Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

National PMs Award Winners Announced

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today congratulated the five national winners announced last night by the Prime Minister in the 2003 Prime Minister’s Awards For Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

“These collaborations make a difference for so many Australians through their contribution at a local, state and national level,” Senator Patterson said. “The positive effect and fine examples they set provide a model for other business and community organisations to apply for mutual benefit.”

National Awards were presented in small, medium and large business categories, and there were two special awards for ‘Impact on a community’ and ‘Longevity’.

The Centre for Executive Development, Royal Sun Alliance and the Blackwood Centre for Adolescent Development partnership received the Small Business Award for an education program in Drouin, Victoria, which builds a sustainable environment and a culture that helps young people at risk.

“As Senator for Victoria, I am particularly pleased that this innovative program has been recognised as it demonstrates so well how great ideas and projects can emerge at the community level,” Senator Patterson said.

“Blackwood is a six month early intervention program for students, designed as an extension of school. The intention is for students to return to school better equipped to cope within that environment as well as at home and in the community.

“So successful is this program that it has become a national model for other schools and organisations,” Senator Patterson said.

The winner of the Medium Business Award was the Blackwood Waterwatch program, a partnership between WA Plantation Resources, 17 catchment groups and 35 schools in Western Australia.

The winner of the Large Business Award was Ngarda Civil and Mining, a company created from the partnership between Henry Walker Eltin, Indigenous Business Australia and the Ngarda Ngarli Yarndu Foundation.

BHP Billiton was awarded the Special Award for Impact on a Community for its work nationally.

The winner of the Special Award for Longevity is the partnership between Greening Australia and Alcoa Alumina, which spans 21 years.

“The winners of these prestigious awards can be very proud of their achievements, but I also want to thank also those businesses and community organisations that didn’t nominate for the awards, but continue to have such a positive influence in their local communities,” Senator Patterson said.

“Business and community organisations working together can produce real outcomes, real benefits, and positive change. I look forward to more Australian award winning collaborations in the future.”