UDIA Queensland sat down with AVID Property Group’s Linda Walsh about giving back to the community with the Take 3 Initiative.

How long have you been in the development industry and why are you passionate about it?

I’ve been in sales and marketing within the property industry for more than 25 years. Over the past seven years, I’ve also been driving the strategic and operational sales as well as the marketing and customer direction for the AVID business nationally.

The incredible thing about my job is the ability to build deeper relationships with clients and creating meaningful two-way communication, engagement – both online and face-to-face, as well as solid customer service – that’s really my favourite part of the job. At AVID, it’s also about building communities and connections which respond to our customer insights, and this is very rewarding and meaningful to me, and why I believe in what the business is doing.

How does your company “give back”?

AVID’s fundamental philosophy is all about bringing people together to create thriving neighbourhoods and connected communities. So social engagement with our residents and the broader communities has always been one of our driving forces.

One of the key ways we do that is through our Community Sponsorship and Grant program, which we run across the eastern seaboard of Australia across all our projects as well as on a broader national level. We see this translated in supporting local charities, businesses and groups to fulfil the goals of our local heroes and further, to connect the experts that can inspire AVID and the communities we serve, to drive change.

Our partnership with Take 3 for the Sea – a global environmental movement – is run nationally across all of our projects and has been a hugely successful educational partnership for our team and our communities.

It’s more than just working with communities, but actually tackling a much broader environmental problem that we, as a global society, face. We’re very passionate about developing sustainable and environmentally conscious communities so educating people, involving them in activities where they can take action and make a difference is actually a much bigger initiative.

How did this initiative start? Did you approach them? Did they approach you? Was it a staff idea?

The idea to partner with Take 3 for the Sea was actually sparked by my daughter. One of the co-founders of Take 3, Tim Silverwood, had visited her school and she was so enthusiastic about his visit and what she could do to share the movement.

Seeing that excitement in someone so young got me thinking, that in our role creating community across Australia, we could really help get the Take 3 message out to our residents and stakeholders across the eastern seaboard.

It was quickly recognised by our Executive team and the whole AVID business that, while not something a developer might typically jump to sponsor, this was an initiative that we were passionate about supporting.

So, we reached out to the team at Take 3 for the Sea and launched the partnership in 2018. It’s such a pleasure to be continuing our partnership with them to this day.

Why have you chosen this way to show your support?

The team at AVID wanted to learn along the way while offering our growing communities direct access to Tim Silverwood and the Take 3 movement, to help generate genuine local change that would make a real difference to the regions in which we work.

Because the Take 3 message is so easy, it’s such a simple and impactful way for everybody from adults and kids alike, to take action. Their message of simply picking up three pieces of rubbish as you leave the park, beach or anywhere makes it easy for anyone to join the movement and contribute to keeping our environment clean. It also allows the environmental and sustainable conversation to bubble up to a more visible conversation with residents and communities. Whilst as a developer we will ignite our own initiatives which affect the hardscape of our developments, it’s not until residents and the broader community participates, stop, listen, act, that the message and the broader problem can shift awareness and generate even greater understanding of what individuals can actually do in their day to day lives.

As you said, it’s not an initiative you’d expect a developer to embrace, but what benefit has the initiative it had on AVID?

It’s definitely a bit leftfield, which is why I think it’s been so successful. I don’t think any of our Executives or our greater team believed that one small action of an individual could make a difference, but rather by working together as a force we are able to join the movement and collectively make a difference. We are all also able to relate to this as a broader environmental issue and it’s something they can take home to share with friends and family and embrace in their day-to-day lives outside of work.

The partnership also offered AVID the opportunity to influence the property industry, and encourage the rest of the sector, including other developers and builders, to help support the movement, while engaging with industry associations and some corporate colleagues, we thank the UDIA for their support.

We recognise that it’s not something our people, or the broader property sector might generally sponsor, but it was something that our executive team was passionate about supporting from the start.

Why do you see it as important to support the community?

Through Take 3, we are leaving an educational and/or a choice legacy for our communities and at the same time encouraging others in the industry to stand with us and help tackle the growing issue of plastic pollution. We all have to continually strive to work on this and it will take time to move the mountain

I believe that we have enabled our residents and staff to get behind the Take 3 initiative, make a positive change in their everyday lives, and be more aware of the impact single use plastic has.

What has the response from the community and the AVID team been to the Take 3 initiative?

We’ve had such a positive response from both our team and our residents – and outstanding results from each local event. The whole AVID team is proud to expand our environmental legacy and challenge each other to help make a difference, and I truly believe that we’ve been able to achieve that through our partnership with Take 3. Take a look at our report!