At Churchill Education, we have a philosophy of being a river, not a dam.
What does this mean?
This means that we do not operate in isolation. We are not a body of water with defined borders, but one within a network of other rivers, a whole system of water, in fact. This water travels and flows into and out of other streams and rivers, connecting to them at different points. It is flexible and nimble; it can move around things and find a way through things. Water in a dam can become stagnant, but water in a river is constantly renewed. For us, the joy of being a company lays within the opportunities that flow through us, like a river, to help others … making life better.
We know that we would not function without our customers, or without the support of the communities we operate within- our water system. One of our organisational values is compassion, and it is this one that we celebrate through our Corporate Social Responsibility Program.
We at Churchill Education understand and appreciate the value of community, and see ourselves as a part of several communities at local, national and international levels. We are proud of the place we hold within these communities, and are bolstered by the advocacy, encouragement and care of our friends, neighbours and colleagues within them.
As such, we are pleased to extend our support to these communities, and choose charitable giving as one of our avenues to do so. In accordance with our vision to change lives for the better through education, Churchill Education chooses to support charities and causes with a focus on education.
A summary of our charitable giving, a component of our Corporate Social Responsibility program, is as follows:
1. Local Level
Samford State School – Leadership Program
Churchill Education is located in the community of Samford, a scenic, mountainous region just outside of Brisbane. Many of our staff live locally, and we engage with other businesses and residents of the community on a regular basis. As part of our community engagement, Churchill Education has partnered with Samford State School to put together a scholarship program for selected staff to complete a BSB519195 Diploma of Leadership and Management under the guidance of Churchill mentors.
Samford State School – Early Learning Intervention Program
Churchill Education also provides for the salary of a part-time teacher who is a specialist in sensory learning. This teacher is available to assist children who have learning styles that differ to the traditional classroom model. Identifying and catering to different styles of learning is something that we at Churchill Education consider a vital part of our own mentoring program.
2. National Level
Mates for Mates- Scholarships 4 Mates
Mates 4 Mates is a not-for profit organisation initiated by the RSL in Queensland to support current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members and their families ‘who have physical or psychological wounds, injuries or illnesses as a result of their service’ (www.mates4mates.org). Mates4Mates offers a variety of services and programs including: holistic physical and psychological rehabilitation programs, employment and education support and rehabilitation adventure challenges. Churchill Education is proud to partner with Mates4Mates to offer Scholarships 4 Mates, a program that provides the opportunity for up to eight returned soldiers to complete a Diploma qualification with us, free of charge. This involves both online and face-to-face training components with one of our highly qualified and experienced mentors. Graduates will finish with a nationally recognised qualification to assist them in building a successful post-service career.
Christmas donation- Charity as nominated by Team Member
Every Christmas, each team member at Churchill Education is allocated funds to donate to a charity of their choice. It has to be a registered charity (or it can be the Kmart wishing tree). Team members can also choose to combine their funds and allocate together.
3. International Level
Hands Across the Water
Hands Across the Water is a charity that was founded in 2005 by Peter Baines. Peter is a former Australian police forensic specialist who worked within a team identifying victims of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand. Peter was deeply touched by the number of children that were left without families after the disaster, and subsequently established Hands Across the Water in order to provide a safe environment, education and improvement opportunities to at-risk Thai children and their communities.
Hands across the Water orchestrates events such as an 800km bike ride across Thailand, which Churchill CEO Tricia Velthuizen and her husband, co-founder and Chairman of the Board Randall Smith, had the opportunity to participate in, in January 2017- after they raised $10,000 each for the charity! Tricia and Randall are old hands at the bike rides now, having participated in previous years. Churchill Education donates to Hands Across the Water on a monthly basis, and also actively raises funds throughout the year.
4. Environmental initiatives
Churchill Education is mindful of the responsibility we have as an organisation towards the environment. As such, we have implemented a variety of measures to reduce our impact on the natural world, and staff are supported in any measure they can initiate that furthers this cause.
Recycling is something that every person can actively support. There are a number of Churchill initiatives in place which encourage team members to participate in recycling.
Churchill Educations has installed two Planet Ark Cartridge Recycle bins at our Brownstone, and one for the Whitehouse. The purpose of these bins is to recycle ink cartridges, waste toners and other printer materials. Cartridges are recycled into pens, rulers, drinking cans, toner pave road surfaces, timber replacement products and more.
At their Whitehouse location, Churchill Education has a shredding machine for unwanted paper and documents. Team members can take this paper home to use for a variety of purposes, including bedding for chickens and mulch for the garden.
Churchill Education has specific bins at their Brownstone and Whitehouse location for kitchen scraps which can be turned into compost. This compost will then be used for the Team Churchill herb garden, from which team members can enjoy the produce.
Reducing the total emissions produced as a consequence of running the day- to- day business is something that Churchill Education is aware of. To help reduce emissions, we have in place the following:
Staff are encouraged to be aware of their electricity use and are responsible for turning off the power at outlets when possible and not leaving lights and air-conditioning on unnecessarily. Churchill Education has a target of reducing our electricity bill by 10%.
Given our location at Samford (approximately thirty minutes from the CBD), Churchill encourages team members to carpool whenever possible if they have to attend off- site meetings or training. In addition, the company vehicle of our CEO, Tricia, has a seating capacity for eight people, which reduces the need to use multiple cars.
Working from home
We support our staff working from home and currently have 52% of our total staff doing so. This reduces the fuel emissions and road congestion that can result from commuting to work.
Technology – GoToMeetings, Skype, Facebook
We actively use technology in a variety of ways across the business to reduce waste from unnecessary paper printing and emissions as a result of travelling. All roles actively use Skype, GoToMeeting and Facebook to communicate with colleagues, students, and other stakeholders.
5. Supporting our local economy
Churchill Education is committed to supporting the local community within which it operates:
All our kitchen amenities are purchased from the local IGA.
The Movement Team
We work with this team in our leadership development program and with helping those team members who are participating in the Hands Across the Water bike ride to get fit in preparation.
When any team member in Australia celebrates their anniversary with us, they receive a bunch of flowers from Girraween.