It’s been a strange year to run an industry association, during the Pandemic. The committee has faced new challenges and it’s been a great team effort to get to the other side of the lockdowns and regulations that have been thrown our way. This year my update is very central to what we’ve been through and where we are heading as a community. Our focus of “back to basics” is the strategy. Like many other industries, the road ahead is unclear, but with our strong community we are confident that we can get through this together!
The impact of COVID-19 on our community.
Like many other industries, COVID-19 brought the nanny industry to a grinding halt this year. We witnessed countless nannies lose their work as families had their working arrangements and access to schools and childcare rattled. The committee worked hard to support members as we all tried to navigate the restrictions as they evolved. We came up against certain scenarios where we were unable to comment as there was a lot of information coming out that was open to interpretation. We worked hard to instead only verify and report on information that had been confirmed by official Government sources and other peak bodies like DHHS. We remind our members that while we are here to support, we can’t be the “Nanny Police”. With so many scenarios being unique in our industry, we are unable to advise so specifically for every individual working arrangement, especially as we are a volunteer organisation.
The Pandemic also made things hard on many financially. To support our members, the ANA offered a member refund to help those who needed the money back during these unprecedented times. After reaching out to our community very few requested the refund and we would like to thank those who continued to support the ANA. There’s no question that without our members’ financial support, the ANA could not continue. So to all those people who joined and renewed in 2020, please know that your contribution makes all the difference.
I want to personally thank every single agency and nanny for the incredible support you have given families during such a disruptive year. As families had their work, childcare, and school arrangements flipped on their heads, nannies around Australia rolled up their sleeves and did what they needed to do in order to make sure the transition for their families was as seamless as possible. An extra special shout out to our Victorian members. I can’t imagine how hard the past few months, in particular, have been and we hope you’re all at the other end of lockdown.
A shift in mindset about membership fees.
Being a Volunteer-run organisation has its challenges. We are a team of business owners, nannies, mums (and more) on top of dedicating time each week/month to the ANA role that we have taken responsibility for. It’s disheartening to hear at times that our members want more in order for the ANA to ‘earn’ their membership fee. We understand that it’s a transaction but I wanted to make a point today that membership fees are more than that. Your membership supports us to maintain a peak organisation in your industry so that there is a voice for nannies when things impact our livelihoods. For example:
- The time the ATO started bringing rulings down on our industry and invited us to be a part of the new decisions having a direct impact on who would be deemed as a sole trader vs employee.
- The ANA getting an early heads up on the FWO bringing in a rule change that moved nannies away from the NES and on to the Miscellaneous Award.
- The need for contract templates for our members, and the ANA discussing and investing in support from lawyers to provide this to our members.
- The Australian Government bringing in the Nanny Pilot programme in 2016 and now IHC rebate, and the ANA attending Government meetings in Canberra to ensure that nannies were involved in the table discussions.
- The ANA updating and informing our nanny members (especially in Victoria) on what the lockdown rules and restrictions were as they were officially confirmed by the Government and DHHS.
These are a few of many instances where, if there were no ANA, the industry would be separated in engagement. Having a peak organisation helps our community be heard and helps our industry’s voice be as strong as it possibly can be.
For those who request “more” for their membership, I ask you to reconsider the transactional approach. The fact is, without membership the ANA would not exist and we would all go back to our industry fighting individually, rather than united as one voice. For those who continue to support us and renew annually, thank you. Your dedication and passion allow us to keep up the fight in helping this industry evolve for future nannies, agencies, and families to enjoy for years to come.
- We’ve invested in social media to extend our presence in the hopes that nannies out there working on their own can find a place to have a clear voice and information to help them grow a career where they are paid legally and fairly.
- We invested in our first rebrand since the ANA was founded. This is to reflect the shift in mindset as the ANA and its members go back to basics and strive for the recognition our industry deserves.
- Unable to do the picnics this year, we opted for an appreciation certificate for our nanny members. It’s these small gestures that seemed to really boost morale for those who really deserved a sincere thank you for the work they contributed during this unprecedented time.
- Amazing new committee numbers this year – we’re looking forward to getting stronger and more consistent in providing current benefits (for example, virtual events and the newsletter) and look forward to exploring new ways to engage our community.
- Investment into a member portal that will provide a place for members to access their discounts, certificates, and other resources to support them in their career.
- A 50% discount on Agency membership to support those who are doing it tough after COVID-19 and the impact it’s continuing to have on the economy.
The ANA would like to congratulate the 2021 nominated Committee members:
President – Lauren Brown
Secretary – Becky Kemp
Public Officer – Annemarie Sansom
Nanny Membership officer – Amanda Salmon
Agency Membership officer – Deb De Geeter
Nanny representative and local event coordinator – Nicole Barfus
WA nanny representative and virtual event coordinator – Megan Ang
Newsletter and Editor – Amanda Ferguson
As always, there is plenty of work to do. If you are interested in joining the committee, please email me at any time via firstname.lastname@example.org. We always need extra help and can build a role based around your availability and skills.
I am proud to step up and lead the team as President for a 3rd year. It’s an honour to be involved in something I’m so passionate about.