Women well and truly on board

Corporate social responsibility was the theme of the BusVic Women on Board seminar as industry figures shared their positive experiences

Women well and truly on board
The BusVic Women on Board event was packed to the rafters


About 140 bus and coach industry identities attended the BusVic Women on Board seminar and luncheon held in Melbourne late last year.

The event was sponsored by Volvo Bus Australia and CMV Truck and Bus, and held at the Crown River Rooms.

BusVic representative Craig Spurr said the aim of the event was to promote diversity and innovative management techniques in the bus industry, and this year’s focus was on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

BusVic executive director Chris Lowe opened the day by explaining how, as one of the essential and surviving services of regional and rural towns, bus operators have been engaging in critical social responsibility activities for many years.

The event served as a chance for the industry to reflect on, identify and measure the valuable contribution bus operators make to their local communities.

Australian Super spokesperson Melissa Ruff presented real-life examples of where and how corporate community engagement strategies had worked well, and discussed why they had been so effective with those in attendance.

"We must think locally and start by identifying what has meaning to you, your business and your community," she says.

Ruff encouraged the industry to engage with community and stakeholder groups, and explained that success won’t be achieved easily and should not just be measured by the financial commitment made.

During the workshop conversation that followed the speeches, delegates were asked to reflect and record what socially responsible activities they had been involved in.

Through the immediate feedback, it became very evident that bus operators, suppliers and transport agencies were all actively involved in a wide range of initiatives, whether it be part of a ‘strategy’ or not.

Delegates also found the benefits of community engagement are also very far reaching for employees, the community and the business.


Latrobe leading the way

Rhonda Renwick gave an inspiring account of how Latrobe Valley Buslines has been involved in CSR informally for many years, and how they recently developed a formal strategy for it. The organisation’s commitment to special responsibility was illustrated by it becoming accredited as a ‘B-Corp’. B Corporations represent an emerging group of companies that are using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world and generate prosperity for all.

The accreditation process involved Latrobe Valley Buslines undergoing a rigorous assessment that explored its governance, transparency, environmental and social impact, as B Corps voluntarily hold themselves to a higher level of accountability in these areas.

Renwick’s community and industry work was also recently recognised with the Industry Achiever Award at the 2016 BIC Annual Conference in Perth.  

BusVic will present the feedback and findings about the level and type of CSR that is being undertaken by the bus industry early next year.

Volvo Bus Australia spokesperson Sean Copeland welcomed attendees to the lunch and provided background to how Volvo viewed its corporate and safety responsibility. He spoke about how Volvo developed the lap sash seatbelt in the 1950s and refused to patent it, given the overall safety benefits that the design would bring to all.

To celebrate Travellers Aid’s 100-year anniversary, CEO Elias Lebbos was invited by Lowe to explain the critical services delivered by staff and volunteers to travellers in need in Victoria; and to mark the occasion, Lowe also confirmed BusVic’s donation of a new mobility device on behalf of its members.

Attendees were treated to a hilarious insight into motherhood by Denise Scott, one of Australia’s favourite comedians. She had the crowd in stitches with an entertaining and engaging performance.

BusVic representatives also showed their appreciation of Volvo Bus Australia, and CMV Truck and Bus for their continued support of the event.


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