Pickwick Senior Management Undertake Cultural Awareness Training

Pickwick recently submitted its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to Reconciliation Australia.  Pickwick recognises to date it has not effectively engaged or partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples.  Consequently, we have begun what will become one of our most significant journeys.  Pickwick CEO Ken Holder says “The whole issue of reconciliation is critical to nation building and though we may be relatively small I believe we have an important and constructive role to play.”

As one of many steps Pickwick senior management recently undertook Cultural Awareness Training through John Briggs (www.johnbriggs.net.au).  The workshop focused on where we are today and where we are headed.  It provided Pickwick’s senior management with the opportunity to explore and discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, people and communities.  Importantly for the Pickwick team the workshop helped deconstruct unconscious bias and other blockers preventing effective practice.  For more information on Pickwick’s reconciliation journey please refer to our first RAP at Pickwick RAP (draft).

Pickwick celebrates NAIDOC week with Boeing Defence Australia

Mark Riordan Pickwick’s residential poet (see News Story, September 2015) who is also our Cleaning Supervisor based at Boeing formed a partnership with Beau Keeble (Indigenous artist) to celebrate Boeing’s indigenous day for NAIDOC week. Both Mark and Beau had their respective works on show at Boeing. Boeing also invited along local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speaker Lenise Schloss who told stories of her father who was the first ever indigenous fighter pilot.

Along with his full time role with Pickwick Mark has been busy working on a series of children’s books. “When Mark approached me about his children books I jumped at the opportunity to be the illustrator of his indigenous book series, mainly because when I reflect back to my time at school, there was very little taught about the indigenous culture in any of the public schools that I attended” Beau said. He added “I believe it is important for all young children to learn about the aboriginal culture in Australia.” Pickwick is so pleased and proud to be associated with such talent.

Pickwick staff make all the difference at OPTUS

Late last year Pickwick won its largest single contract – OPTUS, one of Australia’s leading suppliers of telecommunication services. We have the privilege of servicing not only their corporate offices in all capital cities but also all their stores and outlets throughout Australia.

A number of our cleaners work at Optus Centre Sydney (OCS), their corporate campus in Macquarie Park, NSW. This month we had the opportunity to recognise some of those staff whose attitude and willingness to go that extra mile as they go about their tasks makes a real impact. Congratulations go to both Lynda Watson and Helen Murphy our first recipients of Certificates of Appreciation at OCS for outstanding effort in their work. Pickwick’s Site Manager at OCS Muhammad Islam commented “the attitude which both Lynda and Helen show daily is contagious and makes such a huge difference in the work environment”.

A double milestone

It’s not often in this industry we get to celebrate two milestones. Pam Corsar, one of our more senior cleaners recently celebrated 10 years’ service with Pickwick and not only that, Pam is quite happy to tell you she is 79 years old and still going strong! Pam has been at one of our many Bendigo Bank branches for over 8 years after reducing the hours that she was working in the earlier years with Pickwick. She is greatly admired and treasured by the bank staff. Whist she admits to the occasional minor health issue she is “back on the job” that she loves so much.

With the odd change in our portfolio management, Pam has worked with several Client Services Managers who had organised a special anniversary morning tea. Clarissa Wilton (now Business Development Manager) and Sandra Phillips (Client Services Manager) helped celebrate the occasion. We are so happy you still work with us Pam and we look forward to many more years.

Helping those in need at Christmas

When Lynette Pattison, Contracts Administrator for Pickwick’s Construction Cleaning and Height Access Services division approached CEO Ken Holder about setting up a food bank at its Queensland office to help struggling individuals and families at Christmas he readily agreed.  Whilst poverty is a 365 day a year issue around Australia, it is especially poignant at this time of year.  The ability to do something to help others less fortunate than ourselves and bring some Christmas cheer resonated.

Lynette set about asking staff at the Queensland office to donate non-perishable food items that could be given to those lonely, in difficulty, or in need of assistance.  A considerable amount was collected in the lead-up to Christmas, and on behalf of both Pickwick and Foodbank we thank all those who kindly donated.  Foodbank generously acknowledged the contribution Pickwick employees had made.



Pickwick takes out top Security prize

At the recent 2016 Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) Queensland Excellence Awards sponsored by AustralianSuper, Pickwick took out the winning prize for best Security Manager. Ray Freeman, Pickwick’s General Manager – Security had nominated Fa Toafa for his work at Forest Lake Shopping Centre. Barely a week goes by without Fa gaining a compliment of some sort from a customer or visitor to the centre for his consistent high level of customer service and willingness to go the extra mile for people.

“The award is well-deserved recognition of the tremendous effort Fa demonstrates daily” said Pickwick’s Operations Manager – Security Ben Reti. On behalf of the entire Pickwick team, Congratulations and Thank-you Fa!


An eye for detail!

Pickwick recently updated its corporate brochure which can be found on this website. Although the layout and photos had not substantially changed, a number of improvements were made to the content to update and keep the brochure fresh. Pickwick CEO Ken Holder decided to have a bit of fun and offer prizes to staff that identified the most number of changes between the old and new versions. It had the added bonus of picking-up any mistakes as part of the proof editing process before going to print and the final version being uploaded.

First equal prize went to Diane Li (Contracts Administrator) and Vicky Li (Tender Writer) both from our Victoria office. Just for the record Diane and Vicky are not related so there was no collusion! Highly commended prizes went to Jacob Carroll (Administration Assistant) in Queensland and Peta Phillips (Operations Coordinator) from Western Australia. Congratulations to you all, and thank you for taking part.

2016 UNSW Open Day – Come in and Change the World!

Located in Kensington in Sydney and established in 1949 The University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia) is regarded as one of country’s leading universities. Pickwick has the privilege of helping to keep the 38-hectare main campus site clean for students, staff and visitors alike, a responsibility we take very seriously.

On 3rd September UNSW held its annual Open Day providing future students with the opportunity to chat face-to-face with academics and current students to help choose their ideal course as well as learn more about student life at UNSW. Whilst the weather presented its challenges the Pickwick team ensured the upper campus and facilities looked their very best throughout for the more than 5,000 prospective students that visited.

In recognition of the hard work our team put in every day staff were presented with a certificate and gift voucher. Pickwick is proud to have these staff as part of our team and believes it is essential to recognise their efforts.

Sales … it’s not all about being on the golf course!

We all know stories about sales and business development people. Too often they are seen as the glory boys and girls of a business, swanning in late, going home early … and spending far too much time on the golf course. Often when the average person is prompted with “Sales people are …” the words used are not too flattering. But in reality they along with our Client Services & Operations Managers are the back bone of the company and many of us would not have a job if it wasn’t for the dedication and professionalism of our sales people to bring in new work.

Recently Pickwick’s own Business Development Coordinator Daniel Oxley wanted to get some hands on experience of what our Cleaning Operatives do out on the field to obtain a better understanding of the products and services we are able to provide to potential clients.

Not one to miss an opportunity, Senior Client Service Manager Michael Oakden organised Daniel to work alongside our own Tanya Smith whom we might add in a previous feed was the recipient of the Outstanding Individual “Queensland Employee – Cleaning Industry – South East Queensland,” only the best mentor for our Daniel.

Daniel lapped up the opportunity to clean several executive offices and say hello to some of the influential friendly people in Brisbane City Council. Keep up the good work Daniel, and who knows, we may call on you again if the need arises.

Christmas in July, Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Sovereign Hill is one of Pickwick’s many long standing clients and an iconic site in Victoria. For the past 3 years Sovereign Hill and their dedicated staff have delighted local, national and international visitors alike with their spectacular Christmas in July event.

Traditionally it has taken place over 2 weeks during the Victorian school holidays, however this year due to its popularity was extended to 4 weeks.

During the day Sovereign Hill offers a range of activities for all the family, they have hands-on Christmas decoration activities for the children, circus performances (very popular entertainment in the 1850’s), story tellers (revealing some intriguing 1850’s stories), theatre shows (Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, A Visit from St Nicholas), and make-believe snow falling at various times throughout the day.

After the sun sets Sovereign Hill is transformed. Visitors are treated to a spectacular ‘Winter Wonderlight’ show as the Main Street comes to life. Grand-scale images and footage are projected onto the Main Street facades as Christmas tunes play and the snow falls.

“Whilst Pickwick’s cleaning staff always keep this site clean and tidy because of its reputation we endeavour to make an even extra special effort at this time of year” Rebecca Pegg, Pickwick’s Client Services Manager says.

This is a must see event at this time of year sovereignhill.com.au It well organised by a team of dedicated people who strive to make Christmas in July more delightful each year.

Pickwick takes out 1st prize … again!

At the Queensland Building Services Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) 2015 awards ceremony held at Doomben Racecourse on 18th February Pickwick won the award for Outstanding Individual “Queensland Employee – Cleaning Industry – South East Queensland.” Tanya Smith who has for the past several years worked tirelessly for Pickwick at Brisbane Square was taken aback when her name was read out above four other also very worthy nominees. To demonstrate the importance of the event it was attended by all Pickwick Queensland Client Services Managers (CSM’s) along with our National Human Resources Manager. Longstanding Pickwick CSM Michael Oakden who was standing in for our Queensland State Manager commented that Tanya was a much deserved recipient though it was unfortunate there can only be one winner. Quoting Richard Branson he added “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

It’s our people that make the difference

Pickwick’s cleaning and security workers are the backbone of the Company. Whilst we all come to work do a good job it’s important to recognise those staff that do a little extra or go that little bit further. Whether it be always working cheerfully, providing excellence of service, having a great work ethic or simply showing initiative and helping out others, such attributes should be acknowledged as it makes our workplace safer, happier and more rewarding.

At recent celebrations at several Deakin University campuses we clean Pickwick management got the opportunity to thank some of our staff that ‘go the extra mile.’ Manuel Neto, Pickwick’s Contract Manager for Deakin University along with Operations Manager Damien Smith and State Manager for Victoria Tim Broatch presented selected staff with Recognition Certificates and a small gift to show their appreciation. “It’s important to show our hard working employees that their individual efforts are really appreciated by both us and our clients” Manuel said. Damien added “It’s our staff that make the Pickwick motto Count on us.”

The talent within

Cleaners and security staff often go unseen and unnoticed by those around them as they perform their vital function which should never be underestimated. Pickwick is proud of its diverse and multi-talented workforce. Some may be surprised just how many of our cleaners and security officers have prestigious university degrees or were highly qualified engineers, doctors, pilots or teachers in other countries before they emigrated to make a new life for themselves and their families in Australia. And let’s not forget about our staff that have grown up here. We even have a published poet in our midst. Mark Riordan who uses a pseudonym for his poetry is employed by Pickwick as a Cleaning Supervisor for our client Boeing Australia. At a recent morning tea held in August Mark came to Pickwick’s Brisbane Head Office to read a poem he had written about Pickwick to staff and present Ken Holder, CEO with a framed certificate. We are too modest to reproduce the poem here, suffice to say Ken was delighted to hear the high regard in which some staff hold the Company.

The Best Ever Deakin University Open Day

Our professional and dedicated cleaning team received great feedback from the recently held Deakin University 2015 Open Day.

Over 16,000 people attended the event at the Burwood campus on Sunday 23 August. Despite the heavy workload in preparation our team managed to complete all scheduled cleaning tasks to a high standard. All Pickwick crew wore distinguished hi-vis vests so that they wouldn’t be lost in the crowd. Manuel Neto, Pickwick Contract Manager for Deakin University also had a chance to show his musical talent. Positive feedbacks and small ‘thank-you’ gifts were received from several university faculties commenting on the great job our cleaners achieved. “The rooms look fantastic”, “The library presented really well the whole day” and “The cleaners deserve extra credit” were just a few.

Pickwick’s cleaning team showed their wiliness to go the extra mile and provide outstanding service to our highly valued client. We cannot thank them enough. Not only did they help with crowd directions they also noted areas requiring extra attention for improvement. Manuel and Burwood Site Supervisor Eleanor Thompson provided a summary of potential improvements to Deakin with the aim of providing even more effective time management and staff allocation for the next Open Day.

Deakin University Services Manager Spiro Fatouros was very satisfied and passed on his gratitude to Pickwick commenting to Manuel that “This was the best Open Day in years!” Victorian State Manager Tim Broatch also expressed his congratulations to all staff that had shown the Pickwick spirit ‘Count on Us’ to the maximum extent.

Pickwick goes ‘above-and-beyond’ for Brisbane City Council staff

On a recent visit to Brisbane City Council’s Green Square Michael Oakden, Pickwick’s Client Services Manager witnessed one of Pickwick’s long service employees Margaret Hayes enter the Council carpark at 6.45am. After exchanging pleasantries he observed Margaret make her way to a Council employee’s car in the disabled section of the carpark. Margaret opened the rear of the car and lifted out a collapsible wheel chair and securely placed it by the driver’s side door, whereby the person slid across into the chair. When Michael complimented Margaret on her actions she responded “In wet weather we often assist June [name changed] to retrieve her chair and speed-up the process so she doesn’t become uncomfortably wet; it’s just what we do to help.”

Needless to say Michael was delighted to see this level of customer service. He commented “It’s the Margaret’s of this world that make a difference and yet another example of how Pickwick cleaning operatives go ‘above-and-beyond’ without being asked.”

Well done Margaret!

The Walk to End Poverty

In June 2015 four courageous women including Pickwick’s own Monique Jackson decided to take part in ‘The Walk to End Poverty’ hiking 55km across De’Aguilar National Park from Lake Manchester through to Mt Coot-tha in Brisbane.

Generve Vever, Kim Spain, Nicola Matthews and Monique decided they wanted their next health and fitness journey to be BIG and also wanted to raise awareness and money for a worthy charity. Together they came across the Oxfam Trailwalker. This event began in 1981 as a training exercise for the elite Queen’s Gurkha Signals Regiment in Hong Kong. It is billed as both a life-changing experience and one of the most inspiring team challenges in the world. The event is now run in many countries to support Oxfam’s work with local communities. This helps them create their own sustainable solutions to poverty.

Monique spoke to Pickwick Group CEO Ken Holder who welcomed the opportunity to come on board and support the team. Unfortunately Nicola had to pull-out and was replaced by Heidi Jackson. Team ENLIGHTENED LADIES representing Pickwick Group raised an amazing $3,200 to this most worthwhile cause in the most gruelling of conditions. Whilst the team was unable to complete the challenge through injury we are most proud of their efforts and the fact that they did achieve what they set out to do in raising a huge amount for Oxfam.

National Jobactive Forum

Pickwick was recently invited to present at the National Jobactive Forum held in Melbourne. The event brought together leaders of organisations that seek to help those out of work find meaningful employment. The Forum was organised by the Australian Government’s Department of Employment which is responsible for national policies and programmes that help Australians find and keep employment and work in safe, fair and productive workplaces. The Department is implementing a new business model which will be officially launched on 1st July.

Having been invited to present at the event by business partner Direct Recruitment, Pickwick Victorian State Manager Tim Broatch gave a presentation on their long and successful relationship in recruiting staff, many of whom are long-term unemployed, parents returning to work and mature aged workers. Tim commented “The most pleasing thing for me is seeing people going on to have long careers at Pickwick with some reaching supervisory positions.” He added “We have placed a lot of good people who have been out of employment for a variety of reasons at high profile client sites such as Cary Grammar and more recently Deakin University. Having them gain confidence and prosper with our company culture is most rewarding.”

As part of the Forum Tim participated in a panel discussion to answer questions from those present. “Hearing from other employers such as McDonalds and gaining insights from leaders of training organisations too was invaluable” he says.

Pickwick staff support Cancer Council Australia

We all know someone near and dear to us that has been affected by cancer. In May and June Cancer Council Australia encouraged teams and organisations to host ‘Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.’ The theme is ‘Get Together to Help Beat Cancer.’ Vyvyan Swinbourn, National Payroll Manager took the initiative to organise a morning tea at Pickwick’s Brisbane office. Staff were asked to bring along a plate and those that joined in to provide a ‘gold coin’ donation. Everyone gave much more than a gold coin! The support received including from some of Pickwick’s neighbours and business partners who also participated was fantastic. In total $1,000 was raised for this most worthwhile cause. Ken Holder, CEO presented Vyvyan a cheque with Pickwick’s contribution and on behalf of everyone thanked her for organising and everyone else for making the event such a success.

He’s from Head Office and here to help!

Sometimes our CEO Ken Holder offers practical assistance! Ken was in Sydney late April visiting existing and prospective clients. Upon returning to the NSW branch later in the day he happened to notice a tyre on a vehicle in the carpark owned by one of Pickwick’s office staff was flat. Removing his jacket and tie he got down and dirty in the drizzle to change the wheel. NSW State Manager Nicholas Jenkinson couldn’t resist the opportunity to grab a photo. Nick later joked “We have all heard the adage ‘He’s from Head Office and here to help’ which no one believes. Well at least on this occasion Ken did!”

Experience that Counts – Over 10 Years of Service

We all know the importance of experience in the cleaning services industry. Three of our New South Wales team have all passed the decade of service mark. Cindy Voong (Office Manager), Delia Cooper and Pamela Alexander (both Clients Services Managers) began with Pickwick between 2003 and 2005. “All three are an integral part of the NSW team and are key to ensuring our clients receive excellent service on a daily basis from our cleaning operatives” says State Manager Nicholas Jenkinson. Ken Holder, CEO adds “Cindy, Delia and Pam all embody the Pickwick motto ‘Count on Us.’ One of the many things I admire about them is that they simply get on with their job without any fuss. They know the importance of putting our customers first which has to be good for Pickwick.”

On behalf of all of us at Pickwick we congratulate Cindy, Delia and Pamela and thank them for their tenure of dedicated service.

Cleaners Make a Difference

In March Pickwick’s client The Village in Mt Gravatt, Brisbane and managed through LaSalle Investment Management held its annual Holden Car Enthusiast show. The 5,000 plus crowd was drawn to an array of vintage and top of the line Holden cars. Pickwick worked alongside the client and the event organisers to ensure that the day was a success. Our cleaners received excellent feedback from the tenants ensuring the centre looked its best at all time. Well done team on a great day.

Australia Day Celebrations

One of Pickwick’s best known sites is Gasworks Plaza where it provides both cleaning and security services.  This commercial, residential and retail development at Newstead which is close to the heart of Brisbane is named after the tall iron structure of the No. 2 gas holder which was established in 1887 as Brisbane’s second gas works.  As part of this year’s Australia Day celebrations Pickwick worked alongside Pollen Communications one of Australia’s leading marketing events companies that staged a family day in the Gasometer which saw over 1,500 people visit.  Caeli Keating from Pollen commented “As always Pickwick staff were extremely professional and helpful during the event, it made working on the public holiday that much more enjoyable.”  She went on to say Pickwick “were extremely active in the Gasometer making sure that it always looked great.  We had a number of people approach us and comment on what a great job they were doing.”

The photos above taken on our national day show the Gasometer precinct and two of our security officers, Simon Conti (L) and Haris Chohen (R) with a couple of younger attendees enjoying the festivities.

Lucky Number 3

One of our long standing employees recently scooped the jackpot at the Melbourne Cup sweepstakes at Inala Health in Brisbane where she works. Zoila Butzelaar has continued the tradition of the old saying “Third Time Lucky” by winning the mystery trifecta with a $3 bet. Her winnings tallied close to $1,000 which will come in handy prior to Christmas.

Adding to this, Zoila recently became a first time grandmother, she is about to celebrate 10 years with Pickwick, and was nominated by her Client Service Manager for a Building Services Contractor Association of Australia (BSCAA) award. Though she unfortunately didn’t win, the acknowledgement alone was great recognition of her loyal and dedicated work to Pickwick. So yet again, it appears that 3 is a lucky number for this lady!

Congratulations to Maggie Webber

November brought a very special day for Pickwick’s business development lead generator Maggie Webber. Even though she earned her Master of Commerce degree back in 1989 … yes, a quarter of century ago as she does not like to remind herself, Maggie only had her degree conferred this month. Maggie like so many women at the time put her partner’s career first and never sought the recognition so deserved. As a special guest at the University of NSW and with her children present Maggie finally had her achievement formally recognised.   As Maggie says “Never let anyone get in the way of your goals or allow them to steal your dreams.” On behalf of all of us as Pickwick, congratulations Maggie.


Pickwick’s emphasis on Staff Training

Pickwick places a high degree of importance on staff training and not just for our cleaning and security workforce. During August all senior and operations management from around the country attended training on the all-important subject of Understanding Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying. The workshop run by one of our clients Livingstones Australia who specialise in HR, Employment & Industrial Relations focused on the laws to prevent workplace and harassment, and provided managers with practical examples and exercises to understand how to identify inappropriate behaviour and their responsibility and actions for preventing it.

The feedback from all who attended was positive and though the subject was a serious one, the atmosphere was fun and positive. Above are some of our management team at the training held at our new company offices in Melbourne.

Karen’s 32 years of dedicated service to Gippsland Water

One of our Victorian clients Gippsland Water had a bit of fun recently when one of our staff celebrated 32 years of service. Karen Malley started cleaning the offices at what used to be the Latrobe Valley Water and Sewerage Board back in March 1982. Here in the reversal of roles Gippsland Water’s Managing Director David Mawer is shown with a feather duster while Karen enjoys sitting back and relaxing. We are pretty sure David seldom ever puts his feet up but great to see he entered into the spirit of the occasion.

Asked what the secret is to being a good cleaner Karen replied, “Keeping an eye open. Spotting the areas that are looking a bit grubby and giving them an extra bit of attention is the key”.

Congratulations Karen, we hope you make that 40 years milestone we know you’re aiming for too.

Time to finally get those Golf Clubs

Kevin Lucas has been a leading supervisor at our Redland City Council (RCC) Gatehouse contract for the last 5 years.  He has had a significant influence on this contract from his passion for the job to his reliability and knowledge of systems and processes.  Importantly, he has earned enormous respect from our team and our client.

In recognition of his time, service and loyalty, Pickwick’s Security Services Manager Ray Freeman presented Kevin with a special plaque made for him at a dinner held in his honour along with his RCC teammates.

Well done Kevin, we wish you all the very best in retirement and thank you from all of us at Pickwick.

Pickwick congratulates Annette Jones on 20 years’ service

It is not often in this industry that a company can lay claim that an employee has given 20 years loyal service.  Pickwick sends congratulations to Annette Jones who has accomplished this milestone.

During her time with Pickwick Annette has mainly serviced Brisbane City Council (BCC) sites and has done so in a most professional and diligent manner. Annette’s efforts are also appreciated by her BCC clients and Michael Oakden, her direct Manager, has received many compliments about her work when carrying out cleaning audits.

Dedicated staff need to be acknowledged.  Pickwick presented a bouquet and some gift cards for Annette and her partner Noel as a small token of our appreciation.

On behalf of all of us at Pickwick we thank Annette for her past 20 years of service and loyalty.

An opportunity to say ‘Thank you’

Pickwick was granted an opportunity to show thanks to its Brisbane City Council Brisbane Square cleaning crew by having a BBQ get together with the team and partners at New Farm Park last month. Everyone that attended had an absolute ball! What had originally intended to be a short lunch started at 10.00am and finished at 4.30pm. Good to see our staff know can have a good time and let their hair down in a responsible manner.

The day not only showed our staff are a team outside of work but gave Pickwick an opportunity to show our cleaners’ hard work is appreciated. Pickwick supervisor Scott Mackie made a short ‘thank you’ speech to the team on behalf of Pickwick.

O-l Glass: National Contract Wins

Pickwick Group are excited to announce that we have been awarded 3 of O-l, (Owens Illinois) manufacturing plants in Australia.  O-I is a US based corporation and global glass manufacturer with plants throughout South East Asia and internationally.

Pickwick have been successful in winning the Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney plants with Sydney holding the title as the largest glass manufacturer in South East Asia.

Many of the cleaning maintenance systems are unique to the glass manufacturing process and require very specific cleaning outcomes. Pickwick were able to demonstrate that during our 30 year plus history we have gained considerable experience in many demanding cleaning environments and tailor specific cleaning outcomes to meet our client’s needs.