While the Group operates with a strong commercial approach, as a mutual organisation we are afforded the opportunity to create value that extends beyond financial results - for our members, our customers and the broader community. Our structure allows us to consider longer-term opportunities without the short-term pressure of delivering immediate returns to shareholders. This was critical, for example, in our ability to create Remedy Healthcare and to invest significantly in building a Home Care business.
A major focus of the year under review saw the Group laying the foundations for renewed recognition and shared value to Australian Unity Limited members. The board eagerly anticipates the realisation of this work.
Further progress was also made on our community value strategy. We believe that a sound community value framework and practices translate to a stronger business that delivers for all stakeholders. We strengthened our partnerships with like-minded community partners by practically supporting education and assistance programs designed to empower the individual and grow community impact. Our ambitions in the area of social infrastructure were also progressed with major milestones reached in the development of Brisbane’s Herston Quarter health precinct on behalf of the Queensland Government—one of the leading pieces of hard social infrastructure currently under construction in Australia. When successfully delivered, this project could provide further opportunities in the social infrastructure development space.
The challenges and disruptions in the external operating environment present risk across our businesses in terms of their potential to precipitate deteriorating market sentiment, changes in government policy—or both.
The presence of inherent risk in the delivery of human services was anticipated when the Group embarked on its strategy of diversifying its business portfolio. As discussed earlier, these risks were highlighted in the year under review through the evidence and subsequent findings of Royal Commissions and other inquiries within the financial services, aged care and disability sectors.
The board continues to work closely with management on ensuring that the Group understands such risks, their impact, and the options for responding should the risk be realised.
Finally, on behalf of the board I would like to thank Group Managing Director Rohan Mead, his executive team and Australian Unity’s employees for their hard work during the year.