Girls Academy staff went above and beyond during COVID-19, supporting students in their care through a very difficult and uncertain time.
But Girls Academy management knew staff were battling their own challenges and concerns about the future. It was important for the organisation to do everything possible to support them as well, so they were able to continue their critical work.
Thanks to a supplementary grant of $25,000 from Macquarie Group Foundation, sparked by COVID-19, Girls Academy was able to hold health and wellbeing workshops for staff across the country at the height of the pandemic.
These virtual workshops, run by a professional development consultancy, encouraged staff to share their feelings and talk about the stresses they were under, before giving them some simple but very practical ways to help manage stress and take care of themselves. These included meditation techniques, taking time to pause and reflect, and dealing with negative feelings.
Macquarie Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Macquarie Group, has been a great supporter of Girls Academy for the past two years, helping to establish Barambah Girls Academy, at Murgon and Cherbourg state schools in Queensland.
The Foundation provides assistance to hundreds of community organisations around the world each year, directing the bulk of its funding toward those groups supporting social and economic opportunities for young people in communities where they operate.
The Macquarie Group Foundation Regional Head, Anna Le Masurier, said the Foundation was delighted to provide additional support to Girls Academy through this difficult time.
“We know COVID-19 has had a huge impact on general wellbeing, so we’re pleased to hear that our contribution has helped ease the burden for Girls Academy staff,” she said.
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of programs like Girls Academy and reinforced our focus on supporting community organisations that make a significant social impact.”
Girls Academy CEO Ricky Grace said the Foundation’s assistance during the pandemic made a huge difference to staff.
“We know our staff always put their students first, so it was important for us to provide them with extra support at this time,” he said. “We are grateful to Macquarie Group Foundation for enabling us to offer these workshops, which staff found very helpful.”
Girls Academy is also working with Macquarie regarding skills-based volunteering at Academies across Australia.