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Partnering for success

Uniting to build in Vietnam

Kellie Badge is a partner in our forensic consulting department in Melbourne, Australia. Since joining the firm three years ago, she has been actively involved in Grant Thornton’s community opportunities. From volunteering in soup kitchens in Sydney to throwing a mini-Olympic Games for children in remote areas of Australia, Kellie reflects on what she’s learned from community involvement and shares one of her most rewarding experiences to date – building houses for families in Vietnam.

“I love a challenge. So when the chance to go to Vietnam presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity. It was the first time I’d spent more than 24 hours in an Asian country, the first time I’d built a house, and the first time I’d worked with my fellow partners in such a different environment.

From Australia, there were 150 partners that went to Vietnam – the largest group that Habitat For Humanity had ever taken into a foreign country. So as a newly-appointed partner, it was a great opportunity to get to know and bond with my peers.

Working in teams of 11-12, our job was to build 13 houses for local families in just four-and-a-half days – a huge task that challenged not just our leadership and collaboration skills, but our building skills as well!

Kellie Badge

Learning about leadership and collaboration by working with communities and contributing to others is an incredibly effective and valuable way for us to grow and develop our skills, and one that reflects not just how we work together, but also how I see us approach our clients. We put our homeowners at the centre of our task, we pushed and challenged ourselves, and we wanted to give them the best outcome. 

"By the end of the week, everyone was so tired, but also proud and emotional about what we’d achieved – you could feel the excitement on site was electric."

To be able to stand side-by-side as partners and know that we’d significantly impacted the way the homeowners would be able to live and raise their families, was such a memorable experience.

The whole experience reinforced how I try to work with my team back in Australia – making sure that everyone, not just the team leads, has an opportunity to take part and build relationships with each other and with our clients. In building 13 houses in less than a week, it truly cemented the power and strength of what we can achieve when we connect and collaborate.”


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