Karingal St Laurence: Joint Media Statement

5 August 2016

Karingal and St Laurence Merge giving stronger voice for disability, aged care, employment and housing services

Geelong-based community service organisations Karingal and St Laurence, confirmed today they are merging following ratification of special resolutions put to Association Members of both organisations this week.

In announcing the merger Chairman of Karingal Mr Rod Payne and Chairman of St Laurence Dr Patrick Lockie noted that the merged entity, to be known as Karingal St Laurence, will bring a stronger local voice for disability and aged care and a further dimension to Geelong being regarded as a centre of excellence in these sectors, alongside other key organisations such as the NDIA, TAC, Worksafe and Deakin University in Geelong.

The merged organisation will be known as Karingal St Laurence Limited. It will have an annual budget of over $150M and a workforce of over 2,400 employees.

Board Directors from both organisations will fill the nine Board positions for Karingal St Laurence with Rod Payne, Karingal’s current Chair, appointed Chair of the new merged entity. Other Board members of Karingal St Laurence will be: Dr Patrick Lockie, Dr Brian Donovan, Dr Irene Irvine, Ms Diane James AM, Mr Stephen Roberts, Mr Michael Carroll, Mrs Cheryl Graham and Mr David McArthur.

Chief Executive Officer of Karingal St Laurence will be Mike McKinstry (currently Karingal CEO) with current St Laurence CEO Toby oConnor to be appointed Chief Operating Officer.

Karingal St Laurence will continue to deliver all services currently offered by both organisations including disability support, employment services, supported accommodation, community-based aged care services, residential aged care services, respite services, mental health services, social housing, vocational training, two retirement villages operation as well as multiple Australian Disability Enterprises employing close to 200 people with disability.

Earlier this year Karingal and St Laurence Boards and senior executives recognised that the reality of current government funding levels and a significantly more competitive environment required both organisations to increase efficiencies and potential merger talks commenced in March. With Karingal and St Laurence merging we can provide new opportunities to strengthen and future proof disability and aged care services across the Barwon region. Karingal St Laurence will build on the commitment to provide opportunities for people with a disability to live the life they choose.

Karingal and St Laurence are two well respected community-based Not-for-Profit organisations with long histories of supporting people in the Barwon Region. From early beginnings over 50 years ago, each organisation now delivers a large suite of services across Victoria. Karingal also delivers employment services in South Australia and Queensland.

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Further inquiries: Helen Kostiuk (PR & Communications Manager) on 0413 754 606

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