Friends of the Koala volunteers will soon have some of their workload shared by staffers of the Commonwealth Bank’s Business Branch in Lismore. The six-month project will focus on renewing a koala food-tree plantation site on the campus of Southern Cross University near the Koala Care Centre in East Lismore. The CBA team of six employees will provide an afternoon’s labour each month.
The partnership has been brokered by Sally Bunyan, of Volunteering Northern Rivers’ Corporate Volunteer Team, run through the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre. ‘Corporate employee volunteering is really taking off in Lismore’s business community,’ Sally said. ‘Employers value the opportunity employee volunteering gives to enhancing team spirit and to creating goodwill for their business, while employees value becoming involved in activities that are important to them.’
Friends of the Koala committee member Rick Stewart is responsible for the food-tree plantations, which provide a lot of the leaf fed to the koalas admitted to the Koala Care Centre.
‘We have benefited from Volunteering Northern Rivers’ recruitment referral service for several years,’ Rick said. ‘When Sally approached us about corporate volunteering and the CBA’s interest, the committee considered a few possibilities. We were also keen that the Business Branch understood our work. A meeting was held at the Care Centre and we all agreed to proceed.’
Weather permitting, the first engagement of the CBA Business Branch’s corporate volunteering team will take place at the Koala Care Centre, Rifle Range Road, East Lismore tomorrow afternoon.