Tuesday, 1 May, 2012
Local Indigenous organisations, Girudala Community Cooperative Society Ltd in Bowen, and the Gudjuda Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation in Ayr, are experiencing an increase in performance efficiency due to the involvement of Australian Business Volunteers (ABV), Optus and Townsville Indigenous Coordination Centre (ICC) through a corporate social responsibility program involving a team of Optus business volunteers.
The program, facilitated by ABV, has seen Optus send two of its best managerial staff, Shelley Davis and Maria Harrison, to assist the organisations on two projects, each of five week duration.
The projects included the development of a strategic plan for the Girudala Society’s main source of income, the Flagstaff 360 café, enabling growth and greater opportunity for the café at Bowen, whilst in Ayr, the program ensured the development of a clearer, strategic vision and a Reconciliation Action Plan to enable future growth for the Gudjuda, which will also help meet the demand for skilled workers across the fast developing traditional owner lands from the Whitsundays north to Townsville and west into the coal and gold mining regions
Girudala CEO, Michelle Hooke says: “This project has provided invaluable experience for Optus staff to work alongside Girudala in a unique cultural exchange program that has been beneficial to both parties. After the project, stakeholders will be able to better understand where Girudala has come from, where we are at present and we are heading in the future and how they can be part of it.”
Mr Eddie Smallwood, the Gudjuda Reference Group Chairperson said that Gudjuda had set up a not for profit social enterprise for Indigenous business development and employment, and the Optus project has assisted to build the Gudjuda capacity to meet the business and employment objectives.
Ms Jean Sum, Program Manager Partnerships for ABV, has reported that excellent feedback has been given at the near conclusion of the programs with comments about the high quality of the volunteer business advisers provided by Optus.
ABV provide corporate social responsibilities programs for leading organisations in Australia and around the world including a premier program for IBM, which has been named the No.1 CSR program by US magazine, Fortune.