Champion Award winner – Jillian Christie

The Champion Award recognises outstanding compliance or commitment by an individual within a business to being COVIDSafe.

Monkami is a charity providing support services for people experiencing disability. Its CEO, Jillian Christie, worked above and beyond to secure the future of Monkami, often unguided during the global pandemic.

Through observing media reports early in 2020, Jillian commenced business continuity planning, introducing stringent infection control measures, providing ongoing workplace training, additional psychological support mechanisms for staff and adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and additional infectious waste disposal units. Monkami also produced custom-made Monkami N95 masks for all residents and staff.

Jillian additionally made the decision to close one accommodation site during the pandemic, converting it to a treatment site in the event of a suspected and/or confirmed case of COVID-19.​ Monkami has not had one positive case and no need to utilise the treatment site.

​Monkami implemented the vaccination process early and has had 100 per cent staff and resident vaccination rates since July 2021, without the need for this to have been a mandatory requirement.

The judges “commended Jillian’s strong application and noted Monkami were able to not only predict the crisis but showed true passion and leadership to attack the issues.”

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra said it was fabulous to have the opportunity to recognise these deserving winners for their innovative and outstanding work in implementing and upholding COVIDSafe procedures and practices that have assisted in keeping staff, customers, contractors and the community safe from COVID-19.

“The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is proud to elevate and promote these businesses and individuals in the first awards program of its kind,” Mr Guerra said.   

(Image: Left - Karina Hogan, General Manager.
Right - Jillian Christie CEO)

“The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is proud to elevate and promote these businesses and individuals in the first awards program of its kind,” Mr Guerra said.   

“It is thanks to all organisations and individuals like these and the other finalists that our COVID-19 recovery continues, and we are able to keep the economy moving forward as we continue to battle this virus.

“Congratulations to each of the winners – and thank you.”

The winners were also praised by the Victorian Minister for Employment; Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy; Minister for Small Business; and Minister for Resources Jaala Pulford.

“These Victorian businesses and individuals should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved,” Ms Pulford said.

“The pandemic has presented countless challenges to our business owners and operators and the way businesses have responded and continue to respond is inspiring.

“The commitment our business community has made to keeping their staff and customers safe is significant - it has spared people from ill health, and it has saved lives.

“These are just a few examples of the incredible resilience and innovation we have witnessed across our business community over the past two years.

“I am sure there are others who have demonstrated similar achievements and on behalf of the Victorian Government, I would like to sincerely thank them.”

More coverage of the COVIDSafe Business Award, including profiles of the winners, can be found here.