Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships 2004 – National Finalists Announced

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today congratulated the 15 national finalists in the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships 2004.

Senator Patterson said the number and quality of the nominations in this year’s Awards have been impressive and reflect the increasing benefits being achieved when business and community organisations join forces to help their communities.

‘Now in their sixth year, the Prime Minister’s Awards celebrate those organisations around Australia which have developed partnerships that are actively contributing to social cohesion and a better Australia,’ Minister Patterson said.

The winners of the Prime Minister’s Awards will be announced at a special gala Awards Dinner at the City Hall in Brisbane on 15 September 2004. National Award winners in both the Business and Special Award categories will each receive $10,000 towards the extension of their community project.

This year’s Large Business Category finalists are:

  • Woolworths Ltd and the Fred Hollows Foundation and the Wugularr Community for establishing the Community Stores Program in the Northern Territory to improve the management of local stores and to encourage the employment of Indigenous staff in remote Aboriginal communities;
  • Greater Building Society and Mayumarri Trust for providing help and healing to hundreds of survivors of child abuse in New South Wales;
  • ANZ Banking Group Ltd and the Brotherhood of St Laurence for developing and piloting Australia’s first matched savings program, Saver Plus, to help Victorian low income earners develop a savings habit; and
  • Bakers Delight and the Breast Cancer Network Australia for developing innovative information resources for women around Australia who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Medium Business Category finalists are:

  • PMI Mortgage Insurance Ltd and Habitat for Humanity Australia Inc for providing affordable housing for low income New South Wales families;
  • Burns for Blinds and Youth Opportunities Association for improving the lives of disengaged and disadvantaged youth in South Australia through education and empowerment; and
  • Jacobs Sverdrup Australia, South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and other Western Australian partners for drawing up an economic development strategy for the Noongar people of South West Australia.

The Small Business Category finalists are:

  • Lo Tech Aquaculture Pty Ltd, Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation and Warruwi Community Corporation for development of culturally appropriate commercial aquaculture activities in remote areas of the Northern Territory;
  • Bayside Recruitment and Bayside Adolescent Boarding Inc for providing care, guidance and support for homeless or at-risk youths in Queensland’s Wynnum/Redlands area; and
  • Virtual Cancer Centre.Com Pty Ltd and Silver Chain Nursing Association Inc in Western Australia for providing online information on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer to health professionals, patients and the general public.

For the first time the national finalists for the Special Awards for Longevity and Impact On The Community have also been made public.

The national finalists for the Longevity Special Award are:

  • Avon Products Pty Ltd, Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group and YWCA Encore Program for providing increased research, awareness, education and information since 1996 aimed at reducing the incidence of breast cancer and support for women who have had breast cancer surgery;
  • Shell, Questacon and the Australian National University for working together since 1985 to produce the Shell Questacon Science Circus which tours Australia to promote science learning; and
  • WA Plantation Resources and Blackwood Waterwatch for a partnership established in 1991 which involves 35 schools and a number of community groups in monitoring the water quality in the Blackwood River catchment area.

The national finalists for the Impact On The Community Special Award are:

  • Mallesons Stephen Jaques for its national Mallesons in the Community program which is aimed at helping to alleviate poverty, improving community welfare and helping to protect children and young people at risk through provision of free legal services, staff volunteering and workplace giving; and
  • Insurance Australia Group for establishing a range of community business partnerships with a number of organisations including St John Ambulance Australia, KidSafe, Volunteer Rescue Association and Surf Life Saving Australia aimed at reducing risk in the community.

Senator Patterson said: ‘The Prime Minister’s Awards recognise the positive opportunities and the contributions which partnerships make to building stronger communities through shared commitment, energy and creativity.

‘The partnerships also provide enormous personal benefits for the people and organisations involved, such as increased morale, creation of a teamwork approach across organisations, and the satisfaction of seeing their combined efforts making a real difference to the community.’