Rising to the challenge

By Beatrice Thomas

Helping people live their best life is at the heart of the Rise approach.

“Our purpose is to help people live a great life for them.” 

Fiona Durrant, Director of Workforce at not-for-profit Rise, says it’s a person-centered approach that drives everything the organisation does. 

Rise, which was founded 35 years ago, provides services and support for older Australians, those living with disability or mental health issues and young people through at-home and community services and activities. 

Serving the Perth metropolitan area, Rise runs nine social and art centres and residential supported accommodation. 

“We have annual revenue close to $60 million with over 600 staff supporting nearly 6000 clients,” Durrant adds. 

Biggest achievements 

Durrant says some of the organisation’s biggest achievements over the past two years include its commitment to 100 per cent employment during the pandemic. 

“For those Rise staff who wanted to be 100 per cent employed with Rise, we actually met this goal, we're really proud of that,” she says. 

“We also protected our clients from COVID-19 through services we delivered by diverting resources and funding to ensure high standards were achieved and maintained.” 

Durrant says Rise has grown sufficiently to have the financial stability to enable investment in start-ups and entrepreneurs outside of Rise. 

This includes investing in award-winning Aboriginal building company Kardan Construction. “We have a commitment to broaden community development by supporting social enterprises,” she says. 

Facing challenges 

Durrant says Rise has faced challenges during the pandemic, including keeping staff employed and safe during COVID-19. 

“We also work in a challenging funding and legislative environment; we've had to make the hard decisions needed to support our clients, staff and partners and we don't shy away from those,” she says. 

Durrant says Rise uses a number of services at CCIWA, and is grateful CCIWA has supported its Employment Buddy Program by placing a young person for work experience at our CBD office. 

“We’re very heavy users of the ERAC hotline, we find it very useful to be able to pick up the phone and have a quick chat about Award interpretation or to use the people for a sounding board,” she says. 

“We also use the legal service for policy and contract review, and representation in the Fair Work Commission. The other things that we use are the automated Award updates and the employment guide. And we've also sourced training through CCIWA.” 

She adds: “It’s important for us to be able to access up to date professional advice and assistance and network with professionals from outside our sector to gain a different viewpoint.” 


To be part of WA’s peak business organisation, get in touch via 1300 422 492 or membership@cciwa.com.   

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