QBE Australia has supported The Kids’ Cancer Project since 2013. During that time, the insurance giant, through its corporate social responsibility initiative the QBE Foundation, has donated more than $500,000 to the independent national charity.
As part of the long-time partnership, QBE and The Kids’ Cancer Project joined forces to create a team-building project to form part of QBE’s graduate program induction and bring the QBE Foundation’s mission to life for the new starters.
The project was inspired by the charity’s Write a Book in a Day competition with books created for and donated to children in hospital.
“We very much see ourselves as part of the communities in which we operate, so supporting people who are in need, vulnerable or disadvantaged is as much a part of our organisaitonal DNA as providing insurance cover – which is why engaging and educating our graduates around this purpose and our culture from the outset is critical,” QBE Foundation Chair Bettina Pidcock said.
"Joining forces with one of our long-term partners, to create an activity that allowed us to bring the QBE Foundation values to life, while also meeting other induction program objectives such as team building and problem solving, simply made sense.”
Write a Book in a Day is one of The Kids’ Cancer Project’s proprietary fundraising products, held nationally every year. Teams of up to 10 people have just 12 hours to write, illustrate and publish a storybook that is then donated to children in hospital.
The mini Write a Book in a Day induction activity was very similar in sentiment and saw graduate inductees’ skill sets put to the test to create books for donation over a condensed four-hour timespan.
“Knowing the graduates couldn’t spare a full day for this exercise, we created a Mini Write a Book in a Day which they could do in 4 hours,” said Owen Finegan, CEO of The Kids’ Cancer Project and former Australian Wallaby.
“That way it mimicked a typical work scenario where a manager might set a task at lunchtime and ask for it to be finalised before close of business,” he said.
The whole activity was bookended (pun intended) with an end of year presentation and motivational talk by Finegan who shared his career journey, including his transition from the football field to philanthropy, as well as details about the brain cancer research project QBE Foundation is funding.
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Melinda Bell, QBE Graduate Lead, said the day was well received by graduates.
“The graduates loved hearing about Owen’s career journey along with the important work being done by Associate Professor David Ziegler in the lab,” said Bell.
“Overall, the feedback from the team was fantastic and was one of the highlights of graduates’ 3-day induction program,” said Bell. “But importantly, they felt a sense of purpose and were able to experience first-hand The QBE Foundations’ commitment to the communities we are part of and our partnership with The Kids Cancer Project, making it a truly memorable experience.”
More feedback Bell received at the completion of the activity
- “It was nice to learn about the positive community involvement that QBE are a part of and we love that. It makes us really proud to work for a company that does that.”
- “The project was really flexible which allowed us to work the way that worked best for our skills.”
- “It is great to see that QBE are willing to put so much value on this to allow us to time to contribute to that big picture.”
- “Great team building, I am more comfortable with my colleagues now.”
- “Encouraged a different type of thinking to what we were expecting which was really fun and refreshing.”
- “It created more awareness about the cause. We really appreciate QBE’s support in allowing us to do something so special.”
- “Helped build confidence in each person in a relaxed and meaningful environment.”
- “It was challenging in a good way and different from normal job inductions.”
- “A great way of finding hidden talents of people within the group which was a great ice breaker.”
- “We thought it was a meaningful and lasting task - you will think about this moving beyond today and beyond that session.”
“We will definitely explore opportunities to connect our graduates with The Kids’ Cancer Project in 2019,” said Bell.
The QBE Foundation will continue to work with, and support, the Kids Cancer Project into 2019.