Moving Together is built around the following three areas:
- Our staff and the physical environment
- Our local community
- Our wider community
Moving Together with our staff and the environment
This is about staff development and environmental sustainability.
This part of Moving Together is directed by Catherine, our CEO. Mostly in our community partnerships we provide pro bono services. This involves staff across the company. Sharing in community service brings us all closer together.
I am constantly impressed with the willingness of staff to be involved in environmental and community initiatives. Staff training in ethics by the St James Ethics Centre helped us to share our understanding of environmental and social responsibility across the company.
Catherine has shown strong leadership in encouraging staff to consider the environment and take action to reduce our environmental footprint. She actively increases staff awareness of the environmental challenges we face in the removals industry. She does this not only to benefit present and future generations but also for the cost benefit it returns to the business.
Moving Together in the environment
Two Men and a Truck has identified areas of waste and addressed those areas. We broke the areas down to:
- office operations
- transport and logistics
- on site customer services such as packing and cleaning services.
Efficiency in the office: we monitor energy, water and paper use and provide signage to encourage and remind staff and visitors in the office to reduce:
- electricity consumption – reduced costs by $2,189 over the last year
o switching off lights where and whenever not in use, for example in individual offices, recreation rooms and toilets
o replacing single desktop printers with one central shared printer
- water use – reduced costs by $788 over the last year
o using water wisely, for example in bathrooms and kitchen areas
o reporting leaking taps or other areas of waste so that the problem can be remedied promptly
- paper use – recycled more than 50% will rise to 92%
o suggesting alternatives to printing documents, including emails
o replacing single desktop printers with one central shared printer
o re-using waste paper for notes
o paper using recycling for paper
- electronic waste
o using less toner cartridges and a recycling box for used ones
Two new replacement trucks for our fleet exceed national compliance requirements and meet the much more stringent European emission requirements with, savings per year of:
- 2,866 kilograms of carbon emissions (nearly three tonnes)
- $1,730.56 in fuel costs
- $4,195 on servicing and maintenance costs
For efficiency of vehicle movement
- rationalise and combine loads where possible, with customer agreement
- use a container vehicle and trailer to double volume on interstate runs
- set times and areas for box pick up and delivery, reducing deliveries from over a five day period to three days
- set times and areas for estimators eliminating vehicles backtracking
For efficiency with staff and customers
- provide access to job-sheets for drivers via text or our online database
- provide drivers and estimators with electronic devices for paperless client transactions
- operate a box buy back scheme, reducing new packing boxes purchased
- provide recycled boxes to customers at a significantly reduced price to encourage uptake
Moving Together with our local community
And here’s where I feature! As a removalist company, we take a special interest in all forms of transportation and road safety.
As a family business we, and our employees, are strongly drawn to initiatives for youth, health and education.
Participating in Tour De Office, an office-based cycling challenge we combined our interests in transport and road safety. Two of our staff cycled in this initiative, and donated the funds raised to the Amy Gillet Foundation, an organisation aiming to reduce the incidence of death and injury of bike riders.
In a cycle, youth and health related initiative, our people transported the racing bikes of competitors in the Pedal for Kids Charity Bike Ride for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. They packed all of the hundred bikes and equipment into one of our trucks at the Randwick-based Sydney Children’s Hospital before dawn. They moved the first lot of bikes to the starting line at Windsor Public School, and the second lot at the Berowra starting line.
Two Men and a Truck donated prizes for the Kindergarten Union Silent Auction to raise funds for school resources for the Killarney Pre-School.
Taking a lead from one of our staff members who plays for North’s Cricket team, we sponsored the team to help pay for uniforms and equipment.
In community health related partnerships over the last 18 months we have:
- relocated the Sydney office of the Make a Wish Foundation
- transported goods donated by Body Sense Solutions to MS Australia. MS Australia gratefully accepted the offer and was happy to inform us that they have designed an exercise program for their clients incorporating the beds and chairs we delivered from Body Sense Solutions
- pledged Two Men and a Truck services for Daffodil Day. We will supply teams in the ACT, Victoria and NSW to transport the stands and Daffodils for volunteers selling merchandise to raise money for the Cancer Council.
On a more personal note, as a long time bridge player I was pleased for Two Men and a Truck to sponsor the Gold Coast Bridge Congress. More than 3,000 players participated in that week-long event.
Let me read what Queensland Bridge Association Manager, Kim Ellaway said:
In Brisbane we have two storage sheds and on the Gold Coast one storage shed. We are told that each is equivalent to a three-bedroom house. Two Men and a Truck moved three house loads to our venue and [later] returned it to the storage sheds, always with a smile on their faces.
Later in the year Two Men and a Truck also sponsored the North Shore Bridge Club Super Congress for the 11th consecutive year. 400 players participated in this three-day event.
Moving Together with the wider community
This part of Moving Together targets deeper and more enduring initiatives.
Our current sponsorships emphasise youth, cultural understanding and social justice.
Partnership with The Jump Start Foundation
This relationship began when Two Men and a Truck entered into a philanthropic partnership with Jump Start, a personal training business whose premises were next door to us in Cammeray.
The Jump Start Trust Vanuatu Island Relay Challenge attracts more participants each year, providing literacy and numeracy resources and sporting equipment to otherwise poorly resourced rural schools in Vanuatu.
Cheryl and I travel to Vanuatu each year to support this event.
It is close to our hearts because it ticks all of the boxes for our family and business values.
- it’s healthy.
- it’s challenging.
- it’s fun
- it brings our people, including staff, together.
- it joins us in action with a broader community.
- it brings the people of Vanuatu along with us.
- it teaches us about the richness of life and values of people who live outside our immediate and materialistic existence.
- most importantly, it empowers young people while fostering harmony and understanding across cultures.
Each year we also donate funds and move donated goods to the annual Monster Garage Sale and Silent Auction venues of the Jump Start Foundation.
All proceeds received by the Jump Start Foundation go into the creation of resources for the children of Vanuatu. With continuing innovation the project now interacts directly with schools, sponsoring local students from rural schools to participate in sporting activities at regional, national and even international levels. Funds from the foundation have also built and resourced a library in Vanuatu to improve the literacy standards of children.
Partnership with the Anne Frank Exhibition
Coinciding with our family’s Dutch heritage and our commitment to cultural understanding and youth, the Anne Frank Exhibition in Australia has become our latest Moving Together partnership in the wider community. This international initiative tells of the Holocaust and encourages us to think about the consequences of Anne Frank’s story for today’s world.
The exhibition is aimed at children from 11 to 18 years. It displays photos and accompanying texts describing the most important events of that time through the personal story of this 15 year old young Dutch girl.
Two Men and a Truck is moving the exhibition around Australia to Melbourne, Ballarat, Portland, Casterton, Coal Creek and finally to Sydney
Unveiling the exhibition in Melbourne to an audience of hundreds, Curator Jayne Josem observed:
Anne Frank’s story is not just about the Holocaust. It’s about growing up. It’s about oppression. It’s about helping others in need and it’s about resilience and hope.
Dutch/New Zealand businessman and Exhibition Chairman Boyd Klap, said:
I hope that we can learn from this exhibition that we are responsible for our environment and our people, and atrocities like the Holocaust must never happen again. Bad things happen when good people do nothing. We must learn from the Holocaust that all people and races are the same.
Director of Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Ronald Leopold, observed that:
[the images of the past are] unfortunately quite current. It is still happening in the world that we are living in – like exclusion on the basis of ethnicity or religion, isolation, expulsion, torture, murder and yes… mass murder.
Videos related to the Anne Frank Story produced by Two Men and a Truck
We have produced a number of documentary videos about the history of Anne Frank and World War II and related and moving stories closer to home.
These videos raise awareness of history and social issues and are on the Two Men and a Truck online newsroom under Moving Stories that Shaped the World.
Values of leadership among the heroes of Kokoda
Here Mosman resident Tim James shares his experience of the 10 day challenge, walking the Kokoda Trail. He speaks of:
- the 120 kilometres of jungle mud, humidity and threatening valleys of the Kokoda Trail that became a battleground holding the freedom of Australia.
- those Australian soldiers and their local supporters: “Everything that we enjoy today perhaps would not be here but for their heroics and courage and their sacrifice and their endurance”
- the four values of those soldiers inscribed on a memorial along the trail as Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice.
Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations
Rita Wendberg and Valerie Linow help us to reflect on the plight of some Australians. Aunty Rita, from Albury and Aunty Val from Sydney tell of:
- being forcefully taken from their families in the stolen generations
- loss of language and identity like many other stolen children in care at Cootamundra Girls Home and Parramatta Girls Home
- heartache, neglect, rape and abuse
They also paint a picture of strength and survival.
Aunty Rita is an artist and showed some of the vibrantly expressive work in which she has transferred some of her memories to canvas.
Bullying in Schools and Courage to Care
In this video Josef Vissel asks; “Would you put yourself and your family at risk to help a stranger?” Joseph:
- was orphaned during the Second World War in Holland as a Jewish child
- owes his survival to the people who had the courage to care for him, despite putting their own lives at risk.
In a program called Courage to Care Joe and other Holocaust survivors share his story with children in regional areas. The aim is to reduce bullying in schools.
Messages of the program for students are that:
- you have a choice when confronted with prejudice, racism or bullying
- you can (like the majority at the time of the Holocaust)
o be a passive by-stander,
o or find a way to stand up for what you know is right.