Peter Chamberlain is a local Canberra business owner, whose parents instilled in him and his brothers the importance of giving back to the community by supporting others during their time of need.
Not only did these values lead to Peter and his siblings creating the Chamberlain Foundation, but they are also core principles he and his business partners have instilled into their firm, Allinsure.
The workplace giving and volunteering efforts of Allinsure’s staff have won them the national Insurance Business Australia Awards 2020 Community Engagement Award.
The award recognises the business’s significant impact in the local community. This has not only been achieved through direct donations to charities and causes close to staff and clients, but also the team’s efforts in volunteering, raising money and awareness – often getting clients, insurers and other business partners involved.
Taking it one step further, Peter says the idea to establish the Chamberlain Foundation came about after his experience walking the Kokoda Track on a fundraising journey organised by one of his mentors, Insurance Advisernet chairman Ian Carr.
“My older brother, Ray, pulled me aside at Christmas lunch and said, ‘What you’re doing is awesome, it’s making a real difference, but imagine what we could achieve with the three brothers together along with our networks,’” says Peter.
The catalyst to commit and make a significant difference didn’t come until 18 months later when Peter lost his best mate, Robbie, to suicide.
“That’s when we set up the Chamberlain Foundation, in October 2015,” he says.
The Chamberlain Foundation is a suicide prevention and mental health nonprofit, providing support to organisations whose services help Australians prevent, and recover from, these experiences.
The foundation holds events such as the Razor Ride, the Chambo Challenge, and the Brothers Lunch, which to date have raised more than $300,000 for locally based charities supporting mental health in Canberra, as well as in Melbourne, where Ray works as an AFL umpire.
With the Allinsure team often pitching in to volunteer, participate and raise funds, the Chamberlain Foundation has been able to help charities such as R U OK?, Lifeline and Griefline make meaningful impacts in their communities.
That might be enough to win an award in itself, but the Chamberlains’ values and the Allinsure team’s efforts extend further – to ACT ice hockey team the CBR Brave.
“My cousin was the captain of the Canberra Knights and I’d gone to watch five or six ice hockey games,” says Peter.
“Then I was at a business lunch and I got a call from my cousin to say the team had been deregistered due to a lack of sponsorship and players. So I said, ‘Don’t worry, mate, we’ll fix it.’
“So we had a boardroom meeting the next weekend and asked them what they needed. We needed to find a couple of hundred thousand dollars, a coach, organised travel, uniforms and a brand – and we had only five weeks to get a licence off the league.”
Peter and his staff partnered with long-time friends and clients Jamie Wilson and Warren Apps from Coordinate to successfully resurrect the team, rebranded as CBR Brave, and ensure ACT ice hockey retains a team in the national competition.
CBR Brave is now administered by Canberra Cavalry, but for six years it was the staff at Allinsure and Coordinate who volunteered their time to manage and fundraise to support the team.
“We’re a business built around trust and being there for our clients when the worst has happened,” says Peter.
“We support our clients through many different crises. To learn empathy and support by giving time to the community builds into our culture – we’re a business that’s ultimately about helping people.
“People are interested in doing business with businesses that have that mindset; who give back to the community. Those things come into decision making – who our suppliers are and who we choose to do business with.”
If you would like to make a contribution or become a sponsor of the Chamberlain Foundation, visit its website.