Queensland GMA Members were able to attend their first organised event in 9 months on 18th August, held at Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane.
With what has been some of the most challenging months hopefully behind us, this Professional Development Day on the topic ‘Health and Wellbeing’, brought to us by national GMA partner Toro Australia, was timed perfectly and very much needed for those in attendance.
Members were invited to bring their superintendent along as part of the discussion as a chance to spend time together and review what they all have been going through the day in and day out.
Toro had a new electric mower to show off at the break and we trialed a Zoom “Livestream” of the event to Regional members in Far North Qld. Whilst it didn't work out perfectly, future Livestream will be improved for a better engagement at future events bu members.
The main presentation of the day was from Acacia EAP, a national independent service provider specialising in supporting people in dealing with personal or work-related issues in a positive way. Acacia EAP also provides GMA members and their immediate family with the GMA Member Assistance Program (MAP).
The MAP involves the provision of a 24-hour counseling service by qualified, registered psychologists and counselors across Australia. The service is highly confidential with no disclosure of any individual information to GMA relating to your sessions. The MAP includes short term counseling of up to 3 hours per member per year and can provide assistance for a range of issues including:
The introduction of the MAP recognises the need for GMA members to have access to immediate help, should issue within a members’ personal or professional life become difficult.
Jodie Perkins, a Social counselor with Acacia EAP, talked about a few main points and tips to follow to make sure we are managing stress correctly and keeping an eye out with team members.
Mindfulness can improve cognitive function and focus, and assists with adrenaline and cortisol regulation (fight, flight or freeze response) on demand when practiced. Slow Abdominal Breathing is an easy way to use strategy to activate the ‘relaxation response’ to reduce anger and anxiety.
These techniques can help to pull away from negative or challenging emotions, unwanted memories or flashbacks, or create space from distressing feelings and refocus on the present moment. It orients the brain and body to the present moment and activates the parasympathetic nervous system which works to reduce the stress response.
Techniques you can try:
How do I do it? Look around – Notice the following:
What should I look for in myself, members and staff?
A second topic was presented by Patrick Bardon from corporate partner Hostplus and focused more on the financial wellbeing aspects. Patrick discussed some key insights from Metlife research which showed close to half of all Australians are suffering from some form of mental ill health at present due to COVID-19 issues:
The research proved a strong relationship between one’s overall health and wellbeing, financial health, mental health and the response of their employer to COVID-19. It also showed that over 3 in 10 Australians have actively sought help due to feeling mentally unhealthy as a direct result of Covid-19.
According to the research, half of Australians claim Covid-19 has impacted their finances, with 30 percent of those over 50 expect to postpone their retirement. Employees working at small-medium enterprises were also more likely than those working at large enterprises to experience financial hardship and were more likely to have sought support due to feeling mentally unhealthy.
For more insight, visit Metlife Australia - Metlife Australia Covid-19 Research Insights - 02 July 2020
To round out the half-day seminar, a group discussion was held on the topic “COVID 19: What have learned and how do we get stronger?”
Luke Bates, State Manager for Golf Australia, showed the recent competition rounds update and how most clubs are experiencing much busier tee sheets. Several clubs have pivoted their business models to bring in a new revenue stream such as a takeaway food business. The courses are busier than ever in most cases, which leads to more stress at work.
A few recurring messages were agreed during the group discussion.
The Professional Development Day also had two invited guests that now have become new GMA members!
Stay safe everyone and give an industry mate a call when you have time or schedule a virtual coffee or beer to check on each other.