South Australian Community Achievement Awards

2020 Finalists

Office for Ageing Well Tackling Ageism Award

ACH Group of Mile End is tackling ageism with their ‘Good Lives’ philosophy, a whole-of-organisation approach that challenges the way ageing is framed in language, images and initiatives. Examples include the use of language, images and symbols on all ACH Group media that is systematically designed to promote valued roles for older people. ACH Group co-funds a Flinders University research that challenges old ways of thinking and improves the quality of life of older people. They founded an inclusive ‘Sing for Joy’ Choir and initiated the ’10 Dares Challenge’, a campaign that offers anyone aged over 50 to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zones.

COTA SA of Adelaide is reframing perceptions of older years through creating new images and expectations of what being an older person can be. COTA SA delivers Zest Fest, an annual Arts and thought leadership festival for Modern Ageing specifically for South Australians aged 50 and over. The open access festival has a small curated program of events conducted in partnership with arts, cultural, environmental and academic organisations. In 2019, ZestFest partnered with Amongst It, an experiment in connecting individuals to everyday nature, and with Nature Conservation Society, to create, print and market a locally produced nude calendar of older people called ‘The Nature Strip’.

Kerry Jones of Adelaide has led the strategic portfolio of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation to transform Australia’s experience of ageing, working with a dedicated team and a rich tapestry of people across Australia. She led the demonstration and spread of ‘Weavers’, a model of personalised and flexible one to one peer support for carers of older people. Kerry designed and led ‘The Innovation Age’/Future of Home, a multi-year systematic initiative focused on the future of ageing and the actions to create that future. Kerry has also worked in partnership with SA’s Office for Ageing Well on SA’s Plan for Ageing Well 2020-2025.


Prime Super Agricultural Achievement Award

Ben Morton of Beulah Park is passionate about solving industry problems and is the Chief Technology Officer and an Executive Director at Bygen, an environmental deep tech start-up. They have developed a world-first, low-cost technology that uses agricultural waste to make activated charcoal, a high value material that cleans up the environment. This allows farmers to gain value from their waste, minimise bushfire risk by reducing in-field waste and help clean up the environment and reduce human greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural industry. Ben developed the activation technology during his PhD. He also mentors young start-up companies within ThincLab at the University of Adelaide.

FarmMap4D of Adelaide delivers practical maps that graziers use for improving business performance. The original FarmMap4D was developed as part of a Sustainable Innovation Project funded by the Department of Agriculture. A comprehensive demonstration of the technology was completed, with more than 300 properties covering an area of over 50 million hectares. The grazing community advisory provided advise on how the tool should be delivered and what it should contain. As a result, a tool was developed to provide property managers and their staff with an easy to use solution for mapping, assessing and monitoring property conditions, infrastructure, land resources and environmental factors.

Measurement Engineering Australia – MEA of Magill is committed to helping farmers make the best possible decisions about day-to-day farm management. MEA’s central innovation is Green Brain, a web-based application that displays data recorded from on-farm soil moisture and weather monitoring systems and turns that data into meaningful information. Innovative and simple, the App has over 1,000 active users, helping reduce uncertainty, improving water use efficiency and keeping records of farm’s weather. MEA also developed an open API to allow third parties, with permit from growers, to develop different features. This resulted in the development of complex nutrition management programs in Avocado Orchards and improved disease forecasting services.


Community Centres SA The Loneliness Cure Award

City of Marion South American Community – Neighbourhood Centres welcomed 50 new South Americans who were settling in their council area. To start, they held a community and action focused “Welcome Afternoon Tea”, where they prepared food and music and Spanish translators. The new settlers were asked “what’s important to you and your family in the next six to twelve months?”, opening conversations. The initiative was simple but unique as it consulted with new arrivals and connected upfront. ESL classes are held weekly, along with a community barbecue where the South Americans shared tables with local people and practised their English skills. In February 2020, they ran an inaugural Carnavale Event.

Reynella Neighbourhood Centre & Aberfoyle Community Centre encouraged over fifty families to become actively involved in an online community event whilst in COVID-19 lockdown. “Where’s Ella from Reynella” and “Where’s Wendy from Aberfoyle” originated from an Aberfoyle Community Centre project. Reynella Neighbourhood Centre applied for funding and an announcement was made via Facebook. The first person to send their picture with location would win a voucher. The target was families and individuals living in the southern suburbs who were exploring the outdoors during the pandemic. It created buzz and inspired people to send photographs to families and friends and have conversations over the initiative and engage with local people.

City of Playford - Elizabeth Rise Community Centre initiated Facebook LIVE interactions where community members have interacted with each other during the sessions by providing questions, answers and positive comments on one another. Activities included Online Cooking, Rise & Shine Playgroup and Catch Ups. They introduced special guests during Catch Ups, which include colleagues and local store owners. This helped acknowledge how tough the pandemic was for small businesses and provided a familiar face when entering their stores. The initiative also gave an opportunity for the community to understand and learn about the other facets of the Council and how they all connect and currently interact with the community.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Matthew Flinders Home Inc. of Port Lincoln is a not-for-profit, community-owned organisation that provides quality health care services, led by a CEO with over 40 years of experience in the Aged Care industry. They have 134 employees; each has a specialty area and enjoys work-life balance and flexible working arrangements. MFH provides training and development but staff are encouraged to make requests for specific training. The training officer alerts staff when their mandatory training is due. A Staff Member of the Month is awarded from the votes of staff, volunteers, care recipients and their families. New employees and student placements are assigned a senior staff for buddy shifts.

Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc of Glenside has been providing aged care and retirement living services for more than 50 years to help members of the community to be “Better for life.” Across all of their 50 sites, they have 2,700 staff and 430 volunteers. SCC ensures that staff are supported to work to the best of their ability. They established a graduate community allied health program, graduate nursing program, Education and Training Hub and champion programs. Each year, the best and brightest staff are recognised at the Southern Stars Awards. Staff also receive free access to residential gyms and are currently trialling a 12-week wellness challenge.

Tanunda Lutheran Home Inc of Tanunda is a not-for-profit 120-bed aged care facility with 96 independent living units, operating under a person-centred and neighbourhood model of care. Owned by the Lutheran Church of South Australia, TLH has 200 staff, 102 of whom are full-time employees and 90 per cent are female. All staff have access to thirty online training courses and a 24/7 Employee Assistance Program. There are active Work Health and Safety processes to reduce serious work incidents. Employees may be appointed as Values Champions and each month a Staff Member of the Month is recognised. A chaplain staff is available for a higher level of support.


Woolworths Sports in the Community Award

ACH Younger Onset Dementia Golf Program of West Beach is a tailor-made golfing initiative for people living with Younger Onset Dementia (YOD). It kicked off in November 2016 via a collaboration between Anne Maria Knight Golf Academy and the ACH Group Foundation, with funding from the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion and coaching provided by a golf professional. From a 10-week program to a weekly program, it aims to make those living with YOD to become active by trying a new activity, be mentally challenged and be socially engaged. This prepares better outcomes than traditional respite care for both the person with dementia and their carer or family members.

Adelaide Nepalese Cricket Association of Netley has a purpose of bringing the community together through involvement in sports. ANCA is a multicultural organisation that provides opportunities for people from different cultural backgrounds to come together as a community and play sports, particularly cricket. They run a cricket program for Senior Men’s and have invested in capturing girls and women to participate in cricket. ANCA has also been successfully running the Woolworths Cricket Blast Programme since 2015 supported by SA Cricket Association. From six children in 2015, the Programme now has 95. In 2019/2020, they started running a half-day cricket program for children and young people with disabilities.

Greenacres Tennis Club of Northfield is promoting an inclusive environment. After almost being closed down in 2016 due to dipping numbers, GTC was rejuvenated and re-built. From two double’s teams in 2016, they now have 120 members comprising of seven senior and five junior teams, with multiple premierships. Never afraid to try something new, they continue to promote “book a court”, committing to run open court sessions, increasing community access and participation. One time they welcomed a homeless individual to play and invited him to join the club for winter. GTC received the Tennis SA’s 2020 City/Hills Club of the Year and Torrens Award for excellence.


Australian Dental Foundation Community Welfare Innovation Award

Autism SA of Netley developed the Autism Friendly Charter (AFC) in partnership with the autistic community. The AFC is a framework designed to support mainstream organisations, community groups and businesses to become more accessible by developing awareness and confidence in applying inclusive practices. Almost 1,000 employees and employers have completed the AFC online training and 83 businesses have pledged to support the AFC movement. As a result, autistic individuals and their families can identify more organisations, business, community groups and events that are autism-aware and would apply inclusive practices. They also provide a free, extensive and easy to use App to connect with businesses directly.

Damiano Antenucci of Valley View is a teacher who has been providing his students with an opportunity to develop their full selves thru sports and the arts for over thirty years. He started at Kilmara College, coordinating comical skits. When he transferred to St. Paul’s College, he organised an annual musical with boys from St. Paul and girls from Kildare College. Damiano has executed almost thirty musicals so far, coordinating all elements of the production. He is also a founding member of the St. Paul’s Old Scholars Football Club playing and coaching. Damiano encourages with open arms students with disabilities, learning difficulties, language barriers and more.

Melanie Tate of Glandore is dedicated to making a difference in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Melanie remodelled her community food assistance program into a food drive to support more families, more children and more individuals. Whilst ensuring social distancing and a COVID-safe environment, she provided over 1,000 food hampers and groceries every week to seven new locations targeting South Australian’s most at-need communities in the South, North and central. Kids are at the heart of the program so drive-by locations had a TV, movie or cartoon character that children could visit and see. This distraction enabled parents to ask for help without embarrassment.


Carers SA Carer Achievement Award

Priscilla Taylor of Clarence Gardens considers that it is her destiny to improve the support for people who suffered as a child. Priscilla is a Forgotten Australian, Care Leaver who has spent 35 years advocating on behalf of people who spent time in institutional and out-of-home care as children and suffered abuse. She has multiple chronic comorbidities including a brain tumour but remains dedicated as the sole carer of her adult son who has psychosocial disability. She is also a member of Helping Hand Aged Care’s co-design forum. A victim of abuse for 18 years, Priscilla was central to the achievement of the Redress System.

Rhonda Samuel of Gumeracha has cared for her sons since 1993, together with husband Barry. Their youngest son Scott suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder whilst their oldest son Mark suffers from Bi-Polar 2. Rhonda and Barry have supported the boys to access public housing to live as independently as possible. Rhonda cares by calling, visiting, checking, prompting and assisting with medications and assists in managing her sons’ finances. Rhonda is herself suffering from ill health but her determination to support her sons remains strong. Rhonda is an active member of the community and many committees including the Lived Experience Australia’s State Advisory Forum since 2015.

Tamika Clark of Tumby Bay has been caring for her mother diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease for the past twelve years. Tamika was just nine years old when the diagnosis was made. During her SACE, Tamika chose to do her research project on Parkinson’s Disease to learn as much and understand the challenges and progression of the disease. She armed herself with the knowledge of how to care, support and be there emotionally and physically. Although Tamika has moved out and is now a Veterinarian Nurse, she calls her mum, comes around every day to check her and spends her weekends helping around the house.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Caroline Lowe of Port Lincoln is a Media Sales Executive with Radio Stations Magic 899 and 5CC broadcasting across the Eyre Peninsula. Caroline prides herself on her customers service, always striving to achieve the best results for her client’s through their radio marketing campaigns. During the Covid-19 crisis she worked hard to restructure her struggling clients’ marketing campaigns amid the situation with their best interests in mind. Caroline was a finalist in the Australia Commercial Radio Awards for best Sales performance in 2018, and received a commendation in 2016 and 2017 at the Port Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards – Customer Service.

Cummins Community Library of Cummins contributes to an exciting and inclusive community above and beyond program. The nurturing staff at Cummins Community Library understand the needs of patrons to make recommendations on individual visitors on trending book titles. During COVID-19 pandemic, they phoned elderly, isolated and special needs patrons, migrated their activities online, and provided online storytelling activities to provide interest and enthusiasm during the restrictions. Other activities included posting inspirational quotes online to encourage reading and positive engagement, dressing in themes and displaying special interest ideas. They also encouraged the Scholastic Book Club with school communities and offered low cost and educational books and resources.

The Lab Food and Coffee of Royston Park is a small business run with a focus on fresh, local produce, great service and community values. They believe in supporting local companies and suppliers and getting involved in the local community. With a minimal marketing budget and relying solely on word of mouth, they are always looking for ways to improve their customer service. All staff go through induction training in procedure and service. Their café manager is studying a certificate in Small Business, which includes implementing customer service strategies and establishing networks. The Lab has been nominated as the best service café in the East of Adelaide for two years.


Jones Harley Toole Community Road Safety Award

McLaren Vale Rotary of McLaren Vale has successfully staged the ‘Mock Accident – Road Crash Prevention’, a realistic re-enactment of a crash staged on Main Road and performed by Year 12 drama class students, for the past twenty years. Conducted for the benefit of Willunga High School students, the event educates and provides a reality check for young people about issues they might face during and after being involved in a road accident. The Club has partnered with other community groups and businesses such as SA Police, Court staff, funeral directors, SES, etc. to provide a realistic accident re-enactment scenario from road crash through to the courtroom.

Royal Adelaide Hospital (P.A.R.T.Y. Program) of Adelaide is a one-day program where participants follow the devastating journey of a trauma patient and spend time with healthcare professionals who work in the acute and rehabilitation sectors. The Program aims to decrease the frequency of alcohol and risk-related trauma among youth. It provides a platform to educate the community about road safety, their role in trauma management and potentially provide participants with life-saving skills and techniques such as the recovery position and the need to call for ambulance. Surveys are collected to measure the quality and relevance of the Program. Over 4,000 students have attended the program since inception.

Women in Trucking Australia of Semaphore was established by female heavy vehicle drivers for female heavy vehicle drivers. WiTa has a dual focus of providing a platform where women can come together to tackle the challenges female truckies face in the industry and addressing the enormous gap that exists in small vehicle driver education when it comes to road sharing. They successfully received Commonwealth Government grant to produce a heavy vehicle road safety Ad campaign which continues to run throughout 2020, increasing road user awareness of the dire consequence of risky on-road decision making around heavy vehicles. They also received additional funding to create a second campaign.


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

Goodwood Saints Football Club Inc of Millswood is an inclusive and socially responsible community football club with a membership of more than 2,000 people. They introduced the “Saints Healthy Minds”, a comprehensive initiative that targets coaches and managers to assist them in identifying those with mental health issues, with a long-term goal of helping players to build their mental strength, empower them to speak out and understand mental health issues and suicidal tendencies. In support of the initiative, they hold activities such as Growing with Gratitude Sports program, Sport and Life Training Mental Health Presentation, U18 Girls Team Mental Resilience Training and Headspace U16 Coaching, among others.

Growing With Gratitude of Hyde Park is a program with a core focus of creating a connected and mentally healthy community. GWG was founded by Ash Manuel after noticing that schools and teachers were wanting to teach positive education and wellbeing but weren’t sure where to start. Ash partnered with Professor Debbie Price of the University of South Australia, and together, they were awarded a grant to run a research project in 2015. GWG is now one of the most accessed Mental Wellbeing and Positive Education programs in the world. They have since presented to over 750 schools and reached over 210,000 students in SA alone.

Ski For Life of Farrell Flat aims to remove the stigma around mental health and suicide. Ski For Life started when founder Bill Stockman recognised the need for more awareness and funding for issues of mental wellbeing, suicide prevention and depression. They water ski 500kms in five days to raise awareness and funds to support these issues. In 2020, 230 participants took time to have hard and difficult conversations. In 2019/2020, they raised over $120,000 for programs of work to happen in rural and remote areas of South Australia. They empower people to return to their communities and become ambassadors for good mental health and wellbeing.

Youth Opportunities Association SA Inc of Somerton Park has been delivering wellbeing and resilience programs to young South Australians since 1997. They predominantly work in partnership with state schools and within communities experiencing high levels of disadvantage. Their programs equip teenagers at risk of mental health issues to overcome challenges, strengthen relationships and build resilience, focusing on developing self-esteem and reducing the risk of mental health disorders. On completion of each program, they follow-up every young graduate for a full two years, monitoring their health and wellbeing. Their most current results show a 53.1 per cent reduction in the number of kids at risk developing mental health disorder.


Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Rural Community Health and Wellbeing Award

Hart Wellbeing of Melrose Park has morphed into a serious, sound and well-respected business from a one-off amazing lived experience speech. Founded by Anthony Hart, Hart Wellbeing has created a 12-month weekly program that unites people into building a culture of care within the workplace or general community. They also created a free-to-all App, Lifeback Tracker, which measures and records the four pillars in life that one needs to control to have a healthy mind and physical wellbeing: talking, reducing alcohol, exercise and sleep. They have completed a series of Roadshows in rural SA, visiting areas that were of concern in the mental health issues space.

Herd of Hope of Tanunda is raising awareness for mental health and support services to transplant recipients and organ donor families in rural areas. Herd of Hope believes that organ and tissue transplant is part of an ongoing treatment plan and for the best outcomes, rural patients need support in both clinical and mental health capacity. While away from home, Herd of Hope assists with recipients and carers accommodation costs, hospital parking costs and travel expenses. Once home, they assist with expenses and services such as peer support services and referrals to mental health services. In 2019, they assisted over 200 rural families nationally with financial assistance.

Wendy Lane of Auburn believes her greatest achievement is working with young people and seeing them achieve and become productive members of the community. Wendy is heavily involved in Scouts, RSL, Legacy and Partners of Veterans. As Scout Leader for 40 years, Wendy has taken many roles, including Group Leader and Assistant District Commissioner. She is currently working to get rural young people back to face to face scouting after COVID-19. With the New Youth Program, Wendy ensures that all Leaders are acquainted with the program and have completed or are undergoing their Leader of Youth training. She is also a National Leader Trainer.


Minister for Innovation and Skills Small Business Award

Animate Your Science of Adelaide is empowering scientists and the research community. Founded by Tullio Rossi, Animate Your Science (AYS) produces video animations and graphics that make research stand out and obtain visibility. The innovative tools enable researchers to reach audiences outside of their specific field and on a global scale, creating life-changing impact and visibility, a healthy dose of fun and understandable science. AYS tripled their sales in their third year and hired two full-time employees and a team of over 20 contractors. They have attracted $50,000 in angel investment and $23,000 in awards. AYS holds workshops on how researchers can improve their communication skills.

Canoe the Coorong of Goolwa prides itself on being community-focused. Canoe the Coorong offers tours to the Coorong National Park, allowing tourists to explore waterways by kayaking. Their business model focuses on ‘eco-tourism’ principles, delivering richer, deeper, memorable and fully immersive experiences in a sustainable and intimate way. They source their tour food locally and have taken over 1,000 tourists just last season, adding great economic benefit to the Fleurieu Peninsula tourism region. In the last two years, they have grown their offering to school groups to engage and capture their interest to get out and be active. They hold free kayaking sessions in some local events.

Collaborative Occupational Therapy of Ridleyton was founded by Joanne Robertson and offers therapeutic community groups aiming to decrease social isolation and aid wellbeing. The four groups include opportunities to be creative or cook from recipes, work in teams, build social skills and relationships, and try something new. Activities are collaboratively done with an Occupational Therapist, peer worker, volunteer, student OT’s and community members. The groups are inclusive of people of any gender, background and aged 15 and above. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they worked to create a therapeutic environment via telehealth methods, including creating a Facebook group for participants and weekly projects tailored to each participant.