Connect program for new employees

    With 300 services in more than 100 communities, Churches of Christ positively impacts tens of thousands of lives each year. In doing so, we strive to create an inclusive, caring, compassionate environment for employees, volunteers and clients alike. One way we achieve this is by encouraging our head office staff located on the Kenmore Campus to take part in the Connect Program.

    In this – the first of a two-part series - one staff member explains her experience with the program, and how it impacted her as an employee of this diverse organisation…

    You might wonder what the “Connect Program” is, and so did I when I first heard about it. All I knew was that it is a two-day bus trip to different Churches of Christ in Queensland services designed for head office employees to meet other staff, volunteers and clients. I had spoken to several of my colleagues who had attended the program previously, all of whom gave it glowing reviews. In a briefing held by the Learning & Development team, I learned that “Connect” aims to provide us with a better understanding of the organisation and heightened awareness of our own position.

    Day one saw 14 of us arrive early at the Churches of Christ Campus at Kenmore to start our journey.

    Our first stop was Toowoomba Aged Care Service where were welcomed by the management team of our three aged care service streams: Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living and Community Care. Mary-Anne, Jan and Lea gave us a good overview of their services and the projects they do within the region. I was really surprised by how involved they are in the community and how well the three service streams work together to make a positive impact in the lives of seniors. I was particularly impressed by how they worked together to build a Men’s Shed, with very limited resources, to create a space for men to form and forge relationships.

    Over morning tea we had the opportunity to socialise with some of the residents and volunteers, and then we split into small groups so we could all see different parts of the services. DJ and Lynette took my group on a tour of the Toowoomba Campus. I am a big fan of the Fish Philosophy’s concept of “making someone's day” and it made me really happy that the Aged Care Service uses a notice board where employees can leave “thank you” messages for each other. What I enjoyed the most, however, was to see DJ and Lynette’s genuine excitement when they were talking about their work and all the different activities they have for the residents. At the end of our tour we even got to watch a local group singing country music for the residents for a while until we were off to the next agenda point.

    Next port of call was HumeRidge Church of Christ where we heard about the very successful programs they run to support the community. I was particularly surprised and interested in the great achievements they made in supporting refugees, migrants and students through English classes, homework help, sports programs etc. We enjoyed a lovely lunch and were fortunate enough to have time to chat with staff and volunteers who regaled us with tales of their experience with the church and community.

    After lunch we continued our journey and set off for the Backyard Basement. The op-shop was started by church members who wanted to raise as much money for local charities and families as possible. It is run by the Withcott Church of Christ and has raised thousands of dollars for the local community. Backyard Basement was originally initiated to act as a community outreach centre, but was later turned into an op-shop that stocks everything from books and clothes, to furniture and other household items… all at very reasonable prices.  

    Our last location for day one was Churches of Christ Care Families Together program  in Jamboree Heights. We were welcomed by Fungisai, Carmen, Angela and Veronica who introduced their services to us and gave us some insight into their work. Hearing about the roles our staff play and the work teams put in every day to make a positive difference in the lives of children and young people was incredible. These jobs are clearly challenging and demanding but at the same time significantly rewarding.

    The drive back to head office gave me the perfect opportunity to reflect on what I had learned during the day.  I had met some wonderful people, learned so much about some of the incredible services we offer, and gained a greater insight into how much the organisation does to make a real impact on people’s lives. It really made me feel proud to be working for Churches of Christ, and more aware of how my position as a Recruitment and Retention Officer contributes to all of the great achievements of our services in the communities.

    Stay tuned to find out what day two of the Connect Program offers.

    Posted November 30, 2017 in Blog