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Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Award Winners – SA

I want to congratulate the three South Australian partnerships that have won Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

Burns for Blinds and Youth Opportunities Association’s partnership has won the State’s Small Business category award after increasing Year 10-12 high school retention rates in some South Australian schools from around 50 per cent to 88 per cent.

Burns for Blinds has been a major sponsor of the Youth Opportunities Association, which conducts highly successful Personal Leadership Programs for Youth in schools across the State, giving disadvantaged young people the skills, confidence and motivation to break out of their downward cycle.

An alliance between Helping Hand Aged Care Inc and Parafield Gardens School R7 and Parafield Gardens High School is helping to break down the barriers between generations, earning them the South Australian award in the Medium Business category.

Their partnership is bringing together people from ages nine to ninety-five through the establishment of the Parafields Garden Learning Centre. It encourages the bridging of the ‘generation gap’ by enabling a sharing of views and providing opportunities to learn, interact and develop inter-generational relationships.

A unique fundraising initiative developed by Savings and Loan Credit Union in partnership with the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital has been awarded the State award in the Large Business category.

Savings and Loans Credit Union donates 0.5 per cent of any purchase made on its co-branded Visa card to the hospital at no cost to the cardholder. This initiative, and the day-to-day purchases of the 20,000 card holders, have raised $1 million towards the upgrade of the Hospital’s Paediatric Emergency Department.

This year’s Prime Minister’s Awards have attracted hundreds of nominations from around the country, demonstrating that the partnership spirit remains strong across Australian communities and the business sector.

The Awards recognise the positive opportunities that such partnerships create, and their contribution to building stronger communities through shared commitment, energy and creativity.

These SA partnerships will now be judged against other State and Territory winners for the National Large, Medium and Small Business Category Award to be announced at Parliament House in Canberra on 11 December.

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