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New telecomms system grows connections and impact in FNQ

For any organisation that relies on fast, efficient telecommunications, it doesn’t get much more challenging than operating across multiple locations in remote Far North Queensland (FNQ).

Founded in 1990, the Cape York/Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Care (RAATSICC) Association is a community-led Not-for-Profit delivering a variety of human services to remote communities across FNQ. With a head office in Cairns and satellite offices in Kowanyama, Napranum, Aurukun and the Lockhart River, RAATSICC staff form a network of social and support workers spanning thousands of kilometres.

“Reliable communications and effective networking are integral to our services,” explains RAATSIC Finance Manager, Karen Rodger. “This challenge was amplified when many remote communities shut their doors indefinitely – some are only just starting to open up again now – to protect residents from the threat of COVID-19.” 

Like many remote communities around Australia, unreliable (or non-existent) landline phone services are an everyday reality. For RAATSICC, reliance on mobile phones and a costly outdated phone system were hindering inter-office communications and the quality and consistency of care staff were able to provide.

telecomms upgrade nfp

Project snapshot


LG IPECS phone system including desk-phones plus web interface platform to enable the main business number to be answered from phone, mobile or PC.

Payment plan term

60 months

Amount funded

$67,179.00 ex gst

Channel partner

The Business Centre – Optus, Cairns


Not-for-profit community organisation


Head office in Cairns plus satellite offices in Kowanyama, Napranum, Aurukun and the Lockhart River, in FNQ.

The solution

Today, the entire RAATSICC team are connected 24/7. This is thanks to Smart Ease, which provided funding for the installation of new telecommunications equipment that is now being used across multiple sites,

James Hughes, Business Development Manager at The Business Centre Cairns which installed the new system, outlined the highlights of the $60,000 upgrade. The RAATSICC team are now easily “able to make, transfer, and merge calls”.  They also have access to a mobile app which enables mobile phones to function remotely as part of the overall system.

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“The team now has greater control and more flexibility in addition to reduced monthly costs.”

James Hughes, The Business Centre Cairns.

The win

According to Ms Rodger, the benefits of the new telecoms system and Smart Ease Payment Plan are three-fold. “While RAATSICC is fully funded, obviously we have multiple concurrent programs operating,” she said. “So, the monthly Payment Plan – rather than having to allocate funds up front – has been great for managing cash flow.”

“Even greater has been the impact on the staff who live and work in the communities we operate in. We can now communicate with them more easily and more efficiently. Being able to simply pick up the phone and dial their extension has been transformative!”

Karen Rodger, RAATSICC

Start a conversation with Smart Ease and find out how our Payment Plans could connect your team more efficiently, with minimal monthly outlay.