It might seem like a distant memory now, but only a few months ago Australia experienced one of the worst bush fire seasons on record. The world was a different place and is it any wonder we may have forgotten this crisis, as since then we have also had to endure the onset of a global pandemic, COVID-19, and the cruel effects this has had on all of our health, lives, communities and work.
What has been heartening is the consistent support for one another through these crises. The mantra of "we are all in this together" has been truly lived, and the sense of community spirit and goodwill has been demonstrated throughout the bush fires and now the pandemic.
Back in January, The Daily Telegraph reported that… “more than half a billion dollars has been raised in response to Australia’s bush fire crisis. This is fabulous BUT the tsunami of donations is causing a headache for some organisations who are stretched in how they account for and then distribute the donations”.
As a company, we at Watermark Search wondered what we could do to help in this situation and came up with the idea of asking our cohort of Interim Executives whether they might be willing, on a pro-bono basis, to give some of their time to one of these organisations. We surveyed our network and we were so pleased to see that there were a number of people who were "on the bench" and between roles, and who were very keen to donate their time to such a worthy cause.
Two of our Interim Executives donated their time to St. John Ambulance. They worked for many weeks on a pro bono basis to develop a communications strategy. The program was developed as St. John Ambulance's response for a strategic communications and engagement plan. With high profile support anticipated from leading figures, they were poised to activate an impactful campaign. Feedback from the CEO and Board on the draft campaign was very positive, stating that the Interim’s efforts had met the brief perfectly. However, the onset of COVID-19 has meant that it is not yet possible to run the campaign in its current form.
St John Ambulance remain grateful to Watermark for introducing the Interim Executives and are very appreciative of the guidance and extensive work that they have both delivered over the 6 weeks they worked with the organisation.
Both volunteers enjoyed the opportunity to be able to give something back to the community.
St John Ambulance Australia were recently provided a wonderful opportunity by Watermark Search International with access to highly talented corporate executives to assist us in developing a national communications strategy to deliver mental health training to victims of the recent bushfires and more recently members of the public effected by COVID -19.
The program is still being developed with the assistance of two interim executives from Watermark on a pro bono basis. St John is incredibly grateful to Watermark for stepping up in a time of need to assist not-for-profits like St John.
Len Fiori, Chief Executive Officer
St. John Ambulance Australia