28 Nov 2016
5 minutes with Jennifer Harmer and Kerry Sutcliffe from David Jones
What does giving mean to you?
JH: I strongly believe in the power of positive intention when giving. Often it is not the actual gift that is remembered, but rather the thought, action and feeling around the whole giving experience. Giving can come in many forms: a present at Christmas time, a reward for a job well done, giving time to a charity or your family, or a complement to friend or a stranger. If all of these things are done without positive intention, then they will be seen as insincere and fall short of delivering the right message. But when done with positive intention, then they have the power to generate an abundance of happiness, joy and potentially even change someone's life.
KS: Giving is more than just a present for someone's birthday. Giving to me is being generous with less tactile things - time, friendship, love, support. I love picking the perfect gift for someone (and I love receiving the perfect gift!), but giving doesn't need to be physical. Taking the time to check in with a friend who's feeling low, cheering on my friends and family when they succeed, loving those that are close to me and supporting people when they need it - this is giving in it's purest form.
What is the best present you have ever received and why?
JH: The best gift I ever received was my dog Louis, without a doubt. Although he was hard work at times, he really was the ultimate gift that kept on giving! My mum gave me strength and the ability to believe in myself. And although life has given me ups and downs, these experiences have actually "gifted" me with my own unique perspective and an understanding that life is more about collecting memories and experiences than things. Although, I can't deny that it is always lovely to receive something special on your birthday or for Christmas... like a David Jones Gift Card!!
KS: I celebrated my 30th birthday earlier this year, and and my best friends reached out to my wider group of friends and family and asked them to take a picture of themselves holding up a sign with the reasons they loved me. The pictures were turned into a slideshow and played as a surprise at my birthday party. It is honestly the most wonderful gift I've ever been given and I was completely overwhelmed by everyone's kind words.
David Jones has partnered with a number of non-profit organisations. Could you please tell us a bit about the Charity partners you are working with?
JH: David Jones has been working with charitable organisations for many decades including our partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which commenced in 1994. Since the partnership commenced, employees and customers have been supporting the cause through a variety of activities during Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October as well as participating in the Mother's Day Classic. David Jones has raised over $4 million for NBCF, with these donations helping researchers to discover better, less invasive methods for detecting breast cancer, increase the understanding of why some breast cancer cells become restrained or stop responding to treatment, and improve the follow-up and survivorship of women after breast cancer treatment
KS: As part of David Jones' Good Business Journey, we recently established new relationships with new partners to create shared value and drive positive change, by helping to address significant needs and challenges within our community. One of the new charities we are supporting is The Smith Family. The Smith Family runs a variety of learning and mentoring programs to enable Australian children from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate fully in their education. This help extends to the child's family and community, with wrap-around support essential in breaking the cycle of poverty. Our commitment is to help more Australian children to get the most out of their education, giving them an equal start in life and helping to break the cycle of disadvantage.
Help often comes in the smallest way. Can you please share an example of how your partnerships are making a difference?
JH: Rose Clinics are an extension of our partnership with NBCF David Jones has developed a breast screening program through the establishment of Rose Clinics. David Jones Rose Clinics provide a unique instore free health screening service for women over 40 to assist with the early detection of breast cancer. David Jones Rose Clinics screen over 35,000 women annually. David Jones currently has Rose Clinics operating in all our CBD store locations which include Elizabeth Street, Bourke Street Mall, Queens Plaza, Adelaide Central Plaza and Hay Street Mall. The Rose Clinics are easily accessible, have state of the art digital mammography technology and provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for our customers.
KS: In the month of December, David Jones, in conjunction with The Smith Family, is releasing a limited edition Gift Card. David Jones will donate 10% of the value of each of these Gift Cards sold in store or through David Jones online during the month of December to The Smith Family. By purchasing this Gift Card, our customers are helping young Australians in need to succeed at school, so they can create a better future for themselves.
If you could spend 5 minutes with anyone today, who would it be and why?
JH: A future version of myself, so that I could impart some sage advice and wisdom (and maybe the winner of next year's Melbourne cup!!)
KS: I lost a close friend very suddenly last year so I'd love 5 extra minutes to sit on our couch one last time and tell him how much he meant to me. He was one of the most generous people in my life, and really personified my own views on what it means to truly give something special.