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Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

SA community of Cummins wins National Can Do Community Awards

I would like to congratulate the SA community of Cummins for taking out national honours in the Can Do Community Awards.

The Cummins on Track project, which also earned the Cummins community the SA State Can Do Community Award, is an outstanding example of just what a community with true ‘can do’ spirit can achieve.

The efforts of the Cummins and District Enterprise Committee, with the active support of the local community, have completely revitalised the social and economic fabric of the town. They have introduced a host of new commercial and community activities, including the Railway Cafe, Railway Triangle Park, Community Caravan Park Carriages, its own community bank and a heritage walk.

The economic impact of the Cummins on Track project has been widespread. The projects range from the expansion of the Cummins Milling Company to export abalone feed to New Zealand, to the opening of the Cummins Community Bank.

Cummins Area School can now boast a zero unemployment rate for school-leavers for three years running and the Cummins Medical Centre has expanded, attracting additional visiting specialists.

By working on its strengths to re-establish growth, the Cummins on Track project has established a positive image for the town through its quality projects and events.

The Cummins community has set a standard for other communities to follow in solving their local issues by using creativity, persistence and hard work.

Other state award winners were:

  • NSW – the Light n Up Workshop – a community arts workspace in Lismore that provides an opportunity for the community to participate in accessible cultural activities, such as the annual Lismore Lantern Parade.
  • NT – the Mt Theo Program – developed to curb the crisis levels of petrol sniffing. This involved taking young petrol sniffers to an outstation for time out and teaching them Aboriginal heritage and culture. Petrol sniffing in Yuendumu is virtually non-existent today.
  • Qld – the Noosa Suicide Bereavement Program which has brought together existing services to address the needs of families, friends and associates who have been bereaved through suicide.
  • Tas – Enormity Inc is a youth group that has developed impressive business and communication skills and provided entertainment and recreation opportunities for young people in Ulverstone and surrounding areas.
  • Vic – the RMIT Intercultural Community Exchange (RICE) – this program involves Southern Grampian Shire communities hosting international students from RMIT, and the development of community and educational partnerships through the newly established RMIT Hamilton.
  • WA – the Wundowie Youth Advisory Council – has worked on a number of projects for their community including building a bus shelter and a skate park, organising community art projects, rock concerts, holiday social events, reconstructing BMX tracks, and developing a youth centre and a junior rangers program.

The Can Do Community Awards are a great initiative recognising communities that have demonstrated the Australian ‘can do’ spirit and come up with creative ways to solve their local issues.

Award prizes include $4000 cash for each of the state and territory winners, with an additional $4000 for the national winner.

The profiles of the winners are available on the Can Do Community site.