Case Study: Connecting unemployed youth with retailers

The retail sector is often an entry point for young people into the workforce. During the year, a number of our centres hosted successful job fairs to connect local youth with available roles at our retailers.

In September 2016, Northland Shopping Centre held its first jobs fair, which attracted nearly 500 potential job seekers, and where retailers collected more than 180 applications. While the event targeted youth employment, it also improved youth and broader community engagement with the centre.

Northland’s success inspired a number of other centres in our portfolio, including Mandurah Forum, Broadmeadows Central and Rockingham Centre to also plan and implement jobs fairs. 

Mandurah Forum, which recently completed a major redevelopment, organised jobs fairs in the lead up to the opening of each of its three stages, helping to connect over 45 retailers with nearly 2500 jobs seekers in the region. The centre was widely recognised by local groups and media for its contribution to reducing high unemployment rates experienced in the region through the jobs fairs. 

Northland further expanded the initiative in September 2017 by hosting an ‘Employment Week’ event. Partnering with the Northland Youth Centre, job skills workshops and seminars were held at Northland to prepare local job seekers before they connected with retailers at the two-day jobs fair. The Workshops focused on topics such as resume writing, interviewing techniques, job searching and personal branding. Over 1700 people from the local community participated in ‘Employment Week’, and connected with nearly 40 retailers at the centre.

 

Employment Week at Northland Shopping Centre, VIC

The jobs fair saw over 120 positions being advertised, with 30 attendees being hired by retailers. Northland is now planning it’s second employment week, which will take place in August-September 2018. Similarly, Vicinity’s Broadmeadows Central and Colonnades centres also held their first jobs fairs in October 2017, which connected hundreds of local youth with retailers, as well as other local businesses, community groups and recruiters offering employment, training and learning programs.

In recognition of their success, in FY19 Vicinity is developing a national jobs fairs program to further leverage this great initiative and establish a consistent approach.  The program will be piloted at a number of centres during August and September 2018, with a view to rolling out at more centres across our portfolio in future years.

Case study: Light the Way fundraising initiative

Through Light the Way fundraising initiative, we raised over $43,000 for Beacon Foundation.

In May 2018, our entire company came together as part of an inaugural initiative, Light the Way, to raise funds for Beacon Foundation, our corporate community partner, and increase awareness of our work to alleviate youth disengagement and unemployment through our partnership.

The initiative saw all six corporate offices and 66 of our centres participating to deliver a range of activities to raise funds for and awareness of our partnership with Beacon.

Centre level activities covered a range of consumer and retailer facing initiatives such as food fundraisers including, barbeques and bake sales, gold coin donations, raffles, silent auctions, carnivals and kids activities, and selling Light the Way branded reusable shopping bags.

At our corporate offices we held a raffle for Vicinity team members and various gold coin donation activities. The Loop Café at our Chadstone National Office also participated in the initiative by donating a percentage of proceeds from sales towards the campaign for a week. 

Owing to the generosity of our retailers, consumers and our people, we raised over $43,000 for Beacon.

For a first-time attempt, we are extremely proud of this achievement, and pleased to note that our funding will help Beacon continue to grow the reach of their programs for additional 330 young people in some of our most disadvantaged communities. 

Case Study: Youth Entrepreneurial Services (YES) ‘pop-up shop’ at Northgate

In June 2017, Vicinity’s Northgate Shopping Centre in Tasmania hosted the launch of Youth Entrepreneurial Services (YES) Shop –an outlet located in the centre where young people at risk of long term unemployment could sell their own designed and hand crafted products.

YES is an initiative of Impact Communities, which offers young people between the ages of 15-24 years at risk of long term unemployment an opportunity to gain work experience and progress into work, self-employment, or further education.

YES Pop-up shop at Northgate Shopping Centre (TAS)

Since the launch of the YES Shop, volunteers and staff have developed and grown the YES social enterprise to be a place where young people can get hands on experience in all aspects of business. It provides opportunity for those interested in becoming entrepreneurs and building a career in retail to refine their skills, showcase their products to potential employers and gain practical experience in business management.

Participants have the opportunity to design and create a range of handmade products, including jewellery, soy candles, soap and timber chopping boards, and also work behind the scenes in website development, branding, administration and sales. YES has been represented in local markets and also has an online store at www.yestas.com.au.

Since its launch, the social enterprise has seen nearly 140 young people participate in the initiative, with many moving into paid work, further education, or starting their own businesses developing different types of products.

YES continues to receive the generous support of volunteers and business coaches, including Vicinity employees, who have mentored participants to practice and refine their skills in creating quality products for sale. 

For further information about the YES Programme please visit www.impactcommunities.org.au

Case Study: Youth week at Gympie

In January 2018, Vicinity’s Gympie Central worked with our corporate community partner Beacon Foundation to hold a ‘Youth Week’ event as part of the centre’s community investment plan.

Over two days, the centre team held a number of workshops targeting disadvantaged and disengaged youth in the local area. The first day of workshops included a ‘Girls Day In’ event, focused on girls’ empowerment, mentoring, presentation skills and beauty workshops. The High Impact Program, delivered in partnership with Beacon on the second day, focused on job readiness, transitioning from school life into employment and provided participating youth the opportunity to meet with centre retailers. Post the workshops, after parties were held at the centre to celebrate ‘Youth Week’.

The workshops were a remarkable success, with over 30 young people participating.  Of note, the event resulted in three participants who had previously dropped out of school enrolling back into school and three others being selected for a work experience program offered by the centre’s retailers. The centre team also facilitated a meeting between the local Gympie High school principal and Beacon Foundation to discuss the establishment of further programs in Gympie.

Gympie Central Shopping Centre, QLD

The centre team also facilitated a meeting between the local Gympie High school principal and Beacon Foundation to discuss the establishment of further programs in Gympie.

This event is a great example of how our centres are using the unique position they hold within the local community to make a lasting impact on the lives of youth who are disadvantaged and disengaged in our communities.

Case Study: Bayside youth celebrations

During Youth Week in April 2018, Vicinity’s Bayside Shopping Centre organised a ‘Youth Celebrations at Bayside’ event to engage unemployed and disadvantaged young people in the local community.

The event aimed to provide targeted young people with opportunities to showcase their skills, learn about new skills and support services available through local organisations, as well as empower and provide them a platform to express themselves. It also aimed to prevent antisocial behaviour in public spaces such as shopping centres through positive youth engagement activities.

Throughout the week, the centre brought together over 200 youth and ten partner organisations to hold a range of engagement activities including gaming and sports competitions, live music and drumming workshops, street art competitions, as well as employment and training workshops and showcasing of local job opportunities.

The event helped strengthen the centre’s relationship with local community partners, including Frankston City Council Youth Services, Victoria Police, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Frankston Youth Central, TaskForce, Chisolm Institute, the

Youth celebrations at Bayside Shopping Centre, VIC

Responding to Alcohol and other Drugs in Frankston and Mornington Peninsula (RAD-FMP) project as well as several of its retailers.

Since the event, the centre has observed a noticeable decline in incidents of antisocial behaviour by young people, demonstrating that enabling youth to connect with the centre in a positive way has helped to create a sense of connection with and ownership of the centre.

Case study: Celebrating NAIDOC Week at Karratha


NAIDOC Week celebrations at Karratha City Centre (WA)

In July 2018, Vicinity’s Karratha City Shopping Centre hosted a community event to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2018 and pay tribute to its local Indigenous women through an interactive community event.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Because of Her, we Can”, honouring the local Indigenous women, past and present, of Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, Martuthunia and Yaburara People, and their unique skills, traditions and knowledge.

As part of the celebrations, the centre transformed its outdoor area into a village, welcoming over 1700 people from the local community to join in activities such as boomerang and canvas painting, aboriginal face painting, damper making, bush medicine demonstrations, and sampling traditional foods such as roo tail stew.

NAIDOC Week 2018 celebrations were also held at ten other centres across our portfolio, as well as our national office in Chadstone, where we hosted an Indigenous artist to hold an interactive arts and stories event for our people. Vicinity’s Bayside Shopping Centre in Frankston (VIC) conducted a traditional smoking ceremony, an ancient indigenous custom that involves burning of native plants to produce smoke in order to ward off bad spirits and clear the path to a brighter future.

Our nationwide celebrations reflect Vicinity’s commitment to shape better communities through our RAP, which is an important part of our approach to sustainability and diversity and inclusion.

 

Traditional smoking ceremony at Bayside Shopping Centre (VIC)

Case study: Northland’s Sensory Shopping Day

In November and December 2017, Vicinity’s Northland Shopping Centre partnered with AMAZE Victoria (the peak organisation for people with autism) and the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University to create a sensory friendly environment for shoppers with family members with autism.

A number of retailers participated in the sensory shopping days, including Target, Factorie, Degani and Best&Less.  The centre and participating retailers opened an hour early (from 8 am to 9 am) during the selected days, with lights partially dimmed, music 

turned off, and the staff instructed to greet customers non-verbally. Signs were placed at cash registers instructing people to maintain a metre-wide distance to give more space to the customers.

Prior to stores opening on the day, AMAZE conducted environmental audits in selected stores to ensure that the sensory environment was suitable for a person on the spectrum, and giving such people the chance to shop without a sensory overload.

Additionally, there were various Christmas activities on offer for kids to enjoy, including story time with Mrs Claus in Northland’s Quiet Room, free face painting and sensitive Santa Christmas photography.

The importance of these events to the community was evident on the day, with one guest revealing that “this was the first time in three years we could shop as a whole family”.

Vicinity’s Northland Shopping Centre remains committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive place for people with autism. Together with AMAZE, Northland opened Australia’s first ever shopping centre Quiet Room – a sensory soothing space for individuals with autism. Click here to find out more.

Case study: Colonnades Fresh Food Market - a place to be for families and children

School holidays are busy times for Vicinity’s Colonnades Shopping Centre, when the centre’s Fresh Food Market becomes a buzzing venue for local families with children, and where the centre offers a range of activities that are entertaining and educational.

Summer in the Market (during January and February) and Winter in the Market (during June and July) events are held during the school holidays where the centre hosts a range of family fun days and activities at the Fresh Food Market. These include kids craft sessions and workshops, live music, face painting and kids cooking classes. Some of the educational school holiday activations this year included Safari Zoo Adventure craft workshops, Mad Hatter’s Maze, kids sensory play workshops and cooking classes with Sprout Cooking School.

The centre has partnered with Sprout Cooking School – an organisation that offers cooking and nutrition classes for children –  to host cooking classes at the Fresh Food market throughout the year. Sprout educates kids about the importance of eating well and gives them skills to do so, with the aim of improving health outcomes and creating a positive relationship with food and nutrition. This highly successful initiative has seen over 400 kids participate during the year.

The Fresh Food Market remains an important and welcoming place that never fails to provide an engaging experience for everyone in the local community.

Case study: The New Glen

In FY17, Vicinity commenced our ‘The New Glen - A place Inspired by You’ redevelopment, which will transform The Glen into a vibrant local community hub by early 2020- .

The local community is an important part of centre’s redevelopment. The Glen has appointed a community liaison officer to lead its community consultation program, which includes dedicated community information sessions and enables community groups to meet with the liaison officer on site.

The Glen is also providing regular updates to the community regarding the development through local newspapers, community newsletters, on our website and the centre’s Facebook and Instagram pages. The dedicated Frequently Asked Questions page on the centre website provides details of the development, impacts to consumers and disruptions to centre and retailer operations. 

For more information, visit www.theglen.com.au.

Case study: Wellbeing at our national office

 

In December 2016, Vicinity moved our two Melbourne offices into a single national office at Tower One, Chadstone.

The building received a 5 Star Green Star Design/As Built rating in 2017. The the office fit out – OneWorkplace – was awarded a 5 Star Green Star Interiors v1.1 certified rating in June 2018, and was designed to promote collaboration, employee engagement and health and wellbeing.

The office space includes plenty of greenery and natural light – a factor that enhances employee productivity, and all work stations are located within three meters of an external window.  

The entire office is fitted with sit-to-stand ergonomic work stations, collaborative work places and a large break out area, where our people can collaborate, socialise and work more effectively.

An internal stairway connecting all Vicinity floors, high quality end of trip facilities, a wellness room and an innovation garage fitted with a table tennis table promotes both physical and mental wellbeing.

Find out more about the building's sustainability features here