Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Two Victorian Partnerships Win Prime Minister’s Awards

The Victorian Large Business Award was won by a partnership between ANZ Banking Group Ltd and the Brotherhood of St Laurence for its development of Australia’s first matched savings program.

The partnership spent two years developing a savings program, Savers Plus, which they introduced last year. Savers Plus aims to assist low-income earners in developing a savings habit by helping them to save regularly over an 18 month period. The program’s goal was to help up to 300 low-income earners achieve a savings target and increase their financial literacy skills.

ANZ helped pay for a project manager employed by the Brotherhood, as well as providing its expertise and services. ANZ staff have also provided training, mentoring and support through events such as a Christmas clothing appeal. The Brotherhood has contributed its own expertise and access to target groups including secondary schools, which has been vital to the successful development of the project.

“Both parties have benefited from this partnership. The ANZ Bank has demonstrated its commitment to social responsibility and community issues improving its corporate image while the Brotherhood has been given more opportunities to work with ANZ and its stakeholders,” Senator Patterson said.

The Victorian Medium Business Award was won by a partnership between Regional Publishers (Western Victoria) Pty Ltd and Ballarat City Council with Best Community Development and the Ballarat Foundation and other partners.

During the past three years the partners have co-ordinated community organisations, local construction businesses and a federally funded Work for the Dole team to build a new house and restore a rundown property. Both properties were then sold and the profits given to The Courier Charity Fund for distribution to community groups.

Best Community Development, a not-for profit community organisation, provided the basic infrastructure support including project management, financial control, administration, planning and staff supervision.

The Ballarat Foundation facilitated the distribution of income raised by the partnership. The Courier, a daily newspaper with more than 30,000 readers, promoted the project through advertisements and reporting while its staff worked as volunteers on the project.

“This partnership achieved much more than fundraising with all partners working together to help their local community and the Work for the Dole participants gaining valuable experience,” Senator Patterson said.

Three Victorian partnerships in the Large, Medium and Small Business categories respectively have also won Encouragement Awards.

Transfield Services (Australia) and Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network won a Large Business Encouragement Award for their Puckapunyal and Districts Community Partnership Program, which has addressed critical local issues including infrastructure, youth migration and skills training for young people.

Edison Mission Energy Holdings Pty Ltd, Landcare Australia, Greening Australia, Wellington Shire Council and other partners won a Medium Business Encouragement Award for their work with land, water and coastal rehabilitation which has included the planting of nearly 500,000 trees, shrubs and other types of vegetation.

Beaton Consulting and Wellmark with Extended Families Australia won a Small Business Encouragement Award for a successful rebranding and promotional strategy, which has provided more opportunities for children with disabilities and their families to develop loving and caring grandparent relationships with mature-aged volunteers.

“All these award winners are a powerful demonstration of the multiple community benefits created by business and community sectors working together and combining their talents and resources,” Senator Patterson said.