Orana Early Childhood Intervention (OECI) team members are "extremely proud and... extremely grateful to the community" as they celebrate winning a regional business award, a leader says.
The Dubbo-based provider of services to children aged zero to 12 years who have additional needs was named the Outstanding Community Organisation at the 2021 Western NSW Business Awards on October 15.
Vicki Seccombe, western NSW regional manager of awards organiser Business NSW, visited Dubbo to present the trophy after the virual ceremony.
OECI service manager Merryn Anderson said it was both a surprise and a great honour to receive the award, which had a strong field of four other finalists.
"I think we have an amazing team here at OECI and we're supported by a fantastic board of management, as well as being supported by our local community," she said.
I think we have an amazing team here at OECI and we're supported by a fantastic board of management, as well as being supported by our local communityOrana Early Childhood Intervention service manager Merryn Anderson
"So while we just work in order to do the best to support the families that we work with, it was lovely to be recognised for the role that we play, and recognised as a business."
The community-based not-for-profit organisation and registered provider for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) started more than 35 years ago.
Mrs Anderson, a speech pathologist, said OECI was about ensuring it offered "best practice and a family-centred model to support the children and families within our region" - and would continue doing just that.
Among its services is the Baby Steps program, which supports families with "teeny tiny little babies" who are "born prem or are at-risk from birth", she says.
"So really supporting those babies right from the beginning of their lives, up until whether they go on to no longer need any support from us, or to receive an NDIS plan," she said.
"Some of our children end up staying with us until they head off to school, and until they turn 12 years of age.
"So I think for us it's continuing to support families, meet families where they are needing the support, that's really backbone of what we do and why we do it."
Achieving good outcomes involves partnerships, for which Mrs Anderson is appreciative.
"We're extremely proud and we're extremely grateful to the community for the support that they put behind us, and not just our local Dubbo community, but just all of the schools, the preschools, the childcare centres, when our staff go out into these different environments and are welcomed and supported," she said.
"Without the community around us, there's no way we could work in isolation. So I think for us we're humble, but proud, proud of our team and what they do, and the community that supports us."