Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

ActewAGL and Australian Science Festival win Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Award – ACT

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today congratulated Australian Science Festival Ltd and ActewAGL for their winning partnership in the ACT 2004 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

The partnership, spanning 12 years, has facilitated the annual staging of the popular Australian Science Festival and Canberra’s Ideas and Innovation Festival (ICAN).

The Australian Science Festival has also spawned National Science Week, which this year is to be held from 14 August to 22 August 2004.

Other well-known events created by the partnership include ActewAGL’s Amazing World of Science and the Solar and Advanced Technology Boat Race as well as a series of one-off events such as the Water Olympics.

“The Australian Science Festival (ASF) and ActewAGL partnership is a great illustration of the flow-on benefits to the wider community when business and non-profit organisations work together,” Senator Patterson said.

“This partnership has produced exactly the sort of community benefits the Australian Government had in mind when it inaugurated the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership in 1999.

“The partnership has not only strengthened the profiles and resources of the two organisations involved but it has also given a major boost to public interest in science and increased recognition of its importance to Australia’s future.”

ActewAGL provided both financial and in-kind support to ASF including assistance in the establishment of a Board and Advisory Council, mentoring, lobbying relevant stakeholders, and developing staff involvement in events.

In turn, ASF offered ActewAGL a secondment position, which provided staff development opportunities and skill transfer as well as increased staff morale.

“This mutually beneficial partnership has helped to develop the Australian Science Festival and ICAN into significant events for Canberra and its local economy. They profile the achievements of the people of Canberra and help to inject millions of dollars into the local economy each year.”

“When business and community sectors work together they can combine their talents and resources to achieve mutual goals, to develop solutions to local and regional problems and most importantly, strengthen community ties,” Senator Patterson said.