Businesses have an immense power to make meaningful societal change
GJK is incredibly proud of its efforts as a socially responsible business. We are implementing programs for change that can help societies most disadvantaged.
Giving Back to the Community
Companies ‘give back’ to society through charitable donations, participating in events that support others and embedding socially responsible practices into their operations. Businesses have an incredible power to ‘do good’ using their profits thoughtfully to make a real difference in society and people’s lives. By doing so, they can extend beyond their core business and make their work truly meaningful.
However, we’re in a world where it’s up to business leaders to determine their company’s level of philanthropy. Millions of dollars for the needy seem to come and go based on the sentiment of a company’s CEO at the time. As consumers, we should not underestimate the power of our choices to influence business decision-making. If we consciously choose products or work with businesses with clear programs to improve societal outcomes, we can influence change and make our priorities known to business leaders.
GJK originated from a family commercial cleaning business in 1985 and now employs a workforce of over 2,500 with a large national footprint. Giving back to the community and changing people’s lives for the better is a vision our Managing Director, George Stamas, has had since he founded GJK Facility Services over 35 years ago. His belief has seen him champion change in all aspects of diversity in the business and our leaders are passionate about giving back to the community.
One of our proudest community projects is the Public Tenant Employment Program we co-founded in 2003 when awarded the cleaning, grounds, maintenance and wastewater contract at the Collingwood and Atherton Gardens Public Housing Estates in Victoria. Our supported employment framework was an overwhelming success, enabling long-lasting changes for tenant employees, including financial autonomy, breaking the cycle of unemployment and providing opportunities for families.
The successful program was recognised several times. In 2006, when awarded the H Bruce Russell International Global Innovators Award for the program’s innovation and the significant impact it has had on long-term unemployment and local community, and in 2011 for the Australian Business Award for the Community Contribution Award. Today the program is going stronger than ever, with a good portion of the workforce for the contract still coming from the housing estates.
Another incredible achievement that grew from supporting and mentoring an Indigenous entrepreneur, Jasmine Newman, is the establishment of GJK Indigenous Solutions (GJKIS) in 2017. As a joint venture, in its infancy, GJK provided a shared services support structure to GJKIS so they could optimize and maximize outcomes for customers, enabling it to be a competitive Indigenous business.
Jasmine’s vision was to continue her family legacy and operate a successful company that created employment pathway opportunities for Aboriginal people, empowering the next generation of Indigenous leaders.
GJK has helped Jasmine achieve this vision, with GJKIS becoming a successful, female-owned Indigenous company that is providing Aboriginal people employment and pathway opportunities. At their BGIS NNSW Defence Contract, GJKIS operates with 51% Indigenous employment, engages with Indigenous suppliers, and has completed over 30 formal traineeships. This success of GJKIS was recognized at the 2020 Defence Industry awards when they took out the Aboriginal Business of the Year award.
While some businesses ‘talk the talk’ others ‘walk the walk’ and can identify examples of making a true, tangible difference in society.
GJK is incredibly proud of its efforts as a socially responsible business. We are continuing to implement programs for change that can help societies most disadvantaged.