The theme of TravelManagers’ eighth annual national conference, which was held in Adelaide last weekend, was Focus.
The agenda featured supplier presentations, keynote speakers and workshops, but the 200-plus delegates were also given the opportunity to focus on something other than their own business, and in doing so, raised over $16,000 in support of South Australia-based charity, Little Heroes.
TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says it has become a tradition to include a local community event in the company’s conference agenda.
TravelManagers’ conference delegates display their individual team masterpieces
“Little Heroes is a charity which was started by ex-Adelaide Crows captain Chris McDermott and is currently working towards establishing a Centre for Robotics and Innovation at the Adelaide Women and Children’s Hospital,” Gazal explains. “It is a truly inspirational organisation that is achieving amazing things for sick children in South Australia and we are honoured and humbled to be involved in some small way in what they are doing,” Gazal says.
A charity auction was held at the company’s Sporting Legends dinner which was held at the Adelaide Oval on the Saturday night.
Personal travel managers Lesley Cavill and Di Yates are happy to show off their creations
“There were some fantastic auction items up for grabs, many of which were kindly donated by partner suppliers. One of the most popular items was a framed and signed All Blacks picture, which ended up selling for $3,000. The generosity of everyone involved in our auction was really quite humbling,” says Gazal.
In total the auction and other donations raised $16,533 for Little Heroes. The cheque was presented to Little Heroes at the conference’s gala dinner the following night, and was accepted on behalf of the foundation by Adelaide local, Natalie Bode, who captained the Australian Diamonds and Adelaide Thunderbirds netball teams but now acts as Little Heroes’ Corporate Relationship Manager.
The completed artwork will hang in Adelaide’s new children’s Robotics Rehab Unit, due to open at the end of the year
The money will go towards a new $4 million Centre for Robotics and Innovation which is set to open its doors at the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital in December this year.
“The robotics equipment will help children with neurological disabilities to improve their motor skills and get them out of hospital more quickly,” Bode explains. “This will be a world-class rehabilitation facility but it wouldn’t be possible to achieve without the incredible support of companies like TravelManagers.”
The following morning, conference delegates gathered to take part in a second aspect of this community activity: creating works of art to become a collage that will hang in the foyer of the Robotics Centre when it’s completed.
(Left to right) TravelManagers’ Executive GM, Michael Gazal, presents a cheque for over $16,000 to theLittle Heroes Foundation’s Natalie Bode, assisted by key sponsor Etihad Airways’ flight attendant, Belle Louise Braybrook.
Delegates were divided into 36 teams. Each team was given three canvases on which to create their artworks, which were to be based around the themes of movement, fun, children, motivation and inspiration.
“I knew we had some very creative, talented people within the TravelManagers family,” says Gazal, “but I was still seriously impressed by what we were able to produce in just two and a half hours.”
“Everyone at TravelManagers feels privileged to have been a part of something really special. It’s a really great example of how many people focused on working together towards a common goal can achieve amazing things.”
For more details or to find out how you can support Little Heroes, please visit littleheroesfoundation.com.au/
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.