Richard Gabriel, Senior Manager, Authorised Provider shares his passion for helping others in his role as an Allianz Mental Health First Aid Officer; and the important role he plays in the Allianz Pride Network

Last updated on January 13, 2022 
At Allianz I get to express all of me! I’m a problem-solver, who’s been supported to grow across seven different roles. I’m a proud member of the Allianz Pride Network. I’m also a Mental Health First Aid Officer, which allows me to support my fellow colleagues and our customers in times of distress.
Removing stigmas is important to me. In the past, if one was stressed or harassed at work, people didn’t speak about it. Today, mental health is seen as just as important as if you fall over and hurt yourself physically. Becoming a Mental Health First Aid Officer has given me a lot of eye-opening insights into noticing the signs of distress and how different people can react. I appreciate that Allianz campaigns for mental health internally as well as externally – having leaders pave the way with open conversation. This approach flows through our team and helps us all be comfortable discussing mental health.

The same goes for bringing awareness to equality for people who identify as LGBTI. When Allianz started the Pride Network, I felt really proud and knew I wanted to be a part of it. I love the awareness the Allianz Pride Network has raised, the support it has from senior management and the fun, informative events the network has hosted. Our Pride Network in Australia has continued to grow and was recognised as Pride Network of the Year 2021 at the inaugural global Allianz Pride Awards. Additionally, Allianz Australia achieved Bronze Employer status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) at the 2021 LGBTI Inclusion Awards.

Personally, I’ve been involved in a Q&A panel that included external speakers and shared stories around diversity. With a focus on LGBTI struggles and the importance of being a supportive ally of Pride, there were some pretty frank conversations. As a Pride member and a visible leader in the business, openly getting involved was important to show people you should feel proud of who you are!

I’m also very grateful that Allianz sees people for who they are and how they can grow. Rather than just focussing on experience, my manager values my skills and attitude to learning. With my passion for customer service and my problem-solving skills, I’ve been supported to transfer across Customer Service, HR and into Workers' Compensation. I now lead a Workers' Compensation team where we deal with various types of claims and support the business to meet compliance and service standards. It’s very rewarding helping people get back to work. We have the opportunity to collaborate with solicitors, doctors and employers; ultimately working together to achieve the same goal – support our customers.

Diversity in all its forms is important to me. My friends are diverse, our customers are diverse and I believe every workplace should reflect the diversity of our society. At work, inclusion is all about brainstorming ideas, celebrating different views which inspires meaningful conversations and in turn creates new innovation. I just love that.


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