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Frequently Asked Questions re the Karden & Melba Merger:

Frequently Asked Questions re the Karden & Melba Merger:

Why have Melba & Karden chosen to merge?

In short, both Boards and the senior management of Melba & Karden believe each other is an excellent organisation. They share similar values and approach to delivering disability support services. The merger is an exciting development for them both.


Melba and Karden both have a vision of a society that is inclusive and values the individuality and rights of all citizens. By design, both agencies have built their services with a strong commitment to human rights, values-based leadership at every level – this embedded approach underpins all organisational activities, including decision making and service operations. Both Melba and Karden share a commitment to see that these services are not only consumer driven, flexible and tailored to the individual, but are also of the highest quality.


When conducting comparisons between high level documents, such as the Values, Mission and Vision of each agency, it is very apparent that multiple similarities exist; both agencies have a commitment to:

  • Human rights
  • Consumer driven services
  • Quality
  • A strong emphasis on customer service and customer experience
  • Community capacity building.


Why merge? What are the benefits of a merger?

The merged organisation will offer an expanded suite of services providing potential benefits to people supported. The Boards of both organisations are also very mindful of the changes the NDIS is bringing to the disability sector. Greater competition, a drive for efficiency and the requirement to strengthen ‘back-of-house’ functions and systems mean that scale is important. Both Boards are determined to ensure that mission-based, not-for-profits with a fundamental commitment to quality can survive and thrive in the future.


As part of their strategic planning, both boards see the benefit of collaborating and merging with like-minded organisations to grow, take advantage of the benefits of scale to improve their financial sustainability and deliver the high-quality services people with disability rightfully demand.


Will a merger change the services I receive?

No. Karden and Melba will continue to provide the same services, using the same support staff.


The merger will, however, allow a broader array of services to be offered in the future drawing on the particular expertise of each organisation. For example, Melba has particular expertise in the provision of accommodation support services, while Karden has a particular expertise in delivering visual and performing arts programs following its previous merger with Arthur.


Will all existing service sites remain in operation?

Yes. All existing sites in Ballarat and Melbourne will continue.



Will quality suffer as a result of this merger?

No. Karden and Melba are both award-winning disability service providers, among the very best in Victoria. In fact, Melba is the only organisation in Australia, and one of only seven in the world, to be recognised for person-centred excellence at the distinction level.


Karden and Melba plan to take the very best practices from each organisation, learn from each other and deliver even better services in the future.


Will my job change because of the merger?

No, major job changes are not envisaged. All existing support staff will continue to deliver ongoing services.


Will the terms and conditions of my job change because of the merger?

Staff will continue to be employed under existing Enterprise Agreements. If or when EBA’s need to be re-negotiated, that will occur following discussions with staff and their representatives. Both Karden and Melba value our staff and understand the critical role they play in delivering quality services. We will continue to be an employer of choice.


What management arrangements are planned?

A management structure for the merged entity is being developed and will be communicated in the coming weeks. Rachael Jones will continue to work as the senior manager responsible for all Ballarat services while Glenn Foard will be Chief Executive Officer of the merged entity.


What governance arrangements are planned?

Two existing Karden board members (Daina MacLeod and Samantha Davies) will join the Melba board. Other Karden board members will join a local sub-committee in Ballarat as part of future governance arrangements.


Will my donations be used for the same purpose?

Yes. Any donations made to either Karden or Melba will be used for the purposes agreed

with the donor to benefit individuals supported by the organisation that received the donation.


When will the merger occur?

The merger will take effect on 1 July 2018 through a formal agreement

executed by both boards. It is proposed that Karden’s services will continue to be delivered

under its existing trading name, although legally it will become part of Melba Support

Services Incorporated.

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