GMHBA General Manager Health Services, Dr Sarah Leach talks about the organisation's commitment to the community
What’s the purpose of GMHBA’s community program?
Being community minded is part of our DNA and inherent in our culture. We pride ourselves on being part of our communities for over 80 years. We give back by supporting local organisations to deliver meaningful programs that help our community be the best it can be.
What is the focus of the community program?
Our community program supports initiatives that improve the health of people in our community with a focus on education, healthy eating, physical activity and improving mental health.
Examples of some of our programs include Healthy Heroes presented by GMHBA and the Geelong Cats, a collective impact initiative called Active Geelong, the Try for 5 Challenge and delivery of Read the Play within the Ballarat community.
Further to our preventative health focus, our community program also supports a number of local community organisations that are working to support those who are disadvantaged in our community. We partner with the Give Where You Live Foundation, Geelong Connected Communities, Barwon Health Foundation and GenU. We are also committed to contributing to the prosperity of the Geelong community through engagement in the GROW Compact, the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and as an Executive Member of Committee for Geelong.
Can you tell us more about the roof top garden at your head office?
Yes, we have a terrific space set aside on the roof of our office in Moorabool Street Geelong where our staff grow a fantastic range of vegetables which are donated to the Christ Church Community Meals Program. Since the garden began in February 2015, 62 deliveries of vegetables have been made to support the delivery of the evening meals program.
How do GMHBA support staff to make a contribution to their community?
We have highly engaged employees who each year are entitled to contribute one day of volunteering. In the last financial year, our staff contributed 860 hours to a range of projects that benefit the health of our community.
We’re also proud of the contribution our staff make to Give Where You Live Foundation via our workplace giving program. 61% of our staff participate in this program and in 2016-17 they contributed over $38,000. Staff engagement is astonishingly high compared to 24% which is the national average*.