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St John of God Health Care invites people from all faith traditions to be part of this Catholic healing ministry and to see their role as making a worthwhile contribution to themselves and their communities.

Reflecting this belief is our practice of referring to our staff as caregivers because, regardless of their role, every person contributes to the health and wellbeing of the people we serve.

Our aim is to continue the healing mission of Jesus Christ through services that promote life to the full. As our organisation grows and changes, we extend the education of all caregivers in relation to our Mission, Values and heritage, enhancing our culture of providing excellent, compassionate, Mission-inspired care.

Mission Integration

After an extensive review of the Mission Management Model, the Trustees handed down their recommendations for the integration of Mission across the organisation. Of significance was that the organisation enhance its commitment to its Mission through shifting its focus from mission leadership to mission integration. This change reflects a focus on the processes and culture of the organisation, through which the Mission and core Values of St John of God Health Care become part of the fabric of the health system.

The Director Mission Integration will support the sustainability of the system’s Catholic identity across all services, and interact with the executive team as a resource to enable the integration of Mission into their areas of responsibility. Mission influence guides the strategic planning, finances, human resources policies, clinical care and all other aspects of the life of the health system.

Implementation of the Mission Management Model Review recommendations commenced with the appointment of Group Director Mission Integration. Other actions included the renaming of the Board Formation Committee to Board Mission Integration Committee, and review of its Terms of Reference. This committeee has responsibility for the governance over implementation of the review recommendations.

A trial program, Developing a Culture of Ethical Practice, has been conducted across the organisation in the past year. Directors of Mission, facilitators and external content experts collaborated in the development of the program. Participants have responded favourably to the program, remarking that they have been able to incorporate what they have learned into the processes and decision-making of their work setting.

Other innovative approaches to Mission integration have included ongoing cultural alignment at St John of God Berwick and Bendigo Hospitals, Hawkesbury District Health Service and Hauora Trust.

In preparation for workforce increases at St John of God Berwick Hospital, caregivers produced a video focused on compassionate care. St John of God Bendigo Hospital also developed an educative video for use in orientation and formation sessions.

At Hawkesbury District Health Service, Mission integration combined aspects of the Reconciliation Action Plan, the arts and health strategy and the cultural alignment strategy, when local Indigenous elders created the first piece of art for the new art hanging area in the hospital.

Mission integration focused on promoting our Catholic identity at St John of God Hauora Trust through a partnership with New Zealand artist Elizabeth Minato.

The focus for Mission integration in the year ahead includes:

  • Finalise the structure, roles and titles of those appointed to Mission leadership
  • Develop a cohesive, robust and standardised approach to Formation
  • Position descriptions at every level of the organisation to have explicit Mission KPIs
  • Establish the Mission Directorate
  • Enhance the commitment and understanding of every leader that the work of the organisation is undertaken as a ministry of the Church, to be held in trust every day
  • Reinvigorate the organisational culture of vitality and integrity
  • Review recruitment systems and processes to ensure leaders continue to be identified
  • Review role statements to include Mission accountabilities of each caregiver
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of formation programs.


St John of God Health Care offers formal and informal opportunities for formation at every level of the organisation. Having assisted The University of Notre Dame Australia to develop the new Graduate Certificate in Catholic Leadership, St John of God Health Care caregivers have participated in the trial program. The initial response has been uniformly positive, which is very encouraging for both organisations.

During the year, about 540 senior leaders and managers participated in formal formation programs, including the reviewed Mission Mentoring program and the pilot of the new Developing a Culture of Ethical Practice.

About 3,500 frontline caregivers participated in formation programs, with many undertaking the Many Faces, One Story series.


There was continued focus on the second year of our Workforce Strategic Plan, with notable achievements including:

  • Completion of the Learning and Organisational Development review and commencement on the associated redesign program
  • Development and implementation of an organisational approach to pre-employment assessment and fitness to work, including appointment of a single occupational physician service and online pre-employment medical booking processes
  • Enterprise agreement harmonisation resulting in a reduction from 25 to 15 agreements across the organisation
  • Significant workforce activity and analysis to support several transformation programs

Areas where achievement has been deferred to the next financial year:

  • Identification of an organisational rostering, time and attendance system
  • Strengthening partnerships with education providers relating to student placements
  • Creation of clinical and non-clinical career pathways.

The sale of St John of God Pathology was a key activity for the Group Workforce team and the Pathology-based human resources caregivers. It involved coordinating the transfer of 1,157 caregivers within Victoria and Western Australia, resulting in more than 95% of caregivers commencing employment with Australian Clinical Labs in November 2016.

Workforce activities have now commenced to transfer the 111 staff from the recently acquired Marillac Limited to St John of God Accord.

In addition, significant activities have been undertaken by the Recruitment and Human Resources, Industrial Relations and Payroll teams to support new structural changes.

Workforce profile

The total number of caregivers as at 30 June 2017 across the group was 13,315 (8,023 full time equivalent). The workforce profile breakdown is 48.74% nurses, 19.36% patient care or support, 18.98% administration, 8.67% health professionals and 4.24% medical officers.

Caregiver satisfaction

The organisation continues to place a strong focus on caregiver engagement and it measures this by the results of a confidential survey conducted by external surveyor Press Ganey every second year.

While we will continue to benchmark with other external health care organisations both nationally and internationally, we also monitor our performance against our own internal aspirational targets to ensure that all our caregivers benefit from working in a highly engaged environment.

This survey will be conducted in August 2017, with revised questions, and for the first time will include Hawkesbury District Health Service.

Parental leave

The group parental leave policy has been revised. A total of 551 caregivers commenced parental leave in 2016-17 and of the caregivers due to return to work, 84% returned.

Equal opportunity

St John of God Health Care is an inclusive organisation and recognises the contribution of all caregivers based on skill, expertise and experience and not on gender, race, ethnic origin or sexual preference. In accordance with the requirements of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, St John of God Health Care lodged its 2016‑17 annual public report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Workforce numbers by division






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Health Choices









Mt Lawley








Outreach Services Ltd































Workforce gender profile


Employment status


Reconciliation Action Plan

An objective of the organisation’s Reconciliation Action Plan is to create employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Over the past three years, we employed 68 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander caregivers, and 40 remain in roles across the organisation.

An Indigenous Internship program, in partnership with CareerTrackers, continued into its fourth year. During the past three years, we have placed 19 Aboriginal university interns within our hospitals and are looking forward to placing six interns (including four new students) in the summer of 2017‑18.

Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP)

The current DAIP is 80% complete, with the Disability Reference Group currently working on its next iteration.

Employment of people with disability continues to be a priority, with applicants registered with a Disability Employment Service considered for interview. In 2017, we received 149 applications via this process and employed 12 caregivers with a known disability. A new collaboration agreement was established between Berwick Hospital and its local Disability Employment Service, the fourth such agreement now in place across the organisation. While our agreements with Disability Employment Services are focused on creating employment opportunities for people with disability, they also ensure ongoing support for our new caregivers to be successful in their new roles.

Mental Health First Aid workshops were held to support caregivers gain an informed understanding of the nature and impact of mental health and develop expertise in making a pastoral response to those who exhibit or declare a mental health issue within the workplace or the community. A total of 131 managers across four sites completed the course and 61% of participants identified an immediate impact within their current work and private life. The workshops rated a net promoter score of 65 in response to the question of how likely is it that they would recommend Mental Health First Aid to a friend or colleague.

A resource created in collaboration with people with disability is available on our intranet to assist caregivers with meeting the requirements of people with disability who are receiving care in our hospitals or other services.

Employee benefits

We support the professional and personal lives of our caregivers through remuneration and non-financial benefits. Benefits in addition to career and educational opportunities include employee assistance programs, subsidised wellness programs and salary packaging opportunities.

The annual Employee Assistance Program utilisation for the past 12 months was 4%, assuming an average of 13,500 employees, which is below the industry benchmark. 
We revised the group’s salary packaging policy and 60% of eligible caregivers accessed salary packaging benefits in 2016/17.

Workforce planning

Workforce planning activities remain a key focus of the Group Workforce team, supporting identification of and addressing opportunities and needs. Current areas of focus include workforce planning for the new St John of God Berwick Hospital where a net increase of 200 caregivers is required, finalisation of the integration of Marillac Limited and supporting workforce structural redesign across the organisation to align with activity levels and strategic priorities.

The Organisation’s Workforce Analyst has undertaken significant work to develop and refine reports and tools to support leaders and managers to coordinate their workforce day to day and to forecast future needs.

Throughout the year, nine new reports were created, replacing 68 previous reports, making it easier for unit managers to access their workforce information in a concise and consistent manner.

The ongoing customisation and development of human resources managerial data and tools is a key activity for the upcoming year.

Industrial relations

By the end of the financial year all enterprise agreements in Western Australia were renegotiated, removing the many transitional instruments and reducing the overall number of agreements in Western Australia from 13 to five.

All processes have ensured that St John of God Health Care caregivers remain competitively paid within the wider health industry and have access to an attractive and comprehensive set of terms and conditions of employment. The industrial relations service will conduct communication sessions to ensure the flexibility of the agreements can be maximised.

The industrial relations service played a key role in ensuring the smooth transmission of St John of God Pathology to Australian Clinical Labs in October 2016. A dispute before the Fair Work Commission by the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria was dismissed, with the Commission finding that we comprehensively met our obligations toward our caregivers in the sale process. Relationships with unions across the country continue to be sound.

The industrial relations focus will turn to creating and maintaining ongoing engagement with unions away from the negotiation environment. Such activities aim to assist both parties to understand the drivers of change within the health care industry, enabling collaborative and cohesive solution development. There will also be an increased focus on ensuring managers are aware of parameters within enterprise agreements that will enable them to organise work with maximum efficiency.


Our payroll service has started work on initiatives to create a highly functioning organisation-wide payroll department for all business stakeholders and caregivers. In the past 12 months it has developed a maturity model, optimised its caregivers and nearly completed centralising the organisation-wide payroll function in the town of Ballarat.

Looking ahead, the payroll service has developed an aspirational program and Project Camillus/Payroll Optimisation initiatives will dominate the payroll landscape. The intention of these transformational activities is to review and streamline all payroll business processes, including key dependencies from the operational and group services functions. Its aim is to replace time sheets with a rostering, time and attendance system, as well as develop other systems and refine processes to provide a scalable, consistent and agile service to the organisation

Recruitment and Human Resources

Recruitment and Human Resources services, spurred by the ever-increasing volume of forms, commenced working with Group Finance and Information Services on a pilot program for electronic workflow. The pilot aims to ensure timely and complete submissions and reduce the use of paper-based processes.

To simplify and streamline bulk recruitment campaigns, an early screening tool was created to deliver a structured, transparent and consistent process for all candidates. A key tool in the new process is video that enables candidates to complete an interview in their own time, using a computer or mobile device. Managers then review a shareable record of the interview, with tracked comments and ratings. This reduced first round screening times and increased the calibre of candidates progressing to interview. Two pilots have been successfully completed, with plans to roll out the system to other bulk recruitment drives.

Recruitment and Human Resources are working on a process to automate Working with Children licence reminders using an in-house-built system. The system sends personalised individual communications to caregivers through digital technology via SMS or email. We are looking to further leverage this technology for health practitioner registration renewal reminders and other compliance requirements.

Occupational Health, Safety and wellness

Last year we commenced our renewed focus on safety, with the theme of ‘Good to Great’. The nucleus of this came from our Board Chairman, who provided a call to action to take our 2011–2015 OHS strategy forward.

Our leaders were supported in their primary aim to demonstrate great safety leadership. Group CEO, Dr Michael Stanford set the scene for administrative support areas by performing a ‘rounding’ of our group services office in Perth. The feedback by caregivers was positive. Other executive directors and CEOs led their own ‘roundings’ with great success.

We had our AS/NZS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 certification reconfirmed for another three years, further demonstrating our commitment to the safety of our workplace.

As part of our quality and continuous improvement action, we commenced a new audit program conducted by an internal audit team and an external auditor. The internal audit team is able to build its understanding of OHS initiatives in our services and has the capacity to share learnings across the group. The external auditor is then able to focus on key areas of improvement in our safety performance.

OHS teams across metropolitan Perth were reviewed, leading to the appointment of caregivers to 15 roles in four hospitals. The restructure and refocus of these roles will assist managers deliver the Good to Great strategy.

Our eLearning modules were updated to reflect our coaching and safety leadership. The updated training modules are Slips Trips and Falls, OHS for Managers and OHS for Caregivers.

An organisation-wide agreement was established with our Employee Assistance Program provider, Converge, who provide a national service. Each quarter we receive reports that provide an organisation-wide view of what services are utilised in supporting our caregivers to safely and anonymously manage their life balance.

As part of National Safety Month in October, our sites nominated innovative safety solutions and two finalists were selected. St John of God Murdoch Hospital was recognised for its internet-based contractor induction process to overcome issues associated with training, site induction status and verification, and ensuring minimum safety standards are adhered to by contractors and service providers.

Group Services in O’Connor were recognised for keeping their OHS skills current by establishing a routine, where each Monday morning a Standard Operating Procedure is selected from Group Supply’s OHS Skills Matrix and is discussed openly with all caregivers with a demonstration on how to complete the task safely.

Monitoring performance

Over the past year, we introduced ‘insights reporting’ to better understand incident causal factors, workforce make up, incident duration, close out of investigation recommendations and the close out of solutions to manage hazards.

The year ahead will provide an opportunity to continue to develop insight reporting, along with information that will be provided through the introduction of a new incident management system, Riskman. The Riskman system has been tested for usability and delivery in preparation for implementation in 2018.

These initiatives will further support our key safety performance indicators in Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates (LTIFR).




Variance %

Direct hours worked (million)




Lost Time Incidents








Days Lost




# 2015-16 revised figures following external audit

Injury frequency rates

As part of the Good to Great strategy, we continue to encourage early reporting and intervention for injuries in the workplace. Following an external audit that we initiated, we saw an amendment to the 2015-16 LTIFR. This audit assisted the organisation to clarify reporting definitions.

With an increased focus on early reporting and increased early intervention, there was a slight reduction in the 2016-17 LTIFR: 135 caregivers suffered a lost time injury compared to 137 last year. There has been a significant decrease in time lost due to injury, with a 37.9% decrease in time away from work. We attribute this to our proactive early intervention processes and stay-at-work focus.

The other benefit from this strategy has been a continued positive impact on our Workers Compensation insurance premiums, which have decreased in Victoria by 45% in two years. We have also seen an improvement in New South Wales.

The year ahead will see us add a new measure to our safety rates – that being medical treatment injury frequency rate (MTIFR) – as well as a return-to-work measure to provide emphasis on stay-at-work programs.

Manual handling

We undertook a review of all patient manual handling tasks across the organisation using the industry-leading methodology established by Louise O’Shea. This resulted in a reduction in standard manual handling tasks from 70 to 25. A plan has been developed to roll out and refresh the Louise O’Shea approach in Western Australia.

Workplace wellness

St John of God Health Care has a well-established approach to Workplace Wellness. Our focus is on ensuring our caregivers care for themselves as they care for others. The health and wellbeing of our caregivers remains a key focus in our ongoing health, safety and wellness ambition.

A calendar of events established by Workplace Wellness included group-wide participation in RUOK? Day in September and Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, among other initiatives. A photo competition promoted wellbeing, with caregivers encouraged to submit images of ‘What Does Wellbeing Mean to Me?’

Workplace Wellness worked with St John of God Ballarat Hospital to establish a Healthy Options Program to increase the availability of healthy food for caregivers and visitors to the hospital.

Learning and development

An extensive review of our learning and organisational development program was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and a new operating model was endorsed in December 2016 to best meet the needs of the organisation into the future.

As part of the first stage of the Learning and Development redesign program, specific projects were prioritised to deliver:

  • A connected and coordinated Learning and Development function that is responsive to the realisation of the Strategic Priorities, emerging industry trends, community needs and the management of organisational risk.
  • Educational activities that deliver on required outcomes.
  • Improving program evaluation and utilising insightful reporting to support changes in delivery method and learner needs.
  • Improved consistency, standardisation, and delivery of core educational programs and activities across the group.
  • Agreed funding for Learning and Development to facilitate transparency and understanding return on expectations from caregivers and patients.

Key achievements include the introduction of an education framework for all commissioned programs so that they deliver results in terms of transferring learning into the workplace, changes in how we provide excellence and impact on patient outcomes.

A registry of subject matter experts was established to support the development of educational program content. Over 60 caregivers applied to the registry, recognising the expertise and experience of our caregivers and the positive contribution to excellence in care.

A needs assessment framework was developed to identify gaps in skills, knowledge and behaviour against our risk strategy. This needs assessment process can help solve any problems identified.

Leadership and management development

Development of our leaders and managers is a key priority in creating a strong culture committed to our Mission and Vision. A Leadership and Management Commissioner will be appointed to standardise and create pathways for leaders and managers at St John of God Health Care.

Two caregivers attended the Aspiring Leaders program with Leadership WA and one caregiver completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. During the year, 56 caregivers across Australia participated in the Diploma of Leadership and Management course. There were 53 caregivers taking the Coaching Approach and 89 the Crucial Conversations. Eight caregivers in Western Australia participated in the Energising the Nurse Manager program and Nurse Managers completing this program are awarded a Graduate Certificate in Nursing Leadership and Management from The University of Notre Dame in Fremantle.

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Respite Team Leader Glen Melbourne’s commitment to caring for his clients earned him the 2017 St John of God Health Care Jennifer Stratton Scholarship, a formation opportunity to attend the organisation’s pilgrimage to Spain and Ireland.