25/11/2010 - 00:00

Stepping up to make an impact

25/11/2010 - 00:00


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ACCOUNTING firm Deloitte’s Perth staff got their hands dirty last week when they took part in the group’s volunteer initiative, Impact Day, for the first time.

ACCOUNTING firm Deloitte’s Perth staff got their hands dirty last week when they took part in the group’s volunteer initiative, Impact Day, for the first time.

Deloitte Perth recently stepped up its corporate social commitment with the launch of the Deloitte Foundation, deepening its support of local community service causes.

Impact Day was one of the first outcomes for the Deloitte Foundation in Perth.

About 200 of the firm’s WA staff (just over half) took part in community volunteer work, partnering with organisations such as Habitat for Humanity, Uniting Care West, and Parkerville Children and Youth Care to renovate gardens, paint schools and rattle collection tins.

Deloitte WA director consulting David Hansell said the participation had a strong impact on the organisations Deloitte was partnering with, as well as for the staff taking part.

“Obviously the primary impact is on those who need assistance but it also has a big impact on our people. It is team building,” he said.

“Everyone I spoke to who attended is positively charged with the experience. We had really impactful experiences for the people taking part and the result of our efforts was a big impact on the people we were trying to help.”

Mr Hansell said volunteering within those organisations helped to broaden the staff’s perspectives.

“I think if you haven’t experienced it, it can be very confronting but I think it is important; society is not just the top end of St Georges Terrace,” he said.

“Society is not just about getting ahead of the next guy. It is about making a society that has a certain soul about it and that does look after members who have a hard time, there is an inherent responsibility on all of us to make society work.”

Mr Hansell said it wasn’t just about the responsibility of the individual, but that as a corporate entity with an interest in society, Deloitte was responsible to contribute socially as well.

“We feel there is an inherent corporate responsibility to not only talk the talk, but do the right things and help other people,” he said.

“We are not alone, other corporates are involved too, but it is not about competition ... it is more about that we are in a position of relative affluence.

Deloitte is a long-established major corporation globally, a successful business.”

And being socially responsible as an individual or as a corporate entity wasn’t necessarily about money.

“You don’t always have to give money,” Mr Hansell told WA Business News.

‘‘It might be a matter of going out to do some gardening.”

Deloitte continued to pay staff on Impact Day, a cost that would be significant considering 50,000 Deloitte staff volunteered their time globally.

Mr Hansell said this cost was not the point, however.

“The impact on the people you are assisting is far greater than the cost impact to Deloitte,” he said.

While this is the first Impact Day for Deloitte in WA, it is expected to be a regular event on the Deloitte calendar.



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