2021 proved to be just as challenging as 2020, with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic still proving to challenge our operations here at Brite. Despite continuing restrictions, however, our strong sense of community and drive to never compromise on our vision led to a year of advancements and achievements.
In 2021 we appointed a new CEO, continued to pay all of our staff without JobKeeper payments, and delivered over 125,000 hours of training – just to name a few of 2021’s Brite-est highlights.
As always, we couldn’t have done any of it without the ongoing generous support of our partners, staff and volunteers. Your dedication to our mission makes achieving it a reality, and brings a smile to the faces of our families, students and workers. For all that you do, we offer our warmest thank you!
During 2021, our Brite Pak centre continued to deliver quality packing and labelling services for businesses right across Australia. Obstacles presented by the pandemic restricted our growth in sales to a modest 7 percent compared to last year. Still, our own food business was able to be distributed to metropolitan and regional IGA and Ritchies stores, while we made our first international export to Malaysia.
We were also able to use prolonged periods of down time to further train our supported team members. Too much time spent at home during lockdowns resulted in skill regression for some of our team, who needed that extra training to catch up and take their skills to a whole new level.
Our sales for Brite Plants increased by 34 percent over the period of 2020-21. This is an impressive number on its own, but even more so when you consider all the obstacles we have had to overcome during the period of the pandemic.
Still, the Brite Plant team were able to deliver on some of their biggest projects to date. This included growing and supplying over 40,000 plants, trees, shrubs, grass, and groundcover to the Toorak Road Kooyong Level Crossing Removal Program. This was only surpassed by the 1,600 trees and 130,000 plants that Brite Plants supplied for the Bell to Moreland Level Crossing Removal.
These projects, as well as our increase in personnel and purchase of a brand-new front-end loader just goes to show how Brite Plants continues to grow from strength to strength.
The majority of Brite Institute’s programs in 2021 continued to be delivered online as a result of the pandemic. These programs ranged from Certificate I through to Certificate IV in areas such as individual support, disability and ageing support, adult literacy and numeracy. We have continued to adapt our teaching style and method of delivery to best optimise the learning outcomes for our studying-at-home students.
We also initiated a new program for our supported team members focusing on accredited foundational skills with a strong workplace component. This program was delivered over zoom, and was attended by 23 students who are now better prepared to stay connected to their jobs and stay up to date with any relevant work issues.
Our Brite Muesli range continued to grow stronger throughout 2021. Not only did we achieve the internationally-recognised food accreditation standard FSSC 22000 standard that allows us to distribute our products in supermarkets, but we also introduced two new delicious flavours – “Tropical Blend and Apple” and “Cranberry & Coconut”. We also upgraded our food manufacturing facility so that our supported team members have better resources to create these tasty and nutritious goods.
Our Toyota Partnership
Our partnership with Toyota saw the continual development and manufacturing of the Brike – an e-bike designed specifically for people with disability and their families by people with disability. We also developed 15,400 TGA approved face shields, at first with the support from Toyota’s design, development, technology and production expertise. We would like to thank Toyota for their continued support of the Brite mission by offering people with disability the opportunity to develop products that make a difference in the community.
Looking ahead to 2022, there are bound to be more challenges awaiting Brite, but plenty more exciting opportunities for our community to flourish. We recommend you download our full 2021 Annual Report to get a better idea of all the great things we got up to last year. We hope that everyone has a Brite day!