) have seen strong demand, including inside Lavarack. Our Smartphone App gets stronger every day, especially in utilising the Digital Veteran ID. We’ve been busy supporting other organisations to conduct VHW, including some at Homebase and participating in the RSL Townsville Veteran Health Festival this month. We are focussed on Digital Skills this month in collaboration with others – Info Briefing on 11 Oct at 1700h at Homebase. In October, we will also focus on expanding our successful Handicraft Markets into a Hobby Expo. For those interested, we have also now published our Annual Report for FY2021-22, and it is available on our website: About Us/Our Official Data.
Earlier in September, CQU conducted some focus groups and interviews with anyone who volunteered to offer their advice and support. We are incredibly grateful to those who attended. CQU tells us they had an exceptionally good roll-up for the sessions. CQU will launch a survey derived from the clever ideas captured from these sessions. A link to the CQU website for that survey is in the October edition of ONtarget. We also have the DVA-sponsored quantitative analysis going ahead in the background. Clients' wellbeing state is measured progressively to confirm improvement, and when this analysis is run through the Australian Social Values Bank, we will get a feel for the value of our service too. We are excited to see what works well and where we can improve our service to get the best effect. DVA is also about to launch a trial of an evaluation of all six veteran and family hubs across Australia. We are keen to conform to those requirements to streamline data collection and evidence gathering.
Homebase had another bumper usage last month. The connections usage rate continues to fluctuate around 1000 per month use of Homebase. Interestingly, much of that use is outside our normal work hours, which gives us a good feel for when our veteran community seeks activities to suit specific groups within it. We are seeing the magic of the pin-code access system to the huts for the conduct of activities from early in the mornings to late in the evenings without the need for members of Team Oasis to be around to hand out keys and turn off security – it's all automatic.
Our client base is increasing too. In the last month, the number increased by 16%. Many are serving veterans who are thinking ahead – very clever. And talking about thinking ahead, Operation NAVIGATOR key collaborators met again last month to confirm some key aspects of implementation upon receipt of the funding committed to by the ALP at the last election and expected in the Federal Government October Budget.
We are very pleased to see an uptake for the Veteran Digital ID available on our Smartphone App (Oasis App in app stores). Likewise, our EKO Coffee has proven a hit with customers and is being bought in 1kg bags by many, which supports The Oasis Townsville.
The big activities for October are Veteran Health Week and the Hobby Expo. VHW is significant this year for the high degree of collaboration between ESOs to conduct joint activities. The Oasis Townsville has a fishing and cooking event - "Cast, Connect, Cook with Mates". We hope the weather is good for our contingent heading to the Reef with Reelin' Veterans. We've learnt from our scuba diving and other activities there is nothing better than to be focused on a single mutually enjoyable activity with mates, especially out at sea. We will also take part in the Veteran Health Festival at RSL Townsville. Our first Hobby Expo will be a trial run. We have learnt much from book fairs, markets, open days and modelling festivals. We are starting to assemble a good routine of big events throughout the year, which we expect to formalise in 2023.