Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Victorian community business partnerships awarded

Six Victorian community business partnerships were rewarded in the prestigious 2005 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today presented the partnerships with awards at the launch of National Community Business Partnerships Week in Melbourne.

“The Victorian Small Business Award was won by a partnership between the business – Coffee Basics Café and Roastery Castlemaine, and the community organisations – Tarrengower Women’s Prison Campus – BRIT and the ZONTA Club of Kyneton which provides participants with practical business operational skills on their release from prison through the Café Operations Training Programme.

“The Victorian Medium Business Award acknowledges the benefits of the partnership between farm machinery supplier J J O’Connor and Sons – and the Birchip Cropping Group who joined forces to conduct agricultural research programmes, trials, events and projects to bolster the farm incomes of growers in the Wimmera and Mallee region.

“A Victorian Large Business Award was awarded to National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service (Good Shepherd), for their work in helping disadvantaged members of society secure access to fair and reasonable financial services.

“A second Victorian Large Business Award was presented to Victorian Government agency – Yarra Valley Water and Kildonan Child and Family Services.

“Together the partners have developed a customer-focussed ‘hardship policy’ which incorporates education and innovative programmes to ensure customers who have difficulty paying their bills are not denied access to water, it also provides information to help water users reduce their bills.

Judges’ Encouragement Awards were presented to Readings Books and Music with Gasworks Arts Inc.; and Cummins & Partners in collaboration with Marie Stopes Australia and Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

In addition to the Victorian Awards, a Multi-State Judges’ Encouragement Award was presented to BP Australia in partnership with Yirara College, CAYLUS and Teen Challenge.

“These Victorian partnerships enable business and community sectors to achieve mutual goals, develop solutions to local and regional problems, and most importantly, they strengthen community ties,” Senator Patterson said.

The national award winners will be announced later this year in Melbourne.