Now in its seventh year and quickly becoming a celebrated tradition, the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) NSW division hosted its 2014 AustralianSuper Excellence Awards at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont (Sydney) on 30 October overlooking a stunning view of the harbour. More than 170 guests were treated to an entertaining speaker over a two-course lunch, which offered BSCs the chance to celebrate the unwavering loyalty and handwork of their frontline cleaners. INCLEAN’s editor, Kim Taranto, reports.
After a quick welcome and thank you to special guests by MC Rick Gesterkamp, BSCAA NSW president Terry Corby took to the podium and asked all the cleaners in the room to stand up. “The most important people in this room are the ones who clean,” he stated. “These are the special guests that I’d like to thank for attending today – they are the real ‘heroes’ of our industry.” A loud applause filled the room.
“The biggest problem we face in our industry is that we haven’t been able to educate society about just how important cleaners are,” Corby continued. “To me, the people who I asked to stand up have just as much significant input into people’s daily lives as engineers, teachers and doctors. Every day there are 65,000 cleaners improving and enhancing the lifestyle of the average Australian and we don’t credit ourselves enough. Today is a celebration of what we do.”
Corby went on to thank the Excellence Awards’ sponsor, AustralianSuper, which was represented by CEO Ian Silk. “Without the support of the industry’s super fund, the BSCAA would not exist and we certainly would not be able to host a fantastic function such as this,” he reflected. “In my opinion, we as an industry are lucky to have management of our super under AustralianSuper’s control.”
Silk gave a short speech regarding AustralianSuper’s outlook on the cleaning industry. “We are happy to support such an industry for many reason, but one in particular is the special fraternity service providers within the cleaning industry show towards one another,” Silk remarked. “With events such as today’s awards lunch, this industry seems to be united, in that together – even as business rivals – you all support the industry as one, which is terrific to see.
“Recognition of the real people who do the work is the key,” Silk added. “The NSW branch shows a community of interested and on behalf of AustralianSuper, we recognise the special characteristics embodied in this industry – and in you – and we look forward to our partnership continuing.”
After lunch was served, special guest speaker Olympic gold medallist speed skater, Steven Bradbury, made his entrance on stage against a backdrop of his book – Last Man Standing. Bradbury had the audience laughing as he recounted the 90 second, 1,000m event from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games where he took home the gold medal after all his opponents were involved in a fall just before the finish line.
The loose definition of the term ‘Do a Bradbury’ is to be in the right place at the right time and ‘win’ by being the last man standing. However Bradbury’s journey that led him to his last man standing moment involved far more hard work than just being ‘lucky’. “When it comes down to it, the message is to not give up. I was the number five speed skater in the world. I didn’t end up in that race by accident,” he shared.
“You need steady progress towards your goals and you must have a plan mapped out,” he went on. “I was eight years old when I started speed skating, I didn’t have a plan. But my dad did. By time I was 13 he was getting me up every day to run and ride and build up the endurance in my legs. At the time, I hated him for it, but I couldn’t see the talent in me that he could. And today I thank him for not giving up on me.”
Bradbury credits his success to perseverance and teamwork. “You must have a passion for what you do, to achieve what you want,” he stated. “It should never be about the outcomes, but always about the process. Put in the time, effort and training and you will reach the outcome. Put in the time and you put yourself in the position for good things to come down the track – like I did.”
However, Bradbury admits he could not have done it without his family, the teamwork and the support he received over his 12 years of training. “It’s a hard world of competition if you try to do it by yourself,” he reflected. “You need the support of your people. Be an expert in your field and join forces with other experts in their field to make great things happen.”
So it wasn’t the 90 seconds of the race for which Bradbury proudly accepted his gold medal; it was for the 12 dedicated years of handwork and perseverance leading up to that moment that made him realise he deserved it. “So don’t give up on what you want in life or business,” he concluded. “Put in the hard yards and when your moment to shine presents itself, you will be in position and prepared to be the next to ‘Do a Bradbury’.”
See the January/February issue of INCLEAN for full list of Excellence Awards Winners, and visit our Photo Album for more photos.