Programs such as the annual Volunteer Involvement Program (VIP), which allows employees in Australia to nominate the charity with which they volunteer to receive a $1,000 grant, Day of Caring group volunteering days at operational sites, as well as the recently introduced volunteer leave for staff at Southbank, all demonstrate the commitment and emphasis the organisation places on giving back to the community.
Procurement Administrator Raelene Olsen is one staff member who is actively engaging in this area. Together with her eight-year old Labrador Harry, she regularly visits Villa Maria Catholic Homes aged-care facilities in the Knox area as a volunteer.
Raelene says she and Harry have developed strong friendships with many aged-care residents through the volunteer program.
“Pet therapy can have a wide variety of benefits for residents and we really enjoy our visits. People enjoy patting and talking to Harry and often reminisce about their own dogs. Harry was recently given his own ID card after reaching six months of volunteer service!” she said.
Raelene has previously applied for and received a VIP grant for her work with Villa Maria in the disability space, and intends to apply for a VIP grant again in 2018 for her work in aged care.
“Having the company support our volunteering efforts as individuals is wonderful! Initiatives like the VIP grants and volunteer leave are really beneficial to the community groups where any company staff are involved. Anyone who does regular volunteer work should try and utilise these worthwhile programs,” she said.