South Australian Community Achievement Awards

2019 Finalists


TAFE SA Community Education Award

Mentally Fit EP (WCYCS) of Port Lincoln commits to developing a mentally fit community. Based in Eyre Peninsula, Mentally Fit EP began in 2014 with a small group with a collective vision to flip mental illness on its head, to stop talking about the negative and to upskill people to be “mentally fit.” The committee relies on fundraising and donations, and with help from West Coast Youth and Community Support, provides positive promotional, early intervention and educational programs. They have so far, conducted over 150 events. They offer free clinical counselling and courses including “Take Charge of Your Life” and the school-based “Mentally Fit ME” program. 

United Way South Australia Incorporated of Parafield hopes to improve literacy amongst young South Australians. They provide free early literacy programs to disadvantaged families and communities through “United We Read” powered by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. They give out book packs with new, quality, age-appropriate books to parents/carers of children aged five and under. United Way has provided 30,000 home-delivered books to over 1,000 children since 2014. They have distributed 40,000 books at the Monster Truck Jam event, with each child receiving 10 books. United Way SA engages the community by partnering with agencies like AnglicareSA, Communities 4 Children, Junction Australia and local community centres.

Sammy D Foundation of Edwardstown works to reduce off-field violence in sporting clubs and promotes safe play. The Foundation’s “Don’t Let It Be Game Over” program starts with a presentation called “Impact,” which is delivered by Neil Davis, father of assault victim, Sam Davis. Young players then participate in violence prevention workshops, exploring impacts of violence and strategies to keep themselves and their mates safe. Parents and coaches participate in a “Monkey See Monkey Do” presentation which focuses on positive parental role modelling and looks at the impacts of negative sideline behaviours. The Foundation partners with SA Power Networks and the SANFL.


Carers SA Carer Achievement Award

Ian Wards of Parafield Gardens has helped create support for families affected by autism. Ian and his wife are carers to their three autistic children. Ian co-founded Asperlutely Autsome, a voluntary organisation for South Australian families living with Autism Spectrum disorders, to provide support and develop skills in an environment of encouragement and acceptance. He has also built an online support group where men can talk openly about their journey in the autism community. Ian is also an active Lefevre Cycle Speedway Club member. He received a commendation for Ambassador at the 2014 Autism SA Awards and was invited to the Positive Partnerships autism reference panel.

Antoinette Edginton of Athelstone is providing a voice for fellow carers. From birth, Antoinette has cared for son, Nathanael, who has intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Thanks to Antoinette, now 40-year-old Nathanael can live a full life and works 40 hours weekly. In her spare time, she helps carers understand the NDIS process, supports cultural issues and prepares for planning meetings. She was a Holiday Explorers board member and inaugural member of the support group, Early Onset Dementia. She was a board member for the Intellectual Disability Services Council. Antoinette also cared for husband Wal for 18 years before his death.

Anne Bawden of Mount Gambier champions the rights and contributions of carers and has been a regional carer for 30 years. Anne is involved with South East Carers, Parent Advocacy, Siblings Australia and Families4Families. She was invited to the board of Inclusive Directions, South Country Regional Advisory Committee for Children Services and State Advisory Committee to the Education Minister. She helped establish Special Olympics Limestone Coast and the Gears to Drive Program. She presents carer situations to local, state and federal members for discussion. Anne cares for an adult son with multiple disabilities and other children with disabling conditions. She also supports an intellectually disabled niece.


Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award

Dennis Holder of Port Adelaide is committed to blue crab fishing. Dennis started over 30 years ago with experimental fishing in a 15-foot fibreglass speed boat and inefficient pots. Now, Dennis, with wife Karen, has efficient gear and a purpose-built vessel. They own and operate a Wildcatch fishing operation in Adelaide and rural SA, employing 10 people and owning 35% of the SA crab quota, making them the largest blue crab fisher in Australia. Dennis volunteers as president of Wildcatch Fisheries SA and is board director at both Seafood Industry Australia and Nuffield South Australia. He is a qualified mechanic and a Master 5 Skipper.

Dr Sam Rudd of Mawson Lakes seeks to achieve greater productivity in agriculture. Sam co-invented the world’s first passive real-time, in-ground soil fertiliser sensor for precision agriculture and controlling the application of fertilisers. During his PhD research, he found that a new class of conducting polymers known as PEDOT were quite sensitive and selective to nitrate, making it ideal in fertiliser sensing. Despite little attention from the scientific community, the discovery led to UniSA and Sentek Pty. Ltd. collaborating for a joint patent to develop the next generation of agricultural sensors. Sam received the Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal.

Safe Ag Systems of Glenelg is bringing steps to minimise the risk of injury in the agricultural industry. Launched in 2016, Safe Ag Systems is an online safety software and App specifically for farmers, offering agri-specific safe work procedures and policies. Now with 5,000 users Australia-wide, the software’s goal is to provide support to agribusinesses and workers to increase safe work practices, reduce loss time through injury and eliminate hours of paperwork. This results in changed behaviour and confidence in assessing risk at ground level. Fines handed to workers were also minimised when they are seen actively trying to educate their workers to mitigate risks.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Australian Medical Placements of Royston Park has cemented customer service in its core values. Founded in 2003, AMP is one of Australia’s only medical recruitment, training and education providers. AMP provides personalised service and endeavours to train its staff to have conversations with candidates rather than simple interactions. A Quality Management Systems certified agency, they have high-level policies that dictate their candidate interactions. AMP offers training, education and meeting hubs to enhance candidates’ lifestyle such as stress, mental health, cooking and relaxation classes. A 24-hour on-call service and medical-based counsellor is available to all candidates with dedicated on-call consultants providing access to doctors from the AMP database.

Cancer Voices South Australia of Trinity Gardens supports improvement in the health system. CVSA is a wholly volunteer advocacy and service organisation for people affected by cancer. They offer free membership for all cancer types and stages, from prevention and diagnosis, to treatment, survivorship and palliative care. For over 12 years, Cancer Voices has been serving the government, health services, research organisations and support providers, working to influence all aspects of organisational practice, processes and systems. Members of the Executive Team have undertaken training in Customer Engagement and Engagement and Advocacy for Influence with Health Consumer Alliance and Consumers in Research. Cancer Voices also provides training programs to UniSA.

Financial Services SA of Jamestown has a passion for keeping farmers, farming. Financial Services SA is a multi-discipline practice offering farm and business consulting, specialist rural finance and mortgage broking. Owners Dibbo and Rosalie provide individually designed business support and financial management skills with a special interest in succession planning. They serve primary producers, business owners, families and individuals in rural and remote locations. They build long-term relationships with clients to best understand and achieve their life goals. Dibbo is willing to work around schedules of clients and come out to their properties. He acts as an intermediary when negotiating with financiers or collaborating with other professionals


Flinders University Rural and Remote Health Regional Achievement Award

Careship Coorong of Coonalpyn is developing intergenerational friendships. Careship Cooring is a social care farm on a working snail farm. In partnership with local primary school and community members, they started the Y-Cook program to connect different generations through shared food, cooking and gardening. The program created an alternative support network for both young and lonely older people. More than 25 participants meet every fortnight to cook food, work in gardens and play games and quizzes. Y-Cook is fully self-funded and run by volunteers. After attending a Masterclass in 2015, Careship Coorong was invited by the Maggie Beer Foundation to speak about the farm.

D'faces Of Youth Arts Inc. of Whyalla Norrie is providing opportunities to empower youth and to connect with the community. For 20 years, D’faces has been creating opportunities for young people to participate in community-engaged activities and provides a platform for them to take charge and build projects they are passionate about. Their project called Area 53, an immersive theatre production, helped boost tourism during an economic crisis in Whyalla. They won a Ruby Award for Best Community or Regional Event or Project. The project was showcased in the 2019 Adelaide Fringe. Another project helped them connect with members of the local elderly centre who then shared their stories

Tullawon Health Service Inc. of Yalata ensures quality healthcare access in a culturally safe and holistic manner. THS has been providing high quality primary healthcare, chronic disease management, acute and emergency response care to the Yalata Community since 1982. It is a not-for-profit Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation focusing on providing holistic healthcare. Tullawon Health Service is one of three communities that established the Kakarrara-Willurrara Health Alliance, which delivers health specialists and GPs to the remote Aboriginal communities of Yalata, Oak Valley and Tjuntjuntjara. THS lobbied with the Australian Army and Queen’s Jubilee Trust to have an Amenities Building and Public Laundry built. It currently has over 700 clients.


Jones Harley Toole Community Road Safety Award

Kangaroo Island Road Safety aims to improve road safety related issues on Kangaroo Island. A community volunteer organisation, they commit to well over 200 hours a year. The Road Safety identifies various issues then works with various tiers of government, residents and visitor driving communities to resolve issues in a cooperative manner. They are responsible for placing road arrows to alert drivers to the direction they should travel and actively sought to place signs on tourist attractions and camping areas. They partnered with Kingscote Lions to provide free high-viz vests for gopher drivers forced to use township roads due to lack of adequate footpath facilities.

Darren Davis of Flagstaff Hill has tireless dedication to community road safety. Darren has been in the driver training and road safety industry for thirty years helping driving instructors improve knowledge, teaching skills and ability. He created Save A Life Australia, a road safety company aiming to improve safety of road users and self-financed the purchase of Australia’s first educational virtual reality driving stimulator. Darren works with the “On The Right Track” Program, delivering driver training and awareness to Aboriginal communities. He designed a Year 10 High School Program with SA Police and was an Australian Driver Trainers Association board member for ten years.

Orroroo & District Road Safety Committee of Orroroo is helping ensure safety roads in small ways. The Committee is a small group of four community members who enjoy making the roads a safer place on which to travel. They provide a Driver Reviver site over Easter and the October long weekends, helping drivers get a rest break and supplying free drinks and biscuits. The Committee has helped address road safety issues through their letters and contacts with council and road transport. They also provide seminars and information for those with gophers and help conduct training to Year 11 students at Orroroo Area School.

Gawler Road Safety Group of Gawler is promoting safe driving habits. Founded in 2002, the Group consists of dedicated volunteers who support and promote road safety by educating the citizens of Gawler and surrounding districts. They meet monthly to discuss and address concerns raised by the community concerning any road safety issues. The Group attends and promotes their activities at the annual Gawler Show and Gawler Rotary Fair and they hold sausage sizzles to raise funds. They also attend the Road Safety Round of the local Barossa and Gawler league games. The Committee introduced 50km speed sign bin stickers and recently sourced $25,000 to purchase a new Speed Trailer.


Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Rural Community Health and Wellbeing Award

Elizabeth Barrow of Mount Barker has a passion for helping cancer patients. Bette is a palliative care volunteer with the community health program at Mount Barker Memorial Hospital. For 15 years, she has been running “Pamper Day” twice yearly for cancer patients who are part of the hospital’s Community Health Program. She coordinates with The Hills Cancer Support Group to provide an opportunity for cancer patients to enjoy a day of pampering and information sharing. Bette engages local service providers to donate their time and services for free. She creates, knits and puts together craft items and sells them to raise funds for equipment for the chemo unit.

Murray George of Via Alice Springs is committed to the health and wellbeing of the Fregon community. Mr George is one of the most senior law men in Australia and is the Chairman of the Fregon Community Council on APY Lands. He is the ‘Wati Ngura,’ the male custodian of the Seven Sisters Dreaming story. Mr George shares traditional knowledge through inma (dance) and story-telling to members of the Anangu community and the broader community, keeping them mentally and physically strong and connected to land. He spends almost 30 hours a week promoting cultural activities. He lobbies for funding assistance and sometimes uses his own income to progress activities.

The South East Junction, Mental Health Activity and Resource Centre of Mount Gambier is raising awareness to destigmatise mental health issues. First established in 2009, the association was later incorporated to continue working in a volunteer capacity and deliver programs for the members who are people with mental health illness. The Junction provides a safe and supportive environment, fostering independence, self-worth, confidence and self-esteem through low-cost, easily accessible and targeted activities. They serve the Limestone Coast region, providing a Mental Health & Wellbeing Group in Millicent, a Meet & Greet group in Penola and Lifeboat SE and Limestone Coast Meditation Community. They offer Advance Care Directives workshops and Mental Health First Aid courses, amongst others.

Marree & District Progress Association Inc. of Marree is dedicated to providing opportunities for social and wellbeing activities. Serving the district, they are a volunteer community organisation that assists with the local population’s health and wellbeing by giving stress relief from ongoing drought and social isolation due to remoteness. They organise annual camel races, an annual gymkhana, weekly tennis sessions and BBQs. The Progress Association runs the local Remote Job Community Program, enabling local employment opportunities. They provide a worker for town maintenance and waste management services to help keep and maintain the town’s appearance. Because of this, Marree has won several KESAB and Tidy Town awards.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Life Care of Everard is committed to improving its employees’ and volunteers’ holistic wellbeing. Life Care is a not-for-profit organisation with communities that include residential care homes across Adelaide, multiple independent living communities and a home service. They have over 700 staff, with the majority engaged in residential care homes, providing “live every day” experiences. Life Care has a Staff Health & Wellbeing Program which is designed to improve their team’s holistic wellbeing. All staff participate in a two-day corporate induction plus site-specific induction and a hands-on practical introduction to ageing. Front-line carers and nurses also attend a four-month “Best Practice in Dementia” course.

Matthew Flinders Home Inc. of Port Lincoln recognises the essence of work-life balance among staff. Founded in 1973, MFH is a not-for-profit community-owned organisation that provides services including accommodation for the aged, home care packages, palliative care and dementia care in the local community and greater community of lower Eyre Peninsula. They have 134 employees, each bringing specialty areas to the workplace. Matthew Flinders Home offers flexible working arrangements and provides staff training and development to enhance skills, capabilities and knowledge to enable employees to best care for the residents. They conduct an annual survey to identify training needs and nominate a staff member of the month.

St Basil's Homes (SA)of St Peters believes in the “Living Well” principle. Incorporated in 1984, St Basil’s is a not-for-profit provider of residential aged care and day respite services under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. They employ over 300 Registered and Enrolled Nurses, carers, corporate service and maintenance staff in the South Australian facilities. Employees enjoy flexible rosters, birthday leave and seven of their 10 annual sick leave days don’t require medical certificates. Regular training for topics of interest are facilitated and staff can anonymously report their wellbeing in the workplace. Staff also have access to a free and confidential counselling service.


Minister for Innovation and Skills Small Business Award

Swell Brewing Co Pty Ltd of McLaren Vale is passionate about innovative craft beers. Founded in 2011, Swell Brewing was originally brewed in the back of Dan and Corrina Wright’s vineyard in McLaren Vale. In 2019, they opened the Swell Brewing Co Taphouse. They use the finest ingredients and brewing skills to bring new layers of flavour and texture. They aim to share their beers, local wines and great food with locals and visitors of the region. The opening of Swell Taphouse has enabled them to grow sales, margins and jobs in the community and add to the vibrant tourism of McLaren Vale. They have 16 different beers on tap.

SULLIVAN Consulting of Adelaide breaks the mould of traditional recruitment agencies. Founded in 2017 by Andrew Sullivan, the privately owned executive recruitment company is all about “Placing People First”. The Company is the first recruitment agency in SA to hire a dedicated marketing and social media coordinator. They create an innovative approach to meet client needs, including tailoring video job advertisements and target social media advertising. They leverage their extensive digital networks to reach candidates who may not have seen or responded to newspaper ads. They offer reduced rates for not-for-profit organisations. Sullivan Consulting was a finalist in the Recruitment International Australia Awards 2019.

Meeting Place MV of McLaren Vale has built a place for connection and community. Meeting Place MV is a café co-working and community hub that is now home to 28 businesses and community groups, all sharing resources and is used by over 100 businesses for meetings. At night, the site becomes a community hub, donated to a large number of community groups like McLaren Vale Rotary, Awesome Foundation and McLaren Vale Business Association. It is home to a series of youth education initiatives and holds over 60 events, many of them charity based. Meeting Place MV has received awards including the 2019 McLaren Vale Best New Business.


Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation Innovation in Mental Health, Social and Emotional Wellbeing Award

Growing With Gratitude of Hyde Park is determined to create a connected and mentally healthy community. Founder Ash Manuel is a passionate educator who was inspired to create a quality program that would be a solution for schools and teachers and make a huge impact on the lives of young people. Ash partnered with Doctors and Professors looking to research and evaluate initiatives and Growing With Gratitude also received a research grant. His program has achieved outstanding results with increasing personal resilience and mental wellbeing across 650 schools, reaching over 180,000 students. Growing With Gratitude is endorsed by the South Australian Mental Health Commission.

Kimba Mental Health and Wellbeing Group of Kimba is strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of the Kimba District. Formed in 2013, they are a group of proactive volunteer community members whose aim is to help the local community with mental health issues. Noticing the lack of medical support and limited visiting specialists for mental health, the Group offers workshops and major events to bring services and experts to the community. Their event “Breaking Through The Barriers: Women’s Health Night” was attended by 150 women. The three-day Health and Wellness Weekend had 300 attendees. The Group has received two Community Australia Day Awards for event of the year. 

Youth Opportunities Association SA Inc. of Somerton Park is developing long-term happiness and positive communication to help build resilience. Youth Opportunities offers a 60-hour Personal Leadership Program that equips teenagers at risk of mental health issues to overcome challenges, strengthen relationships and build resilience. They have been delivering wellbeing and resilience training for 20 years. YOA offer mentorship and follow-up contact for two years post-training. The number of kids at risk of mental health disorder has dropped to 52% while overall wellbeing increased by 18% as a direct result of their training. Since 1997, Youth Opportunities has graduated over 12,000 students and partnered with over 80 schools.


Woolworths Sports in the Community Award

Aboriginal Athletics Squad, Port Adelaide Athletics Club of Port Adelaide is encouraging inclusion in sports. With ongoing support from the Port Adelaide Athletics Club, the AAS program supports young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, creating a more inclusive environment for indigenous teenagers. Sixty four athletes participated in the 2018-2019 program, with four competing in the 2019 State Championship. Participants also learn new skills, giving them purpose and confidence and strengthening their sense of community. AAS allows athletes to participate in sport they haven’t tried before, due to financial and socioeconomic issues. Athletics SA was a finalist in the 2019 Inclusive & Diversity in Sport Awards for the AAS program.

Yvette Eglinton of Hallett Cove works at the Department of Environment and Water and supports people with disability in sports. She organised SA’s inaugural wheelchair snorkelling event “Wheelie Awesome.” Yvette worked with Carl Charter of Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, a not-for-profit organisation that receives government funding to provide safe and supervised community snorkelling tours in South Australian marine parks. Yvette and Carl identified a gap in snorkelling for people with mobility issues and other disabilities. Despite living with a spinal cord injury, Yvette helped lead the initiative by assisting with in-water training to volunteers prior the event. She also started the “Parks Access for All working group”….

Alleycats Bowling League of Woodville is a ten pin bowling club developed for special needs adults to have a sporting outlet. More than just bowling, the purpose of the group is to support the bowlers to have a social outlet, exercise and have fun whilst building relationships and friendships. Alleycats Bowling League is run by volunteers, with carers and parents assisting with the bowling every week. Participants pay for their bowling and make a weekly contribution for the mid-year and Christmas dinners. Some of the bowlers go on to represent the club and community in nationals. There is no additional funding provided and the group is self-financed.

South Australian Aboriginal Junior Football Carnival of Salisbury North brings community and culture together. An initiative by Phillip Appleton in 2016, the Aboriginal Junior Football Carnival is the first event in SA that provides a carnival event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. The first Carnival kicked off in 2017 and was attended by 360 participants. The event also includes an Elders’ program, children’s program and Auskick activities. Volunteers of the Carnival work hard at providing this opportunity for all levels of football from eight years to 16 years, including both boys and girls. They hold annual fundraisers to bring the community together and build funds independently.


Community Centres SA The Loneliness Cure Award 

The Greek Pensioners Society of South Australia of Goodwood helps isolated and lonely individuals. For over 30 years, The Greek Pensioner’s Society has been offering a warm, welcoming environment to people of Greek descent. Attendees are embraced and treated with dignity, provided social connections and a good home cooked meal. They play board games, bingo, drink coffee and share stories. The community-led group, volunteers every Thursday to feed about 100 people. They go on social outings in a community bus and some new attendees would come in distressed but would leave laughing. In the broader Goodwood community, non-Greeks join the Society’s gatherings. The whole community feels more nourished and connected.

Marion Mugs (MarionLIFE Community Services Inc.) of Mitchell Park provides a welcoming venue for people experiencing extreme social isolation. The Marion Mugs group gathers every Monday to drink coffee or tea, share snacks and chat. Some come to chat, some just to listen with all provided a good place to share stresses and anxieties. Some sit and knit while others work on puzzles and share clippings from newspaper. An average of 18 people from the community who are in their 40’s through to their 80’s attend each week. At Christmas time, participants gather together to celebrate over lunch hosted by Marionlife. They occasionally go on fieldtrips for new experiences.

The Welcome Dinner Project - South Australia brings together new and old members of the community. Penny Eisley founded the group in 2013 after hearing from a group of Sudanese women that they had never been invited to an Australian home and after learning that her colleagues wanted to meet people who are new to Australia. A Welcome Dinner is made up of an even mix of people who are new to Australia and established Australians. A local resident volunteers their home to host and people bring a plate of traditional food to share. Large Community Welcome Dinners are also held throughout the year and are attended by up to 120 people.

The Summit Community Centre Adelaide Hills Council of Norton Summit provides a venue where people can bond over an enjoyable meal. The Summit Community Centre’s new volunteer, Sue MacGregor, came up with the idea of The Karra Watta Café, after identifying loneliness as a key local concern. Once a month, a group of volunteers scour the central markets for good, budget-friendly produce to create simple, nutritious and exciting menu options. The café seats up to 25 people and is free. Donations may be given and are forwarded to other not-for-profit groups such as Fred’s Van. The majority of attendees are seniors but younger people with disabilities and transgender people also attend.