Rory’s SASSAOA Conference 2016

Rory’s School Lunches was delighted to sponsor the 2016 South Australian State Schools Administrator’s Officers Association (SASSAOA) Conference.

The SASSAOA Conference was held 11-13 July at the Adelaide Convention Centre.  Conference organisers said attendance this year was strong.  It was Rory’s School Lunches first opportunity to sponsor and participate in a SASSAOA conference and we were delighted to meet so many school Business Managers face to face.

Building Bridges Together

SASSAOA Conference
Rory & Louise Hope at the SASSAOA conference

The 2016 SASSAOA conference theme was “Building Bridges Together”, and that’s exactly what happened. Business Managers built bridges with their peers and sponsors. Rory’s understands Business Managers have full ‘to do’ lists, so they can find it difficult to assess the market during school term. The conference gave busy Business Managers the opportunity to undertake professional development and talk to sponsors to research what’s on offer for South Australian schools.

As as sponsor, it was a great opportunity for Rory’s School Lunches to establish personal relationships with Business Managers.   Rory’s School Lunches Managing Director, Rory Hope, was delighted with the relationship building at the conference.

The conference was very different to what I expected. Even though there were more than 150 delegates and approximately 50 sponsors my team and I felt like part of the group and that we had the opportunity to get to know everybody,” said Rory.

The formal sessions gave the Rory’s team a chance to discuss business but the informal catch ups over dinner were insightful and rewarding. Getting to know South Australian schools and understanding what impacts on them helps Rory’s School Lunches to build strong, lasting and meaningful bridges with schools.  The old saying of “putting a name to a face” is something that seems to be dying out in the digital era.  The conference gave the team at Rory’s School Lunches the opportunity to meet some amazing Business Managers who they look forward to working with in the future.

Rory’s School Lunches’ sponsorship of the SASSAOA conference was more than just a business promotion; it was an opportunity to give back to schools by subsidising the conference cost so more Business Managers can participate in professional development.

It was also very insightful to meet SASSAOA members from the DECD who conveyed the varied and stressful roles that Business Managers fulfil.

Key SASSAOA Conference Take Outs

  • Business Managers have demanding and challenging roles and adding the management of a canteen service is an extra burden many could do without.
  • Schools are looking to outsource their canteen management due to the food safety risks and the demands of managing canteen personnel.
  • Regular changes in the food and hospitality industry awards makes it difficult for Business Managers to keep up with regulatory requirements.
  • Most SASSAOA members communicated the need for healthy options balanced with a range of products to ensure the entire community is catered for, and most importantly to keep students on site.
  • There is nothing more powerful than talking to people to understand their needs and circumstances.  Having the opportunity to talk to SASSAOA members one to one outside of their everyday work environment was invaluable.

The relationships Rory’s School Lunches built in two short days were extraordinary.

I was a little sad to leave my new friends and get back to business,” said Rory.

Rory’s School Lunches looks forward to a successful relationship with the SASSAOA committee and Business Managers. But now it’s back to the kitchen to prepare for a busy Term 3.



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