With the launch of ACU’s new brand close to the 2017 Open Day season, a ready supply of ACU hoodies led the Marketing and External Relations (MER) team to devise an innovative plan to put the new hoodies to good use, while engaging both staff and students in our Mission.
The ‘All Good in the Hood’ clothing drive invited students across ACU campuses to donate five pieces of clothing to the St Vincent De Paul Society, in exchange for an ACU hoodie.
The team behind the initiative, Marketing Coordinator (Brand) Brian Seeto and Social Platform Specialist Stephanie McCormick, have been recognised for their efforts with a Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for Mission Excellence.
Ms Stephanie McCormick, Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Graven and Mr Brian Seeto.
According to Mr Seeto, there were several motivations behind the clothing drive, including raising awareness of ‘fast fashion’, encouraging students to recycle clothing rather than contribute to landfill and supporting the good work of the St Vincent de Paul Society.
“The initiative was really an opportunity for us to put our Mission into action,” Ms McCormick added.
It was a chance for MER to put our talents to use in a way that not only targeted students, but also engaged the community and involved stakeholders in the Catholic community.”
Taking place across two days at each campus, the clothing drive saw approximately 600 students donate around 3000 items of clothing to the St Vincent de Paul Society.
“I think people are inherently good and want to do good,” Mr Seeto said.
“For students, it’s often just about providing those opportunities to engage, and the clothing drive was a perfect example of this.”
It wasn’t just students who got involved, with staff across the University volunteering their time to run the donation stalls at each campus.
"The goodwill of staff across the organisation really highlighted to me the importance of our Mission,” Mr Seeto said. “We have a shared aim in that we’re all here to do good.”
“Even if it’s not in our job description to run or get involved in projects like this, people always put their hands up.”
In recognition of ACU’s culture of giving back, Mr Seeto will be donating a portion of his prize money to ACU’s Creating Opportunity Fund, to support future students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The donation will have double the impact, as ACU matches all donations to the fund.
The team agreed that it was this culture of giving back that allowed the ‘All Good in the Hood’ initiative to get off the ground in the first place.
Both Mr Seeto and Ms McCormick also said the project would not have been possible without support from the wider MER team, staff volunteers from across the University and the Properties and Facilities team who assisted with setting up, packing down and use of campus cars.
“This award is really a pat on the back for everyone who got involved,” Ms McCormick said.
"I’ve never worked anywhere where people stepping out of their normal day-to-day job is rewarded, let alone encouraged in this way.
Its really humbling, heart-warming, and inspiring.”