What a year it’s been. And it’s only April.
The mission of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre is to bring economic benefit to our region through the provision of outstanding event space and services. Currently, that mission has been temporarily reimagined to bringing support and relief to our region through the provision of food, funds and services.
The challenges we have faced this year range from the worst bushfires Australia has ever seen to the fast-growing global pandemic we are all experiencing. Through these emergencies, we have watched support and resilience grow in the team at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Thousands of Dollars
In January, the leadership group at GCCEC met to discuss ways the Centre could provide support to those affected by the bushfires tearing through Australia. As we saw homes and livelihoods lost and our wildlife population threatened, we talked to team members and local services to determine what was required and how we could coordinate relief.
Over $10,000 was raised for the Gold Coast Rural Fire Brigade Group and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation through car park revenue and employee contribution. Both groups have praised the efforts of the Centre that allowed the purchase of equipment vital to the protection of lives, Australians and our native wildlife.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) is the volunteer side of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), and provides services to 93% of Queensland. It’s made up of approximately 33,000 volunteers and provides a range of assistance and skills from fire-fighting to community education.
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital is one of the busiest wildlife hospitals in the world, treating over 12,200 animals last year alone. The recent bushfires saw an additional 500 admissions to the hospital and extended stays as natural habitats have been destroyed.
The work of the hospital to treat, rehabilitate and release native wildlife is further challenged with the closure of the park, and social distancing rules due to the outbreak of COVID-19. An annual fundraiser, Evening Under the Stars has been reinvented into a virtual event, with tickets available here.
Thousands of Meals
The effects of COVID-19 on our immediate community have touched the staff at GCCEC and we have actioned a Community Benefit Team that is overseeing initiatives to provide essential services to the Gold Coast. In the past few weeks, with the generosity of our suppliers and partners, and the support of local agencies, we have prepared thousands of healthy meals for the most vulnerable in our area.
Led by our Executive Chef, the kitchen has become a hub of peeling, chopping and cooking thousands of kilos of vegetables, proteins and starches for distribution to locals experiencing hardship.
Thousands of Hours
Our Technology Department has offered its services to local schools. Recording online classes for students unable to attend school has presented an unexpected challenge for many educational institutions. GCCEC has been able to create temporary recording studios and offer experience, equipment and time to schools needing this service.
Working in partnership with the Gold Coast business and service communities has promoted a deeper culture of collaboration and service. We are certainly looking forward to a disaster-free future where we can get back to our business as we know it, but with a legacy of even stronger teamwork and community spirit.
In the meantime, we will keep supporting and providing these essential services to our community.