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Celebrating 30 years of service at Feros Care

From humble beginnings caring for village residents in Byron Bay, to supporting more than 60,000 people across Australia, Feros Care has transformed itself and the aged care industry over three decades of service.

Feros Care’s first Administrator Sue Beck handed over the reins to CEO Jennene Buckley in 2003, when Feros Care was a small, community-based organisation with two residential facilities servicing 25 clients. Jennene Buckley says the not-for-profit
has a proud history and a bright future.

After first focusing on growing the villages to stabilise the organisation financially, Feros Care diversified to become a multi-regional provider of community-based aged care, winning competitive bids to grow into new regions across Australia.

As a small provider competing with large church-based organisations, Feros Care needed to take advantage of its points of difference and make its size work in its favour.

Harnessing its agility, Feros Care became one of the first community-based organisations in the country to centralise its care operations and create a virtual office model, allowing it to mobilise services quickly and with little investment in bricks
and mortar.

An early foray into emerging Telehealth services in 2009 and the adoption of early-generation smart home technology meant Feros Care was poised to better support community-based clients through the delivery of in-home care and wellness programs that
improved people’s lives and enhanced their independence.

“This set us on a road of digital innovation that has really helped Feros Care stand out from a very crowded marketplace and emerge as leaders in innovation,” says Jennene.

As Feros Care continued to reinvent itself, it began diversifying to remain competitive and to secure the organisation’s longevity, moving from its sole focus on aged care to encompass other areas such as disability and establish itself as a provider
of ‘people care’.

Branching out to develop new ways to support people, Feros Care has launched initiatives such as its foundation to tackle loneliness, Be Someone For Someone; its volunteer arm, In Great Company; and a suite of digital health programs, including the
Virtual Social Centre, Staying Healthy Living Well, and Let’s Get Technical.

“At our core, we have always been about caring for people and helping them live their best life,” says Jennene.

“We now care for people aged seven to 107, providing everything from aged care and chronic illness management, to disability support as partners in the community for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).”

Feros Care’s role as Local Area Coordinators for the NDIS in five regions across Queensland, South Australia and Canberra sees it support more than 20,000 people living with disability, along with their greater communities.

Jennene says the goal is to add measurable value to NDIS participants that is aligned with Feros Care’s mission of supporting people to live bold lives.

“We want to build the capacity of individuals to set and achieve their life goals, while educating and supporting groups, organisations and businesses to make their services or enterprise more inclusive,” she says.

“We are working to ensure people living with disability can live, contribute and participate in employment, leisure, social and community interest as easily as anyone else.”

As Feros Care moves into its next 30 years of service, it reflects on its enduring culture and ethos of community service and commitment to care.

“Our clients are always at the centre of our mission, strategy, our renewal and our future, ” says Jennene.

“Our incredible team are dedicated to improving the lives of every senior and person with disability in the country – not just through the delivery of exceptional care, but by changing perceptions of age and ability and smashing stereotypes
to create a more inclusive community.

“We love to challenge the norm and mobilise ideas and are grateful to have a board of directors who have supported us to take risks and innovate.

“The challenge for Feros Care as we continue to grow is to ensure we keep our agility and ability to deliver our visions quickly.

“To stay competitive, we need to continue to diversify while investing in research and development, and experimenting with new and innovative ways of improving the lives of our clients.

“It is an exciting future made possible by a strong 30-year foundation and a team of incredible people committed to the same mission our founder George Feros embarked on in the 1960s – to care for others.”

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