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.

Pickwick takes delivery of new Security vehicles

As part of its program to boost its presence in the Queensland security market Pickwick took delivery of two new patrol vehicles during the month. The new Toyota Yaris’s are the first to wear the new company brand livery when Pickwick launched its new brand logo in October 2013.

Ray Freeman, Security Services Manager, said he was delighted to take delivery of the new vehicles which would help strengthen Pickwick’s security patrol business in south-east Queensland. “These vehicles have proven themselves to be very reliable for patrol work. Whilst our customers don’t necessarily see us while we are safeguarding their property I know they will make a big difference” he said.

Pickwick provides security for new Lorna Jane store opening

Lorna Jane’s new store opening is part of the FKP Development of the historical Gasworks site, managed by global property management firm CBRE. It is situated near the Brisbane River in the city fringe suburb of Newstead.

Pickwick Group provided event security as Lorna Jane Clarkson stood on the stage at the new Gasworks retail precinct and spoke to the large crowd, eager to see and hear from the local and highly successful businesswoman. As she spoke our team were quietly working in the background ensuring the event went without a hitch for Lorna Jane, her team and all involved.

Pickwick’s Security Manager Ray Freeman (seen in the photos) personally led the team and commented what a privilege it was to provide security to such a high profile client in such an exciting new retail precinct.

Pickwick launches new website

As part of our rebranding, Pickwick is delighted to announce the launch of its new website.  Visitors will find our new logo and company colours.   For anyone who’s been through a rebrand they will understand all the work that goes on behind the scenes to bring it all together.

As a company’s online presence becomes more important in the way it interacts with existing customers it also becomes significant in attracting new customers.  We all know the web is now the market driver and public face of business. At Pickwick we felt the need to ensure we have the best possible website interface to communicate with existing and new customers as well as staff and suppliers.

Pickwick’s CEO Ken Holder commented that technology will never take away from the very personal nature of our business and service which is paramount and must always put people first.

We hope you enjoy our new website.