Community

GHD in the Community

Our Corporate Social Responsibility program, GHD in the Community (GITC), is designed to have a positive social and environmental impact on the communities around us.

The program is driven by our people’s interests and is based on partnering with not-for-profit organisations. This includes the provision of pro-bono services and the support of a range of community-based organisations for fundraising, volunteering, workplace support and engagement. Our people proudly consider, formally apply and then nurture GITC partnerships, making this program one of deep interest and personal pride amongst our teams.

Our clients also play an important part in this program by highlighting their challenges or identifying opportunities for our assistance. We are grateful for their involvement which enables us to add value and a make a real difference to disadvantaged communities or causes.

Projects of national or international significance that help rebuild communities after disasters, assist with vital infrastructure or simply provide much needed support to affect positive change are a key part of our approach to GITC.

Flagship programs 2015

  • MSABI – Our long-term support of this safe water, sanitation and hygiene initiative in Tanzania continues to change lives. Founded by one of our engineers Dale Young, MSABI has provided access to safe water and sanitation to an estimated 85,000 people in the past six years, educated more than 350,000 people and delivered more than 400 safe water access points. As one of MSABI’s strategic partners, we provide financial support and our people act as technical advisors, donating their time and skills to this respected program. In 2015, two GHD people (Chris Hertle & Brett Goebel) and their families travelled to Tanzania to see MSABI’s work and meet some of the families that have benefitted from this initiative. In 2013, MSABI won the support of the Human Development Innovation Fund in the UK and Grand Challenges in Canada and was runner up in the Nestle ‘Creating Shared Value Awards’.
  • Engineers Without Borders – Working with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through education and engineering solutions is something that our people are passionate about. As part of our relationship with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) around the world, our people are involved in numerous programs to assist communities in Australia, USA, Canada, Asia and Africa. This includes an ongoing involvement with Indigenous communities. For example Gemma Arthurson took part in the EWB Study Tour of the Murray Darling Basin in Australia while Kate Hryczyszyn attended the 2015 EWB study tour of Cambodia. We also took part in National Aboriginal and Indigenous Day of Celebration (NAIDOC) Week in Victoria. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA office, our people worked with the local EWB Chapter on a community-driven development in the Gambia, West Africa.
  • RedR – GHD’s partnership with RedR in Australia, a leading humanitarian agency for international emergency relief, is helping communities in need. Our involvement, which began in 1992 and was formalised in 2014, enables us to provide financial assistance and support for corporate activities. As part of the partnership, our people have the opportunity to train and pursue humanitarian and disaster relief roles with RedR. In 2015 Camilla Bachet from Melbourne undertook a placement with UNICEF in Nepal, and Rod Towner from Sydney undertook a placement in Geneva with the World Health Organisation.
  • CareerTrackers – During 2015, GHD continued to provide internship placements and support for Indigenous university students through our association with CareerTrackers. This assistance helps them prepare for leadership in the workplace and the community. Today, GHD has 10 interns currently gaining experience in a variety of disciplines across the company. We recently committed to a 10-year partnership with CareerTrackers, which is aligned with our Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Local programs 2015

Inter-office

  • Movember – In 2015 GHD people around the world participated in this great initiative raising a total of AUD35,000 around the world to support programs to address men’s health issues.
  • CANStruction – GHD people in opposite corners of the world – Canada, USA and Australia – showed their support for CANstruction, an annual design and construction industry charity event where large, lovely structures are created entirely out of canned food. In Canada our people created a piece called ‘Giving is the New Black’ and donated 1000 kg (2200 lbs) of food afterwards. In Brisbane, our people constructed a minion while in Darwin they created a crocodile.
  • Habitat for Humanity – As a long term supporter of this initiative, GHD got involved in 2015 in builds in Canada and New Zealand. In Canada, a team from the Montreal and Laval offices rolled up their sleeves for Habitat’s Women Build Program. In New Zealand, we participated in two Big Build Weekends to help families in need.

Australia

  • Aboriginal Community Elders Services Retirement Home (VIC) – A group of people from our Melbourne office donated their time to help restore a small vegetable garden on this site.
  • Around the Bay (VIC) – Multiple teams from GHD in Victoria cycled distances ranging from 50 km to 250 km to raise money for The Smith Family child education programs.  
  • Ashfield Primary School (WA)– Our people in Perth have adopted the Ashfield Primary School and have so far donated around 100 books to the library, initiated a weekly Homework Club run by volunteers and raised funds for the end of year awards.
  • Australian Volunteers for International Development Program – Estrella Melero, a spatial scientist in our Melbourne office went to the Dominican Republic for 12 months to work for the National Emergency Commission to help improve the country’s disaster risk management.
  • Brotherhood of St Laurence (VIC) – Our people in Melbourne continue to provide support to the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL), building on a relationship of nearly a decade between BSL and GHD. Our support to BSL includes volunteer tutors for disadvantaged students from our Young Professionals group, fundraising at the Social Club annual river cruise and donation of Christmas gifts for disadvantaged elderly people.
  • Cancer Council Australia – Two people from our Perth office took part in a car rally covering 3600 km to raise funds for the Cancel Council.
  • CANStruction (QLD & NT) – In Brisbane, our people constructed a minion while in Darwin they created a crocodile to support CANstruction, an annual design and construction industry charity event where large, lovely structures are created entirely out of canned food.
  • Dragon Boating – GHD is an avid participant in dragon boating in both Australia and the UK, which raises funds for various charities.
  • Fire Organ, Dark Mofo (TAS) – This year, GHD supported the Dark Mofo festival in Hobart by providing support to the Fire Organ artwork.
  • International Women’s Day 2015 – Van Tang, our Manager for South Australia participated in an executive panel discussion on diversity in leadership in Melbourne, sponsored by GHD.  Metcalfe, our manager for Canberra was a panellist at a Property Council of Australia leadership forum on gender diversity in the property industry.
  • Lake Claremont Revegetation (WA) – GHD young professionals alongside our strategic clients volunteered to plant 2700 native seedlings to help form a wildlife corridor at the lake.
  • Lynall Hall Community School in Richmond (VIC) – Building on another long term relationship, our VOC People team supported a ready for work program for students at Lynall Hall Community School in Richmond, providing guidance and advice to a group of high school students as they prepared to enter the workforce for the first time. GHD has also supported a program at the school for many years with volunteers and funding to provide breakfast for the school’s students, many of whom do not have access to a nutritious breakfast at home.
  • Mackay Coastal Cleanup (QLD) – Our team in Mackay volunteered to ‘adopt’ Harbour Beach in Mackay. They collected a total of 228 kg of rubbish as part of the Eco Barge Clean Seas initiative.
  • NAIDOC Week (NSW) – For the 2015 NAIDOC Week, ourSydney office hostedGumaroy Newman, a Gomilaroi and Wakka Wakka man, to share his Indigenous cultural connections to the land, share some stories and perform a couple of songs.
  • Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser (NSW) – Our Sydney office held a fundraiser to support relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015.
  • OneCare (VIC) – Our people in Geelong volunteer at a monthly community lunch for OneCare, providing support and social interaction with the Geelong West community.
  • Oxfam Trailwalker Challenge – For the fourth year in a row, a team from GHD in Victoria tackled this grueling 100 km walk to overcome global poverty issues.
  • Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (WA) – A team of 10 GHD Young Professionals abseiled down the 125 m high Woodside building in Perth to raise funds for this foundation.
  • Shoalhaven Professional Business Association’s Professional Snapshot Event (NSW) – Since 2011, GHD in Nowra has participated in an annual educational event for schoolchildren coordinated by the Shoalhaven Professional Business Association (SPBA). In 2015, GHD Environmental Engineers Jane Curran and Lachlan Carratt hosted a session where school children applied problem solving skills as a group, students attempted to draw a series of instructions and write an engineering speciation that outlined how to make a jam sandwich and also build a bridge from marshmallows and spaghetti.
  • WaterAid Walk 4 Water – GHD people in Victoria, Sydney and South Queensland raised money by taking at least 10,000 steps per day to assist WaterAid Australia transform lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries.
  • World’s Greatest Shave – GHD people across Australia showed their support for the Leukemia Foundation by taking part in the 2015 World’s Greatest Shave and raising funds for worthy cause.

Canada

  • CANStruction – Our people created a piece called ‘Giving is the New Black’ and donated 1000 kg (2200 lbs) of food.
  • Great Urban Race – Our people raced around Toronto to raise funds in support of The Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, USA.
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation – A team from our Waterloo office participated in the Kitchener Hockey for Heart Tournament and raised funds for this cause. Another team from our Whitby, Markham, and Mississauga offices participated in the Ride for Heart bicycle ride to raise money. In the last six years, our people have raised more than CAD25,000 for this foundation.
  • Habitat for Humanity – A team from the Montreal and Laval offices rolled up their sleeves for Habitat’s Women Build Program, donating time and skills to benefit local families.
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – A team of GHD cyclists participated in the Grand Bend to London MS Bike Tour to raise funds to help improve the lives of people living with MS.

Chile

  • Astoreca Foundation – Our office in Santiago donated 50 computers to the San Joaquin Public School in Renca to enhance the students’ learning experience.

Middle East

  • Doha English Speaking School – GHD supported the school’s football team, which was recently crowned 2015 Qatar Private Primary Schools Sports Association Alliance Cup Champions.
  • Box Appeal – Once again GHD has participated in the Box Appeal in Qatar, a charity initiative run by Radisson Blu and Park Inn Hotels in the Middle East. It is a campaign that involves the public collecting and donating items such as clothing and toiletries, which many take for granted but are often luxuries for the less affluent. In 2015, GHD assembled 31 boxes.

New Zealand

  • Habitat for Humanity – Our Young Professionals (YPs) in New Zealand are very involved with Habitat for Humanity having undertaken four builds in 2015, donating their time and services to build homes for the disadvantaged.
  • Prostate Cancer & Breast Cancer Foundations – Our YPs organised a ‘Blokes morning tea’ and a ‘BBQ for Breast Cancer’, with staff dressing in blue and pink on each day respectively, raising funds for these two worthy causes.
  • Wilding Pines Tree Planting – A group of GHD volunteers joined a volunteer day organised by Environment Canterbury in April 2015. The key objective was to help control the spread of wilding pines, which displace indigenous habitats and species, impact cultural and historic sites, reduce farm profitability and increase fire risk.
  • Ngati Whatua Marae – GHD volunteers attended an annual education and careers festival at a local Marae, teaching local children about engineering and design through an interactive ‘build the tallest structure’ competition. The winner went home with a GHD branded prize pack.

Philippines

  • Gift Giving Program – Every year, the Young Professionals (YP) Group in our Manila office, holds an outreach program to benefit a chosen charity. During the 2014/2015 financial year, the group raised funds for the Paediatric-Emergency Ward in the Philippines General Hospital (PGH) by singing Christmas carols.

UK

  • Steps to Success – GHD participated in Steps to Success, an annual event held in York for children and their parents to chat to people in lots of different disciplines including engineering to provide motivation and guidance for their future. 

USA

  • Maryland City Elementary School – Our office in Bowie, Maryland adopted this local school and donated 74 backpacks and school supplies to help meet the needs of disadvantaged students.
  • Adopt-a-highway Cleanup – Young professionals in our Madison office participated in three adopt-a-highway cleanups.
  • Operation Good Things (Channel 9) – Our people in Cazenovia and Syracuse took part in this initiative and donated hundreds of gift for the 2014 holiday season.
  • Central Pennsylvania Food Bank – Young professionals in our Harrisburg office organised an office-wide canned and non-perishable food drive to benefit this Food Bank. More than 234 pounds of food was donated to help feed around 600 people.
  • American Heart Association – Our office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania held a fundraiser for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Day to raise awareness for women’s health.
  • American Red Cross – GHD people in our Cazenovia office donated 22 ‘units’ of blood in January 2015 to boost blood and platelet supplies.
  • YMCA – Our people in Harrisburg sponsored the 12th Annual Corporate Challenge held at the West Shore YMCA. The GHD Gladiators competed against seven other local companies and raised funds for the YMCA to continue to provide family and health services.
  • Feeding the homeless in San Francisco – Our people regularly make sandwiches and distribute them to the Embarcadero area, home to a large homeless population.
  • Huntington County Pride – For nearly 20 years, GHD has supported this not for profit. This year our people participated in the annual telethon to help raise USD165,000.
  • Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services – People from our Sacramento office volunteered their time to help distribute emergency groceries for this organisation to approximately 130 families.
  • Punta Colonet Community Center Project – Nate Oakes from our San Diego office has donated his time and civil and structural engineering skills to help families in Baja, California Mexico by contributing to the building of a community center.
  • Orange County Food Bank – In Irvine, our people made a difference to the local community by volunteering to assemble 1200 food boxes for children and seniors.
2014 Our 2014 contributions to the community are as follows:

Flagship programs

  • MSABI - Our long-term support of this safe water, sanitation and hygiene initiative in Tanzania continues to change lives. Founded by one of our engineers, MSABI has provided access to safe water and sanitation to an estimated 85,000 people in the past five years and educated more than 350,000 people. As one of MSABI’s strategic partners, we provide financial support and our people act as technical advisors, donating their time and skills to this respected program.
  • Engineers Without Borders - Working with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through education and engineering solutions is something that our people are passionate about. As part of our relationship with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) around the world, our people are involved in numerous programs to assist communities in Australia, Cambodia, Laos, India and the USA. This includes an ongoing involvement with Indigenous communities.
  • RedR - In Australia, GHD has formalised its partnership with RedR, a leading humanitarian agency for international emergency relief. This enables us to continue the relationship our people began in 1992 to provide financial assistance and support for corporate activities. As part of the partnership, our people have the opportunity to train and pursue humanitarian and disaster relief roles with RedR.
  • CareerTrackers - During 2014, GHD continued to provide internship placements and support for pre-professional Indigenous university students through our association with CareerTrackers. This assistance helps them prepare for leadership in the workplace and the community. Today, GHD has 10 interns currently gaining experience in a variety of disciplines across the company.

Local programs

Inter-office

  • Movember – In 2013/2014 GHD people around the world participated in this great initiative raising a total of AUD28,842 around the world.
  • CANStruction – GHD people in opposite corners of the world – Canada and Australia – showed their support for CANstruction, an annual design and construction industry charity event where large, lovely structures are created entirely out of canned food. Our team in Canada created a design showing the four seasons, while our team in the Northern Territory of Australia constructed a rainbow serpent of the Indigenous Australian dreamtime stories.

Australia

  • Brotherhood of St Laurence – Our Victorian OC participated in a Christmas gift appeal for the BSL. In total, 13 boxes full of gifts from GHD were distributed.
  • Cancer Council Australia – Kelvin Woods and Russell Clayton from our Perth office participated in a seven-day car rally as team ‘Thunderbox’ travelling more than 4000 km to raise funds for this worthy cause.
  • Dragon Boating – GHD is an avid participant in dragon boating in both Australia and the UK, which raises funds for various charities.
  • Dress for Success – GHD women in Sydney once again got behind this initiative that provides clothing and styling advice for women seeking to re-enter the workforce after periods of unemployment. More than 20 people donated clothes and participated in an end of year celebration.
  • International Women’s Day 2014 – In North Queensland, our people celebrated International Women’s Day with an inter-office flatpack challenge, where they assembled a complete bedroom suite which was donated to a local women’s shelter.
  • Live for Kids – A group of GHD riders completed a six-day, 850 km bike ride from the Gold Coast to Newcastle in support of this charity and raised AUD18,000 in the process.
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – A team of 14 cyclists participated in the MS Gong ride recently, riding from Sydney to Wollongong to raise funds for people living with the disease. GHD was the sixth largest fundraiser in the engineering of the event.
  • Oxfam Trailwaker – Members of our Environment team in Melbourne participated in this annual 100 km walk to raise funds for people living in poverty.
  • Women’s Property Initiative – GHD in Victoria completed a pro-bono project by providing a contamination assessment on a property where the WPI is planning to construct seven townhouses for disadvantaged women and children.

Canada

  • Becel Heart & Stroke – A team of 18 cyclists from our Canada OC completed the 27th Becel Heart and Stroke Ride, a 50 or 75 km ride in Toronto.
  • Camp Oochigeas – 40 GHD people got involved in a 10 km run/walk event in Toronto to support this organisation that provides kids affected by cancer with a unique opportunity for growth.
  • Great Urban Race – A number of our YPs raced around Toronto recently in support of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
  • National Cupcake Day – GHD people in Canada’s Whitby and Markham offices participated in National Cupcake Day in support of local animal shelters, SPCAs and Human Societies across Canada.
  • Sick Kids Foundation – We participated in the 19th annual Heatwave Beach Volleyball Corporate Team challenge in Toronto and raised funds for children with cancer.

Middle East

  • Box Appeal – GHD continues to support this charity initiative that aims to provide everyday necessities to labourers in the Middle East. This year, we made donations that contributed to filling many boxes containing clothing and personal care items.

New Zealand

  • Habitat for Humanity – Our YPs in New Zealand are very involved with Habitat for Humanity having undertaken more than eight builds in 2014, donating their time and services to build homes for the disadvantaged. On a recent build, our YPs partnered with EWB.
  • Indigenous Education Festival – YPs joined the Ngati Whatua Iwi (native Maori tribe) at an education festival to raise awareness of education opportunities and promote career success.

UK

  • CRASH – Our people participated in the 15th London Construction Dragon Boating Challenge. Our team, known as the rouGHDiamonds took out first place ahead of 35 other teams and raised funds for charity CRASH, which improves the buildings used by homeless men and women.

USA

  • Adopt-A-Highway Cleanups – YPs from our Madison office have adopted a 3.2 km stretch of highway near the office which they are cleaning up during regular events.
  • Engineering Week 2014 – In Guam, a number of our engineers visited middle and high schools to speak about the joys and challenges of the engineering profession. In total 43 presentations were made at 12 different schools.
  • Project Clean Stream – In Bowie, our YPs have participated in the Allance for the Chesapeake Bay’s tenth annual Project Clean Stream in Annapolis. The event brings volunteers together for the largest river and stream clean up even in the region, covering all stretches of the watershed.

GHD Library

The GHD library is a collection of relevant resources.