The Safety Charter’s ten-year Anniversary Dinner was held at the conclusion of the Mentally Safe Work Conference and featured a large cast of past and present members and supporters of the Safety Charter.
Master of Ceremonies and past Board Chair Rob Sloan opened the proceedings and spoke about the energy and drive of the early meetings, and the “buzz” in the room to get things underway. Board member David Bristow then acknowledged the passing of two significant figures in the early days of the Safety Charter Rebuild, Helen Kelly and Bernard McIlhone.
Safety Charter Parton Graeme Darlow spoke about the importance of the tripartate approach of industry, government and unions all collaborating. The strength of the Safety Charter was the ability to get all the players in the room together, and the high level of buy-in from all organisation’s that were involved.
Pelin Fantham, the Interim Deputy Chief Executive, Equity, Partnerships, and Intervention Design at WorkSafe spoke about the role of the regulator in connecting with key industry players to improve outcomes for workers. WorkSafe have invested heavily in mentally safe work and HSR development, with both programs collaborating with the Safety Charter.
Matt Doocey, MP for Waimakiriri and the National Party’s Mental Health Spokesman, spoke about the Governments role in fostering mental wellbeing in the workplace. He shared some of his own personal stories, including the recovery from a car accident which greatly influenced his outlook.
After dinner, several key players shared their recollections of the people and events which shaped the Safety Charter and drove it forward. Craig Sengelow spoke about the support he had received from government agencies to follow the vision; Kathryn Hellier recalled the challenges of being the Australian woman with the crazy ideas while Andrew Confait spoke about being ‘persuaded’ into getting involved, before realizing the big picture of what was being achieved and finally Kristina Wischnowsky recalled her first meeting, and the welcome she received as a relative novice, and then having the opportunity to lead the communications team. A night of Karaoke with some senior government and industry leaders cemented the relationships between the groups.
The Safety Charter General Manager, Paul Duggan then spoke about the real foundation of the Charter, and the legacy that the Safety Charter continues to carry forward from its beginnings. Rather than bricks and mortar or people, this legacy is the vision and passion of all involved to improve the lives of others.