September 2019 marked the fifth Aon Health Symposium, bringing together 100 delegates across the healthcare industry to explore the ways in which Australian employers can promote and provide healthy and productive workplaces.

It was an invigorating afternoon of in-depth discussions and insightful presentations into topics including mindfulness, burnout among healthcare professionals, moral philosophy and duty of care within communities.

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The 2019 Aon Health Symposium continued the conversation around de-risking people through its uplifting, inspiring and best-in-class speakers which included Chelsea Pottenger, Mental Wellbeing Expert, Annalene Weston, Burnout and Medicolegal Risk, and Elizabeth Bleakley, author of ‘On a Mission: Strength, resilience, compassion – policing with attitude’.

Commenting on the event, Kenneth Corcoran, Healthcare Practice Leader Pacific at Aon, said,

“Ensuring workplaces are safe and productive for employees is an utmost priority for businesses and employers. The annual Aon Health Symposium is a space for learning and sharing the latest insights and perspectives from leading industry professionals to keep employees safer, happier and more engaged.”

A common takeaway from the Aon Health Symposium was the enormous impact that tending to our communities brings. From lessons in moral philosophy, to the duty of care we hold as community members, the Aon Health Symposium reiterated that giving a community a little gives a lot back.

Defining moral philosophy

According to the McCombs School of Business, Moral philosophy is defined as “the branch of philosophy that considers what is right and wrong. It explores the nature of morality and examines how people should live their lives in relation to others.”[1]

Scott Stephens, Religion and Ethics Editor of ABC Online explained that practicing moral philosophy (also referred to as ‘morality’) is the extent to which we tend to our neighbours and communities. This is defined in a number of different ways, with some labelling moral philosophy as ‘charity’, ‘loyalty’ or ‘friendship’, and some even defining it as ‘love’.

Morality in technology-driven communities

Our moral philosophy is shaped by the community and culture that surrounds us. Mr Stephens pointed out that in today’s tech-forward, modern world, our surrounding community has instilled in us that to feel that we have a moral obligation to stay in contact with the wider world.

This could explain why we feel pressure to read the news every day and have adapted to the popular morning ritual of reaching for our mobile phones first thing. “The ‘need’ for information is now a habit based on underlying societal pressures to stay in touch with the wider world.” shared Mr Stephens in his session at the Aon Health Symposium.

Communities matter

As much as our community can determine our stance in moral philosophy, we have a responsibility to tend to our community as part of practicing moral philosophy.

We need to recognise the extent to which we are each responsible for each other’s flourishing, and we need to tend carefully to the conditions in which we live.

Reflecting on the reading materials we consume is a good starting point as novels have the power to make moral claims upon readers. Defined by Mr Stephens as “good novels” these novels present moral transformation through storytelling as a relatable way to teach people about morality

Duty of Care to our community

One of the final sessions at the Aon Health Symposium was that of author Elizabeth Bleakley who spoke of her engaging memoir which reiterates the importance of caring for our communities.

Titled ‘On a Mission: Strength, resilience, compassion – policing with attitude’, Mrs Bleakley’s book explores her learnings in creating life-changing bonds in underdeveloped communities. From working with the United Nations Police to driving positive change in communities in Timor-Leste and Sudan, Mrs Bleakley has helped countless communities rebuild their future.

Health solutions for a happy workplace

Giving a little to our surrounding community leads to a large gain for those within it and this is applicable for the workplace community just as much as our external community.

[1] Ethics Unwrapped – McCombs School of Business – The University of Texas at Austin, “Moral Philosophy”


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