BusVic summit impresses

By: Amie Hickland

Tolerance and different communication styles discussed at BusVic Women on Board event

About 150 delegates attended the 2015 Bus Association Victoria (BusVic) Women on Board Seminar Series and Luncheon in Melbourne on November 20.

The purpose of the seminar is to bring Victorian women together to celebrate the important role women play in a male-dominated industry.

The theme was connectivity, community and culture and how bus operators contribute to community connectedness.

MC Dr Julia Evans explained her role in the BusVic Industry Wellness Taskforce, aimed at developing strategies to help operators improve wellness in their businesses.

This work culminated in the creation of three resources that are available on the BusVic website now and all have a WorkSafe Victoria endorsement.

"The need to understand, embrace and celebrate differences is now important," says Evans.

"Wellness is not a new idea but its application is fairly new.

"This idea of wellness is looking at the choices we make, how we do it and why we do it."

The taskforce has now achieved what it was designed to do, but will still be available to BusVic on an ad hoc basis.

Some of these types of cultural changes have already taken place in depots around the state.

CDC Victoria’s Marcelle Davis explains how the operation of 440 bus and coaches and 670 drivers have recently implemented changes in their workplace.

"We realise bus drivers are no longer the respected community figures they once were," she says.

The operator has teamed up with local charities Brotherhood of St Laurence, Western Bulldogs and Victoria Maori Wardens, to help make an impact on the community.

CDC Victoria has helped each organisation in numerous ways including donating old vehicles.

In return, the organisations have also reached out to the operator such as the Western Bulldogs offering drivers the chance to complete their men’s health program and Victoria Maori Wardens partnering with Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to help patrol the buses to curb antisocial behaviour.

There have also been in-house initiatives among the staff such as ‘My depot rules’ – a take on a popular cooking competition – to make quarterly staff-wide meetings more attractive to those who must attend.

Davis says all of these new strategies have greatly improved the culture among staff and overall make CDC Victoria a great place to work.

BusVic executive director Chris Lowe reminded operators who want to share their stories of successful initiatives implemented within their businesses to contact BusVic to help it formulate a case study, which will used at future seminars and help guide the theme of next year’s event.

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