Gareth McKeen has announced he is stepping down from his role as chief executive of the Cram Foundation.
Mr McKeen said he was leaving to pursue project opportunities through a new venture and will be engaged by Cram in the short term in a part-time role developing the disability housing concept.
“It’s satisfying to be stepping down from the CEO role at a time when Cram is growing in strength under the NDIS,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to new challenges and would like to thank the board, our staff and our entire Cram community for the ongoing support I’ve received.”
Cram Foundation board plans to shortly begin the recruitment process to find a new chief executive and Mr McKeen will remain in the role until his successor takes up the reins.
The board paid tribute to Mr McKeen for the way he has led the Illawarra organisation for six years and during a time when services for people with a disability have undergone extensive change.
Cram Foundation chair Linda Wright said he had overseen a transformation in the organisation, enabling it to move successfully into service delivery under the federal government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Cram has been caring for people who have a significant physical or intellectual disability, and who have multiple or complex care support needs, for more than 80 years.
The organisation has introduced a range of changes in the past 18 months to operate in line with contemporary disability practices.
Its next growth focus is to work with developers to create new housing in the Illawarra for people with high disability support needs.
“When Gareth joined Cram in 2012, the organisation was operating under financial losses and with the uncertainty of how the NDIS would impact the sector and Cram in particular,” Ms Wright said.
“Six years on, Cram has seen a 30% increase in clients, a 46% increase in revenue and is now operating with a modest financial surplus in 2017-18.”