In order to facilitate the Strategic Plan 2020–2022, this financial year we embarked upon an ambitious internal restructure. A key component of this was the creation of a new Members, Volunteers and Regional Operations directorate, bringing together the work of our members and volunteers as well as mechanisms to support them. Within this directorate, we enhanced the cohesion of our regional membership teams, grouping 10 pre-existing Central Councils into five wider regions with shared characteristics. This simplified structure is already making it easier to deliver consistent support to all of our members, whether they reside in the city or the country.
Our Conference members, volunteers and employees responded magnificently to the challenges of the drought, bushfires and COVID-19, working harder than ever before to help families and individuals affected by these emergencies. In particular, the bulk of bushfire relief was delivered by members and volunteers, whose commitment was made even more remarkable by the fact many of these people were impacted by the fires themselves. Throughout the Black Summer and coronavirus periods, we provided personal support for those members, volunteers and employees affected and also worked with government authorities to facilitate the distribution of financial assistance, while organising referrals to a range of additional Commonwealth, state and not-for-profit services.
For all their many challenges, our responses to the crises of 2019/20 have made us stronger. A major achievement this year was the development of an online facility that enables the people we assist to apply for support via an online application and contact-free process. This facility is currently being used to assist people applying for bushfire financial support.
We are boundlessly grateful to our people for their dedication through this unpredictable year. Please read below to learn more about our incredible members, volunteers and staff, and how we supported them in 2019/20.