Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Aware winners – Northern Territory

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today congratulated Woodside Energy Limited and Asthma Northern Territory whose partnership won the Northern Territory large business award in the 2003 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships

Senator Patterson said Woodside Energy Limited and Asthma Northern Territory formed the Woodside Asthma Swim Program (WASP) that helped children to maintain good health by managing the symptoms of asthma.

“As well as learning to swim, children are taught water safety and social skills, which help to build their self esteem. The program also allows the staff to teach children, their parents and carers the best ways to manage asthma,” Senator Patterson said.

“This is a fantastic program. We know that asthma affects thousands and thousands of Australian children – not only is swimming good for a child’s health, it is a skill learned for life.”

Senator Patterson also congratulated Nike and ARMTour whose partnership received a Judges’ Encouragement Award.

“The ARMTour program takes NBL, AFL and other elite athletes into remote Indigenous communities where they spend time speaking with school children about the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, taking part in sport and saying no to substance abuse.

“Two or three trips are held each year to six Northern Territory communities. ARMTour continues to visit the same communities to build trust, continue relationships and develop a rapport with the children and elders.

“These excellent examples of innovative partnerships have improved the health and self esteem of young people in the Northern Territory.

Senator Patterson was also pleased to announce a new brokerage service that will match community organisations and businesses and encourage them to build strong partnerships, providing further evidence of the Australian Government’s commitment to fostering community business partnerships.

“The service will be operated by Our Community Pty Ltd, a gateway to 700 000 community groups and schools, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Municipal Association of Victoria, and should begin by the end of 2003.

“The Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships are awarded annually to partnerships between community and business organisations that have generated positive long-term outcomes for the community,” Senator Patterson said.

Nine national finalists will be chosen in November from the state and territory winners. The national winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on 17 December, hosted by the Prime Minister. National winners will receive $10 000 for their community partner.