Supporting army reservists in council

By Alison Hester

Human Resources is about managing the people in your organisation. To maximise the engagement and buy-in of staff, many companies are seeking beneficial external relationships that improve the skill-sets of their people in ways not offered by traditional workplacelearning and development opportunities.

At Kogarah City Council, in the southern suburbs of Sydney, we have become a supportive employer with the Australian Defence Force through the Defence Reserves Support (DRS) organisation within the Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division.

The Mayor and councillors are right behind the program as being a Supportive Employer adds to our engagement with the community.

We see this as a business-builder, an ideal way to develop a productive relationship with our employees and the wider community.

When Kogarah City Council signed the agreement, we did so realising the mutual benefits of employing Navy, Army and Air Force Reservists.

We employ several Reservists and see enormous advantages in granting them extra leave for Defence training and deployments.

Council policy is to grant employees two weeks of paid Defence Leave a year and also to allow them extra periods of Leave to fulfil their Defence commitments.

In this way we are seeking to become an “employer of choice”, an important point of difference in an increasingly competitive employment marketplace.

Christian O’Shea is a team leader at Kogarah Council’s parks and gardens section. He is also an Army Reservist who recently deployed for the second time to the Solomon Islands.

Christian is a member of NSW-based 5th Brigade, which deployed as a part of Operation ANODE – Australia’s contribution to the Regional Assistance
Mission to the Solomon Islands.

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