Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Award Winners – Victoria

I want to congratulate the four Victorian partnerships that have won awards in the 2002 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

A partnership between the ANZ Staff Foundation and Wimmera Uniting Care has been awarded the Victorian State Award in the Large Business Category for their Awakenings community festival.

Since its inception in 1996, Awakenings has grown into a ten-day community festival, involving over 650 participants, celebrating the creativity of people with a disability.

TATE management consulting and Melbourne Citymission have taken out Victorian State honours for a Medium Business partnership.

Their ‘Smart Arts Comic Book Project’ involved 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.

Two Victorian-based partnerships have also won awards for programs operating nationally.

The Large Business Operating Nationally Category winner, the ‘Revive our Wetlands’ project, has helped to revive 100 wetlands Australia-wide through a partnership between BHP Billiton and Conservation Volunteers Australia.

An alliance between Access Dinghy Sailing Systems, the Access Dinghy Foundation and Sailability has taken out the award for a Small Business Operating Nationally for its ‘Sailing for Everyone’ program, providing sailing opportunities for around 20 000 people with disabilities in 40 locations across Australia.

This year’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 Prime Minister’s Awards recognise the positive opportunities that such partnerships create, and their contribution to building stronger communities through shared commitment, energy and creativity.

These four Victorian partnerships will now be judged against other State and Territory winners for the National Small, Medium and Large Business Category Awards 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.