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INspiring leaders: Joanne Kernot

"This is where PeopleIN is so valuable. You've got this massive machine behind you that says, 'We can do this. We can make it work.' - Joanne Kernot, NNA DSS General Manager.

Today we're speaking to Joanne Kernot about the tremendous success of our NNA Direct Service Support brand, which provides direct in-home support services for people with disabilities and their support networks.

Joanne joined PeopleIN in February 2020 after providing NDIS consulting services for our NNA nursing brand. At that time NNA was looking to upskill its nurses to provide specialised NDIS services through third party providers. However the opportunity to provide these services directly to NDIS participants was quickly realised and so NNA Direct Support Services was born.

"We originally looked at a few business to acquire but I said, 'You know what, we can do this so much better ourselves'".

The business launched in February 2020 and Joanne was brought on as General Manager.

Two weeks later, COVID-19 lockdown hit.

However this didn't slow progress down. "Participant numbers quickly swelled to 130 across 4 states, equalling $6 million in committed revenue. We've been able to significantly increase our team - I went from a team of 1 to now a team of 14, plus 70 frontline staff. To do that and at the same time provide quality service - how could you not be proud?"

Success is down to many factors including stepping up when competitors stepped down. "The big providers closed their day programs, cancelled supports, effectively shutting their doors on participants. Our defining difference is that big providers wont support participants with less than 20 hours of required support per week. We can do it."

"This is where PeopleIN is so valuable. You've got this massive machine behind you that says, 'We can do this. We can make it work'.

"Other big providers are weighed down by massive corporate structures to where they can't be innovative, responsive and agile."

Leveraging technology and in house talent across the group was also hugely beneficial in scaling quickly. This includes leveraging Edmen's rostering and customer-facing app, and NNA's finance system. The roll on effect of this is pricing is kept down so participants can access more services through their plans.

For the year ahead, Joanne is focused on expanding services whilst embedding best practices to ensure they don't lose focus on their commitment to providing high quality care. "New systems and training for staff are a big part of this. I'd also like to expand our service streams beyond exclusively NDIS services.

"There's big opportunities in market that we can own holistically".

Joanne has sound advice for other talent looking to grow in the industry or within PeopleIN. "Know what you're good at. Sell that to the business. It's not what PeopleIN can do for you, but what can you provide that no one else can. Be bold."


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