Maree Herath interview Geelong Cats CEO, Brian Cook.

A challenging year for the Geelong Cats, Brian Cook talks about life in the hub.

The sport and leisure sector is far, the biggest casualty of the Covid crisis. When group gatherings were made unlawful this sector had no choice but to shut its doors to its clientele. The AFL responded quickly, creating the hub to allow the great Aussie game to continue, albeit without live spectators.

When surveying this sector as part of the Geelong HR Index, 100% of the audience said standing down staff was their biggest HR challenge, with two-thirds stating letting staff go and workforce
planning a major challenge.

100% of respondents listed they felt underequipped for a pandemic. As the only sector that was prevented from trading due to the pandemic it left a lot of organisations, their owners and  managers to work out, with immediacy, what to do. Two-thirds listed getting across daily changes in regulations, updating contracts, polices and procedures and maintaining personal resilience as their biggest challenge.

As a sector that was mandated to close its doors the only aspect that the majority of employers listed (67%) was that employee engagement and commitment increased.

This sector increased its communication to its employees. Stood down workers remained engaged in corporate communications whether via formal newsletter or communication pieces to Facebook, Instagram and  What’sApp groups in order to get the latest news from their employer but also to stay connected despite the tragic ramifications of COVID to the sector and them personally.

It was a time for creating different initiatives

The Geelong Cats Experience

For Geelong Football Club and the season carrying on interstate, the club needed to address what that would look like for players, coaches, trainers and match-day staff and for the organisation as a whole. Thinking they would only be located in Queensland for 14 days, the Cats ended up their for 120 days with a total of 160 people, including player’s families, staying in the hub.

As part of the HR Index, Maree Herath chatted with Brian Cook, CEO Geelong Cats.

Watch the interview with Brian Cook.


2020 Geelong HR Index

Harvest Director, Maree Herath  hosts a casual “on the couch” discussion with special guests Justin Giddings CEO Avalon Airport, Lisa Barton HR Operations The Gordon, Jason Doherty Regional GM Lifeline, Brian Cook CEO Geelong Cats , Debra Nash Commercial Director Truffle Duck and Mark Valena CEO GMHBA.

Click here to watch the 2020 Release of the HR Index on You Tube.    (60 minutes)

Each industry, based on how the pandemic played out, had different HR challenges which can be found in the separate findings by sector. If you wish purchase one of The Geelong HR Index 2020 Reports, please contact Harvest t: 1300 363 128

  • Complete Geelong HR Index 2020 Report – $399
  • Regional Report – $299
  • Industry Reports – $199

We trust the findings will increase your understanding of the Geelong region; that you will be able to use the data to respond to challenges, take advantage of opportunities and play your part in the social and sustainable development of our great City.

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