In Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Richmond, Feast of Merit restaurant is run by social enterprise venture YGAP, an organisation that provides financial, marketing and mentoring support to grassroots charities. Lined with exposed brick, rustic timber floors and leadlight windows, the function space provides a blank canvas for events of up to 120 guests, with profits supporting charitable works in Australia, Africa, Bangladesh and beyond.
Nearby, in Fitzroy, Mission Australia runs Charcoal Lane restaurant, providing hospitality training and mentoring for vulnerable young people. The menu further strengthens the feel-good factor, showcasing native Australian ingredients that support Indigenous growers across the country.
“Coming to stay with us is an eco-decision in itself,” says Courtney Adamson of O’Reilly’s. “Corporate guests have a choice of adding myriad eco-initiatives to their itinerary, such as guided bushwalks, Australian animal encounters and conservation talks.”
Set within World Heritage–listed rainforest, O’Reilly’s rooms and villas are constructed from recycled materials, and water comes courtesy of a natural spring, promising a conference and incentive setting that delivers “clear air for clear thinking”.
Corporate Challenge Events has witnessed a shift in the kind of activities clients request, says director Dwain Richardson.
“We have seen a growth in companies undertaking team-building events that have a charity focus and a giving outcome,” he says. “Originally we did a lot of work with the charity Camp Quality, and one of the things that came out of those conversations was the fact that because parents were spending so much money on treatments, there was very little left over for gifts, not only for the sick child, but also for siblings.”
And so the idea for Bikes for Tykes was born. Participants compete to build bikes from scratch, not knowing that they will be gifted to kids in need at the end of the day. “The feedback and response is very emotional,” says Dwain. “It’s not only a fun day, there’s also the impact of what they’ve achieved.”
Other tailored events include Charity Chef, where teams take part in a ‘mystery box’ challenge to cook a meal for the needy, and Flat Pack Frenzy, building furniture for charitable organisations. Corporate Challenge Events can be hosted across Australia for groups of all sizes.