Komatsu Helps Staff Live Their Dreams!

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Updated: December 18, 2019

Komatsu has successfully completed its second Live Your Dream (LYD) program, which allows all employees an opportunity to contribute to their local community or wider society.

Over 3500 Komatsu employees across Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia have an opportunity to apply to the LYD and receive $10,000 grant from the heavy machinery company to support their dream. LYD’s first year was extremely successful and benefitted many different communities and organisations. One of the projects was an extraordinary 4000km solo bike ride across the country, which raised over $25,000 for an organisation caring for the children of serving Australian military.

The second year of the LYD program has proven similarly and will continue to give back to the community as Komatsu heads towards its centenary celebration in 2021.

“Live Your Dream is all about corporate social responsibility and empowering Komatsu staff to give back to their community and making a difference to the world – this is what Komatsu is all about,” said Komatsu National Marketing Manager, Wafaa Ghali.

“The Live Your Dream program started as a one-off but has since become a five-year commitment, which is gaining momentum.”

The 2019 LYD team proposed a wide range of social programs, each warmly welcomed and effective in their own right. Some of the winners this year are already planning for 2020.

This year’s Komatsu LYD employees’ experiences changed their lives and many others:

Matthew Presland, an accountant with Komatsu’s Moss Vale branch supported ‘Running for Premature Babies’ and raised more than $11,000 running in a 12-hour event in chilly Canberra, plus this year’s Sydney Half Marathon.

Matthew and his wife Kylie brought their son Rhys into the world 10 weeks early – so the cause, which has overall raised more than $3 million and bought 16 neo-natal intensivecare machines, was close to their hearts. Sophie Smith, founder of Running for Premature babies is very thankful for the support from Matthew and Komatsu. “The funds raised in the Half Marathon will expandthe Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Hospital for Women by two stations,” Ms Smith said.

Stafford Jones, Komatsu Branch Manager in Townsville, had a very memorable trip to the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. There, he and his chosen charity, Litehaus International, distributed computers to hundreds of school children as part of their program to provide better access to digital education.

“It was a massive celebration, it wasn’t just the students, it was the community,” said Mr Jones who benefited from Litehaus’s fifth trip to PNG. Kyra Bridges, a 21-year-old spare parts apprentice at Komatsu’s Hobart branch has provided her $10,000 grant to SPEAK UP!

Stay ChatTY – a division of Relationships Australia to fund a youth engagement officer to work with schools, sporting groups and communities.

“We’re super excited about Komatsu’s funding and so grateful to Kyra,” said Mitch McPherson, founder of the SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY program.

To continue the good work, Kyra has created her own GoFundMe page and aims to match the Komatsu contribution dollar-for-dollar. Spencer Raynel from Komatsu Waikato applied to the Live Your Dream program to help and support his nine-year-old nephew,

Leukemia survivor, Nixon Brown. In June, Nixon invited every trail bike rider in New Zealand to join him in a ride with New Zealand Motorcycle Hall of Fame legend Sean Clarke, to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.

The event was extremely successful as Spencer and Sean Clarke found additional sponsors for the event, which made nearly $25,000, including Komatsu’s contribution. Komatsu’s Training Academy took on the challenge to help and support Rural Aid, bringing relief to drought-affected farmers. Janine Gurney, General Manager at the academy said it was no coincidence that Rural Aid needed specific help with machinery maintenance.

“We wanted to find a cause that was really deserving of our efforts and to be able to give back to the farmers that are well in need of support,” said Ms Gurney. And the help went beyond machinery maintenance. “I think it went beyond the physical help we were giving them. In addition to, they just appreciated having people to talk to and showing care and interest in their lives, and what they’re going through,” said Komatsu’s National Training Academy Manager, Tracey Campbell. Finally, Laura Deaves and Daren Thanh from Komatsu’s Engineering Graduates program worked alongside the Engineers Without Borders organisation, conducting workshops to help indigenous students discover the opportunities of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

At the end of May this year, the group visited a number of schools around Orange and Dubbo within Western New South Wales.

“Our aim was to promote what we call humanitarian engineering and to encourage students in regional communities to consider STEM as a future career path,” said Daren Thanh.

“Engineering changes the world and if we expose more people to humanitarian engineering, hopefully we can make a difference.”