Community engagement to make a difference

Community engagement time release is available to support staff to participate in meaningful volunteer community work. In December, the Office of General Counsel and Governance team took the opportunity to volunteer together for Cana Farms, where they contributed 1.5 weeks' worth of labour in just one day.

It was the team’s first in-person community engagement activity since 2019.

Cana’s mission is to care for and support those who experience illness, addiction and homelessness and who are struggling to integrate into the community. The organisation is 98 per cent volunteer run and operates three transitional homes, shelters, a farm and a social enterprise at Orchard Hills in Sydney. Through a relational or family-style model, they create inclusive communities which nurture people’s dignity and offer hope and a sense of belonging.

The team spent the day either working the land or assisting with preparing and labelling the produce, contributing approximately 1.5 weeks’ worth of manual labour. After a hearty lunch at the farm, they spent time with Cana’s founder, Julie Sneddon , and were given an opportunity to purchase goods from the on-site store, just in time for Christmas! In addition to the physical labour contribution, this burst of retail therapy raised hundreds of dollars for Cana.

“Our team at OGC and Governance spent a wonderful day in the garden working alongside community members and came away inspired to do more and with a better understanding of the injustices in the prison system and how hard it is for people coming from generational addiction,” said Lisa Be, former Executive Officer, Office of General Counsel.

Cana is very supportive of corporate volunteering activities and would welcome the assistance of ACU staff in 2023.

To find out how you or your team can utilise the Community Engagement Time Release (CETR) policy to participate in volunteering activities, contact

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