Ventia healthy minds banner picture artistic

The message from our R U OK? Day employee webinar on Monday was clear - please speak out if you need help or even just someone to talk to. 

CEO Dean Banks put it simply when he said, "Sharing is a good thing, it shows strength, it shows courage." 

Employees heard from Dean along with Group Executives Jodie Blake, David McPadden and Charmaine Higgins on the call hosted by Group Executive SHEQ Christian Frost. 

Each of the speakers shared why days like R U OK? Day are so important to them, noting that it's a reminder to check in on our colleagues regularly and also to maintain our own mental health. 

Pictured: R U OK? Day check in with some of our New Zealand team members.

"We need to make sure we're taking care of ourselves, so that we have capacity to help others if needed," Jodie said. 

Charmaine's thoughts focused on the kind of culture we want to encourage in our workplaces and shared her personal goal of calling 10 people each week just to check in, with no other agenda. 

We want to be a culture that creates a safe space for people to speak up.

screenshot from the Ventia R U OK? Day webinar

Our R U OK? Day webinar talked about the importance of staying connected and having the courage to start a conversation.


Christian introduced the tools that Ventia has available to support our people, including the Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies programs and our Employee Assistance Program through Assure. 

Gerard Bevan spoke on behalf of Assure, explaining that their goal is to help companies maximise the ability for employees to bring the best version of themselves to work. He said that R U OK? Day is a good reminder of the importance of starting a conversation.

"Assure is just one element of a good support network," Gerard said. He praised Ventia's Healthy Minds Champion network as being a great example of a best practice approach to workplace wellbeing. 

This was reflected in the results of the online poll run during the webinar, through which over 40% of participants said the Healthy Minds program is the most useful support service Ventia offers. 

Ultimately, R U OK? Day is about staying connected, to our colleagues, to our friends and family, and to our own wellbeing. 

Pictured: R U OK? Day toolbox talk at our Mornington Peninsula Shire contract, with guest speaker Michael Simmons from Mental Health Safety Net.

"Use the tips and tools you learn today," our CEO said.

If only one additional conversation is had because of this session, then something good has come of it.