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ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC), Regional Australia Division has been named as a national finalist in the NSCA Foundation/GIO Workers Compensation 28th Annual National Safety Awards of Excellence to be announced in December.

The digital transformation initiated by CDC’s regional Australia arm to increase the effectiveness of safety messages to its workforce has seen the major bus operator recognised as one of five contenders in this year’s ‘Best Communication of a Safety Message’ category in Australia’s longest running and independent awards, which recognise outstanding work health and safety initiatives.

NSCA Foundation, Event Manager, Richard Cornish said the awards, now in their 28th year, continue to celebrate organisations and people that actively promote workplace health and safety as a cornerstone of elite business performance.

“The Category 4, ‘Best Communication of a Safety Message Award’, which is sponsored by Ansell, recognises organisations that have effectively and innovatively communicated a WHS/OHS message to their workforce.

“Finalists must be able to demonstrate their communication methods have led to a sustainable improvement in workplace behaviour, performance and all processes,” Mr Cornish said.

CDC Regional Australia Division Chief Executive Officer, Tony Hopkins, who heads CDC businesses in Northern Territory, Queensland, regional NSW, and ACT, congratulated his team on their recognition and dedication to the organisaton’s digital safety evolution.

“Safety is the number one priority in our business. As one of the country’s largest bus operators, and NT’s largest provider, with more than 4400 vehicles nationally, we carry a significant responsibility in the delivery of public, schools and charter services, not to mention our duty of care to 4000-plus employees nation-wide.

“It is incredibly gratifying to see the commitment and innovation shown by our small team behind the inhouse development of our safety communications program – initially rolled-out across the NT and Queensland – now recognised at this level, and amongst such esteemed company as the other national finalists.

“We’re also honoured to represent the safety message of the bus industry in a broad field of industries at this year’s awards,” Mr Hopkins said.

Judges shortlisted 34 finalists across eight categories, based upon their outstanding demonstration of innovation, commitment to safety as a business priority, proven return on investment, and leading work health and safety standards in their industry.

The other Category 4 finalists for 2021 are Bulla Dairy Foods, CBGJ D&C JV (Brisbane’s Cross River Rail partnership), City of Greater Geelong, and Water NSW.

Finalists will be formally recognised, and winners announced, at the 28th National Safety Awards Gala Luncheon on Wednesday, December 8 in Sydney.

This year’s event will be hosted by television sports presenter, reporter, and commentator Stephanie Brantz, with the Royal Australian Navy’s first female pilot Natalee Johnston delivering the keynote presentation.

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Dear Customers,

Due to the increased COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from the NSW Government, all Hillsbus and Forest Coach Lines bus services will operate to reduced (Sunday) timetables from Monday July 19. These service restrictions will remain in place until Friday July 30 or as otherwise instructed. 

During this period, school services will not be operating.

If you are planning to travel by bus, please check the Sunday timetable for the service you require or call 131500 for more information. 

Frequency of the MetroConnect On Demand service will also be reduced and customers may experience increased wait times.

We apologise for any inconvenience and wish that you remain COVID safe.

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Not-for-profit’s community healing efforts receive $750,000 in support from CDC NSW

This National Sorry Day, not-for-profit organisation Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) and leading bus company CDC NSW are launching a campaign to build the country’s first truth telling museum and healing centre for Stolen Generations survivors, their families and the community.

KBHAC Chairperson, Uncle James Michael ‘Widdy’ Welsh (Uncle Widdy) is calling on all Australians to support the project and said the proposed museum and healing centre will play a critical part in Australia’s truth telling journey.

“Without truth telling there can be no healing,” said Uncle Widdy.

“Our pain must stop with us; this museum and healing centre will ensure what happened to Stolen Generations survivors will never be repeated. It will contribute to the rebuilding of our family structures and support the journey to lasting intergenerational healing across Australia,” he said.

Led by KBHAC, the campaign’s launch this Sorry Day is receiving essential support from CDC NSW, one of the largest private bus operators in the state.

CDC is showing its ongoing support for KBHAC’s truth telling and healing work by committing to a $750,000 partnership over three years. This will assist the not-for-profit with its rapid growth as one of the leading Stolen Generations Organisations in the country.

Unlocking the Past

KBHAC CEO, Dr Tiffany McComsey said reconciliation takes action and she welcomes CDC’s strong support.

“Our vision is for the museum to be built on a site of great historical significance for Australia – the former Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home property in Kempsey,” said Dr McComsey.

The property was a home run by the NSW Government between 1924 and 1970. In that period it housed between 400 and 600 young Aboriginal boys forcibly removed from their families and made to assimilate into white Australian society.

KBHAC aims to raise $5 million through donations from businesses, organisations and the Australian public to purchase, repair and conserve the property, and build the envisioned living museum and healing centre.

A conservation management plan for the property has been developed by highly respected heritage specialist Alan Croker, who also developed the Sydney Opera House’s most recent conservation management plan.

Dr McComsey said that the site, historical records and the memories and stories of the home’s survivors – known as the Uncles – would provide tangible evidence of past assimilation policies and practices for the education and understanding of all Australians and to ensure that what happened to the Uncles and other Stolen Generations survivors never happens again.

“The property is a place of deep importance for the Uncles, their families and communities. The site and its associated places hold memories, both painful and otherwise, of their childhood after being kidnapped from their families,” said Dr McComsey.

Freeing the Future

Commenting on CDC’s long-term commitment to working with KBHAC, Dr McComsey said it was an example of the cross-community collaboration at the heart of reconciliation in action.

“Genuine collaboration and mutual support between people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and non-Indigenous communities is the only way forward. We need to work together towards the common goal of intergenerational healing,” she said.

CDC NSW CEO Edward Thomas said the organisation originally decided to assist KBHAC by maintaining its specially outfitted Mobile Education Centre (MEC), a retired commuter bus transformed for the purpose of raising awareness of the stories of Stolen Generations survivors.

“Since then, we’ve continued to become more involved. Our engineers have participated in designing and creating elements of the MEC and our drivers have driven the vehicle all over Sydney, the Central Coast and northwest NSW, helping get the Uncles out there in their truth telling journey,” Mr Thomas said. 

“Working alongside KBHAC has inspired us to commit to a three-year sponsorship program that will provide real benefits to their organisation, helping them to improve the social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of the Stolen Generations who survived their time in the Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home, as well as their descendants and families,” he said.

In addition to helping launch the campaign to build the truth telling museum, CDC will also be providing extensive careers and skills development opportunities for Indigenous candidates nominated by KBHAC and back-office support for the organisation.

These include apprenticeships and subsequent long-term employment opportunities with CDC, study tours of CDC sites, work experience, mentoring, on-the-job training and opportunities to attend courses relevant to their chosen field.

“At CDC we believe that all Australians will benefit from reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, aided by the promotion of a true account of Australian history and better opportunities to enter into the workforce. It also helps us, on a practical level, to build bridges with Aboriginal communities and help them to find a career path within our organisation,” he said.

“Partnering with KBHAC has been a learning experience for us at CDC. Every day we continue to learn more about Aboriginal culture and past experiences and how we can do our part to help achieve reconciliation,” Mr Thomas said.

For more information or to donate towards making Australia’s first national truth telling museum a reality, head to kinchelaboyshome.org.au.

Support Stolen Generations Truth Telling Image
Support Stolen Generations Truth Telling Image
Support Stolen Generations Truth Telling Image
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National NAIDOC Week celebrations will be held from 4-11 July 2021

ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) is planning an extensive celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and promotion of reconciliation, with its state operations joining forces to promote NAIDOC Week 2021 from 4 to 11 July.

The company, which operates bus services in metropolitan and regional areas across the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, and taxis in Western Australia, has planned a diverse range of activities to tie in with the Heal Country theme of NAIDOC Week 2021.

According to its organisers, NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the rich history, diverse culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is part of the broader objective, “to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage”.

In addition to hosting events to provide its staff with memorable and educational experiences and give better recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, CDC will support these activities by sharing content internally and externally via its social media channels.

Fitting with the theme of healing, The First People of the Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal Corporation will be performing a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country at CDC Mildura on Monday, as part of CDC Victoria’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.

CDC NSW, together with its community partner Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, is planning to share a pre-recorded truth-telling and healing session led by the Kinchela Uncles to all CDC operations across Australia.

CDC’s operation in the Northern Territory, Buslink NT, worked closely with Larrakia Nation on a range of leadup activities in the last week of school term including joining several Clontarf Academy schools for a pre-NAIDOC Week celebration in Darwin’s Sunset Park on 23 June. Darwin employees were also immersed in a NAIDOC Week awareness morning at Buslink’s Berrimah Depot on 25 June, where they heard important cultural messages from a Larrakia Nation elder and healer and witnessed a smoking ceremony and didgeridoo musical performances.

Across Australia, CDC depots, websites and social media channels will also feature the national NAIDOC 2021 poster or banner, as part of support for the celebration. CDC is also creating videos featuring the voices of Aboriginal employees, explaining what NAIDOC Week means to them.

ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) CEO, Nicholas Yap, said that the company has a strong commitment to reconciliation and the recognition and celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is very important to its Australian businesses.

“In each state we operate in, we’re forming meaningful and beneficial partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, which allow us to use our strengths and resources to create better outcomes for our communities,” Mr Yap said.

“We are excited to see the activities planned to celebrate NAIDOC Week across all our state operations and welcome our customers, as well as partners to check in to our social media channels to keep an eye on our NAIDOC Week celebrations,” Mr Yap said.

For more information on CDC’s NAIDOC Week activities, please view our ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC) LinkedIn page or the Facebook pages of CDC Victoria, CDC NSW, CDC Queensland, Buslink NT and Swan Taxis.

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ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) bus drivers are pledging “to drive so others survive” to mark National Road Safety Week (NRSW), 16-23 May, 2021.

Employees from CDC’s operations across Regional NSW, ACT, Queensland, Northern Territory have bandied together, joining close to 40,000 Australians who have recited the pledge to date:

“I pledge to drive as if my loved ones are on the road ahead. I will remove all distractions and never use my mobile phone while driving. I will not put other people at risk by speeding, driving while tired or under the influence of alcohol/drugs. I will protect all vulnerable road users, especially those whose job places them in harm’s way, by slowing down and giving them the space they need to be safe.”

National Road Safety Week is an annual initiative from the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group in partnership with road safety organisations and government to highlight the impact of road trauma and ways to reduce it.

In the last two years, more than 36,000 Australian drivers have made this pledge and SARAH President Peter Frazer, who founded the non-for-profit after his daughter’s death in 2012, hopes that many more will do so during this year’s campaign.

“Our ‘Drive So Others Survive!’ theme asks everyone on the road to monitor their own behaviours and ensure the safety of all people on the road ahead, especially vulnerable road users,” he said.

“So, we are asking the Australian community to step up and become ‘Road Safety Warriors’ who not only make the safety of others their priority but also their influence their family, friends and work colleagues to do the same”.

Peter thanked partners, supporters, and every organisation - like CDC - that gets behind the campaign because “like us, they recognise that everyone has a right to get home safe to their loved ones, every day, with no exceptions.”

“It is incredible to see such commitment to driving change to make our roads safe.”

ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC) Regional Australia Division Chief Executive Officer, Tony Hopkins said drivers and other employees across CDC’s vast regional operations will continue to make the pledge during National Road Safety Week.

“Employees from across our unique businesses in unique locations are taking the pledge, such as Qcity Transit and Transborder Express in southern NSW/ACT, Forest Coach Lines and Blanch’s Bus Company in northern NSW, CDC Gladstone and Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and Buslink NT teams in Darwin, Humpty Doo, Jabiru and Alice Springs.

“Many employees are going the extra mile by wearing yellow ribbons to show their support, and arranging barbecues and coffee mornings including guest speakers.

“Our Qcity Transit and Transborder Express team will be encouraging the community to ‘drive so others survive’, as part of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s road safety pop-up stall at Riverside Plaza in Queanbeyan on Thursday 20 May (9am-1pm).

“Road safety is a crucial part of our industry – it is the number one priority within our company. I’m proud of the way our drivers are showing solidarity in communicating this important message.

“We encourage all road users to take heed of National Road Safety Week’s important messages of slow down, look for road signs, take notice of speed limits, and take extra care at dawn and dusk,” Mr Hopkins said.

This year’s National Road Safety Week coincides with, and forms part of, the United Nations Global Road Safety Week, running from 17 to 23 May 2021.