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Curtin alumnus gears up for giving

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Rick Falken, an alumnus of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, is helping to lead the way in corporate social responsibility by helping children in Bali.

Falken is the director of two physiotherapy services in Perth and one in Singapore. He and members of his management team travelled to Bali recently as part of a management strategy weekend – the trip included a visit to the Annika Linden Centre in Denpasar, where they built bikes for underprivileged children.

“An important part of our business DNA is our commitment to demonstrating strong corporate social responsibility, creating social impact and helping disadvantaged communities,” says Falken. “Whilst this is something we frequently talk about, our recent visit to Bali allowed us to demonstrate first-hand to our staff, clients and colleagues our commitment to the task.”

The Annika Linden Centre supports some of Asia’s most marginalised families, and also assists women and children in the areas of disability, health and education.

“We met some of the centre’s employees and we had a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the families and children that directly benefit from the various projects the centre runs,” says Falken. “Our visit also included the challenging task of building bikes for two local children whose parents were disabled and unable to work. The bikes will allow the children to continue to travel safely and independently to school.”

Though Falken had never built a bike before, he and his team got stuck into the challenge.

“The activity at the Annika Linden Centre required us to be grouped into two teams and compete for the various bike parts. This only added to an otherwise challenging task, but I can assure you the bikes where road worthy by the end!”

Falken says there has been a shift in recent years that has seen small to medium enterprises driving social impact and change.

“Often business owners are in positions of great privilege. In a world where the divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is only widening, everyone has a responsibility to help those in need. Reinforcing kindness and a sense of humanity starts with us,” he says.

Falken says he will use his experience in Bali to inform his future work as a member of the Curtin Growth Syndicate Group.

“Our visit reminded us that in the busy and often ruthless corporate world in which we live, driven by money, success, ego, greed or even fame, there is joy in giving. There is no amount of money that could ever replace the smile on a child’s face.”

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