Community Children Wyndham Vale
The Early childcare and kindergarten service, Community Children Wyndham Vale, is leading the way with health and wellbeing initiatives.
They are the first early childhood service in Wyndham to:
- Be formally recognised by the Department of Health as a Health promoting service
- Register for and actively work towards both the Early Childhood Services Achievement Program and the Workplaces Achievement Program
Already recognised for supporting children’s health and wellbeing, Community Children will now also focus on staff health and wellbeing using the Workplace Achievement Program framework.
Injuries West, which specialises in treating and managing chronic and acute muscular injuries, has reached recognition point one in the Workplaces Achievement Program.
Features of its newly developed healthy eating policy include fresh fruit available for staff snacks and ‘Fruit Smoothie Friday’ where staff bring in fresh fruit and yoghurt and share delicious smoothies with workmates. There’s also a company dog with staff rostered to walk her every day. Staff get involved in physical activities including the recent Relay for Life and Walk the Block event.
The following video shows some of the simple low-cost ways that Injuries West have started to make their workplace healthier. Have a look and get inspired to do something in your workplace today.
As a leader in community health, ISIS Primary Care is also committed to the health and wellbeing of their staff.
More than 14 years ago, ISIS Primary Care set up a workplace Health and Wellbeing Committee. Since then the Committee has supported a wide range of physical activities like Tai Chi, yoga, walking groups as well as staff education sessions on health issues such as stress management and healthy eating.
On behalf of the organisation, the Health and Wellbeing Committee also introduced ‘Workplace Health and Wellbeing Time’. This allows staff 30 minutes a week to exercise and be physically active during working hours.
ISIS Primary Care is currently piloting standing desks for staff to reduce the amount of hours staff spend sitting each day.
Manufacturer and metal building products supplier Metroll Victoria in Laverton North is in the early stages of designing a plan for a healthier workplace.
Staff have been provided with questionnaires to find out more about their health and what areas a healthy workplaces plan should focus on. Early ideas put forward include regular lunchtime walks for staff.
Staff are also interested in strategies to support healthy eating. Metroll Victoria will aim to provide healthier options for lunchtime functions and encourages the sharing of healthy food like fruit and healthy slices rather than cakes or lollies.
The company is also considering sponsoring a fun run or walk (if a group of employees were keen to form a team) and organising a guest speaker to talk about mental health and wellness.
Laverton North ceramic tile importers Massa Imports, is in the early stages of improving workplace health. The company wants to lift staff awareness of better health including healthier eating, exercising, quitting smoking and safe levels of alcohol consumption.
Already, a vending machine selling unhealthy snacks has been removed and the search is on for a healthier vending machine alternative. Healthy snacks like nuts are now available to staff as well.
Polar Fresh Cold Chain Services
“People First” is the key principle at Polar Fresh Cold Chain Services, a dedicated storage and distribution service for Coles supermarkets.
Tracey Tyrrell, People and Culture Manager, with support from Eva Milekovic, People and Culture Administrator, is leading a range of health and wellbeing initiatives for the team members at Polar Fresh Distribution Centre in Laverton. Most of the 700 or so team members work in the warehouse where the temperature is 3 degrees.
“Our aim is to be an employer of choice. We continually support our workforce in many different ways. For example, Polar Fresh funds everyone who’s eligible to do certificate training in warehousing and logistics. We are also very committed to our team members’ health and wellbeing,” Tracey said.
Working with Wyndham City and QUIT Victoria
“At the moment, we’re working with Wyndham City and QUIT Victoria to support team members to quit smoking. We give the 25 team members involved in the 12-week pilot program nicotine patches or spray to help them butt out for good. ”
Every week, Eva Milekovic meets with each team member to discuss and monitor their progress. She said the program participants are doing things other than smoking during their breaks.
“It’s interesting to see that they are sitting in different spots at break times – away from the outside smoking area – and making new friends. We’ve got some computers set up in the canteen so sometimes people use them in their breaks, which helps distract them from smoking.”
Healthy eating program
In 2015, Polar Fresh will have a greater focus on healthy eating and providing healthier options in their canteen. At this stage, small changes are being made like subtle variations to recipes and purchase of healthier staple products.
“After going to the Healthy Eating Advisory Service training at Wyndham City, I’ve been working with our chef, the Healthy Eating Advisory Service and the catering supplier to make healthy changes that our team members won’t even notice: like reducing the amount of sugar or substituting cream for light evaporated milk in some recipes,” said Eva.
Polar Fresh is also keen to support charities and organisations in the Wyndham community. Truganina Primary School “nearly fell out of their chairs” when Eva informed them that Polar Fresh team members were raising funds so the school could establish a vegetable garden.
“The school is going to take photos of the vegie garden every month so we can see how it’s progressing. We’ll put them up on our team member notice boards,” said Eva.
Polar Fresh is connected with the community in other ways as well. They offer work experience opportunities to nearby schools and unemployed teenagers involved in the Geelong Northern Futures Program.
With their community projects, smoking reduction program, healthier eating options, walking meetings, Pilates classes and more, Polar Fresh is well on the way to being recognised by the Workplaces Achievement Program for their efforts.
Premium Victoria joined the Workplaces Achievement Program in June 2014 following site visits by Wyndham City to workplaces in Laverton North. Already committed to staff health and wellbeing, Premium Victoria is keen to use the structure provided by the Workplace Achievement Program to formalise their health and wellbeing initiatives.
Quantin Binnah Community Centre
As a community centre that aims to help nurture the local community in a welcoming and friendly environment, it is not surprising that Quantin Binnah adopts the same approach to their team of 150 staff.
Quantin Binnah Community Centre offers a wide range of activities and services for all ages including childcare and maternal and child health services, adult education classes and an on-site café that serves delicious healthy food.
“It makes sense that happy people are happy workers and that’s what we want for our staff. There’s a real focus on health and wellbeing in the Centre,” said Quantin Binnah Director, Mary Raimondo. “Quite a few of our team play netball together at the local recreation centre. The coach works here too which helps motivates everyone! “A confidential employee assistance program is also available and we are working on policies and other activities to encourage health and wellbeing”.
With QB Café on-site, employees also have the opportunity to eat healthy salads and other nutritious food. Many of the ingredients come straight out of Quantin Binnah’s garden. “We make use of all the grounds and grow lots of different vegetables and herbs which are picked fresh for the café. Our garden is also a tranquil place to recharge,” said Mary.
The garden is maintained by volunteers and even the children (at the kindergarten or in before/after school care) lend a hand. “If they mistake a carrot for a weed, we don’t mind. It’s all part of learning and they love the experience of being in the garden”, said Mary. “One of our volunteers, Iqbal, spends almost every day here, even weekends, working on the garden. He became involved after dropping his grandchild at the Centre and was keen to help”, she added.
To help provide a safe and healthy working environment, Quantin Binnah is currently developing a drugs and alcohol policy. Both Mary and Centre Manager Norm Arnold recently attended a Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace session at Wyndham City.
“We are tailoring a template policy from the Australian Drug Foundation to suit our workplace which will then be put to our Committee of Management for approval”, said Mary.
Silver Chef Limited
Silver Chef Limited has provided flexible funding to their customers in the hospitality industry for more than 25 years, with sister company GoGetta also funding commercial equipment needs.
Silver Chef supports and lives by their Core Values of: Teamwork, Attitude, Wellbeing, Respect, Flexibility, Integrity and Communication. Hence, the company is committed to supporting and promoting the health and wellbeing of workers through a number of initiatives including:
- Wellbeing Fridge: The company supplies fresh fruit, yoghurt, bread, milk, juice, muesli bars and re-stocks every week.
- Wellbeing Updates: Every week the company provides tips on how employees can improve their wellbeing including ‘Recipe of the week’.
- Monthly Massages: A masseuse is available two days a month to provide 15 minute massages to everyone.
- Fundraising Events: The company is heavily involved with non-for-profit organisation Opportunity International and regularly holds mediation and terrarium classes to help fundraising.
Silver Chef has reached Recognition Point 1 in the Workplaces Achievement Program, and has applied for Recognition Point 2 for Healthy Eating & Mental Health & Wellbeing. The company is now focusing on Smoking, Alcohol & Physical Activity.
Tarneit Senior College
The first Victorian school to receive point one recognition through the Workplaces Achievement Program, Tarneit Senior College is working to improve staff health, focussing on healthier eating and improved mental health and wellbeing.
When staff work late (eg during parent teacher interviews), healthy rolls and sandwiches are ordered, rather than pizza. Regular after work ‘chill out’ gatherings are organized for staff. New teachers can also take advantage of a mentoring program.
Victoria University achieved Recognition Point 1 of the Workplaces Achievement Program in June 2014.
The University has developed a new health and wellbeing policy and a workplace health and wellbeing program is currently being piloted.
The health and wellbeing program was informed by an extensive staff survey and needs assessment and provides staff with opportunities to improve their own health and wellbeing. The main areas of focus are physical activity, nutrition and mental health.
The pilot has included health and fitness checks, nutrition and physical activity consultations, staff soccer and the launch of a staff health and wellbeing intranet page. Victoria University plans to gradually expand the health and wellbeing program.
In early 2014, Wyndham City became the first local government in Victoria and the first organisation in Wyndham to achieve point one recognition through the Workplaces Achievement Program.
WorkSafe workplace health checks in 2013 revealed staff and the organisation would benefit from better nutrition, increased physical activity and improved mental wellbeing.
As a result, Wyndham City has adopted a health promoting workplace policy. Catering staff offer healthy food options at staff and community events and positive wellbeing habits are being promoted internally.