Colin Parsons helps RMH Perth become a flagship chapter with new OH&S Management Framework


“Pay it back! It’s a great opportunity to put something back into the community. It feels good!”

Colin Parsons, Woodside Volunteer

In late 2015, Ronald McDonald House Perth (RMH) moved to a brand new facility adjacent to the new Princess Margaret Hospital. RMH Perth provides accommodation to the regional families of children undergoing treatment for a serious illness. The new facility provides accommodation for up to 47 families, sleeping over 200 people a night, significantly more than their previous location in Subiaco.

Such a substantial increase in guests, and the associated volunteers and staff required to run the facility, brought the RMH Perth team a new challenge: how can they ensure the house provides a comfortable environment where each family, child, volunteer and staff member also remains safe? Fortunately for RMH Perth, Colin Parsons, Principal Instrument Engineer at Woodside and an experienced skilled volunteer, stepped in to help. In 2014, Colin conducted an OH&S review for another organisation and saw the challenges facing RMH Perth as another opportunity to use his professional skills to make a real difference.

“We have presented our Plan to the Board who were extremely happy with the professionalism, thoroughness and care taken to develop such a comprehensive document.”

Operations Manager, Ronald McDonald House Perth

Colin conducted a site visit to provide an assessment of RMH Perth’s current health and safety situation. He then built an Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) framework and offered recommendations for how RMH Perth’s OH&S practices could become a flagship chapter within the wider RMH organisation.

work area

Thanks to Colin’s contributions, RMH Perth has reported approximately $10,000 in commercial dollar value benefit to their organisation. RMH Perth’s Operations Manager said Colin’s framework has helped the organisation increase its capacity and capability to offer a save, inviting environment to families going through a very difficult time. In fact, the Operations Manager "would like to present [the tool] to other Houses around Australia and provide each House with a quality document outlining areas of concern throughout our organisations...Not only do the Board believe this will stand us in good stead now, but also well into the future."

From Colin’s perspective, he says he “enjoyed utilizing [his] professional skills to make a real difference in business delivery for the not-for-profit organisation.” Colin seconded RMH Perth’s thoughts, saying,

“The end result will see the organisation being better at keeping clients, volunteers and staff safe from harm.”