Emma is supported by Northcott in Taree

The 2021 Financial Year has been another huge year in the history of Northcott.

Off the back of a challenging end to the previous financial year, we have emerged a stronger and even more focused organisation, driven by our purpose to build a more inclusive society for all.

The children and adults with disability we support, and their families and carers, have remained at the centre of our work. To continue to meet their needs in this changing world, we have adapted the way we work to maintain our commitment to delivering high-quality services and supports for all our customers.

We would not have achieved this without a dedicated workforce who have stepped up to meet the challenges of COVID-19 while putting the children and adults we support first. Key strategic projects that are crucial to Northcott’s future have also kept moving forward, ensuring our organisation has a stable foundation from which to continue to grow and evolve.

Here, we showcase the impact of that work for the children and adults with disability we support and report on some of the organisational achievements we have delivered.

A message from our Chair, and our CEO

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Our purpose

We are striving to build an inclusive society where people can live the life they choose.

We support people with disability to reach their full potential by providing services and support to promote a genuinely inclusive society.

Our vision

We want to grow our services because customers choose us as their provider of choice.

Our values

We are a values-based organisation that fosters a workplace culture based on our core
values of:


because we develop new ideas and solutions with creativity in anticipation of changing needs.


because we believe that everyone’s voice is unique and that they have the right to be heard.


because we have the courage to stand up for people with all abilities, even in the face of adversity.

Our impact

people with disability supported
Northcott Allied Health Assistant Deena McGregor with pre-school students
children and adults with disability
accessed Northcott services
live in regional areas
live in metropolitan Sydney
are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
accessed more than one Northcott service
used a Northcott service for the first time
hours of service were received

children and their families accessed
Northcott NDIS early childhood

(formerly ECEI)

live in regional areas
live in metropolitan Sydney
are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
homes for people with disability

Our community

staff members
of staff directly support customers
Northcott is proud to be a member of:

Supporting customers

Supporting customers


Other highlights

Northcott CEO Liz Forsyth cuts the ribbon to open our new office in Hornsby, surrounded by customers and staff

New offices

New offices were opened in Ballina and Hornsby to meet growing demand for our services.

Telehealth for Therapy

During the year, we rolled out Telecare, a telehealth platform for our Therapy team. Using Telecare means customers save funds on travel, and we can reach people who live far away or in regional areas.

Learn more
A Northcott therapist using Telecare to provide therapy services

Junior Swimming Carnival

With generous support from Western Earthmoving, our popular and
long-running Junior Swimming Carnival was held March 2021.

  • 50 RACES
A primary school boy celebrating his win at Northcott's Swimming Carnival

Work experience for young people

Thanks to support from our long-standing corporate partner
Terry Shields Toyota, we expanded our in-house ‘Café Thanks a
Latte’ work experience initiative to Vocational Skills customers in
Penrith, Seven Hills and Hornsby.

At our Casula office, Vocational Skills customers participated in
the Northcott Experience Tasker (NEXT), a micro-business that
provides services to Northcott. NEXT is funded by a NSW Youth
Opportunity Grant.

Learn more
Cafe Thanks a Latte participant with coffee she has made

What our customers think

3 in 4 customers are happy with our services and feel empowered to make decision and live independently.

Most respondents feel supported by Northcott.

We invited customers and their parents and carers to complete a short satisfaction survey.

For improved accessibility, the survey was written in Easy English and could be completed online or in paper form.

We saw an 85% increase in responses from customers with this approach, with more than 400 people completing the survey.

Based on the feedback we received, a number of areas of improvement were identified, including strengthening two-way dialogue between our staff and the people they support to empower customers to use their voice.

Maximising quality of life

Maximising quality of life
for the people we support

We are committed to upholding and improving the quality of our services to ensure the health and safety of our customers.

Quality Assurance

This year we formed a Quality Assurance Team to work with operational teams so they are fully supported to deliver quality services.

The team is responsible for identifying risks early and regularly and analysing trends and insights for continuous improvement in the way we work.

Behaviour Support

In line with new requirements from the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission, our Behaviour Support Team are all now NDIS Commission registered practitioners after completing their self-assessment applications.

We re-instigated our COVID-19 Behaviour Support Telephone Line to assist staff working in our accommodation houses. The Support Line was also available to Connectability, an external NDIS provider in the Hunter New England area.

Practitioners developed social stories for staff to use when supporting customers to understand aspects of the pandemic such as isolation, public health orders, personal protective equipment and staff changes.

We introduced a Behaviour Support Trainee Program for existing Northcott support workers interested in becoming Behaviour Support Practitioners. 8 support workers completed the training. Once registered, these new staff members will double the size of our Behaviour Support team.

Restrictive Practice Authorisation

306 restrictive practices were phased out or replaced with positive behaviour support strategies for 119 customers with behaviours of concern.

Our team developed practice guidelines for day-to-day operations and delivered training to help other staff better understand the restrictive practices authorisation process.


We implemented a new digital risk management system that allows all staff to report incidents, hazards, grievances, complaints and compliments using their mobile phone or a Northcott device.

From January to June 2021, more than 5,800 incidents and 180 complaints were reported and reviewed.


Our nursing team delivered critical training throughout the pandemic to frontline staff and customers on personal protective equipment and COVID-19 related information.

Training was provided to support workers to help them better understand customer healthcare plans and ways to improve the health outcomes of customers. Training also covered general skills for healthcare procedures and conducting complex health assessments.

For customers who have high intensity daily personal activities, we wrote letters to the NDIA requesting additional NDIS funding to cover the cost of delivering safe and responsive disability-related healthcare supports.

Industry leader in risk management

Northcott was one of four NDIS providers to form a contingent workforce panel with the NDIA to provide operational guidance and coordination to support other NDIS providers in NSW with their response to COVID-19.

We also partnered with the NDIA to provide COVID-19 presentations and advice to other providers in NSW and the ACT.

Innovative projects

Innovative projects

We are committed to improving the quality of life for people with disability through exploring new solutions, programs and ideas with creativity and innovation.

Collaborative Therapy service in Kempsey

Read story

I-Art: creating more than art

Read story

The little moments that matter

Read story

Pedalling to greater independence

Read story

Other highlights

Supported Living Lab

NI, Northcott’s innovation company, set up the Supported Living Lab in May 2021, to explore ways to improve accommodation supports and services for people living in Northcott’s homes.

The project brings together people with disability living in supported accommodation and those who support them. It is managed by a Steering Committee made up of Northcott staff, customers and external experts. To ensure everyone understands and contributes, the Committee uses an inclusive governance framework. Papers, minutes and agendas are written in Easy English, support workers are present at every meeting (with each customer) and Key Word Sign is used. There is also a dedicated staff member who works with customers between meetings to make sure they have time to prepare their talking points.

Communication Access

In our role with Scope Australia as the only assessor of communication accessibility, we awarded accreditation to two NSW organisations – Camden Council and Ability Consultations.

Our people

Our people

Our people are the heart of everything that we do. We ensure they have the skills, knowledge and resources they need to support our customers to achieve their goals and live the life they choose.
Northcott’s Careers webpage















Aboriginal Board  Member


of staff work directly in support or therapy roles


of staff work in metropolitan Sydney

Vicki Smyth, Northcott Taree Service Coordinator with Emma, standing close together and smiling on a beach


“Supporting and truly working with our customers to assist them to explore what gives them purpose and meaning is what gets me out of bed each day.”

Vicki Smyth, Northcott Taree Service Coordinator

Read more

Supporting staff

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program

Our 2020-23 Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan was approved in September 2020. It continues our deepening commitment to reconciliation with First Nations peoples.

In the past three years, we have tripled the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members and reached more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers.

We now have several dedicated positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and engage with these communities to recruit staff.

More First Nations staff are joining our Yarrabee Staff Network to connect, consult, support and share ideas with others.

We are enhancing our cultural awareness training to include a face-to-face immersion program that will be conducted on country.

Inclusive Workplace Strategy

We aim to improve our support of staff with disability, recruit and retain more people with disability, and be more accessible and responsive to the needs of customers.

This year we employed an Access and Inclusion Coordinator and established an Access and Inclusion Working Group made up of senior management and staff from across of the organisation. A formal Access and Inclusion Plan is in development.

We have been working to:

  • Make our recruitment and employment practices more accessible
  • Improve inclusion and disability awareness among staff through training and information
  • Ensure our sites meet the needs of all employees and customers, comply with legal and industry standards, and support an inclusive workplace.
  • Review the accessibility of our IT, equipment, systems and digital platforms
  • Northcott is a member of the Australian Network on Disability (AND).

Learning and Development

Our goal is to support our workforce to not only be compliant with mandatory training requirements, but to excel at their jobs, ultimately resulting in quality customer care.

This year, we:

  • launched a leadership development program for staff working in our Supported Living area
  • made more training available through online channels
  • improved our training reporting tools so leaders can more easily assess the training performance of their team.

Work Health and Safety

  • 13% more incidents reported: 1,213 to 1,395
  • 6% less days lost because of injury: 2,541 to 2,392
  • 39% more minor first aid incidents reported: 86 to 141

Our Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management Framework guides our strategy to promote and support a positive safety culture across Northcott.

In 2020-21, we

  • improved safe work practices
  • raised awareness about incident reporting
  • introduced a new incident reporting tool to make it easier and quicker for frontline staff to lodge all incidents themselves using a smart phone
  • made improvements to early interventions used to manage injuries and get people back to work quicker
  • conducted workplace safety audits at sites, looking at risk assessment and compliance.

Recognition and rewards

To continue building on our culture of recognition and to provide our employees with amazing benefits we launched Perkbox in March.

Perkbox is a recognition and perks platform that offers a range of benefits and discounts including health and fitness, shopping, food experiences and more.

Employee and Volunteer of the Year

Each year we recognise an outstanding employee and volunteer at our Annual General Meeting.

In 2020, Lance Burchard from the Customer Service Team was awarded Employee of the Year for his commitment to and professionalism with customers.

Ron Schween was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his work assisting in Northcott’s Library, Archives and Records Service.

Our supporters

Our supporters

Thank you to our supporters. We couldn’t make a difference to the lives of people with disability without your support.

Donations from individuals and partners, plus funding from community and government grants help us to provide services and programs that are not covered by NDIS funding. These programs, like Wheels4Life and I-Art, give people with disability the chance to take part in activities they may not normally have access to. These opportunities allow them to grow in confidence, gain more independence and learn new skills.

Donate to Northcott
JJ Blaiklock is the Managing Director of The Baresque Group and long-term and valued Northcott Corporate Partner


“Demonstrating our corporate
social responsibility through our
partnership with Northcott is
something that’s important to our

JJ Blaiklock, Managing Director of The
Baresque Group, Northcott Corporate Partner

Read more


Giving Day

Northcott held its first Giving Tuesday on 1
December 2020. We set a target of raising $100,000
in 24 hours to support children with communication
challenges, like Sabah, to get the therapy support
they need to build their skills and confidence.

Read more
Northcott customer Sabah smiling while playing with bubbles

Support for students with disability

With our subsidiary, The SpineCare Foundation, we supported 18
students with a physical disability to further their education. Financial
assistance from our scholarships helps to cover tertiary study expenses
such as transport costs, internet charges, accommodation fees, scribes/
tutors and the purchase of textbooks and stationery.

We thank the following benefactors for making these scholarships
possible: Thomas Hepburn Lennox, Wendy Hall, Gregory and Dolores
Farrell and Thomas K.F. Taylor.

Fundraising income

Total Fundraising Revenue (including bequests) ($)

Total fundraising income shows all funds (cash) received within the year.

Breakdown of fundraising revenue excluding bequests (%)

Financial Summary

Financial summary

Table showing Five Year Financial Summary from 2016-17 to 2020-21.


Donut graph showing sources of income for total income of $226,988,488. Government funding (including capital grants) is the primary source of funding, contributing $212,195,077. $9,129,736 comes from Financial Income; $3,794,947 comes from Other Income; $1,869,028 comes from Rental & Accommodation, Donations & Fundraising, Estates & Bequests and Sale of Goods.

Where the money IS SPENT – PORTFOLIO

Donut graph showing how the money is spent by portfolio. 88% goes to service delivery; 12% goes to corporate support.

Where the Money IS SPENT – GEOGRAPHY

Donut graph showing where the money is spent by geography. $150m is spent in Sydney metropolitan; $56m is spent in regional NSW; $6m is spent statewide.
Download Full Financial Report 2020-21


Two young girls smiling at the camera and holding up a sign that says Thank you


We are grateful for all the support and contributions we receive from individuals, organisations and communities.

Northcott's Patron, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales

Our Patron

We are proud to have Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, as Northcott’s Vice Regal Patron. Her Excellency shares our commitment to supporting people with disability to live the life they choose.


Mr Michael Briggs
Mr Graeme Dennis
Mr Bruce Downie
Mr Dennis Hilton
Mrs Prudence Hunt
Mr Rocco Mangano
Mr Karl Moffitt
Mr Paul Okkerse
Mr Norm O’Neill
Mr Matthew Penrose
Mr Elson Pow
Dr William Pratt
Ms N Quinlivan
Mr Glenn Schmidt
Mr Rod Smith
Mr Martin Smyrk
Mr Michael Whitehead

Trusts, Foundation
and Grants

Australian Government’s Information Linkages and Capacity Building program
City of Parramatta Council
City of Sydney
Dick and Pip Smith Foundation
Jibb Family Foundation
Liangrove Foundation Pty Ltd
Maple-Brown Family Foundation
The Bruce & Joy Reid Trust
The Hawker Foundation
NSW Government
Redfern Jarjum College
Rellim Foundation
Skipper Jacobs Charitable Trust
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
The Bluesand Foundation
The Broinowski Foundation
The Hildanna Foundation
The Mews Family Endowment
The Philandron Foundation
The Profield Foundation
The R A Gale Foundation
The William Rubensohn Foundation
The Woodend Foundation
Todd Family Foundation
Transport for NSW


Ballina RSL
Baulkham Hills Sports Club
Brighton-Le-Sands RSL Club
Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club
Lantern Club
Merrylands RSL Club Ltd
Parramatta Leagues Club
Parramatta National Rugby League Club Limited
Rules Club Wagga

In grateful memory
of special friends

Cater Charitable Trust
Lionel Ernest Frederick Dege
Mona Isobel Paul
K & G Gluck Trust
Margaret Isabel Hewlett
Harry L Howden Charitable Trust
Colleen Ethel Morris
Edith Roche
Allan Archibald Rowling

Corporate and Strategic Partners

Ability First Australia
Allens Linklaters
APEX Executive Interiors
Ausgrid Employees’ Children’s Appeal
Austbrokers Corporate
botton + gardiner
Commonweath Bank of Australia

CVGT Australia
iPlace Recruitment
The Kraftsmen Property Maintenance

Morgan Stanley
NGO Recruitment
Parra Leagues
The Social Storytellers
Terry Shields Toyota
Western Earthmoving
Western Sydney Business Connection
Western Sydney University
Westpac Group

Our members

November 2021


Mr Richard Griffin AM


Mr Robert Albert AO
Mr Phillip Cave AM
Mrs Ann Coventry
Mr & Mrs Robert & Merilyn Critchley
Mr John Fairfax AO
Mr & Mrs Bill & Alison Hayward
Mr Bill Loewenthal
Mr Rocco Mangano
Mr Stan May
Mr Charles Moore
Mr Graham O’Donnell
Mr Paul Okkerse
Mr & Mrs Les & Judy Rae
Mr John Reid AO
Mr David Ross
Mr Basil Sellers AM
Mr Tim Sims
Mr Dick Smith AO


Mr Trevor Chappell
Mr Edward Condran
Mr John Donoghue
Mr Ron Finneran
Mrs Beverly Fletcher
Mr & Mrs Frank & Carole Misson
Mr Alfred Rofe AM
Mr Normie Rowe AM


Mrs Bernice Aboud
Mr Tony Abrahams
Mr & Mrs Neil & Diane Balnaves
Mr & Mrs C J & Y Barry
Mr Stewart Bates
Mr Anthony Berg
Mr W Blackshaw
Mr Richard Blaiklock (Board Member)
Mr & Mrs Robert & Robin Bradfield
Ms Susan Campbell
Mr David Clarke
Mr Bruce Downie
Mr W Flynn AO
Mr Glenn Gardner AM
Mr John Gerahty
Mr Ross Grainger
Mr Colin Gray
Mr Trevor Gruzin
Mrs M Jacob
Dr Christopher Janssen*
Ms Caroline Jones AO
Ms Megan Jones
Mr John Laws OBE
Mr Kevin Laybutt
Mrs Patricia Lee
Mr & Mrs James & Adele Maloney
Ms Julie Manfredi-Hughes
Mr & Mrs Robert & Sandra McCuaig
Mr Tony McGrath
Ms Primrose Moss
Mr Elson Pow
Mr Steven Rares
Mrs Sophie Rothery
Mr Jim Searant
Dr Robert Silberstein
Mrs Gail Singh
Ms Anny Slater
Mr Christopher Sparks
Mr Andrew Stevenson
Ms Kerry Stubbs
Mr John Surian
Ms Helen Wellings
Mr & Mrs Paul & Elizabeth Carr
Mr & Mrs Chris & Betsy Carr

Board Member

Ms Kirsten Armstrong
Mr Michael Briggs
Mr Nick Cardno
Mr James Christian
Ms Liz Forsyth
Mr Jeyan Jeevaratnam
Ms Debra Richards
Mr Hugh Wehby

Ordinary Member

Mrs Lisa Chung
Mrs Michelle Laforest
Ms Anne Sullivan
Dr Mary Westbrook AM

Associate Member

Mr Rod Smith

Traditional Custodians

Northcott acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land on which we work. We pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging – and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We also pay tribute to their ongoing connection to land, waters and community.