Good leaders are at the heart of every good organisation, and WentWest is no exception. Over the past few years, our leadership team has supported staff through the challenges of lockdowns, the COVID-19 response, program launches and expansions, relocation to new offices, and significant recruitment drives as the organisation has grown. Ensuring that leaders have the skills, confidence and resources to manage teams in a supportive, innovative and respectful way is crucial to creating a positive work environment in which employees can thrive.
Ignite Leadership Program
In response, and in alignment with Senior Management strategic planning, we decided to develop a bespoke leadership program co-designed in consultation with our staff.
The resulting, ‘Ignite Leadership Program’, consisted of seven learning labs.
- Stars denote 'core' labs that everyone is expected to participate in.
- Leadership Lab 7: Driving innovation
- Leadership Lab 6: Fostering resilience and wellbeing
- Leadership Lab 5: Leading through change
- Leadership Lab 4: Strategic and enterprise thinking
- Leadership Lab 3: Building high-performing teams
- Leadership Lab 2: Managing and developing individuals
- Leadership Lab 1: My leadership impact
- 360-degree assessment, debrief and development planning
Throughout the program, leaders received feedback through a bespoke ‘360’ assessment with responses collected from their direct managers, colleagues, reports and external stakeholders. Peer Learning Groups consisting of three to five leaders from similar levels helped provide support, accountability and deeper exploration of learning. Throughout the program, leaders had access to online resources, webinars and a Learning Journal specific to each Lab.
99% scored the learning labs as very or extremely relevant
Those in agreement: Pre and Post Learning Labs
I have a strong understanding of my leadership impact and how this is affected by what I say, do, recognise and prioritise
I am confident to manage and develop others by providing constructive feedback and coaching
I can approach complex problems using strategic and enterprise thinking to make decisions’
I recognise the value of managing my own wellbeing for myself, others and WentWest
I feel capable to manage and lead through change, while managing others’ reactions to change
Leaders participating in the Ignite Leadership program
The Ignite Leadership Program has been a highly valuable series of workshops that have helped not only myself as a team leader, but all of us as a collective team at the organisation. By learning and working on the principles of strong management together, we are able to better communicate, strategise and implement skills from the program.
I'm transferring my knowledge of this training to behaviour change and then to practice. Now I have a team that is more organised, highly motivated and dedicated. They now know that they are heard and valued even for any small initiative.
The 360 feedback really solidified my leadership and where I am doing well and where I can focus and improve. I appreciated having feedback from so many levels, especially my direct reports.
I felt safe to share my own thoughts and experiences in an environment that encouraged this. The program allowed me time to self-reflect and learn from colleagues who brought their own rich experiences. Since completing the course, my leadership style continues to develop as I am often using the tools and learnings from the Ignite course.
Third Sector Finalist for CEO of the Year
This year, we were to celebrate our CEO, Ray Messom, as a finalist in the Third Sector Awards for CEO of the Year. This is a huge achievement for us as a relatively small organisation, and demonstrates the impact we are having in the community. Ray leads with genuine humility and respect and does so much to make sure that we are able to work effectively to improve the health system and we were proud to see him reach the finals.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognising a Leader in Primary Care
This year we were proud to present our first ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to Dr Michael Fasher. This award was designed to recognise an individual who has designed and implemented high-impact projects, advanced health reform and contributed a substantial amount of time and expertise to improving health outcomes in Western Sydney. Dr Fasher is the Clinical Director at WentWest and has supported generations of families as a GP in Western Sydney for over 40 years. He has been instrumental in advocating for increased childhood vaccination rates, implementing early childhood intervention programs and, most recently, helping build the foundations for the Kids Early Years (KEYS) network.
“Thank you so much for the kindness, care and wisdom you have shown us over the past 16 years. Your advice and skill have been invaluable to us while raising our three boys, and we have always felt in safe hands.” - patient
“I worked with Michael for 12 years, and it was obvious from the onset that he was very popular for his paediatric knowledge and his beautiful nature with children” – Monica Hibbert
“Michael is so dedicated to the sector, particularly in fighting to improve children’s health. He has been a mentor to so many younger GPs, supporting us to improve quality care and be happy in our work. He sees your potential and encourages you to step up. He is a fantastic mentor, leader and clinician who unifies and inspires everyone around him. He has a contagious enthusiasm to learn and sees challenges as an opportunity for change. He leads by example and never stops contributing. As a GP, I aspire to have a career like that.” – Dr Natalie Cochrane
“Michael is more than just a good clinician, he is a wonderful human being. He always goes above and beyond to support others. When I was a registrar with two very young children, he would always cover my weekend shifts so that I wouldn’t miss out on important milestones. He made me prioritise my family, and he always had my back.” - Dr Tatjana Lakic
“Michael has always been larger than life and ahead of his time. He is a man who instinctively knew what the quadruple aim and quintuple aim were before they were articulated as such. What success we have is built on the shoulders of giants, and Michael Fasher is one of those giants.” – Dr Kean-Seng Lim
“You are a tireless champion for young people and families, a tireless champion for equity in health care. You’re a lifelong learner… There is a small army of GPs in Western Sydney and beyond who owe you so much as an educator…This recognition is totally deserved, you are an inspiring advocate and champion for the community and a tremendous human being” – Ian Corless
“The way Michael brings out the best in people is one of his many enduring qualities as well as his tenacity and irrepressible enthusiasm, particularly for kids' early years.” – Tim Perry
The Innovation and Engagement Collaborative
The Innovation and Engagement Collaborative (IEC) is now in its second year and exists to foster and continuously improve collaboration across teams, enable more effective, tailored and targeted support for staff, and improve employee engagement by identifying opportunities to affect positive change. This includes leading our recognition programs, Career in Focus, Team Days, and supporting the implementation of our Flexibility and Wellbeing Framework.