The new chief executive officer for Whitsunday Counselling and Support Graeme Kerkin.
The new chief executive officer for Whitsunday Counselling and Support Graeme Kerkin. Tamera Francis

New CEO for Whitsunday Counselling and Support

GRAEME Kerkin is the new head man at Whitsunday Counselling and Support.

The Adelaide native worked previously as regional manager for Spinal Life Australia and has just relocated from Townsville to take on the position of chief executive officer at WCS, replacing previous CEO Steve Alexander.

Mr Kerkin's resume includes managing services out of Townsville stretching from Cairns to Mackay for the personal care of people with spinal cord injury or physical disability.

He also brings with him, a tried and tested motto; "if it ain't broke don't fix it.”

"There is nothing that I see about the service here that isn't already being delivered in a professional and appropriate manner,” he said.

Sighting the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme as one of the major challenges in his career, Mr Kerkin has already registered WCS and hopes to use his experience to expand the organisation in that direction.

"I think there are opportunities to expand the into the NDIS, the NDIS roll-out essentially changed of the way in which service providers were funded became more individualised rather than a block funded,” he said.

"Registering us is a significant step forward because it means people who are currently funded through the NDIS to get counselling services are able to access it from us once the registration process is fully complete.

"I am also looking at increasing our services in Bowen.”

Instead of listing the obvious challenges of filling volunteer roles and regional access to services, Mr Kerkin instead focuses on what isn't challenging.

"What isn't a challenge is the level of collegiate support from smaller communities, its unlikely you would fine too many people living in this area who wouldn't know about this service,” he said.

"There is definitely a much more community based approached to supportive programs and services like this and you don't see that so much in the larger urban areas.

"It's pretty early days but I'm working with a dynamic team of people, the local folk who know the services in the community very well and they are an amazing group of people.”

The WCS building was refurbished just two weeks before being damaged during Cyclone Debbie and staff only made the move back into the office in October.

"The staff here have been through so much and now they have to put up with a new CEO,” Mr Kerkin laughed.

"I'm fortunate in my last job the area I managed covered this area as well, so I know the area relatively well.

"For me, it's not an issue of getting to know the area and the infrastructure around it, so much as getting to know the resources associated with the services that we offer.

"For anyone who wants to access our services please call us on 4946 2999 or check out our website.”


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