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Staff step up for Global Corporate Challenge

Over the past fortnight, comments have been made that some professional staff have been seen walking on the spot. It has also been reported that others have been seen conducting counter-intuitive practices, such as parking in the green zone. It is rumoured that groups have formed and battle lines have been drawn. There have been whispered huddles in corridors where numbers are discussed and compared. Sledging has been recorded, and dogs have become exhausted by all the walking. Phone and email replies have fallen, and some staff are turning up to talk at doors. It appears the stakes are high and no compromise is possible.

The good news is that there is a rational explanation for the unusual behaviour.

Two teams from our school, the SWOT Team and the SUPPs, have joined the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) and have been tasked with walking around the world, or in the case of the SUPPs, to walk out of Italy. This year’s event had a virtual start at Rome’s Coliseum and has seen our challengers racing from location to location, tracking each team’s progress on a virtual map along the way.

Front row: Lesley Thornton and Amanda Robinson. Back row: Paul Bogdanich, Carol Ingram, Liz Harris, Jenny Smith.
Front row: Lesley Thornton and Amanda Robinson. Back row: Paul Bogdanich, Carol Ingram, Liz Harris, Jenny Smith.

As part of our professional development, we are using this team-building opportunity to increase our fitness and productivity by the end of 100 days. The aim is to increase our average step count over time through simple changes in our day-to-day lives, as this can easily translate to long-term changes and benefits to our health and well-being. The GCC makes you aware that every step counts (because in the challenge they literally do), so team members have started taking walking lunch breaks, choosing the stairs instead of the lift, and are no longer spending ages waiting for the nearest parking spot at the shops.

Because we were short the numbers to make up two complete teams, we randomly asked a few academic staff if they would participate. It came as a complete shock to learn that Richard Parsons and Torbjorn Falkmer walk or cycle to work, and Annalise O’Callaghan often runs half marathons.  However, even with those fit and keen additions, our school’s teams are unlikely to take out first prize.

Front Row: Erica Cooke and Lillian Baster. Back Row: Back row: Annalise O’Callaghan, Stephen Lawrie, Richard Parsons, Kate Davidson and Mandy Monks.
Front row: Erica Cooke and Lillian Baster. Back row: Annalise O’Callaghan, Stephen Lawrie, Richard Parsons, Kate Davidson and Mandy Monks.

So far, the SUPPs have walked 717 kms and are sitting in 32,690th place, while the SWOT Team is charging ahead with 817 kms walked and are holding strong at number 26,819th in the ranks. We are just behind the leaders, who have somehow already walked 3,758 kms straight off the edge of the European continent.  The GCC is a worldwide event and it appears that there are many teams out there that take this challenge very seriously…and perhaps don’t work in an office.  So, if the school’s professional staff aren’t around next week it’s because we’ve gone walkabout, in support of the good name of Curtin University of course!