People

POULTRY INFORMATION EXCHANGE—PIX

It has been a few years since the last PIX conference because of COVID cancellations, so in
mid-May, many Darwalla people were keen to return to the Gold Coast for this biennial event.
Taking advantage of international experts visiting for PIX, Darwalla organized a ventilation workshop for our growers prior to the conference. Most of our managers across the business were able to take time out of their every day to embrace the learnings and networking that PIX is so famous for.

AVIAGEN AWARDS

During PIX, Aviagen—the breeder of the Ross bird which we grow—presented awards to the top
performers across Australia and New Zealand. Darwalla’s Victoria Hill took out the Gold Award
for total eggs per hen housed and Mt Molar was awarded a Bronze Award for total chicks per
hen housed.

This is an extraordinary combination of efforts across the business, with many Darwalla employees
having a direct hand in achieving these results. The Victoria Hill birds were reared by the
Laidley team and the Mt Molar birds by the Killarney team. The dedication of the hatchery team
must also be acknowledged for hatching the chicks to win the award.
Let’s not forget all the people behind the scenes supporting the on-farm teams who made it all
happen. A huge congratulations to all!

SERVICE RECOGNITION

Kaylene from Back Plains showed great patience in
waiting for her 10-year service award, after her award
went walkabout since her milestone was achieved in
November last year.

Kaylene has been an integral part of the Back Plains
team for most of her time at Darwalla, but has also
worked at all of our 4 production farms and has even
helped out at the Allora hatchery. Thank you, Kaylene!

DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Sam Haley, our feed mill manager at Mt Cotton, finally received
his Development Award from the Stock Feed Manufacturer’s
Council of Australia (SFMCA).
Sam achieved this award in 2020, however, the conference was canceled that year.
Sam was recognized for his leadership, teamwork, knowledge of the animal feed industry, and communication. Winners received attendance at the conference followed by a tour of regional mills to further their knowledge.

WELCOME!

Since our last newsletter, we have welcomed the following employees to Darwalla:
Mt Molar – Venkata
Back Plains – Varinderpal & Abhishek
Hatchery – Colleen
Feed mill Drivers – Mike & Pera

ENGAGEMENT SURVEY

Every 6 months we ask all our employees to participate in Darwalla’s engagement survey. This gives us a ‘sense check’ of how employees are feeling, but most importantly, it provides direct and anonymous input on what / where we need to focus to improve Darwalla.
We therefore encourage every employee to participate by clicking on the link sent via email and/or SMS, or by scanning the QR code. Thank you.

SAFETY SURVEY RESULTS

Darwalla conducts safety surveys each year to obtain employees’ perceptions of safety in the workplace. The general level of satisfaction of safety has increased by 5% in the past year, and by 16% since the implementation of the new safety model.

The main areas of improvement in the past four years are:

• Emphasis on risk management (+27%)
• Communication with Management (+23%)
• Safety equal to operations (+23%)
• Safety Training (+22%)

Even though we have an improvement of 23% in the employee’s perception of “safety being
equal to operations”, there is still a percentage of employees who believe that workplace health
and safety is not considered as important as production and quality. This is an area we need to
improve.

CI AWARDS

This year Darwalla is implementing employee awards to recognize some of the amazing improvements occurring across the business.
Nominations are sought for the following categories:

  • Most improved site / team—recognising a site’s improvement over a
    12-month period, based on improvements in Safety, People, Quality,
    Production and Cost.
  • Best improvement idea—recognising an employee who has initiated
    the most significant improvement idea on their site or within their team
  • Employee of the year—recognising outstanding performance by an
    individual employee

If you have ideas on who to nominate, please approach your manager. Nominations are due by mid-July at the latest!

BIRTHDAY DAY OFF

We have all been through a lot over the past
couple of years.
Darwalla would like to show our employees our appreciation for your continued loyalty and hard work in a new and different way – by giving you a paid day off on your birthday.
This is an opportunity to focus on yourself and enjoy a day off on Darwalla.
Please refer to the emailed information for all the details and small print.

  • Most improved site / team—recognising a site’s improvement over a
    12-month period, based on improvements in Safety, People, Quality,
    Production and Cost.
  • Best improvement idea—recognising an employee who has initiated
    the most significant improvement idea on their site or within their team
  • Employee of the year—recognising outstanding performance by an
    individual employee

If you have ideas on who to nominate, please approach your manager. Nominations are due by mid-July at the latest!

Project Updates

SANDY CAMP & BONY MOUNTAIN

Our new 6 sheds Sandy Camp rearing farm is progressing slowly, with many delays due to the extraordinary wet weather. Supply chain and labor issues are also hampering the project, however, the project team is working hard to meet deadlines.
Sandy Camp will be placing chicks in July & Bony Mountain at the end of the year.

SUSTAINABILITY

As part of Darwalla’s commitment to the environment, we are installing solar panels at the Mt Cotton office site. A 40-kilowatt system has been installed to offset up to 40% of the power consumption at the Mt Cotton head office and weighbridge and will export back into the electricity grid during low periods of use such as weekends and public holidays. It is the first renewable
energy project for Darwalla.

Safety

MENTAL WELLBEING

A message from our Employee Assistance Program, AccessEAP:
There are many ways to slow down, and one particularly helpful one is cleaning out the unnecessary and outdated information in our brains. Like a spring clean in our house or car, a cleanout of the mind requires taking time and reflecting on all aspects of life to see where you are at right now. When looking at the five pillars of health (social, emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual), the refresh starts by reviewing all five aspects. Which areas do you need to focus on? For assistance, please call 1800 818 728.

ARE YOU BOGGED MATE?

One of the more touching sessions at the PIX conference was the mental wellbeing presentation by the founder of organisation Are You Bogged Mate?


Are You Bogged Mate? aims to boost awareness and start a conversation with the broader community about the rising issue of depression and suicide rates among men in rural areas.

They are confronting the challenges that country men face on a daily basis, talking about mental health, and lighting the path to support.


To learn more about rural men’s mental health and to obtain help, or just to see the crazy ways farmers get their tractors bogged, please visit their website: www.areyouboggedmate.com.au/


To watch the heart-warming story of how a lady called Mary started this crusade, click on the image below or Google Are You Bogged Mate? to find the Landline story.

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

This year’s Biggest Morning Tea in Mt. Cotton was moved into the kitchen due to the very interesting weather. Of course, it did not rain, but having morning tea out of the breeze was a new experience. 

Thank you to those who baked and mixed and brought and those who hotly contested the silent auction and participated in the Tea-rivia and the tea cup game. Jonathan got the lucky cup and donated his winnings. 

$540.95 was donated, which was matched by Darwalla for a total donation to the Biggest Morning Tea of $1081.90 – Thanks again to all those who participated.