How Hamlan supports the Geelong community

  • Community

Community is at the heart of Hamlan’s business — and not just in the sense of creating a community through building homes. For Hamlan, it’s also about strengthening our existing communities through partnerships with local organisations and causes that are close to our hearts.

For years Hamlan has made it a priority to partner with a variety of community initiatives because we understand the important role business can play in supporting and nurturing a thriving community.

Most recently, we threw our support behind the Surf Coast Trek — a 40km trek that is raising money for two local organisations Kids Plus foundation and Give Where You Live. The big trek event may have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its Virtual Trek still went ahead, aiming to virtually bring people together in social isolation while continuing fundraising efforts. There’s no greater time than now to support organisations like these, particularly Give Where You Live, which supports those who are disadvantaged in the Geelong region.

But this is just one of the many important initiatives that Hamlan supports throughout the year, because for us, giving back to the community isn’t just a one-off — it’s ongoing.

Hamlan supports upskilling young people

We know that some of the hurdles that young people in Geelong face today include place-based disadvantage and generational unemployment, hurdles that can be overcome if we provide people with the right opportunities through training and jobs.

This is a key reason why Hamlan has ongoing partnerships with the community initiatives; Grow (a joint initiative between Give Where You Live Foundation and G21 — Geelong Region Alliance), Northern Futures, Geelong Community Foundation and the award-winning Regional Industry Sector Employment program (RISE).

RISE Students visiting a Hamlan site

Our General Manager Andrew Carroll sits on the steering committee of RISE as the Geelong Master Builders representative. RISE is led by the City of Greater Geelong and funded by Gforce. A solution to Geelong’s industry skills shortage and youth unemployment, it’s designed to connect people to skills and jobs — something that the local construction industry is in much need of. Since it started in July 2018, it has supported 79 participants and resulted in 43 graduates and 33 work placements. That equals 76 young people who now have employment opportunities that they may not have had access to otherwise.

RISE won the Community Collaboration in Economic Development category at the 2019 Economic Development Australia Awards for Excellence. Collaboration is key to RISE’s success, and as a key contributor Hamlan helps RISE achieve outcomes for the local construction industry and young people.

Hamlan General Manager Andrew Carroll says community programs such as RISE, provide a win-win for both community and business.

“The RISE program delivers quality training to get the best apprentices into the local construction industry,” he says.

“This is what we’re passionate about — a program like this allows us to grow our business by getting the best people for the job into our business.

“But most importantly, it’s giving these young people the skills and training they need to improve their own quality of life.”

Hamlan supports mental health and wellbeing

Sport is a very important aspect of growing up in Geelong. Just look around at the great sporting facilities and clubs that are on offer across Geelong and its surrounds. For that reason alone, it was an easy decision for Hamlan to become a premier partner of the innovative local organisation Read the Play Inc.

Read the Play Inc delivers programs to young people that focus on mental health and caring for junior members through information, developing positive relationships and encouraging help-seeking. What stands out about the programs is they are run through under-16 football and under-15 netball clubs within the Geelong, Geelong and District, and Bellarine leagues.

Read the Play program

According to Read the Play General Manager Michael Parker, Hamlan’s sponsorship has enabled them to employ an education coordinator, Tayla John, who is in charge of updating their programs based on the latest evidence-based research. Currently Tayla is designing a new program for the Under 17 age group, thanks to a Federal Government grant, which will be piloted next year. Their innovative programs have led to an endorsement from the head of mental health and wellbeing at the AFL, Dr Kate Hall.

“Over the past 12 months, over 100 programs have been delivered in Victoria to every Under 15 Football and Netball team in the Geelong region and every team in the Portland Junior Football League,” Michael says.

“We’ve had a significant increase in clubs participating from the Western Region Football League and a successful pilot of program with a club in the Ballarat Football League.

Read the Play ambassadors: Mark O’Connor, Danielle Orr, Mark Blicavas

“This equates to the program being delivered to around 3,500 young people in Victoria in 2019.”
He said the program has also provided training to more than 50 new Player Wellbeing Officers in the clubs, who support their young players with any mental health/wellbeing issues.

According to Read the Play, 87 per cent of their participants say their understanding of mental illness was good or excellent compared to 49 per cent before they completed the program.

They also found that 81 per cent felt more confident and capable to get help for themselves or a friend with a mental health problem, 74 per cent feel they could more easily talk about mental illness and 82 per cent feel more comfortable in trying to offer help to someone who might have a mental illness.

Hamlan supports charitable organisations

This year Hamlan was a major sponsor of the Surf Coast Trek, a 40km trek along the Surf Coast and the largest fundraising event for local charitable foundations, Give Where You Live and Kids Plus.

Surf Coast Trek 2019

Both foundations provide valuable services to those who truly need it within the Geelong community. Give Where You Live Foundation aims to address disadvantage by providing grants and delivering programs that help provide educational and employment opportunities and support to people experiencing life crises.

Kids Plus Foundation is focussed on providing specialist programs for young people with neuro-developmental conditions in order to increase their participation and engagement in daily life.

The Surf Coast Trek serves as a vital income stream for these Foundations to continue the important work they do.

Sheridan Salmon, the General Manager of Marketing and Fundraising for the Give Where You Live Foundation, says the support of sponsors such as Hamlan covers all the logistical expenses for the major event, which includes 1000 participants.

“This means all participant fundraising goes straight to both the Give Where You Live And Kids Plus Foundations,” Sheridan says.

“The Surf Coast Trek is the largest fundraising event for both the Give Where You Live And Kids Plus Foundations. Both foundations provide valuable services to the greater Geelong community and both rely heavily upon the income derived from the Trek.”

Sheridan says the Trek is also a great way for businesses to get involved in helping their community while providing a great opportunity to team build through exercise and fundraising.

This year, the Trek was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic — which is a massive blow for both Foundations.

“The cancellation of this year’s trek has been significant,” Sheridan says.

Surf Coast Trek 2019

“A combination of refunded entry fees and fundraising targets unable to be met has meant that budgeted income of well in excess of $100,000 hasn’t been met, which of course both the Give Where You Live And Kids Plus Foundations were budgeting for to continue their operations.”

Now more than ever, it’s important to get behind these foundations. And donations can be made directly to both Give Where You Live and Kids Plus.

In summary

Hamlan has made it a priority to support a variety of community initiatives because we understand the important role business can play in supporting and nurturing a thriving community.

Hamlan has many ongoing partnerships with community initiatives, including the Surf Coast Trek, Grow (a joint initiative between Give Where You Live Foundation and G21 — Geelong Region Alliance), Northern Futures, Geelong Community Foundation and the national award-winning Regional Industry Sector Employment program (RISE).

Many of these organisations tackle some of the challenges that young people in Geelong face, including place-based disadvantage and generational employment. Hamlan has identified it can be part of a solution by providing young people with the opportunity to upskill and find employment within the construction industry.

Hamlan has also partnered with Read the Play, which delivers programs to young people that aim to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The accessible programs are run through sport clubs. Hamlan’s assistance has helped them to employ staff to help provide more programs across the region.

If you’re a construction-industry employer with an apprenticeship opportunity for a work-ready RISE graduate, register your interest at www.risegeelong.com.au/employers

This year Hamlan was a major sponsor of the Surf Coast Trek, a 40km trek along the Surf Coast and the largest fundraising event for local charitable foundations, Give Where You Live and Kids Plus. The Surf Coast Trek serves as a vital income stream for these Foundations to continue the important work they do. Hamlan’s sponsorship covered the logistical expenses of running the event, which allows all participant fundraising to go straight to the Foundations.

However, this year, the Trek was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic — a massive blow for both Foundations. Now more than ever, it’s important to get behind these foundations and their valuable services. You can donate directly to Give Where You Live and Kids Plus.

You can submit your enquiry here.