Awarded to a company that has had a significant impact through its employee volunteering program. This award is open to any organisation who encourages volunteering and releases their staff from employment to carry out volunteer activities as part of an employee or corporate volunteering program.
The finalists are:
Aurora Energy has a proud history of supporting not-for-profit, volunteer and welfare groups. In December 2018, Aurora officially launched its corporate volunteering program. Through the program, employees receive two days or 15 hours of paid community service leave each year—an initiative that is meaningful to employees and directly benefits the community.
In just four months since the program started, nearly one-third of Aurora Energy employees have participated in a volunteering activity, representing 383 hours of community support. Activities have included manual warehouse support, assisting charities with Christmas giving programs, packing food hampers, and donating blood.
To encourage further participation, Aurora has recently delivered presentations to all employees to share the benefits of volunteering. Aurora encourages all employees, regardless of skills, experience or role within the organisation, to participate in the program.
Aurora Energy also produced a short video featuring employees discussing their recent experience in corporate volunteering.The program is creating the opportunity for Aurora and its employees to create meaningful connections with the local community.
Hydro Tasmania has an active volunteering program that begain in 2011. Hydro offers flexible volunteering options for their employees, with a current focus on sharing professional skills, engaging young employees as the next generation of volunteers and honouring external volunteers through sponsoring community grants and events.
As a large employer with a footprint across the state, Hydro Tasmania wants to provide a positive example to other big businesses. Volunteering in Hydro Tasmania has doubled over the past five years from 22% of its people in 2012–13 to 44% of staff in 2017–18.
Hydro Tasmania staff attend Volunteering Tasmania events to maintain best practice and to understand and use the latest research about volunteering, for example learning of difficulties in engaging young people in volunteering and that prefer volunteering opportunities that address current social issues. These issues affect us all because we are all connected. Hydro’s focus on embedding a culture of volunteering in their graduates means that over 70% of graduates participate in the volunteering program.
TasNetworks understands the value of volunteering to their staff and their community. The organisation actively supports this culture by offering employees two paid volunteering days per year as part of their EBA.
During the 2019 bushfires in the Huon Valley, TasNetworks coordinated a team of motivated employees to support the Huonville PCYC Evacuation Centre, helping with operations and logistics. TasNetworks volunteers worked to support the local communities of the Huon Valley region in a coordinated and well-managed way. They undertook meeting and greeting, running notices and communications between groups, housekeeping and hospitality of the Centre, caring for small animals and providing essential supplies for evacuees.
The efforts of the volunteers were especially appreciated by Evacuation Centre staff as TasNetworks people were often happy to take the overnight shifts.
TasNetworks has found that volunteering benefits both the culture of the organisation and the community—staff have an increased sense of personal satisfaction and the community know TasNetworks will support them in hard times.