On Saturday 4 July, TVH was proud to welcome staff and their families to the opening of the new Sydney office in Chipping Norton. But this was no ordinary office opening, as TVH prides themselves on doing things differently.
Under a clear blue sky, with laughter floating up from the jumping castle and the smell of wood-fired pizza filling the air, this was a coming together of members of the TVH family. It was a celebration of TVH’s growth and success so far and an acknowledgement of their 20-year history and the people who have made the company what it is today. It was also an opportunity to look ahead to the next phase of the journey.
As Managing Director Joshua Leys said, “The day really hit the mark. It was about us, about bonding the team together as we showed them around their new space. It was a recognition of where we have come from, as well as the business’s way of drawing a line in the sand for the start of the next part of the journey.”
Innovative space and technology
With an expanding client base and service offering, TVH was looking for a bigger office for their Sydney location. “In our old office we were almost sitting on top of each other. We were keen to move into a more appropriate, corporate facility with all the technology and space that the employees require to move the business into the next phase,” Joshua noted.
“The new office is fresh, modern and spacious, and has a real ‘wow!’ factor. One of the meeting rooms is more of a breakout space, with couches where we can gather around. It’s a great space to get the creative juices flowing. The office is now leading the way in terms of space and technology across our Australian locations.”
Doing things differently – the TVH way
Rebecca Russo, Joshua’s Executive Assistant and a new starter at TVH, is part of the National Management and Operations Team that is located at the new office. She first met the team at the opening. “Meeting the team and seeing the space was exciting,” Rebecca recalled. “Being part of the opening solidified what I thought when I met Joshua and Simon, one of the other directors, at my interview. Not only did they invite me to come along and be part of the team before I had even started, but I could see how employee-focused they were and how family-friendly the event was. They were so clear about what they were trying to achieve.
“We have everything we need to do our jobs and to do them well. And it’s such a friendly space, for staff, contractors and customers. It’s a place to be proud of.”
One of the features that really impressed Rebecca, and that the three directors Joshua, Simon Jones and Doug Lamac are particularly proud of, is the office names. “Because we do things differently at TVH,” said Joshua, “we wanted the room names to reflect our focus on people over titles. So, our office names include ‘Relationships’, ‘Culture’, ‘Mentors’, ‘Role Models’, ‘Vision’, ‘Planning’ and ‘Execution’.”
Rebecca added, “The office names are really significant in the way the business is run. Yes, the directors are owners and managers but it’s not about titles, and the office is a testament to that. It’s a very inclusive place.”
Teamwork and years of service
Another feature that the directors are particularly proud of is the Service Board, which staff saw for the first time at the opening. “The Service Board is such important recognition of our staff,” Doug, one of the other directors commented. “We knew we had some long-serving team members, but it wasn’t until we looked at the numbers that we realised some people have been with us for 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years. It really made us think about everything we’ve been through together over the years.”
The Service Board made an impact on Rebecca as well: “I was really impressed with the Service Board. I thought, as a new employee, people have been here a long time which is a really good sign. People don’t stay if they’re not happy.”
The Brandon Walker Honour Board and the next generation
One of the keys to the longevity and success of the TVH team is the support they give each other and the responsibility they feel toward training the next generation.
Mounted next to the Service Board, and unveiled to staff at the opening, is the Brandon Walker Honour Board, honouring the life of the late Brandon Walker who was a much-loved member and mentor of the TVH team who passed away on 2 April 2020. Brandon not only loved his trade but was committed to training and mentoring TVH staff and apprentices, like Troy Cronin.
As Joshua recalled, “Brandon met Troy on a project and said, ‘That’s it, you’re under my wing.’ Brandon felt it was his responsibility to spend time with people, to teach them and train them. He felt he couldn’t leave the industry without doing it.
“It was such a great moment for all of us when Brandon signed Troy off on his trade just weeks before he started his retirement.”
The Brandon Walker Apprentice Trophy
As Brandon’s student and the first person to complete a full apprenticeship with TVH, it was fitting that Troy was the inaugural recipient of the Brandon Walker Apprentice Trophy. “Troy has been with the business for 15 years,” said Joshua, “and the trophy was not only a complete surprise to him on the day but a recognition of Troy’s service!”
Simon continued, “Brandon’s wife Donna presented the trophy to Troy. She said she could imagine how proud Brandon would be knowing an award had been named after him.
“This trophy and the Brandon Walker Honour Board exemplify everything that TVH stands for: working together, learning from each other, and doing our best to support each other. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Paying respect to Indigenous Australians
Sharing the foyer with the Brandon Walker Honour Board and the Service Board is a striking artwork called ‘Maarung’ (circle) by Allan McKenzie[AC1] , a Gamilaroi/Wiradjuri man. The three TVH directors (Joshua, Doug and Simon) commissioned the work as a mark of respect for both the Indigenous communities TVH works with as well as the traditional owners on whose lands the new office sits, the Tharawal people.
“We’ve done a lot of work in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Far North Queensland and Western Australia,” noted Joshua, “and we wanted to give something back to these communities that have welcomed us. We’re still working out what that is, but right now it’s about recognition and we thought a commissioning this piece of artwork would be a great start.”
A trip to Dubbo and some ‘good fellas’
Months before the opening, Joshua and Simon drove to Dubbo to meet Allan and ask if he would do the artwork for the new office. Sitting in a coffee shop in a local shopping centre in Dubbo they talked with Allan about the business and the TVH ethos. Joshua recalled the day: “Three hours later Allan pulled out his didgeridoo which he had brought to the shopping centre and played us a tune, right there in the coffee shop. At the end he said, ‘You guys are good fellas’ then shook our hands and said he was going home to start painting. We were blown away.”
Allan asked Joshua, Simon and Doug to each send him a short account of their journeys at TVH, without showing each other. From this, he created the painting, weaving the three stories into the one TVH story.
Painting the TVH past and future
Describing the painting at the opening, Allan explained, “The black background represents Country, the foundation that TVH was created from. A blank palette where the possibilities are endless … The three handprints represent the founding members – the present Elders of TVH, the influencers and the guides.
“The intricate detail represents the vibration of the staff and the environment, knitted together in a continuous motion to show growth and connection … The symbols of people represent the network that TVH has established across its footprint.”
Allan’s painting was the perfect symbol for both the opening and the TVH journey, as Joshua wrapped up: “Allan drove from Dubbo for the opening to share his art with us. As he said, a tribe is like a family. We don’t survive and flourish alone, we do it collectively, as one tribe. I’m looking forward to this next part of the journey with the TVH family and excited about what lies ahead.”
To find out more about TVH’s vision and growth strategy, contact Joshua Leys on M: 0420 279 293 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
L-R: Simon Jones, Joshua Leys and Doug Lamac at the opening of the new TVH office in Chipping Norton.
Troy Cronin, first recipient of the Brandon Walker Apprentice Trophy, with Donna Walker, Brandon’s wife, in front of the Brandon Walker Honour Board.
Artist Allan McKenzie with his work ‘Maarung’ (circle), in the foyer of the new TVH office at Chipping Norton.
TVH Office opening video