3 minute read

Swapping offices for aprons

Marg Mitchell
02 August 2019

Volunteering delivers positive social outcomes for the community, and benefits employees by engaging our people, promoting teamwork and building morale in their selected volunteering opportunities, which are often completed as team activities.

AGL gives our people a day of paid volunteering leave each year, and we connect them to volunteering opportunities from more than 1,500 charities through our Power to Give platform.

Giving back is key to AGL and our people and we’re proud to have been recognised and included in the Top Ten of GoodCompany’s Best Workplaces to Give Back in 2019.

We are always proud to give our people the platform to tell their story of volunteering. For the second year running, AGL WA participated in a volunteer day at Foodbank WA, cooking and preparing meals to be redistributed and/or sold to those in need. This is their experience…

Working with Foodbank WA

Foodbank is a not-for-profit organisation that fights hunger by providing food for 710,000 Australians each month. Swapping the computers and offices for aprons and hairnets, the WA team – under the tutelage of Foodbank’s Chef Grant – were tasked with making as many A12 food packages as possible in a day.

The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house – and the Foodbank kitchen is much, much bigger, so the day started with some important safety instructions for the less experience.

We then started on the cook: more than 40 kilos of Bolognese, using a barbeque so big it would be enough to make most household cooks blush. The meat and sauces then went into a cauldron that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the next Harry Potter instalment.


After the dish was finished off, the extraordinary amount of food was promptly cooled and then packaged up by the (at this point) well-oiled AGL machine. We repeated the process for a range of other dishes, like Thai green curry, turkey meatballs, roast pork and gravy, chicken schnitzel, and beef stew.

When the pots and pans were put away the team had managed to make more than 1,050 portions of food, packaged into more than 130 large containers, ready to be donated and/or sold.

AGL WA State Manager Jackie Shervington said the day was a great success – for the team and for Foodbank.

‘I love the humour and sense of purpose that the volunteer day offers as we all rally together to make the most of the opportunity’ she said.


AGL has a long history with Foodbank through the AGL Metres for Meals, run in conjunction with the AFL’s West Coast Eagles. Eagles winger (and two-time All Australian and Best and Fairest winner) Andrew Gaff is the AGL Metres for Meals ambassador: last year, Andrew ran more than 200km which led to 57,000 meals being donated by AGL and the Eagles to Foodbank WA.

That sort of donation will lead to the purchasing of more cooking tools and produce needed to run this fantastic organization. Andrew is looking set to better the mark he set last year, with more than 140km run already over 10 games.

To donate to this great organisation head to foodbank.org.au. You will be able to donate food, money, or even sign up to volunteer yourself where you may learn a thing or two to take home with you.

More Power to Give

Our Power to Give program is an open workplace giving program, which in addition to connecting our people to volunteering opportunities, also offers our people the opportunity to give to over 400 charities directly from their pay.

Regular and one-off charity donations are matched by AGL, up to $5,000 per employee per year, effectively doubling the impact for the charity.