Executive Messages

November 2019

Bushfire state of emergency



Dear colleagues,


Due to the bushfire situation and weather conditions, the NSW Premier has declared a state of emergency.


I encourage you all to remain up to date with the latest advice from the Rural Fire Service (RFS). If you live in a fire-affected area, follow the directions and advice of the RFS.


If you are not able to make it to work due to road closures or childcare responsibilities resulting from school closures, please speak to your manager.

While the bushfire threat remains, please avoid fire-prone areas and reconsider all non-essential travel.


As smoke from the fires continues to spread, please look after your own health. Poor air quality and fine particles from smoke can exacerbate existing respiratory and cardiac conditions. Where possible, avoid outdoor activity and remain in air conditioned spaces indoors to avoid the effects of smoke and extreme heat.


Many of our staff are involved in coordinating the emergency response in these situations and I thank you for your ongoing efforts. I would also like to personally thank those who volunteer to protect their communities as part of the RFS response.


Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the fires. I appreciate the impact this can have, and would like to remind all staff that our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to assist at any time. EAP can be accessed by calling 1800 818 728.


Over the next few days, please take care and continue to check the fire, weather, traffic and school closure information using the websites listed below:







If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Caren Friend, Manager Counter Disaster Unit, on 9881 1144 or at caren.friend@health.nsw.gov.au.




Graeme Loy

WSLHD Chief Executive

FACS leave during the bushfire emergency



Dear colleagues,


We understand that some of our staff may be directly affected by bushfires that are close to their homes, as well as possible road and school closures over the next few days.


Staff who are prevented from travelling to work or who remain at home to protect their family and/or property may access Family and Community Service (FACS) Leave balances during the period of the emergency. This includes staff who need to care for children whose school or care arrangements have been disrupted due to closures.


If you are not able to attend work due to the emergency, please contact your immediate manager personally, as soon as possible, before you are due at work.


If you require leave and have insufficient FACS Leave available, discuss your circumstances with your manager. Other leave balances may be used at your manager’s discretion. Please note, FACS leave does not apply to casual employees or Health Service Senior Executives.


Special Leave may be available to staff who volunteer to assist a recognised emergency service organisation while the State of Emergency is in place. Find out more on the NSW Health fact sheet.


If you have any questions about leave during this period, please contact your manager or HR Business Partner.


Take care and continue to check the Rural Fire Service page, and Live traffic site for bushfire and road closure updates.




Luci Caswell

Director People and Culture

World Kindness Day



Dear colleagues,


Yesterday, Wednesday 13 November, was World Kindness Day, an international event to celebrate the positive power of kindness.


The Ministry of Health also launched a Kindness Works Here campaign yesterday to recognise the small acts of kindness that happen every day across NSW Health.


When we think about kindness in healthcare, we often focus on the way we care for our patients. I would also like to focus on showing kindness to one another.


Our culture is created by the small decisions we make every day. Our conversations with one another present one of the biggest opportunities to change our culture to one of kindness.


If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a look at our draft WSLHD Culture Strategy and let us know your thoughts. Your feedback is important to make sure our strategy and work over the next few years focus on the things that matter most to you.


Please send your questions, comments and suggestions to wslhd-peopleandculture@health.nsw.gov.au by 30 November.


In the meantime, today is as an opportunity to consider how we can show more kindness in our day-to-day work, and to appreciate the kindness of others.




Graeme Loy

WSLHD Chief Executive

WSLHD Culture Strategy



Dear colleagues,


I am pleased to share with you our draft WSLHD Culture Strategy.


The draft strategy reflects the feedback from everyone who participated in the World Cafes and People Matter staff surveys, the work we have already commenced to improve our culture and our commitment to change.


Together with staff, we have identified eight priority areas and more than 120 projects or actions to address these.


Your feedback is important to make sure our strategy focuses on the things that matter most to you and produces outcomes that directly benefit you.


I invite you to provide feedback on the draft WSLHD Culture Strategy.

If you would like a copy of the WSLHD strategy or would like to send your questions, comments and suggestions, please email wslhd-peopleandculture@health.nsw.gov.au by 30 November.


Naming competition – $5,000 prize


Our culture strategy needs a name!


Brainstorm with your team and come up with a name that resonates with you and reflects our amazing staff and our cultural transformation to build the best possible future.


Submit your entry to wslhd-peopleandculture@health.nsw.gov.au by 30 November. The WSLHD Culture Steering Committee will select the top entry, and the winner will receive $5,000 to spend on something to improve culture in their department as well as the opportunity to collaborate with our culture experts on the final name.


In the meantime, we are finalising recruitment for an Organisational Development team to drive the culture strategy and support the eight Action Groups, some of which will start meeting in December.


We are also recruiting an expert in cultural change to work with us over the next 1–2 years.


Thanks in advance for your input and suggestions.




Graeme Loy

WSLHD Chief Executive

Copyright © 2019 Western Sydney Local Health District 

Disclaimer: Information in The Regular Dose is intended for WSLHD staff. As a recipient of The Regular Dose you are not permitted to disseminate
or distribute The Regular Dose to any third party outside WSLHD. Any such act may constitute a breach of the WSLHD Code of Conduct.