31 Mar 2020
Ten days before the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) annual TRANSFORM conference, unprecedented times called for unprecedented action and the decision was made to bring the event online. As businesses and individuals find ways to process and respond to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, it was fitting to have John Brogden AM, Chair of Lifeline and CEO of Landcom, open TRANSFORM with Davina Rooney, GBCA CEO.
Our nation’s ability to respond to disasters is being put to test. As we emerged from a summer of fire, smoke and flooding rains, we were confronted with the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that is threatening the physical and mental health of Australians.
Before the bushfires, Lifeline was answering 2500 calls a day. Since the bushfires the organisation has seen a sustained 10.5% increase to almost 3000 calls a day. While Lifeline is increasing its resources, Mr Brogden says you don’t need to be an expert to check in on someone’s mental health and that now is the time to reach out to neighbours, family and colleagues.
“Now that we’ve got the coronavirus, what we’re worried about is obviously people losing jobs, at a rate of knots. We’re also worried about people either being forced to isolate in the future or self-isolating", said Mr Brogden.
Mr Brogden hopes that through these challenges we learn that Australians are resilient, care for their neighbours and workers, and that we can get through this as a community. He says it’s up to our leaders to show the way.
“This is the time that employee assistance programs should be available. At Landcom we’re making this freely available to staff and their families.
“Also let people know that this is going to end. Whether it ends in three months or six months, it’s going to end. I think people need to see leadership that’s looking beyond this particular crisis and into the future", says Mr Brogden.
Davina noted that the work John has done at Landcom around community resilience and lowering carbon emissions has flourished, and that it is integral that these issues remain at the forefront of our national conversation.
“This is a critical issue for Australians and we take it very seriously at Landcom. We’ve set ourselves a very clear target that we’re already planning for, and from 2028 all of our projects will be carbon neutral,” shared Mr Brogden.
Green Star certification helps organisations meet net zero targets while creating positive, healthy and resilient places for workers and communities. We thank Landcom for its leadership and support as a Future Focus Silver Partner as we reshape Green Star.
For ways you can stay healthy and support those around you during the coronavirus pandemic, see these resources from Lifeline or to talk to someone, call 13 11 14.