Active Geelong are pleased to announce the winners of the ‘Active Geelong Active Workplaces Awards’ for 2022.
2022 ACTIVE WORKPLACE OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY GMHBA
Winner: Geelong Football Club
The major initiatives that the Geelong Cats showcased in their application that led to them winning this award:
A Flexible Working Policy plays a key role in helping our staff to be more active. Our flexible work arrangements aim to give employees a meaningful level of control over when, where and how work is accomplished.
GMHBA Stadium has facilities to support active travel to work. There are areas available within the building for staff to safely store bikes so that they can ride to work. Additionally, out the front of GMHBA Stadium there are bike racks which can be used by staff to lock their bikes to. There are also changerooms and shower facilities available to support staff in actively travelling to work.
An initiative called Playwell was launched by the club in 2021 in an effort to work towards the goal of a healthy workplace by addressing four dimensions; mind, body, purpose and place. Within the “body” dimension, the People and Culture team, who have been driving this initiative, have strived to find opportunities to promote physical activity and create opportunities for staff to be more active at work. The club leaders are seen regularly modelling positive behaviours in relation to physical activity. This includes; utilising various “hot desks”, engaging in walking meetings and completing ‘work outs’ in the club gym during the workday
There are many areas of the workspace that were specifically designed to create more opportunities for movement. The club gym is designed for the training requirements of our AFL and AFLW programs but is accessible for staff (with restrictions on timing for some departments around the football programs). Staff are able to access discounted memberships and classes at Geelong’s Gym or at Soma-Kai Pilates and Martial Arts
Roles that require staff to work at a desk can have the tendency to have a higher risk of large amounts of sitting time. Understanding this, the club implemented a few strategies to increase movement and decrease sitting time. On Level 1, staff utilise “hot desks” rather than remaining in one set location. Not having one allocated desk encourages staff to move around the space during the day. The bins are also intentionally not located in individual offices, so staff need to move to dispose of any rubbish. In these office spaces, there is also the opportunity to use a sit/stand desk, further reducing sitting time.
With directive and vision from club leadership, the People and Culture team send regular emails to all employees which includes a section that endeavours to support the overall health and wellbeing of staff. This section of the communication includes information about upcoming events and opportunities for staff to get active and improve their overall health and wellbeing
In our AFL and AFLW programs, the club provides support and flexibility in programs for athletes that have had factors impacting their physical health like injury, pregnancy and birth. The club have made it very clear since the inception of our AFLW side that players within the team do not need to wait until the end of their playing career to have a family. The club is paving the way in this space within the league, demonstrating clear support to women within our AFLW program in their return to work. There are currently three mums within the group and each has been provided with individualised programs and flexibility.
The Cats provide opportunities for staff to be involved in promoting physical activity to the community through club programs. One of these programs, Healthy Heroes, is directly related to promoting healthy lifestyles and particularly physical activity to primary age students. Staff have been given the opportunity to volunteer their time to help deliver these sessions and see the impact of these programs in the community.
Other ways that our staff have active community connections is through our involvement in external events such as Run 4 Geelong and by the club holding staff social events of an active nature such as golf days. For Run 4 Geelong, the Geelong Cats have a team and the registration is fully subsidised by the club.
2022 ACTIVE WORKPLACE AWARD – ACTIVE CULTURE
Winner: West Carr & Harvey
Major initiatives the West Carr & Harvey showcased in their application that led to them winning this award:
As part of a ‘workplace wellness’ program, the company provides and endorses regular physical activity, including complimentary access to weekly group fitness training sessions every Thursday at Geelong College. The Training sessions are led by a qualified trainer, tailored to individual fitness levels, run for an hour and staff take advantage of this as part of their lunch break. There are showers available at our office so staff can make use of these upon their return and car pooling provided
Staff participate in and arrange many lunchtime activities such as walking along the bay, playing basketball at the precinct courts at Federal Mills, playing bocce or running.
They host a fun run challenge called “the Federal Gift” which provides all participants with the opportunity to compete in a 5km run against their colleagues with relevant handicaps to ensure it is a fair challenge for all involved!
West Carr & Harvey regularly coordinate team building events which provide staff with an opportunity to be active within their own abilities. These team building days include a variety of challenges such as canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, walking, lawn bowls and more.
2022 ACTIVE WORKPLACE AWARD – ACTIVE COMMUNITY CONNECTION
Winner: DEAKIN UNIVERSITY
Major initiatives that Deakin University showcased in their application that led to them winning this award:
Deakin is committed to making a positive and healthy difference to their students, staff, and the communities local to our campuses. In September 2022, this commitment manifested as the launch of the Lime shared electric bike (e-bike) program in Geelong – the first of its kind for the region
E-bikes are different to standard pedal bikes, as they have batteries that integrate with an electric motor to assist you while riding. The motor adds to your pedal power when the bike detects that assistance is required, for example when you’re travelling up a hill. This makes e-bikes more accessible as a mode of transport, particularly for trips around challenging terrain, and provides an opportunity for people to easily incorporate incidental exercise into their day.
The e-bikes are available for anyone in Geelong to rent via the Lime app. They have been popular since day one; with 200 ebikes now available in Geelong to make it an easy, enjoyable and enriching experience.Many of the e-bikes are located on Deakin’s Waurn Ponds and Waterfront campuses, providing students and staff with a convenient and active way to travel to, from and between campuses, as well as to make short trips around the city. They are also found dotted throughout the CBD, Pakington st, High st through to Waurn Ponds (including Waurn Ponds train station), at Deakin ‘park and ride’ locations, including Belmont Valley Activity Centre and Try Boys, meaning commuters can park their car here and finish their journey on bike. As the trial evolves the plan is to expand the service zones with priority on the northern suburbs.
Deakin is already well-equipped with bike infrastructure, including end of trip facilities, to support cycling trips to campus. In line with the Lime launch, we have also established promotional campaigns, including free rides, ongoing discounted pricing, and participation in Biketober and Ride2Work Day, to encourage students and staff to try out the bikes and become familiar with the program.
While the university is championing the initiative, community members are encouraged to use the e-bikes too, so that together we can make a difference to activity levels, reduction of road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
The scheme has been the result of 9 months of negotiation and planning between Deakin, Lime, micromobility consultants Zipidi, City of Greater Geelong and the Department of Transport. The productive partnership has meant we can introduce a truly integrated active transport solution for Geelong, removing some of the barriers that individuals may face when deciding how to travel.
2022 ACTIVE WORKPLACE AWARD – ACTIVE OPPORTUNITIES
Winner: CHRISTIAN COLLEGE GEELONG
The major initiatives that Christian College Geelong showcased in their application that led to them winning this award:
Christian College Geelong actively promotes and provides opportunities for all staff to participate in organisational and community physical activity initiatives including staff v student games, National Health and Physical Education day, Active April and morning run club. On occasions in our morning devotion, activities such as Pilates, meditation, walk and talk and courts games are an exciting feature, all focused on promoting the benefits physical activity can provide our staff.
The Head of Sport regularly promotes local sporting events and community activities during our morning devotion and often posts flyers promoting local events in our online staff bulletin. This regular and engaging commentary plays a pivotal role in positively promoting opportunities for staff to engage in local activities. This commentary often includes a weekend sport wrap up which promotes the sporting performances of our staff and recognises their contribution to local sports and physical activity.
Staff are able and encouraged to use the onsite indoor swimming pool, indoor court and circuit room for their own personal use before, during and after school. The proximity and familiarity of these facilities no doubt contribute to the participation levels of our staff.
The College is proud of its strong connections with a number of local sporting organisation including Geelong swimming club and the Eagles basketball club. These clubs use our facilities on a daily basis and provide a visual presence on campus that displays a pathway for staff to take when they are interested in these sports. Over the years, many staff have been members of the Eagles basketball club as players and often this extends to them contributing to the administration of the club. This no doubt supports the club to fulfil their ability to provide opportunities for physical activity to the community.
Christian College holds an annual mid-year staff professional development program called “Staff Retreat”, where the College places a strong emphasis for staff to participate in physical activity. During the retreat, all staff participate in events such as table tennis, beach walking, court sports, disc golf, ten pin bowling, lawn bowls. These activities are held at local venues including Barwon Valley Park, Geelong Table Tennis Assoc, and Drysdale Lawn bowls club. These sessions enable our staff to increase their active movement time, develop stronger team cohesion and deeper personal relationships with fellow staff as well as becoming familiar with the local facilities which may lead to future participation
2022 ACTIVE WORKPLACE AWARD – ACTIVE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
Winner: FLUID BRANDING
The major initiatives that Fluid Branding showcased in their application that led to them winning this award:
Fluid Branding (Fluid) has long-supported physical activity and in 2022 amended their People and Culture plan to reflect the value it places on supporting physical activity and reduced sitting time.
The business provides standing desks for its 15 workers and in providing staff greater flexibility in working from home. As part of Fluid’s commitment to its Active Workplace Culture policy, it purchased eight Desky Zero Sit Stand Desk Converters. They have also purposefully selected laptops, which is a move away from the big desktops of an original design studio, as laptops enable freedom of movement within the office.
Fluid estimates that since the introduction of the sit-stand desk converters, staff will stand for a combined 1,794 hours a year, lowering workers’ risk of serious diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases
Quote from Brigid Green, Studio Manager ‘Laptops provide a chance to get up and move to collaborate with others or host a meeting. Presently workplaces face a new way of working, travel to and from the office is common, and laptops enable this freedom to complete work in any situation and increase physical activity’