Information Hub

Portable Long Service Leave

With Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Ed Thomas

Victoria’s portable long service leave scheme applies to workers in community services, contract cleaning and security and means that these employees can now accrue long service entitlements and transfer them if they change jobs but stay in the relevant industry. If you currently employ staff in these sectors and are not aware of your obligations under the portable long service leave scheme, please feel free to contact me for further information.

April 2021

Kangaroobie Klassic - Race Report

On Saturday Team Cooper Hardiman successfully completed the Kangaroobie Klassic – an adventure race featuring a 1km swim, 15km mountain bike, 5.7km kayak and 7km trail run. There was much enthusiasm for this event a couple of months ago, until our team was hit hard by injuries to Catriona and Ed. Thankfully, Andrew and Claire stepped in to take up the swim and run legs respectively, with Team Captain Gavan taking on dual responsibilities of riding and paddling.

Our first challenge of the day was just getting the kayak to the start line, with Gavan’s navigating and ability to follow instructions coming into question. The crisis was averted however with team members and equipment all ready to go at the allotted hour.

Andy led us off with a valiant swim in the murky waters of the Gellibrand River. It was a crowded up-and-back swim course which required courage and determination, not to mention an iron stomach, and Andy was up for the challenge. A grueling 600m uphill run to the transition area followed where Andy passed the baton to Gavan who was kitted out in his bike gear and more excited than a kid in a candy store.

A quick bib changeover and Gavan was away, rounding up competitors left right and centre and navigating the notoriously treacherous steep downhill section with ease. The rain came in during the second lap, but it did not deter our fearless leader who soldiered on, conquering the 15km ride and raising barely a sweat in doing so.

There was no rest in sight for Gavan however, as he immediately set off down to the river for his 5.7km kayak. Wading through the mud, slush and cow pats was perhaps more difficult that the kayak itself, but Gavan was a match for both challenges and suddenly we found ourselves in a terrific position leading into the final leg.

A quick bib changeover to Claire who leapt over the stile with the grace of a baby giraffe and was away into the forest, hills, swamp and cow paddocks of the run leg. Not deterred by a knee-depth wade through the marshy swamp, climbing over and under tree branches and a foray through cattle yards, she battled on to the dirty, sweaty end, and it was a win (metaphorically, not literally of course) for Team Cooper Hardiman.

A fantastic day was had by all, in an event that it as much fun as it is hard work. Big thanks to Catriona and Sophie for their on-course encouragement and cheerleading to help get Team CH across the line. We’re definitely looking forward to tackling this one again next year.

And also a big congrats to our Team Captain Gavan, who backed up the following day to complete the Warrnambool Tri Club’s Killarney Triathlon, nailing a top 10 finish! Well done Gav!

We’re now on the lookout for a new challenge for Team CH, so if you have any suggestions please let us know, we’d love to hear them!

March 2021

Workplace Investigations

Ed Thomas, Senior Workplace Relations Adviser

If an allegation of bullying, discrimination, harassment or other inappropriate workplace behaviour is made in your workplace it is critical that employers investigate thoroughly and respond in a timely and appropriate manner. Cooper Hardiman investigators bring their training, years of experience and objectivity to bear in identifying the issues for investigation, interviewing relevant witnesses and providing a comprehensive written report that outlines the allegations, relevant evidence and findings. Click the link belowfor further information on how we can assist you.

March 2021

Flexible Workplace Practices

Catriona Hardiman, Lead Facilitator and Senior Adviser

We would love to hear from you! Your participation into our study into the impact of Covid-related flexible work practices on both employers and employees would be invaluable to us. You can contribute your experiences by clicking on the survey link below – the survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and your individual and confidential responses will provide great insights into organisational practices going forward. 

Whilst individual survey responses remain confidential, we will share with our network the aggregate survey data to assist businesses in understanding employee sentiment surrounding flexible workplace practices.

Click here to start the survey now:

And if you have a further few minutes to spare, Catriona offers up her views on the importance of leadership ‘soft skills’ and the link to managing workforce transitions in the video below…..but of course if you’d rather speak to her on this topic directly please drop her a line at

The EDucator

Ed Thomas, Senior Workplace RelationsAdviser

Workplace bullying can happen in any workplace. Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed at an employee or group of employees that creates risk to health and safety.

Employers have a responsibility under relevant legislation to maintain a workplace that is safe and without risks to psychological and physical health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable. Employers should develop a workplace policy and procedure for workplace bullying.

Are you meeting your responsibilities as an employer? The team at Cooper Hardiman can help. Click on About Us to contact one of our Consultants.

January 2021

Flexible Workplaces

What are your Obligations?

As many of you know, our Cooper Hardiman team is based in the beautiful coastal city of Warrnambool. But if there's one thing we've learnt from the pandemic, it's that dynamic careers and successful businesses don't have be city based. If you currently have staff who are working from home, now is the time to have a meaningful conversations about remote working opportunities going forward in the post-pandemic world. Flexible workplaces are sure to be employers of choice in the future.

If you're unsure of your obligations as an employer or would like some advice on how to initiate these conversations, please don't hesitate to contact one of our team members. Click on About Us for our contact details. 

January 2021


Catriona Hardiman, Principal

Welcome and thanks for visiting our website. If you're not familiar with Cooper Hardiman, we are the trusted adviser of choice for Human Resources, Industrial Relations and business advisory and training services in Regional Victoria, South Australia and beyond. We are passionate about supporting organizations to achieve their potential through the provision of expert advice and high quality training services. We look forward to providing you with advice, tips and tactics going forward that can be easily implemented within your workplace. You'll also learn more about the Cooper Hardiman team as we work to inspire and motivate you!

December 2020

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