Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Award winners – South Australia

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today congratulated three South Australian partnerships for winning the 2003 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

Senator Patterson said the partnership between Retail Asset Management and the Northern Area Community and Youth Services (NACYS) in Elizabeth, which allows several business programs to operate and has created a community hub, won an award in the small business category.

“The partnership supports an arts and craft shop, a life skills training venue and is planning a working cafĂ© that can operate as an alternative education venue for students at risk,” Senator Patterson said.

“Retail Asset Management offers peppercorn rents, contributes materials, staff time for project planning, business mentoring and general skills sharing.

“Helping Hand Aged Care Inc and the Parafield Gardens High School, Primary School and Junior School won the medium business award for the second consecutive year for a partnership that brings people together from ages 5 through to one hundred and five.

“Through a series of activities that involve technology, therapy, music and personal history, students and older people can share their knowledge and skills.”

The award in the large business category was given to the partnership between WMC Resources and the Friends of the Arid Recovery Project.

“The cornerstone of their work at Roxby Downs is a sixty square kilometre fenced reserve where all cats, foxes, rabbits and cattle have been removed and four locally extinct native mammals have been reintroduced,” Senator Patterson said.

“WMC Resources has donated all but 2 square kilometres of the land, provides ongoing funding, office space, facilities, vehicles and maintenance, environment staff and publicity for the project.

“These excellent examples of innovative South Australian partnerships have helped to reduce social isolation, boost education and youth employment and restore the environment in South Australia.”

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.

The Awards at the state and territory level are divided into three categories: small, medium and large business.

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 and winners will receive $10 000 for their community partner.