Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Awards capture the Australian can do spirit

Australians are renowned for their capacity to ‘have a go’ and pull together to get things done, particularly in adversity.

We would never have survived and prospered on this continent without it.

The Can Do Community Awards will recognise communities that have demonstrated the Australian ‘can do’ spirit and come up with creative ways to solve their local problems.

The Howard Government is already making significant investments at the grassroots level as a way of giving local communities the opportunity to take responsibility for creating a better future.

We recognize that Governments don’t hold all the answers and the best source of knowledge about a particular community comes from that community itself.

These Awards will continue to foster this new culture in Australian community life by highlighting and rewarding communities that have developed innovative local solutions to local problems.

Just as importantly, they will also provide a national platform for communities to share their experience and successes, and showcase the many successful partnerships between communities, businesses and government.

We’re looking for projects that have encouraged social participation and successfully tackled economic and social issues by building partnerships within local communities. Just as importantly, we want to identify projects that have made a lasting difference, and whose innovative solutions can be applied elsewhere.

Nominations close on 13 September 2002. Prizes include $4,000 cash for each of the state and territory winners, with an additional $4,000 for the national winner.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) will play a key role in promoting the awards, will participate in the judging process and the winners will be announced at their General Assembly in Alice Springs on Wednesday 6 November 2002.

More information on the Can Do Community Awards is available at FaHcsia website