Australian Unity: Multi-faceted bushfire relief response with wide-ranging support
FROM THE JUDGES:
An excellent multi-faceted response with good outcomes and levels of engagement and volunteering growth evident. Terrific to see the range of
options deployed to staff as well as to clients.”
RESULTS + IMPACT
- Australian Unity, in conjunction with the Australian Unity Foundation and employees, raised $183,772 to support the bushfire response
- This included $46,911 in employee workplace giving (wpg) donations, $36,861 in dollar matching and $100,000 directly from Australian Unity and the
Australian Unity Foundation
- 135 employees registered their volunteer time during and since the bushfire crisis, with an estimated value of over $40,000
OVERVIEW + HIGHLIGHTS
- Australian Unity was established in 1840 and is Australia’s first member-owned well-being company, offering its members and customers health, wealth and care services.
- Australian Unity’s response to the bushfire crisis was significant and included employee and company donations, employee fundraising and volunteering. In addition, support was provided to employees and customers who were directly impacted by the bushfires, including those who lost property and homes.
- Stories of support were shared with staff and customers via the ‘Connecting with Care’ program. Team members were motivated by the activities their colleagues were doing with aged care and retirement residents, which encouraged more staff to get involved in volunteering.
- Banking and insurance staff provided customer care hardship assistance to those directly impacted and many more team members were indirectly involved through fundraising activities and other support initiatives.
- The Australian Unity wpg program responded to the bushfire response through dedicated employee fundraising pages and internal media campaigns calling for employees to aid bushfire crisis relief by supporting the three nominated charities, Australian Red Cross, WIRES and Wildlife Victoria.
- Emergency disaster support was offered to any employees who were directly impacted through the loss of their home or property, which included
vouchers for essential items, emergency relief payments to help with accommodation or other services, additional paid special leave for up to four weeks, unlimited Employee Assistance Program support and a dedicated team to help them navigate their immediate response to the crisis.
- In addition, up to four weeks of ‘special paid leave’ was provided to staff who were part of the specialist volunteering agencies including the Country Fire Authority, Rural Fire Service and Defence Reservists. This was extended to staff who were required to provide carers’ support. In addition, Australian Unity customers were also supported through premium relief and the prioritisation of payment of claims for eligible health insurance customers.