Through all of the challenges of working during a pandemic, one of the core things that we have worked to maintain has been our connections with each other. While we have found new ways to connect virtually, we still enjoy our face-to-face get-togethers when safe to do so.
We were lucky enough in Brisbane, that for the recent Harmony Week celebration, we could do an in-person event with the whole team. Since we primarily do a combination of working-from-home and in-office days, it is rare to get the whole Brisbane team together in one place. It can be challenging given ever changing restrictions, but the importance of these in-person events has become even more clear. The benefit is the reminder of all the connections we share. And Harmony week underlines that explicitly.
In this instance, the Brisbane team got together for a ‘crafternoon’. As a prompt to help us draw out the stories we all bring to the table, we traced hand cut-outs and decorated them with stories from our background or childhood that we could share with the team. While a few people were uncertain if they were crafty enough, or what sort of images to use, everyone had a chance to share something about themselves. It allowed team members to choose what they were comfortable sharing, and to learn more about each other in a relaxed way. The ‘crafternoon’ worked as a conversation starter. We found that as we shared our stories, we asked questions and we learned more about our team.
It is not always simple to connect within a group, but the open minds and hearts that Gaia Resources seeks in its people, ensure we all come to the table knowing that our diversity and our stories are celebrated and heard. Some of the stories resounded with me because they came from a perspective familiar to me. Some because they provided a look into something new. All of them were important because they are part of what has made each of the people around the table who they are. And in sum, it is an amazing team, of which I am proud to be a part.
While Brisbane had their crafternoon, the Perth office held a Harmony Day lunch where it was decided that we would bring a plate of food, sweet or savoury, that represented our background. While some people chose a dish that represented their heritage others brought in a dish that was special to their family.
We had a delicious variety of food from many different countries, such as German pretzels and Obatzda dip, South African Bobotie which is a dish made with mince and egg, a pandan chiffon cake popular in South East Asia and French Quiche Lorraine to name just a few. We can’t forget to mention the classic Australian dishes of party pies, sausage rolls or Chiko rolls either or the delicious Australian/New Zealand (depending on who you ask) pavlova.
There were many food related discussions had on the day such as why people made their particular dish, what the meaning behind the dish was or even what goes on scones first, the jam or the cream.
They say food brings people together and it was certainly true on this occasion. It was a great way to get the team together and to catch up face to face when, due to Covid restrictions, you would normally only see a handful of people in the office at any one time.