Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships – National Finalists Announced

I want to congratulate the nine national finalists in the 2002 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

The number and quality of nominations in this year’s Awards have been impressive. While not everyone can win awards for their hard work and dedication, every partnership that has been nominated has made an important contribution to their community.

Small Business Category finalists are:

  • Access Dinghy Sailing Systems and the Sailability Access Dinghy Foundation for their ‘Sailing for Everyone’ program, that provides sailing opportunities for around 20 000 people with disabilities in 40 locations across Australia;
  • Queensland’s EnVision Support Services and the Surf Information Centre who do great work to increase opportunities for people affected by mental illness; and
  • South Australia’s Burns for Blinds and the Youth Opportunities Association run a Personal Leadership Program for Youth which has seen an increase from around 50 per cent to 88 per cent in Year 10-12 high school retention rates in some South Australian schools.

Medium Business Category finalists are:

  • Victoria’s TATE Management Consulting and Melbourne Citymission with their ‘Smart Arts Comic Book Project’. This partnership involves a group of at-risk young people working with staff at the consulting firm to develop a comic book to support other young people in overcoming life challenges;
  • South Australia’s Helping Hand Aged Care Inc, Parafield Gardens School R7 and Parafield Gardens High School have been selected for their help in breaking down the barriers between generations. Their work brings together people from ages nine to ninety-five through the establishment of the Parafields Garden Learning Centre; and
  • Acumen Alliance and Marymead Child and Family Centre in the ACT, have also been selected in recognition of their work for disadvantaged children and families. Marymead’s work with Acumen Alliance has helped make a real difference to the lives of local children and families by promoting hope and positive change.

Large Business category finalists are:

  • The ‘Revive our Wetlands’ project in Victoria, who have been chosen in recognition of their help to revive 100 wetlands Australia-wide through a partnership between BHP Billiton and Conservation Volunteers Australia;
  • Midland Brick Company and Hills Community Support Group in Western Australia for their great work in helping unemployed young people and people with a disability to find employment; and
  • DHL Worldwide Express and JJ Cahill Memorial High School in Mascot, Sydney who have combined their resources, expertise and community spirit to help students from a range of social, cultural and economic backgrounds and gain the skills and confidence to broaden their outlook on life beyond school.

The Prime Minister’s Awards recognise the positive opportunities and the contribution that partnerships make to building stronger communities through shared commitment, energy and creativity.

The partnerships also provide enormous personal benefits for the people involved such as, increasing morale, creating a teamwork environment across organisations, and seeing their combined efforts making a real difference to the community.

Three finalists have been selected in each of the Small, Medium and Large Business Categories and each will receive awards at Parliament House in Canberra on

11 December. The Prime Minister will also announce a National Winner in each Business Category, and any winners of the Special Awards for Longevity, Impact on the Community and Media Reporting.

National winners and Special Award winners will receive $10 000 towards the extension of their community project.