A heart for community

Starlight children’s charity will gain free event management and fundraising help from Arinex, an Australian event company that has made volunteerism a big part of its work culture

Arinex raised money for Starlight children’s charity during their Christmas party last year

Australian event and conference management company Arinex signed a 12-month partnership with children’s charity Starlight in early July, a move which will see the former providing pro bono event management services and financial support through company-wide fundraising initiatives.

The announcement came after Arinex presented a cheque for A$6,340 (US$4,439) to Starlight in May, which was raised following its 2018 Christmas party raffle. The raffle consisted of prizes donated by Arinex’s venue and supplier partners – such as a Qantas return airfare to Cairns and a stay at Pullman Cairns International – which were auctioned to staff across the country.

Arinex raised money for Starlight children’s charity during their Christmas party last year

Arinex’s community work isn’t new; it stretches way back to the company’s founding and is an extension of its founder’s own devotion to volunteering time and energy to community projects. Arinex’s founder and chair, Roslyn McLeod, has been volunteering since primary school and is an active Rotarian of 26 years.

Nicole Walker, Arinex COO, said: “The spirit of helping others has always been a focus of our company. Staff are encouraged to assist local clubs and charities, and Arinex has long supported not-for-profit organisations such as the Cancer Council.”

In 2010 when the Rotary Club of Sydney decided to initiate the New South Wales Police Officer of the Year Awards, Arinex jumped right in with pro bono event management services. Ever since, staff dedicate about 1,100 hours each year to this worthy cause.

Arinex went on to contribute resources to the management of Rotary International Peace Conference in Sydney last year.

“The Conference had an important mission – to promote peace worldwide. It was our chance to do our part for the Rotary International president who was an Australian for that year,” Walker recalled.

With Arinex’s help, the Conference achieved its social and financial goals. Costs were minimised, allowing a profit that was channelled into a peace scholarship.

“It was gratifying for our staff, including myself who attended a number of organising committee meetings, to be a part of such an important conference with such a worthwhile cause,” Walker said.

While Arinex rotated its charity beneficiaries every year, in 2018 it decided to focus its fundraising efforts and community work on just one organisation, “in order to maximise our impact”, said Walker.

“Starlight was selected due to its worthwhile mission of supporting the families of seriously ill children and leaving a positive difference in the community, which mirror our values. There are also many opportunities for us to lend our event management skills and services towards its numerous fundraising events and activities across the country.”

The first of Arinex’s work with Starlight was the Star Ball in Sydney in August. As Arinex continues to seek other Starlight events to support, efforts in the meantime will be spent on internal fundraising for the organisation and facilitation of staff visits to the Starlight Express Rooms to experience first-hand the work the charity does.

When asked how Arinex motivates staff towards the spirit of giving, especially when the business of managing events requires long hours and often physically exhausting work, Walker said no incentives have had to be offered.

“This is something we all feel strongly about and so staff very much motivate themselves. In fact, the partnership with Starlight and recent enhancements to our CSR policies have all been driven from the ground up.

“This work ethic that permeates our company is also driven by our ongoing work with our clients, who are all doing wonderful things in their various areas of expertise. When you witness the positive impacts they are making, it is hard not to become inspired,” she explained.

Arinex has been successful in building lasting community legacies into client events. A recent example is its work in helping clients certify their events as carbon-neutral while also working with suppliers who have strong initiatives in environmental protection.

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