CASE STUDIES 2018–19
© Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, June 2019

    This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may
    be reproduced by any process without written permission from the Territory Records Office, ACT
    Government, GPO Box 158, Canberra City ACT 2601.
    Enquiries about this publication should be directed to Healthier Work, GPO Box 158, Canberra City,
    ACT 2601 or email: |
    Enquiries: Access Canberra 13 22 81

    The ACT Government is committed to making its information, services, events and venues as
    accessible as possible.
    If you have difficulty reading a standard printed document and would like to receive this publication in
    an alternative format such as large print, please phone 13 22 81 or email
    If English is not your first language and you require the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS),
    please call 13 14 50.
    If you are Deaf, or have a speech or hearing impairment and need the teletypewriter service, please
    phone 13 36 77 and ask for 13 22 81.
    For speak and listen users, please phone 1300 555 727 and ask for 13 22 81.
    For more information on these services visit

Table of contents

Foreword                     4

Our Recognised workplaces    6

About Healthier Work         8

Platinum workplaces         12

Gold workplaces             26

Silver workplaces           38

Recognised workplaces       52

                                 HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                               CASE STUDIES 2018–19

    The ACT Government, through the free Healthier Work service,
    is committed to supporting Canberra’s workplaces and
    ensuring that they thrive as health-promoting environments.
    While the most recent ACT Chief Health Officer’s Report indicates that
    Canberrans are living longer and with more years in good health, it is of
    concern that roughly half of all adult Canberrans report having a long-term
    health condition.1
    Chronic disease risk factors – such as smoking, risky alcohol
    consumption, poor diet, physical inactivity and being overweight or obese
    – are a daily reality for many Canberrans. To add to this, around one in
    three adult Canberrans is experiencing psychological distress2. It is also
    important to remind ourselves of the relationship between mental health
    and physical health outcomes.
    Our ability to make healthy choices and maximise our health is heavily
    influenced by our environment. Given the amount of time the average
    adult spends at work, businesses must play a role in promoting healthier
    outcomes for their workers. Healthy workers are more productive and
    are generally happier, both at work and in their personal lives. It makes
    sense for businesses to undertake relatively simple changes to create a
    supportive plan for better health. This assists their workers and benefits
    the business as a whole.
    By signing up to a 12-month health and wellbeing plan, businesses
    can receive free tailored support from Healthier Work. Businesses are
    encouraged to consider people and place initiatives, supporting individual
    behaviour change alongside cultural and practical supports within the
    workplace (see page 9 for suggested approaches). The plan is seen as
    a cycle, allowing continuous review and improvement and progression
    through the Recognition ranks.
    As at 1 June 2019, Healthier Work is supporting 75 local businesses,
    listed on pages 6-7. An ongoing commitment to workplace health and
    wellbeing has impressively seen 19 businesses recognised with Platinum
    Status so far this financial year. This means that they have consistently
    implemented a health and wellbeing plan for four or more years.

    1   ACT Health (2018). Healthy Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Chief Health Officer’s
        Report 2018. ACT Government: Canberra.

    2   ABS (2016). 2014–15 National Health Survey: First results. Cat No. 4364.0.55.001. ABS:

In addition, ten businesses achieved Third Year Gold Status and 14 were recognised with
Second Year Silver Status.
Of the remaining 32 Recognised Status businesses, 28 came on board within this financial year
and the rest are due to soon progress to Silver.
To ensure our Healthier Work program is meeting the expectations of our stakeholders, an
independent evaluation of the program has recently been completed. I am thrilled to report that the
evaluation found that Healthier Work is associated with significant positive impacts on workers and
workplaces, as summarised below.


     •   Increased morale and                  •   Improved organisational capacity to implement
         engagement amongst                        workplace health and wellbeing initiatives
         workers                               •   Increased workplace profile and
     •   Improved health literacy                  attractiveness to workers
     •   Positive changes in                   •   Improved workplace culture
         workers’ health attitudes             •   New or improved workplace policies, practices
         and behaviours                            and changes to the physical workplace that
                                                   support health and wellbeing
                                               •   Return on investment through productivity

It is important to remember that workplace health and wellbeing programs can take time to effect
substantial or lasting change – as demonstrated by many of our Platinum and Gold Recognised
workplace case studies. They require a long-term investment, with adequate resourcing and
commitment. But with time, persistence and following best practice, the benefits to workers and
workplaces can be significant.
So where to for the next 12 months? Healthier Work has always been part of WorkSafe ACT and
that relationship will be strengthened in the years ahead. As we do each year, the application of
the Healthier Work program will be examined, especially in the context of the recent independent
review, to ensure it is best meeting the needs of local businesses.
WorkSafe ACT is committed to supporting businesses to implement preventive health and
safety measures. Our ability to support local businesses around mental health has been greatly
strengthened with the recent appointment of a dedicated Psychosocial Officer, who will work
closely with Healthier Work and WorkSafe ACT’s Operational team.
I trust you will enjoy reading about the many local businesses and their various approaches to
investing in the health and wellbeing of their employees. This booklet is full of great ideas and tips.
We congratulate all our participating workplaces and look forward to supporting more Canberra
businesses in the future.

Greg Jones
ACT Work Safety Commissioner
                                                                 HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                               CASE STUDIES 2018–19
Our Recognised workplaces

     AIATSIS                Animal Health Australia    Barmco Mana              Bradley Allen Love
                                                       Partnership              Lawyers

     Canberra Labor         Capital Chemist            CIT Centre for Health,   Civium Property
     Club Group             Wanniassa                  Community & Science

     Delnas Metal Roofing   Greening Australia         Lend Lease               Moulis Legal

     National Capital       National Community         OPC IT                   PhysioSport O’Connor
     Private Hospital       Care/National Healthcare
                            Nursing Agency

     Synergy Group

         GOLD – THIRD YEAR
     Early Childhood         Goodwin Aged Care          Griffin Legal            Heart Foundation
     Australia                                                                   ACT

     Nexus Human             Office of Parliamentary    PJ Shaw &                Radford College
     Services                Counsel                    Associates Pty Ltd

     SPOC Landscapes         UNSW Canberra at the

ACTEW AGL Retail         Aspen Medical            Epicon                     Independent Property

National Accreditation   National Archives of     National Library           Netier
Authority for            Australia                of Australia
Translators and
Interpreters (NAATI)

Pharmacy Guild           Questacon                Red Cross                  The Woden School
of Australia

Woden Community          XACT Consulting

Acacia Children’s        Access HQ                Allied Health Office       Alta Pete
Education Care                                    / Clinical Education
Australian War           Bendigo Bank -           Binara Early               Birralee Education &
Memorial                 ACT Branches             Childhood Centre           Care Centre
Callaghan’s              Canberra and Region      Cancer Council ACT         Catholic Archbishop
Accountants              Visitors Centre                                     of Canberra and
Centre for Invasive      Canberra Girls           Canberra Youth             Community
Species                  Grammar School –         Theatre                    Services #1
                         Junior &
                         Senior School
Department of Finance    DFK Everalls             Evoenergy                  Forrest Early
                                                  Greenway                   Childhood Centre
Interaction              Karinya House            Kingsford                  Master Builders ACT
Consulting Group                                  Smith School
McDonald                 Narrabundah Children’s   Scott Leggo Gallery        Sigma Bravo
Jones Homes              Cottage – junior and
                         senior campuses
Trade Guardian           UAE Embassy              Universities Australia     Veritec

                                                           HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                         CASE STUDIES 2018–19
About Healthier Work                                        focus include healthy eating, physical
    Healthier Work is a free ACT Government                     activity, mental health through social
    service established to support local                        and emotional wellbeing, reduction of
    businesses to thrive as health promoting                    alcohol consumption and
    environments. Healthier Work’s areas of                     smoking cessation.

    Getting started
    You can access free support and resources from Healthier Work at any stage of your workplace health
    and wellbeing journey – from gaining management commitment and undertaking a needs assessment,
    to establishing your health and wellbeing plan, maintaining momentum with its implementation, right
    through to monitoring your program’s effectiveness.


                                              GET STARTED
                                        Commitment from management

                                                GET ORGANISED
                                    Find your champion/start a working group

                                           GET INFORMATION
                          What do workers want/need? What facilities are available?

                                                   PLAN IT
                                                 What? When?

                                                                                 DO IT
                     REVIEW IT             CONTACT HEALTHIER                 Let staff know
                     Did it work?          WORK AT ANY STAGE                 how to be part
                                                                                  of it

                                                   CHECK IT
                                                 How is it going?

Healthier Work also offers a range of ongoing capacity building, networking and business promotion
      opportunities to ensure you are fully supported.

          V I SI TS,
                                M EN TORIN G                                           BUS I N E S S             CHALLENGES
      R E S OUR CE S                                       BREAKFA S TS
                                 LU N C H ES                                          P ROM OTI ON              AND REWARDS
      A ND ADV I CE

    Personalised visits        Learn from other         Meet other business       Social media presence       Photo competition

 Advice to address your          businesses                   people               Case study profiles      Recognition + discounts
particular workplace needs    Meet new people         Celebrate your Healthier   Networking opportunities      and special offers

Ideas and online resources    Pick up resources             Work status
  (e.g. guides, employee        Get motivated            Learn from others’
    survey, scorecard,                                      experiences
     ROI calculator)

      Finding the right mix
      Finding the right mix of program components and strategies is critical to a successful health and
      wellbeing plan. It is vital to involve workers in initial discussions. Through this, ideas can be formulated
      about what kinds of activities or initiatives are needed, how they might be introduced and who would
      like to be involved. This participatory approach will help to ensure your initiative or program is relevant to
      workers and the environment at your workplace (including any relevant health and safety issues) – and
      aid in maximising participation.
      Your program should provide some variety to cater for differing individual interests. A combination
      of people and places strategies is most effective. People strategies may look to increase the health
      knowledge, awareness and positive attitudes of workers (personal development) and/or facilitate their
      active participation in healthy behaviours (behaviour change). Places strategies are about providing a
      health-promoting workplace environment through facilities, supportive cultures and policies.

      People: Building knowledge, awareness and positive attitudes
      Building everyone’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of health and wellbeing helps
      change attitudes. Promoting a positive outlook that highlights the proven benefits of physical activity,
      healthy eating and a healthy work–life balance is fundamental to achieving improved awareness and
      program involvement. The key is to create educational initiatives that are not only highly informative, but
      also fun.

                                                                                 HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
  Greg Jones, ACT Work Safety Commissioner, speaking at a Healthier Work Networking Breakfast. CASE STUDIES 2018–19
These can be in the form of ‘guest speaker’ get-togethers, seminars, workshops or simply
     the dissemination of information on specific issues such as physical activity, nutrition and
     hydration, smoking cessation, risky alcohol consumption, and mental health through social and
     emotional wellbeing.
     If you’ve used the ACT Online Employee Health and Wellbeing Survey (available from the Healthier
     Work website), consider what topic areas to target based on where knowledge levels or confidence
     to change are lowest. Many organisations and service providers in Canberra are able to assist and
     actively participate in this area. You can also use messages and associated resources from current
     health promotion campaigns. See the Healthier Work website for supporting information.

     People: Facilitating active participation in healthy behaviours
     Initiatives that provide the motivation or support for behavioural (lifestyle) change are likely to have
     a greater impact beyond the workplace and for longer periods of time. Promoting lifestyle change
     could be as simple as:
        •   encouraging using stairs instead of lifts or escalators and walking to external meetings
        •   establishing a lunchtime walking group or a simple ‘Walk Challenge’
        •   providing fruit in staff rooms
        •   ensuring canteens and vending machines have healthy food options
        •   supporting participation in quit smoking sessions.

     Place: Creating health-promoting environments
     Initiatives that demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of staff
     and acknowledge the role that your workplace setting can play in influencing staff health can be
     extremely effective. These initiatives may be around:
        •   improving access to facilities that support healthy choices and healthy behaviours, such as
            change rooms, showers and bike racks
        •   improving the psychosocial culture through, for example, good management practices,
            promotion of work–life balance, and recognition of staff achievements
        •   policies that support healthy choices and health behaviours, such as smoke-free workplace,
            alcohol and healthy catering policies.
     Your managers have a particularly important leadership role to play, not only through monitoring
     the health of workers but by good role modelling and nurturing healthy organisational cultures.
     Your leaders need to be appropriately trained and supported, so include training and signature
     leadership behaviours in your plan.

                      Every dollar you spend creating a mentally healthy workplace can, on average, result in a
                      positive return on investment of $2.30.
                      Creating a mentally healthy workplace. Return on investment analysis, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (2014)

ACT Minister for Mental Health, Shane Rattenbury (left) and ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Greg Jones (right).

                                                                                    HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                                  CASE STUDIES 2018–19
Platinum workplaces

Snapshot: AIATSIS
Government – 130 staff
   •   Table tennis                               •   10 week personalised fitness
   •   Smoking reduction information circulated       and dietary plan
   •   Online chess tournament                    •   Ride2Work Day
   •   Online mindfulness                         •   Tennis Fridays

Snapshot: Animal Health Australia
Not-for-profit – 25 staff
   •   Ideas on tracking water consumption        •   Bring your dog to work day
       for hydration                              •   Monthly walks/jogs/runs up Mt Ainslie
   •   ‘Taste of Harmony Day’ event               •   Weekly walking group
   •   Comfortable and practical furniture for    •   Shower supplies to promote
       outdoor lunch/meeting space                    physical activity
   •   Gratitude Board

                                                         HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                       CASE STUDIES 2018–19

          Inspired by a common goal
          Barmco Mana McMurray Pty Ltd – 12 staff

          Barmco Mana McMurray offers consulting                  target shooting, being a great way to release
          expertise in projects, commercial                       any negative vibes and create comradery.”
          buildings, specialised engineering                      Having been part of the Healthier Work program
          services and related activities within the              for many years, Barmco Mana McMurray has
          property and construction industry in                   seen how their planned activities and events
          ACT and surrounds.                                      have influenced and inspired their people.
                                                                  “Healthier Work shaped our team’s culture
          A foosball table in the Barmco Mana McMurray            because even when the company is its busiest,
          office sets the scene for a team committed to staff     we still manage to integrate activities,” explains
          welfare and a fun, agile workplace.                     Trent. “Simply preparing our own healthy foods
          “Foosball matches are now a regular feature of          for lunch and breakfast, having to walk to
          our Friday afternoon activities, and if anything, the   buy a coffee, walking while on a meeting, or
          competition has become fiercer as player skills         committing to help through our group blood
          have grown,” says Director Trent Gourgaud. “It is a     donations drive, inspires us to be healthy with
          great way to end the week.”                             a positive outlook in life and to be able to help
          This is just one way Barmco Mana McMurray injects       others as well.”
          health and wellbeing into their workplace culture.      They’ve seen firsthand how a healthier
          “We also provide fruit bowls for our Canberra office    workplace creates a more positive work
          where staff and visitors can get an instant healthy     environment and results in less mistakes and
          energy fix during our meetings,” says Trent. “We        excellent work quality.
          never forget to include socio-cultural activities at    “The team is dedicated to helping each other
          least once per quarter – with the recent one, clay      through a common goal.”

Holistic plan delivers variety
Bradley Allen Love Lawyers – 75 staff

Bradley Allen Love Lawyers is a law                    For 2019, their charity of the year is Menslink.
firm that prides itself on its lawyers                 Recently they added new initiatives such as
being not only talented and innovative,                celebrating Harmony Day, putting together
but capable of going beyond the                        a netball team for the ACT Law Society
traditional legal role of reactive adviser             competition, providing healthy snacks, and
to working as an extension of their                    promoting stress management techniques
                                                       including mindfulness practices.
clients’ businesses.
                                                       “For us, the main outcomes of the program
Variety is the defining factor for the annual health   are removing hierarchy and facilitating team
and wellbeing plan at Bradley Allen Love Lawyers.      bonding, providing an outlet for stress, and
They make sure there is something for everyone         improving staff health and morale,” says Helen.
and have found participation has increased as          “We love the opportunity to add new activities to
they widened the activities to include a focus on      our plan each year.”
mental wellbeing.                                      Making the plan all-inclusive makes a big
“Not everyone enjoys bootcamp, but those               difference, and Helen recommends others take
staff may enjoy a trivia night, salad club or a        an approach that considers all focus areas of
mindfulness session,” explains Helen Parrett,          health and wellbeing.
Human Resources Manager. “Mental health and            “We suggest making your health and wellbeing
stress management are particular components            plan holistic – look at all sections of health, not
of the program we have spent more time on to           just physical,” explains Helen. “Also, don’t put it
support staff wellbeing, recognising high stress       off – it can be hard to get started, but once you
is a natural occurrence in a fast-paced law firm.”     do, it’s really rewarding. Healthier Work activities
Each year the team comes together to raise             have shaped our team’s culture by providing
money for a nominated charity of the year,             something for everyone and making sure all staff
which also brings awareness to their community         have an activity they enjoy participating in.”
and helping others. It’s a fitting way to keep
everyone focused on the greater good.

                                                                  HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                CASE STUDIES 2018–19

          A genuine team culture
          Canberra Labor Club Group – 150 staff

          With more than 60,000 members                         friendly and fun workplace,” says Lynda. “Our
          across four Canberra venues, Canberra                 staff enjoy looking at new ways to promote,
          Labor Club Group provides great dining                support and encourage health and wellbeing.”
          and entertainment options in a relaxed                As part of the Club’s 12-month plan, they have
          and stylish club atmosphere.                          found discounted corporate gym memberships
                                                                have been particularly well received. The
          Even after five years executing a formal health       annual ski trip to Thredbo creates a feeling
          and wellbeing plan, the Canberra Labor Club           of comradery (and sore muscles), and the
          Group still finds value in regularly updating their   introduction of an employee wellness day has
          tactics and activities, and seeking input from        been a big success.
          Healthier Work.                                       “We sent baskets out to each of the venues with
          “Having the program is a great reference point,”      fruit, herbal teas, cereals and gym passes to all
          says Lynda Bailey, the Club’s Group Human             our employees,” explains Lynda. “They loved it.”
          Resources Manager. “I go back to the program          The popular Steptember challenge last year
          monthly to ensure I am hitting our targets and it     helped them raise over $3,000 for the Cerebral
          supports me to research other healthy options         Palsy Alliance.
          and ideas for our people.”                            “As leaders in customer service, this program
          Even within a large team across multiple venues,      has assisted in supporting staff to enjoy their
          staff engagement has been high because the            jobs and the place in which they work, which
          Club invests in flexible options to support and       then reflects in the great service they provide,”
          empower staff.                                        says Lynda. “It has supported a real sense
          “This program ensures we maintain our                 of team.”
          commitment to having healthy employees,
          in body and mind, which supports a positive

Snapshot: Capital Chemist Wanniassa
Health – 25 staff
   •   Picnic at Pine Island                        •   Exercise buddies
   •   Bowling night                                •   Water alarms
   •   Healthy cook-off                             •   Healthy hump day
   •   2&5 Challenge                                •   Dance challenge night

Snapshot: CIT Centre for Health, Community & Science
Health – 200 staff
   •   Promote telephone support services           •   Access to CIT gym
   •   Swap it                                      •   Corporate teams for events such as fun
   •   Circulate/exchange healthy recipes               runs/walks
   •   Stretch application on all staff computers   •   Safe consumption of
                                                        alcohol training session

                                                           HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                         CASE STUDIES 2018–19

          Snapshot: Civium Property
          Professionals – 75 staff
             •   Step challenge with Heart Foundation    •   Healthy cooking class by Nutrition
             •   Alcohol consumption guidelines              Australia ACT
                 for work events                         •   Weekly fruit deliveries
             •   House games                             •   Chilled tap water
             •   Quit Smoking seminar and QuitCoach

          Snapshot: Delnas Metal Roofing
          Construction – 26 staff
             •   Reimburse skin checks by a              •   Reimburse nicotine
                 qualified practitioner                      replacement therapies
             •   Tradies Tune Ups                        •   Movember
             •   Hosting all-staff meetings and social   •   Annual flu vaccinations
                 BBQs to encourage discussions           •   Sunscreen provided

Snapshot: Greening Australia
Not-for-profit – 15 staff
   •   Feb Fast                                                 •   Dry July
   •   Healthy recipe sharing lunch                             •   Walking group
   •   Health and wellbeing as part                             •   Circulate information on responsible
       of induction process                                         alcohol use
   •   Water for a week challenge                               •   Staff BBQ lunches

         DID YOU KNOW?
         The cost of presenteeism was estimated at $34.1 billion in 2009–2010.
         Economic Modelling of the Cost of Presenteeism in Australia: 2011 Update, Econtech (2011)

         Go for a ‘walking meeting’ instead of sitting around the boardroom.

                                                                        HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                      CASE STUDIES 2018–19

          Snapshot: Lend Lease
          Construction / Real Estate – 55 staff
             •   Healthy cooking demonstrations          •    Corporate gym memberships
             •   Skin checks                             •    Fatigue management awareness
             •   Mental Health First Aid                 •    Beyond Blue workshop
             •   Break-out lounge                        •    Lend Lease family day

          Snapshot: Moulis Legal
          Professionals – 18 staff
             •   Healthy Friday team breakfast       •       Water bottles
             •   Health appraisals                   •       Seminar on proper posture
             •   Activity bingo and scavenger hunt   •       Personal training sessions
             •   Weekly mindfulness hints and        •       Fruit and nuts provided for the office
                 recommended activities

Jessica Kearney, Health Information Manager, National Capital Private Hospital (left) with ACT Minister for
                                                                        Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris (right).

Healthy staff making a difference
National Capital Private Hospital – 450+ staff

Located in Garran ACT, the National                          Steptember has always been a big hit with
Capital Private Hospital provides a range                    hospital staff, with departments competing
of acute and medical healthcare services                     against each other for bragging rights. Their plan
                                                             also includes a water awareness program and
including orthopaedics, cardiology,
                                                             subsidised nicotine replacement therapy.
cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery,
neurosurgery, plastic surgery, vascular                      Management support is a defining factor for
                                                             their success.
surgery, urology and geriatric medicine.
                                                             “By having such a large number of staff working
“Healthy staff leading the way is how we show                over a 24-hour period it can be challenging but
Canberra we are an elite hospital,” says Jessica             all managers are regularly involved in pushing
Kearney, Health Information Manager at National              forward our Health Wellness Program to staff,”
Capital Private Hospital.                                    explains Jessica. “By involving more managers
This attitude towards health has become an                   I have found they take pride in the program and
embedded part of the hospital’s culture, thanks              help me continue to promote what we started.”
to the way staff have embraced the activities and            It makes a difference, not only to staff, but to
initiatives of their health and wellbeing plan.              patients and the hospital’s staffing scorecard.
“The feedback we get from staff is that they                 “Being healthy and happy at work has a follow-
genuinely enjoy having healthier work goals and              on effect – we see less absenteeism and greater
feeling supported in this way,” says Jessica.                productivity around the hospital,” says Jessica.
“This motivates me to find new ways to engage                “By promoting a positive work health balance, we
them to continue our success as a Healthier                  can continue to provide our patients with the best
Work hospital.”                                              care possible.”

                                                                             HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                           CASE STUDIES 2018–19

         Valuable investment in team success
         National Healthcare Services | National Nursing Agency |
         National Community Care – 150 staff

         The three companies provide carers and                   has continued to talk about what they each will
         nurses to the Canberra community in                      stop or swap for this coming year,” says Lisa. “We
         hospitals and nursing homes, along with                  also continued our family-focused Christmas party
         community care within client homes.                      for five consecutive years now, which has seen
                                                                  attendance increase.”
         Carers work incredibly hard, often putting the           The companies know their commitment to a
         needs of others before their own. That’s why             healthier workplace has paid off and become
         keeping National Healthcare Services, National           ingrained into their business ethos.
         Nursing Agency and National Community Care
                                                                  “Over the years our annual plan has become
         staff healthy is a priority for management and the
                                                                  integrated into our everyday culture,” says Lisa.
         benefits are truly priceless.
                                                                  “They say it takes 18 months to three years to
         “We want to ensure we care for our carers,”              change workplace culture and ours has certainly
         explains Lisa Walker, Managing Director of               benefitted. Our team sick days have decreased,
         National Healthcare Services and National                employee productivity has increased, and we
         Nursing Agency. “This is important as the general
                                                                  have nearly doubled in size as our employees are
         burnout rate of all types of carers is far too high.”
                                                                  referring others to join our team.
         To make sure their health and wellbeing plan
                                                                  “Our team is constantly wanting to do social
         can provide the right level of support at the right
                                                                  things as a group!” says Lisa. “This has been
         times, they proactively and regularly survey staff.
                                                                  amazing as in our line of work we are often
         “We ask our team for input on what they want
                                                                  working independently alongside an already
         through an annual survey,” says Natashia Telfer,
                                                                  established team.”
         Managing Director of National Community Care.
         “We simply ask for three suggestions. This can           It has made such a big difference that they think it
         be anything from prize ideas, social events,             would be detrimental to stop offering a formalised
         challenge ideas, or local charities we wish to           health and wellbeing plan. In fact, Natashia says
         sponsor that are close to the hearts of our              other businesses should think seriously about
         team members.”                                           signing up.
         This feedback helps them make modifications              “You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!
         and tailor initiatives accordingly; often resulting in   This Healthier Work plan has been beyond
         expansion of their Healthier Work plan each year.        invaluable to the worth and success of our team
         “More recently we adjusted one of our less               and the services we provide our community,
         successful challenges to a ‘stop it or swap it’ 30-      and in turn, to those who receive our services,”
         day challenge and it was a huge hit and the team         explains Natashia.

An inclusive and socially active workplace
OPC IT – 30 staff

OPC IT delivers sophisticated ICT                     greater levels of flexibility and a relaxing of some
solutions and web services tailored to                of our traditional operational models.”
suit all business sectors. They have been             Healthier Work activities help create that
proudly Canberra-based and family-                    inclusive and socially active work environment.
owned for 33 years and have a strong                  “A great part of the Healthier Work program is
commitment to their community.                        that it encourages you to try lots of new things
                                                      and you can then keep what works for you,”
A long-term pledge to provide a                       explains Tim.
healthy workplace aligns with OPC IT’s
                                                      For OPC IT, this includes fresh fruit in the
business objectives.
                                                      morning and daily meditation in the afternoon.
“A healthier team both physically and mentally is a
                                                      “These activities have become part of the fabric
vital part of our three core objectives – Our Team,
                                                      of daily life at OPC,” says Tim.
Our Company and Our Customers – because
they are interdependent and cannot exist in           Given OPC IT is now recognised with Platinum
isolation,” explains OPC IT’s Tim Cox. “Healthier     status, they’re keen for other businesses to
Work activities have shaped the daily rhythm of       know how easy it is to get started with a health
life at OPC IT and help integrate new members         and wellbeing plan.
into the team.”                                       “Jump on board,” says Tim. “The Healthier
A program that fits so cohesively with their          Work team has always been there to help when
approach to work means it can remain a non-           we’ve had any questions about putting together
negotiable part of everyday planning.                 a plan and are very responsive.
“We spend so much time at work it needs to be         “Plus the bus competition is always a source of
fun,” says Tim. “We are working towards even          enthusiastic photo suggestions!”

                                                                  HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                CASE STUDIES 2018–19

          Snapshot: PhysioSport O’Connor
          Health – 50 staff
             •   Healthy snacks for morning teas and         •   Mental health seminar
                 staff meetings                              •   Encourage staff to walk or ride to work
             •   Feb Fast                                        on a regular basis
             •   Courtyard furniture to encourage staff to   •   Pilates
                 take breaks away from their desks           •   Pedometers
             •   R U OK? Day

          Snapshot: Synergy Group
          Professionals – 120 staff
             •   Spartan Race                                •   Mental Health Resilience training
             •   Dragon Boating team                         •   The Bloody Long Walk
             •   Wellbeing apps                              •   Dry July
             •   Neverest Challenge

              CASE STUDIES 2018–19

       Gold workplaces

Flexible wellbeing time for all
Early Childhood Australia – 70 staff

Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is the                Staff had also provided feedback via a survey
national peak body for early childhood,               that indicated the first thing people sacrifice
                                                      when they feel stressed is wellbeing, including
acting in the interests of young children,
                                                      exercise. Restoring balance can be difficult
their families and those in the early
                                                      during busy times, yet this is often when people
childhood field. ECA advocates to ensure              need to be reminded of options for their health
quality, social justice and equity in all             and wellbeing.
issues relating to the education and care             “Management have been really proactive in
of children aged birth to eight years.                tackling this challenge and have introduced
                                                      flexible wellbeing time,” says Paige. “The idea
After implementing initiatives to support staff for
                                                      is that two to three times a week, staff can take
four years, ECA’s healthier work culture is now
                                                      time to practice wellness, whether this is going
well embedded into their daily work habits.
                                                      for a walk, doing mindfulness activities, going to
“It only takes one idea and one person to create      the gym over lunch, or joining groups such as the
change, but the value of having a team to develop     ECA Bookclub.
a vision and champion healthier work for us           “The hope is that this initiative will lead to a better
has been invaluable,” says Paige Pollard, ECA         balance, increase socialisation and collaboration
Media Manager. “It is so important to recognise       at work, and reduce stress – both mental
and understand different people have different        and physical.”
things that motivate them, so you need to find
                                                      A couple of other popular features of their
what motivates people in your organisation and        most recent plan is their filtered water cooler,
use that to get them on board with what it is that    which has brought back the ‘watercooler chat’
you’re trying to achieve.”                            for greater cohesion, as well as a scheduled
For ECA, their focus is on helping staff make         reminder to stand up regularly.
smarter choices by offering alternatives to the way   “It has been so pleasant to hear the change in
things have always been done.                         workplace conversations!” says Paige. “Everyone
“We recently swapped our cookie jar for a healthy     has started to use their standing desks more
alternative and we now have a nut jar,” explains      often with the encouragement of ‘stand o-clock’.
Paige. “Another recent hit included purchasing        We have seen an increase of walking meetings
second-hand puzzles and creating a space for          and more conversations sharing healthy eating
mindfulness puzzle activities.”                       tips and recipes.”

                                                                  HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                CASE STUDIES 2018–19

       Spread the word
       Goodwin Aged Care Services – 545 staff

       Goodwin Aged Care is a community-                    water bottle with a short quiz inside), and Thank
       based, not-for-profit organisation                   You boards (which give employees the chance
       that provides Canberra and regional                  to recognise each other’s efforts).
       communities with experience-driven                   They also trialled a ‘health journey’ where
       independent living villages, reliable                staff could register their weight loss goal and
                                                            several staff received a gift voucher for their
       in-home care, and superior standard
                                                            weight loss efforts.
       residential aged care facilities.
                                                            Goodwin suggests having a few keen
       “We recognise how important it is to have            champions from different areas or teams –
       healthy and happy employees who feel                 particularly with a larger workforce – to spread
       valued, and we want to help provide them             the word and help build enthusiasm.
       with opportunities to make a difference to their     Plus, it’s important to recognise how valuable a
       wellbeing,” says Emma Woods, Wellbeing and           flexible and tailored approach can be.
       Rehabilitation Advisor at Goodwin Aged Care.         “It’s best to start small with your activities, and
       Over the several years that Goodwin has              then as staff become more engaged, gather
       implemented a wellness calendar, they have           their ideas and feedback to tailor some of your
       seen an overall improvement in staff morale.         wellness activities,” suggests Emma. “If we hold
       Staff culture has also been enhanced, with           workshops, we ensure that there is more than
       workers naturally encouraging each other to          one session available or hold them on more
       be healthier.                                        than one day so that more staff have a chance
       “With such a large and dispersed workforce,          to attend.
       the main challenge for Goodwin is to get the         “I think it is exciting to offer staff something that
       word out about what activities are available to      is of benefit to them, and sometimes something
       attend and when they’re on,” explains Emma.          that they can enjoy with their colleagues, for
       “A lot of our employees work across a 24/7           example participating in the Dementia Australia
       roster, so aligning events and activities so that    Memory Walk or Canberra Times Fun Run.”
       all employees have a chance to participate can       No matter how many years Goodwin has been
       be difficult.”                                       involved with Healthier Work, they still rely on
       Some of their successful initiatives include         the expertise of others to keep them inspired.
       multicultural food festivals (where staff register   “Healthier Work ACT has been instrumental in
       to bring a traditional dish to share with their      providing resources, advice, and pointing us
       colleagues at their staff meeting), a health quiz    in the right direction with getting our wellness
       prize draw (where staff are given a free Goodwin     calendar going,” says Emma.

              CASE STUDIES 2018–19

       Wellness ingrained in the culture
       Griffin Legal – 20 staff

       Griffin Legal is a nationally operating            commitment, and that healthy work practices
       commercial law firm with offices in                are and will continue to be a priority.”
       Canberra and Melbourne. They provide               Undoubtedly, the juggle between working with
       practical, reliable and quality legal              clients and attending planned activities is never
       services, and cultivate a supportive               easy. Griffin Legal keep their plan flexible and
                                                          avoid planning compulsory activities outside of
       team culture.
                                                          business hours.
       For a bustling law firm, managing stress is        “It took some trial and error to develop a plan
       particularly important for ensuring staff can      that suited our lawyers. In the legal profession,
       maintain a healthy balance.                        there is pressure on lawyers to meet a billable
       “We recognise that the legal professional has      budget and there are pressures for lawyers
                                                          throughout their day,” explains Penelope. “We
       a reputation for poor mental health for lawyers
                                                          believe any effective healthy workplace plan
       and law students,” explains Penelope Gibbons,
                                                          should not demand too many resources or too
       Office Manager at Griffin Legal. “A healthier
                                                          much time. It should be easy to implement and
       workplace is important to us because it means
                                                          ingrained in the culture of the business.”
       we are taking proactive steps to improve
       healthy practice and good mental health for our    Griffin Legal’s most successful activities have
                                                          involved sessions on stress management
       professionals and for our industry.”
                                                          and stress resilience, as well as incentives
       It’s this attitude that has helped keep the firm   for employees, such as FitBits, Sportsmans
       focused on their staff health and wellbeing over   Warehouse vouchers and reimbursements
       the years.                                         towards employee fitness costs.
       “While we have always had healthy practice         “Our healthy workplace plans have assisted with
       policies and procedures in place, the Healthier    increasing staff morale, reducing absenteeism,
       Work program has helped us to formalise this       and increasing productively,” says Penelope.
       commitment,” says Penelope. “This has had a        “We especially appreciate the positive impact
       positive impact on our culture, as it shows our    the program has had on our culture and the
       employees that our annual planning involves this   mindset of our employees.”

                                                                                                    CASE STUDIES 2018–19
ACT Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Rachel Stephen-Smith, speaking at a WorkSafe ACT function.

       Cook-off for healthy competition
       Heart Foundation ACT – 12 staff

       The Heart Foundation is a health                       “We enjoy working as a team and doing things
       promoting charity that funds lifesaving                together which is convenient given the team
       heart research and is focused on                       is so small. We try to keep things flexible to
       improving heart disease prevention and                 accommodate everyone.”
       care for all Australians.                              It seems delicious food holds a certain charm
                                                              for the Heart Foundation staff, with any activities
       The Heart Foundation ACT promotes a healthy
                                                              involving cooking and eating attracting the
       lifestyle to all members of the community. Yet a
                                                              most interest.
       health and wellbeing plan still makes it easier for
       the team to come together and stay motivated           Activities related to food are always successful.
       for their own physical and mental health.              They have held several ‘cook-offs’ where
       “Our culture is already very health focused            colleagues try to out-health each other in their
       but taking part in Healthier Work activities           dishes. They’ve also held a ‘soup-off’ and a
       has cemented this,” says Robyn Smith, Heart            ‘salad-off’.
       Health Coordinator. “Healthier Work has                Their 12-month plan also includes weekly
       many messages that are in line with the Heart          walks, and an ongoing approach to taking
       Foundation, particularly around active living,         walking meetings, which has shown to generate
       nutrition and reducing smoking.”                       innovative and valuable ideas.
       The team genuinely enjoy spending time                 “Having the support of Healthier Work ACT
       together, so the plan is full of interesting and fun   makes doing workplace wellness activities
       things to do, which keeps everyone engaged.            easy,” says Robyn. “Taking advantage of all the
       “Everyone is very enthusiastic about the plan          things Healthier Work offers and engaging with
       but time and availability is probably our biggest      other workplaces is of great benefit to us.”
       hurdle,” explains Robyn.

Team productivity and publicity
Nexus Human Services – 30 staff

Nexus Human Services is a disability                   “We have been lucky to win two photo
employment and NDIS provider. They                     competitions in a row and have our photo on
                                                       the bus for a year,” says Lisa. “This has been
offer a wide range of support services
                                                       great publicity.”
for individuals with mental health issues
or other disabilities in their journey to              The free publicity is a bonus, but it’s how the
                                                       initiatives – including multicultural lunches, juicy
finding employment. Support services
                                                       June, flu shots and a water drinking challenge –
are also available to assist people
                                                       impact on team building and productivity.
already working to maintain employment
                                                       “Having a healthier workplace has improved
and develop career aspirations.
                                                       employee motivation and how efficient and
It has taken a few years to establish the right mix    productive they can be,” explains Lisa. “It creates
of activities to meet the interests of the Nexus       a fun team culture.
Human Services workforce, but now their health         “Most of the team members look forward to
and wellbeing plan is hitting the mark.                what activities will be happening during the year.”
“We struggled with a concept to create healthier       Lisa also notes that absenteeism has decreased
work activities across our interstate sites but feel   and the overall team culture has really benefitted.
we have found a balance now,” says CEO Lisa
McPherson. “Staff are more productive                  “Try it for just one year and you will see the
and positive.”                                         difference within your team environment,”
                                                       says Lisa.
The Nexus Human Services team has been
prominent on Canberra’s bus network,
showcasing their smiling faces in support of their
approach to healthy behaviours.

                                                                  HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                CASE STUDIES 2018–19

       Susan Roberts, General Manager and Chief Finance Officer,
       Office of Parliamentary Counsel (right) with the ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Greg Jones (left).

       A long-term wellbeing focus
       Office of Parliamentary Counsel – 106 staff

       The Office of Parliamentary Counsel                              It makes a difference, with higher levels of staff
       is a Commonwealth Government                                     awareness of the importance of good health and
       agency delivering legislative drafting                           wellbeing at the Office.
       and advisory services for Bills and                              “I see more people using the stairs instead of
       subordinate legislation, preparing                               the lift, getting out for some form of physical
       compilations of laws, and publishing                             activity at lunch time, and making healthier food
                                                                        choices,” Susan says.
       laws and instruments on the Federal
       Register of Legislation website.                                 Susan notes that at times the plan’s activities will
                                                                        ebb and flow with the pace of work and that’s to
       The Office of Parliamentary Counsel uses                         be expected.
       thorough planning and evaluation to devise their                 “It can be challenging to introduce new activities
       health and wellbeing activities, and this has
                                                                        and encourage participation when staff are
       been integral to their continued success.
                                                                        very busy,” says Susan. “To overcome this, we
       “High levels of staff satisfaction and positive                  generally try to choose more than one date or
       feedback about the activities we have run keeps                  time to run an activity to widen the opportunity
       us inspired,” says Susan Roberts, General                        for more staff to attend, and we also try to
       Manager and Chief Finance Officer.                               conduct most activities on the premises.”
       Their 12-month plan involves a series of
                                                                        Regular engagement of staff through a champion
       activities to support staff mental health, such
                                                                        network can help keep the plan running.
       as Bootcamp for the Brain, as well as mental
       health training for managers, supervisors and                    “Form a group of champions from all levels
       other staff. They also offer health checks, and                  across the organisation to assist in creating and
       nutrition and cooking presentations.                             implementing a healthier workplace,” Susan
       Importantly, keeping their people healthy is truly               recommends. “Survey staff and ask them what
       valued and supported by management.                              they would like to see in the plan.”
       “As many employees stay with the Office for
       many years, both short-term and long-term
       health issues are important to us,” says Susan.

Snapshot: PJ Shaw & Associates Pty Ltd
 Professionals – four staff
      •    Water bottles                               •   Promote work–life balance
      •    Encourage staff to eat healthy options      •   Team coffee once a week
           both in the office and while in the field   •   Minimum of two laps around Kingston
      •    Breaks away from desk                           shop block each day
      •    Million Paws Walk

Snapshot: Radford College
Education – 300 staff
  •       Social club gatherings                       •   Soup lunch
  •       Staff health clinic                          •   Blood donations
  •       Staff teams participate in sports days       •   Provide bike racks, shower room,
          (athletics, basketball, swimming,                change rooms
          cross country)                               •   Bootcamp

                                                               HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                             CASE STUDIES 2018–19

       Snapshot: SPOC Landscapes
       Construction – two staff
         •   Host a Christmas lunch/dinner with                         •   Promote positive mental
             healthy options available                                      health resources
         •   Stop work for morning tea and lunch                        •   Steptember
         •   Social functions for employees                             •   Workplace challenges
             and their families

              DID YOU KNOW?
              Research indicates that people who are physically active in their daily lives are more
              productive in the workplace and have better attendance records.
              Physical Activity, Absenteeism and Productivity: An Evidence Review. Davis & Jones (2007)

Staff and students benefit from health promotion
UNSW Canberra – 400+ staff

Through experience in education                   “It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to
and achievements in research,                     be meaningful to staff, so ask for their input and
UNSW Canberra excel in teaching                   involvement in developing the best activities.”
undergraduate, postgraduate and                   Given many of us spend most of our waking
doctoral research students across arts,           lives at work, having activities for staff to
                                                  improve their physical and psychological
business, cyber security, engineering,
                                                  wellbeing means they’ll feel more positive
IT, logistics, management, space and
                                                  about being at work. And social occasions
science. Their undergraduate programs             serve to build comradery and a sense of
are tailored to the educational needs             shared purpose.
of members of the Australian Defence              “Not only are we giving them tools and skills to
Force, while graduate and doctoral                improve their own lives, we are also helping to
research programs are available to                reduce absenteeism, increase staff engagement
all students. Since 2016, entry to                and improve the overall productivity and output
undergraduate study in all engineering            for the university,” explains Pru. “With some
specialisations has been opened up to             of the workplace leaders also participating
civilian students.                                in the activities, it makes our leaders more
                                                  approachable and understanding of the
UNSW Canberra’s approach to health and            demands on our staff.”
wellbeing has been highly effective. They put     Some of the most successful initiatives are
this down to how involved their people have       weekly yoga classes, weekly stretch and
been in suggesting activities, and the strong     flexibility sessions, Mental Health First Aid
rates of participation by many staff, including   training, RUOK Day, and the World’s Biggest
their leaders.                                    Morning Tea. Importantly, many of the activities
“It doesn’t mean giving your staff everything     are available to both staff and students of
their hearts desire but at least finding a        the university.
compromise on activities and/or events that       “We have involved our Equity, Diversity and
will give staff a sense of value and respect      Inclusion Manager to ensure that the diversity of
while assisting the overall objectives of the     our staff and student cultural backgrounds are
organisation,” says Pru May, Manager – Health,    highlighted and celebrated to ensure a sense of
Safety & Facilities for UNSW Canberra.            belonging for all,” says Pru.

                                                             HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                           CASE STUDIES 2018–19

         Silver workplaces

Snapshot: ACTEW AGL Retail
Retail – 250 staff
   •   Fluid challenge                                            •      Proactive health testing
   •   10% challenge – reducing                                   •      Spring clean
       carbon emissions                                           •      Safety Week activities
   •   Mindful lego                                               •      Keeping well in winter

          DID YOU KNOW?
          The average worker is up to 7% less productive because of their health risks.
          The Health of Australia’s Workforce, Medibank Private (2015)

          Keep good records of program initiatives, participation rates and any identified barriers or
          enablers in implementation. This will assist in your ongoing monitoring and evaluation of
          your program.

                                                                            HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                                          CASE STUDIES 2018–19

         Helping staff feel valued
         Aspen Medical – 100 staff

         Aspen Medical is an Australian-owned,                Their activities include yoga and meditation,
         multi award-winning, global provider of              Steptember, and special celebrations for
                                                              Harmony Day, Mental Health Week, Women’s
         guaranteed and innovative healthcare
                                                              Health Week and Men’s Health Week.
         solutions across a diverse range of
         sectors and clients including defence,               “Harmony Day is a celebration of our cultural
                                                              diversity – a day of cultural respect for
         mining and resources, oil and gas,
                                                              everyone in the workplace who calls Australia
         government, and humanitarian.
                                                              home, and it gets lots of interest from staff,”
         Aspen Medical has been dedicated to providing        says Azadeh.
         a variety of health and wellbeing options to their   It’s this passion and interest from staff that
         staff for many years, so they’re well-practiced at   helps build momentum for activities and
         devising their 12-month plan of activities.          events, and motivates Azadeh to keep
         “Each year we design the health and wellbeing        promoting and refining the plan each year.
         program with activities that promote a healthy,      And it’s the effort that counts.
         safe and supportive work environment,” says
                                                              “Creating a healthier workplace is worth the
         Azadeh Hatami, Aspen Medical’s Senior
         HSE Coordinator.                                     effort and all the staff appreciate it,” says
                                                              Azadeh. “It increases staff engagement and the
                                                              feeling of worthiness in the workplace.”

              CASE STUDIES 2018–19

         Snapshot: Epicon
         IT – 70 staff
            •   Health checks                                              •     Walking challenge
            •   Promote Beyond Blue                                        •     Tough Mudder group
            •   Replace biscuits with fruit and nuts                       •     Dry July
            •   Posters on benefits of giving up alcohol
                and sugar

                  DID YOU KNOW?
                  Organisations that implement health promotion strategies in the workplace can reduce
                  their workers’ health risk factors by up to 56%.
                  The Health of Australia’s Workforce, Medibank Private (2015)

                   Do not underestimate the benefits of starting health and wellbeing initiatives in your
                   workplace, whatever their size or scope.

Team happiness comes first
Independent Property Management – 46 staff

Independent Property Management                       “We also believe that work–life balance is a
has extensive and thorough knowledge                  critical part of a productive employee.”
of the local rental market. The team are              With a large team, it’s important for all team
skilled negotiators, problem solvers,                 members to bond with each other and their
wealth creators and trusted advisors for              managers for overall morale. The initiatives in
their clients in relation to all                      their health and wellbeing plan help to drive a
                                                      culture of inclusion, which in turn creates close
things property.
                                                      bonds, which is important for staff retention.
While Cleo, the old English sheep dog, is just        “Our team really enjoys the programs, and
one – albeit very cute – element of Independent       their happiness is at the forefront of what we
Property Management’s health and wellbeing            do every day,” says Grace. “The engagement
plan, she’s been a fantastic source of stress         and productivity of the team has increased as a
reduction and all-round smiles for the team.          result of a healthier environment.”
“There have been many studies conducted to            To ensure the plan is an embedded part of their
confirm that dogs in the workplace reduce team        calendar, Independent Property Management
member stress levels and promote happier              decided to employ a team member in a ‘people
employees and improved culture,” says Grace           and culture’ role.
Hooper, Head of Property Management Growth.           “We have found that having a dedicated staff
“This has certainly been the case in our business.”   member responsible for driving this has enabled
Beyond Cleo, the team’s health and wellbeing          us to add more events to our calendar and
plan includes F45 training, boxing classes,           allowed us to surprise and delight the team with
meditation classes, healthy eating seminars, the      fun and thoughtful gestures such as celebrating
CEO sleepout and Ninja Warrior ropes courses.         Valentine’s Day, International Women’s Day,
“We believe the healthier and happier our team        Easter and any number of other key dates
are, the better they perform,” says Grace.            across the year,” explains Grace.

                                                                 HELPING PEOPLE AND BUSINESS THRIVE
                                                                               CASE STUDIES 2018–19
You can also read