The Sutherland District Trade Union Club (Tradies)

The Sutherland District Trade Union Club (Tradies) has been selected as an ABA100® Winner for Risk Management in The Australian Business Awards 2021. The Australian Business Award for Risk Management [RMA] recognises organisations that have successfully implemented initiatives that demonstrate excellence in risk management.

“Tradies is thrilled to be recognised with an award for Risk Management by the Australian Business Awards. Throughout such a challenging year, our goal was not only to mitigate the immediate risks posed by the COVID pandemic but also prepare for the long-term consequences and challenges that would arise. We used our organisational values as a guide for all decisions and successfully secured the future of our organisation as both an employer and a pillar of our community.”

Jason McMaster, General Manager, Tradies

The Sutherland District Trade Union Club (Tradies) is part of the Registered Club industry in NSW. Since opening its doors in 1960, the club has grown and developed into an integral pillar of the community; supporting charity and junior sporting groups through financial and in-kind donations, providing local employment and offering a safe and welcoming environment for members and guests to socialise, celebrate and relax.

From humble beginnings with just a handful of passionate Trade Union members, the club now operates 3 successful venues in Gymea, Caringbah and Helensburgh with a membership base of 59,000 people. The club measures its success by community contributions and in the last financial year alone, despite COVID restrictions and associated financial challenges, the club donated in excess of $800,000 to over 80 charitable organisations and junior sport in the Illawarra and Southern Sydney region.

The Tradies team is made up of just over 200 employees ranging from 18 to over 78 years of age and a Board of Directors, elected by the club members. Together, their mission is ‘To proudly support our members, community and environment’. This mission is achieved by following the club’s five organisational values; integrity, empowerment, unity, wellbeing and sustainability. These values underpin all club decisions, both inside the venues and out in the community, where the club is active in volunteering, donations and partnerships.

In early 2020, the club faced one the biggest challenges in its 60-year history – COVID-19. As a hospitality venue, a large local employer and a community hub, the club faced both health and business-related threats, ethical dilemmas, government restrictions, social expectations and financial uncertainty.

The challenges and risks throughout this period were numerous. As well as the challenge of minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19, the club also needed to filter, understand and communicate vast amounts of information for both employees and members, manage community expectations and employee concerns, ensure compliance with regulations, support the mental wellbeing of employees as well as monitoring the financial situation of the club to ensure a viable future.
Each of these challenges were overcome using values-based decision making, initiating proactive strategies and prioritising wellbeing. This included the Board of Directors decision to continue to pay all employees (including casual) throughout the 2020 lockdown, a free wellbeing program for all employees, regular group and individual communication, maintaining commitments to community and charitable organisations and ensuring the highest standards of hygiene and adherence to all COVID safe practices.

These actions allowed the club to end 2020 in a strong position with an increased number of employees, recognition as a Voice Project Best Workplace 2020 based on their employee engagement survey, increased membership and member loyalty and a solid financial base on which to begin the new year.

Share: The Australian Business Awards