Plumtree is a not-for-profit organisation that supports both young children aged birth to 8 years old who have a developmental delay or disability and their families. We have been a community-based organisation for over 30 years.
Melinda has been volunteering as a treasurer and board member since 2008. From the very beginning, she has emphasised the need to have diversified sources of income to minimise potential cash flow risk should the government funding and grants reduce overtime. The focus on minimising cash flow risk was because government funding was the primary income source for the organisation when she came onto the board.
Melinda has implemented a budgeting and forecasting process, monthly financial reporting with financial and operational insights for the board. Over time, the foundation that she has set up in implementing reporting, procedures, process and system improvements allowed us further to strengthen our financial reporting capabilities, internal control, and risk functions as the service delivery model evolved over the years.
Melinda's foresight has been invaluable. Partnering with the board, management, finance and other stakeholders in pro-actively implementing income diversification strategies over the years has helped us to maintain robust cash flow management practices. The cash flow management processes have been beneficial during critical periods, such as the organisation transitioning to a new operating model due to the challenges of implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, Melinda's advice supported the organisation to purchase its first asset in 2011, which has doubled in value by 2017. Her research accurately reflected the market as we ended up buying the house at the auction near her purchase price guidance.
During the centre redevelopment, Melinda provided an oversight that helped us complete the project on time and within budget. She assisted in ensuring we put in place robust processes in closely monitoring and managing our cash flow during such a challenging time as the redevelopment caused operational disruptions to the business and subsequently put financial pressures on the organisation.
Plumtree has nominated Melinda for the Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards under the Not-for-Profit Treasurer of the Year category from 2016 to 2018 as recognition for her outstanding contribution to the organisation.
Melinda's outstanding contribution to Plumtree during her over 10-year tenure has seen us grow significantly in this time and has enabled Plumtree to service much more of the community who needs our services. Without Melinda's advice, guidance and expertise, we wouldn't be in the strong position we are today. Plumtree and the community have significantly benefited from Melinda's continued support over the years, and we look forward to an even brighter future.
Sylvana Mahmic, CEO Plumtree Children's Services Ltd
2 September 2020