Women on Board

Seminar Series and Luncheon

Friday November 24, 2017

River Rooms, Crown Casino Complex

proudly sponsored by..............




2016 Women on Board Seminar and Luncheon

The BusVic Women on Board event sponsored by Volvo Bus Australia and CMV Truck and Bus, held at the Crown River Rooms again proved to be a fantastic platform for promoting diversity and innovative management techniques in the bus industry with over 140 industry identities attending the seminar and luncheon. This year’s focus was on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Julia Evans and Chris Lowe opened the day by explaining how bus operators (as one of the essential and surviving services of regional and rural towns) have been engaging in critical CSR activities for many years and now was the time to identify and measure the valuable contribution that bus operators make to their local communities.

Melissa Ruff from Australian Super then presented several case studies on where and how corporate community engagement strategies had worked well. Melissa detailed that companies and individuals must think locally; and start by indentifying what has meaning to you, your business and your community.  She encouraged the industry to engage, engage and engage again with community and stakeholder groups and that success won’t be achieved easily and should not just be measured by a financial commitment but also by the heart and sweat.
During the workshop conversation that followed delegates were asked to reflect and record what CSR activities they had been involved in. Through the immediate feedback it became very evident that bus operators, suppliers and transport agencies were all actively involved in a wide range of CSR initiatives whether it be part of a strategy or not. Delegates were asked to think about detailing what is in it for the employees, community and the business; and once they did they found that the benefits were also very far reaching. In hearing the example given Chris Lowe reminded the crowd to not forget the most common (yet often most appreciated and under recognised) form of contribution to the community – that being TIME!


Rhonda Renwick presented how Latrobe Valley Buslines have been involved in CSR informally for many years and how they recently developed a formal strategy for it as well as being accredited as a B-Corp. B Corporations represent an emerging group of companies that are using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world and generate a shared and durable prosperity for all. Certified B Corporations have undertaken the B Impact Assessment, scored over 80, and have signed a term sheet that declares that they will consider all stakeholders. It is a rigorous assessment that explores a company’s governance, transparency, environmental and social impact. B Corps voluntarily hold themselves to a higher level of accountability in these areas. Together, B Corps redefine success in business by competing not to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. Further information can be found at http://bcorporation.com.au/
Rhonda’s community and industry work was also recently recognised with her being awarded the Industry Achiever Award at the recent BIC Conference in Perth. 

Julia and Chris will present the feedback and findings about the level and type of CSR currently being undertaken by the industry early next year. Sean Copeland from Volvo Bus Australia welcomed the 140 in attendance to the lunch and gave background to how Volvo viewed their corporate and safety responsibility by giving the example of how Volvo had developed the lap sash seatbelt in the 1950’s and refused to patent it given the overall safety ideal held by the company.

To celebrate Travellers Aid 100 Year Anniversary, CEO Elias Lebbos was invited by Chris to explain the critical services delivered by staff and volunteer to travellers in need in Victoria; and to mark the occasion Chris also confirmed BusVic’s donation of a new mobility device  on behalf of our members.

With baited breath we were then treated to a first hand and hilarious insight into motherhood by Denise Scott, one of Australia’s favourite comedians. Denise had the crowd in stitches in what the whole of the crowd rated as one of the most entertaining and engaging performances that we’ve had at the luncheon. 

Julia closed the day by thanking all speakers and reiterated BusVic’s sincere appreciation of Sean Copeland (Volvo Bus Australia) and John Louder (CMV Truck and Bus) for their continued support of the event. We look forward to seeing you next year.

Please click here for Julia Evans paper which summarises examples and ideas for future action that were provided by attendees at the 2016 event.



2015 Women on Board Seminar and Luncheon.

The 2015 BusVic Women on Board event sponsored by Volvo Bus Australia and CMV Truck and Bus, held at the Crown Conference Centre again proved to be a fantastic platform for promoting diversity and innovative management techniques in the bus industry with over 150 industry identities attending the seminar and luncheon. This year’s focus was on connectivity, community and culture; exploring our role in strengthening people-to-people links within our operations and the broader communities we serve.

The seminar series opened with our stalwart MC Julia Evans reporting on the outcomes of the Industry Wellness Taskforce. Julia celebrated the recently released series of Wellness Guides (specific for operators, managers and everyone) aimed at addressing the safety and wellbeing of bus industry people in Victoria.

Julia explained how these guides were developed by a taskforce consisting of multiple representatives from large and small, metropolitan and regional bus operators and external consultants. Julia thanked the members of the taskforce and acknowledged Worksafe’s endorsement of the Guides as great recognition of the Taskforce’s work. Guides available here http://www.busvic.asn.au/public/bus-industry-wellness/
CDC Victoria’s Marcelle Davis then gave an great insight into her groups community and cultural engagement programs and how CDC form partnerships with likeminded organisations in order to engage with the communities that they serve, in a mutually beneficial way to both organisations. Some of the initiatives/partnerships include: Men’s Health Program  - ‘Sons of the West’ with Western Bulldogs;; converted bus to assist the Brotherhood of St Laurence with assisting/enabling disadvantaged and homeless to prepare and ready themselves to apply for jobs and enter the workforce.

In an effort to promote good/model behaviours (including addressing anti-social behaviour) CDC has also engaged with the Victorian Maori Wardens programs for Melbourne’s inner West to assist with engagement with passenger and youths in the areas, this is greatly appreciated by passengers, management and especially the drivers. They have also had youth leaders in the West take part in a graffiti education evening where the group were let loose with spray cans on an old but were then asked to clean it off so that they had an understanding of the work and cost involved in getting the bus back to service ready. The view was then that these leaders would spread the word among their social groups.
Marcelle also explained how cultural diversity was celebrated at CDC and that an improved understanding and connection with others had been found through ‘My Kitchen Rules’ days. 

In the team building concept, staff would cook a meal reflective of their culture under the pressure of a stop watch; “TEN MORE MINUTES!” everyone would yell. The staff would then enjoy the meal, then vote on the how good the food was. It’s been found to be a very successful and fun way of everyone connecting more at CDC depots in Victoria.

This was then followed by a passionate, entertaining and thought provoking workshop by Dr Barb West from ‘Cultureworks’ on intercultural communication and relationships. Barb explained how our unconscious mental self determines how we make sense of the world and the people we meet. To combat our unconscious self Barb encouraged us to say to ourselves “That’s an interesting cultural difference” when we come across something culturally different from what we’ve seen or experienced before. Barb encouraged us to avoid “ethnocentrism” which is where people use their own cultural values, norms and styles to judge others as bad. Don’t assume your own values, norms and styles are valid outside of your own cultural group. We may find it surprising that not all cultures use humourous criticism to show people that you like them like Australians generally do! So when you come across something new remember the mantra “That’s an interesting cultural difference”..... “That’s an interesting cultural difference” .....

At the luncheon Fiona Richardson MP opened her presentation by calling out the flaw in the current Volvo logo -  it mirrors the male gender symbol! Minister Richardson then continued to explain how in her current position as Minister for Women and (first) Minister for the Prevention of Violence and having had the benefit of strong female role models through her lifetime, she is pursuing her passion of empowering and improving the lives of women across Victoria. In the short time as Minister, she is immensely proud of her role in delivering on Labor’s commitment to establish Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence, knowing that it is an opportunity to change the lives of women and children and establish a culture of non-violence and gender equality.

Julia closed the day by thanking all speakers and reiterated BusVic’s sincere appreciation of Sean Copeland (Volvo Bus Australia) and John Louder (CMV Truck and Bus) for their continued support of the event. We look forward to seeing you next year.


Please see a review of previous events below: 


2014 Women on Board Seminar and Luncheon.

Another successful edition of the BusVic Women on Board Seminar and Luncheon, headlined by entertaining keynote speaker Robyn Moore was held on Friday November 14 at the Crown complex.

A capacity crowd of over 100 had organisers scrambling for additional chairs at the morning seminar, opened by our MC Julia Evans. Julia revisited last year’s seminar on the Chief Emotional Officer (CEmO) detailed her further work and Paper which she released in conjunction with Chris Lowe in March 2014.
The Paper entitled ‘Harmony, Productivity and Informed Decision Making: Developing the Fundamental Competencies of the Chief Emotional Officer in Family Businesses’ asks the question; What are the fundamental competencies of the CEmO and how can they be developed in a role that is highly intrinsic and rarely formalised? 

The paper presents the discovery of three foundation competencies that CEmOs master and outlines preliminary evidence that CEmOs exist in non-family firms, indicating that the ability to facilitate harmony, drive productivity and informed decision making are highly valued in all organisations. Specifically, this paper asserts that the role of CEmO in family businesses is central to developing the ‘family point of view’.

The full paper can be found in the Reports and Articles sections of the Publications Tab on the BusVic website.

Chris Lowe’s presentation on the Industry’s mental health survey followed. Chris detailed the preliminary results of the 505 surveys that were completed by a range of BusVic member staff. The findings found that staff worked an average of 42.6 hours per week and that the top four challenges at work were: 1) Traffic Congestion, 2) Pressure of on time running, 3)Types of passengers and 4)Road Rage.

Alarmingly, the results also found that 19% (100) people have been physically assaulted, 19% had been spat on and 7% threatened. Close to 45% of respondents encountered rude, abusive or aggressive customers daily or weekly.

These stresses lead to an impact on the home and work life of the respondents including signs of stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, illness, weight gain and loss. 

Chris concluded that while he is not a mental health expert he does know that the Victorian industry is made up of great employers, with long tenure of staff, and high job satisfaction.

He recognised the need for us all to become world-leading employers and encouraged operators to work to continually improve mental health of personnel.
Chris indicated that we need to work collectively as an Industry to find initiatives to improve mental health, following which on the seminar participants’ workshopped some ideas on what could be considered. These initiatives will soon be considered and developed by an industry working group.
With no doubt the main attraction of the day was Robyn Moore who gave an extremely motivating and entertaining presentation at both the seminar and then the luncheon. Everyone took away a message and action that they could declare and use to improve their daily life and interaction with colleagues and loved ones.
Some of the messages included:
• What if you took on: It’s always for the FIRST TIME! Treat everything you do as if it’s the first time you’re doing it eg. To cook, to clean, to teach a child, to lead, to greet your family etc etc......
• The 4 thieves of laughter, love, family, integrity, success, satisfaction, leadership, passion, peace, solutions, enthusiasm, results, maturity.... YOU!
Cynicism  Resignation   Anger   Procrastination
Check for “CRAP ATTACKS” in your life! Name them and see what they steal from your humanity....then get back your life!

• Have an extraordinary life. You may as well! (Blinky Bill)
• I am the “author’ of my behaviour!

BusVic sincerely thank Volvo Bus Australia and CMV Truck and Bus for their continued support of the Women on Board event. It is their strong partnership with BusVic that has enabled the Women on Board series explore and celebrate diversity and varied management techniques in the workplace. Personal thanks go to Sean Copeland (Volvo) and John Louder (CMV) for their early commitment to the event in 2015 and beyond.

We look forward to welcoming you to the event in 2015.

Please contact Craig Spurr should you have any queries. Ph 03 9914 7011 or cspurr@busvic.asn.au



The Women on Board Seminar and Luncheon proudly sponsored by Volvo Bus Australia and CMV Truck and Bus was held at the RACV Club on Wednesday 28 November.

The theme of the day was “RESILIENCE” and the morning seminar series which attracted a crowd of over 100 delegates featured presentations and practical workshops on how to build personal, career and business resilience.

The opening presentation was delivered by Ylva Schele from Volvo Bus Corporation who presented a case study on how Volvo's human resource strategy has been successful in developing employee engagement to foster a resilient workforce culture.

Ylva was followed by Peta Sigley from the Resilience Institute who presented practical, evidence based methods for liberating human potential through building resilience for health, happiness and performance. Productive discussions and interaction followed on ideas to control stress, improve sleep and relaxation for all to take away to introduce into their daily routines.


The luncheon followed the seminar series where the 200 in attendance were soon engrossed in the engaging story and style of keynote speaker Anne Deveson AO. Anne spoke of her public and private endeavours for sufferers of mental illness. Anne's story and belief in the power of caring left everyone feeling empowered to further engage with their families, friends, workmates and communities to help to strengthen individual and shared resilience.

BusVic thank Volvo Bus Australia and CMV Truck and Bus for their continued support of the Women on Board event.




Please contact Craig Spurr on +61 3 9914 7011 or cspurr@busvic.asn.au for further details.