December 31, 2012

'Big Day Out' for volunteers marks a decade of success

When local business and community sectors joined forces at the 10th annual Summer Workplace Big Day Out, the 200 participants celebrated diversity, inclusiveness and volunteerism.

The event also marked a decade of partnership success between BacLinks and Alcoa, translating into thousands of hours of employee volunteering and community impact over that time.
The BacLinks hosted Workplace Big Day Out involves business volunteers and people with disabilities joining together to take part in inclusive activities such as martial arts, bocce, belly dancing, boating and picnic games.
Alcoa and its employees have proudly supported each Workplace Big Day Out since it began in 2002.
This year more than 80 employee volunteers from a range of local businesses, organisations and sporting associations participated in the day’s activities, along with over 120 program members from Karingal, St Laurence and Encompass Community Services.
Presented by the Alcoa Foundation and generously sponsored by MatchWorks, Telstra Country Wide and Karingal, this unique event highlights the enormous potential of employee volunteering to provide significant benefits for both the community and volunteers themselves. 
Smelter Manager Warren Sharp said Alcoa’s employee volunteering program is entrenched in the workforce. Monthly activities are scheduled whereby employees take one paid day a year to volunteer.
“The Workplace Big Day Out is one of the most popular events. It takes our employees out of their comfort zone and gives them a different perspective on the world.  Diversity is not only key to business success but an important value for our operations and this event gives us the opportunity to celebrate this.
“Alcoa has proudly partnered with BacLinks for 10 years and we congratulate them for the significant and positive impact in our community over the past decade. We look forward to a continuing successful partnership,” Warren said.
Workplace Big Day Out host BacLinks, is an initiative of Karingal that brokers relationships between businesses and community groups, identifying needs, matching appropriate partners, and coordinating and reporting on activities.
This year BacLinks celebrates 10 years of connecting business with community agencies and have facilitated the contribution of over $2.1million into the Geelong region with the help of 4,356 employee volunteers.