The Thriving Communities Partnership is a collaborative network of 150 organisations across corporate, community and government sectors. Leading this movement are our partner organisations who contribute capital, consulting services and intellectual property to sustain our activities.
Drawing on almost 180 years of experience, AGL Energy provides gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services to more than 3.6 million customer accounts across Australia. Today, we operate the country’s largest electricity generation portfolio and we’re its largest ASX-listed investor in renewable energy. Our diverse power generation portfolio includes base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation, natural gas and storage, as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas, solar and biomass.
AGL recognises that improving the inclusiveness of Australian society and effectively supporting vulnerable members of the community requires collective action across industry, government and civil society. We see the Thriving Communities Partnership as an exceptional opportunity to collaborate across sectors, share experiences and expertise, and together establish frameworks that promote resilience and fair access to essential services by those experiencing vulnerability or financial hardship.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) www.anz.com.au
ANZ is one of the 5 largest listed companies in Australia and number one bank in New Zealand. Founded in 1835 and headquartered in Australia, our 45,000 people provide banking and financial products and services to individual and business customers, operating across 34 markets.
Our purpose is to help shape a world in which people and communities thrive. That means striving to create a balanced, sustainable society in which everyone can take part and build a better life.
From our earliest days, financing commerce and facilitating trade, our focus has always been on unlocking opportunity for individuals, families, businesses and communities. With fast-changing technologies, demographic shifts, climate change and globalisation bringing both opportunities and challenges, we now have an important role to play in enabling economic participation and encouraging sustainable growth.
Fred Ohlsson, Group Executive, Australia
“ANZ is delighted to join the Thriving Communities Partnership. At ANZ our purpose is to shape a world where people and communities thrive which aligns perfectly with the vision of the Thriving Communities Partnership. We look forward to working with other organisations to build financial wellbeing for everyone in Australia.”
Barwon Water (Barwon Region Water Corporation) is Victoria’s largest regional urban water corporation. It has a proud history supporting regional prosperity by providing excellence
in water, sewerage and recycled water services to its customers and the community for more than 110 years.
Barwon Water’s ‘2030’ vision is for an economically, socially and environmentally prosperous region. Its mission is to strengthen the region's economy, liveability and sustainability. The corporation delivers high-quality, affordable and reliable water services to more than 300,000 permanent residents – reaching up to 510,000 people during the peak holiday periods. Headquartered in Geelong, it’s region of responsibility stretches over more than 8,100 square kilometres, from Little River and the Bellarine Peninsula in the east, to Colac in the west, and from Meredith and Cressy in the north, to Apollo Bay on Victoria’s south-west coast.
Bond by AMS is the product of over 18 years of experience in building membership, stakeholder and workflow management systems to develop what’s now commonly known today as Member Relationship Management (MRM).
AMS are membership and stakeholder solutions specialists in providing organisations with software leveraging their comprehensive knowledge of how member-based organisations function, their challenges, pain-points and understand how important it is to best use technology to ensure member engagement for future retention and organisational growth.
City West Water provides drinking water, sewerage, trade waste and recycled water services to customers in Melbourne’s central business district, inner and western suburbs.
We have over one million residential customers and nearly 40,000 non-residential customers. Our diverse community is represented by over 130 cultural groups and 42% speak a language other than English at home. By 2030 our service area population is expected to be over 1.3 million. Complex societal issues such as financial stress, mental health, family violence and those disengaged due to language or culture may affect the resilience of our community and our people. The development of programs that identify these issues and impacts and provide sustainable outcomes for our customers, people and community can support our vision to be an exceptional service provider that puts our customers first and benefits community.
David Ryan, City West Water Managing Director
"City West Water is excited to become a founding partner of the Thriving Communities Partnership. Our new business strategy clearly articulates our focus on our customers and our commitment to contributing to the vibrant and diverse communities we serve. Through the Thriving Communities Partnership, we have the opportunity to work with likeminded organisations from a range of sectors to develop consistent, best-practice initiatives and support services for our customers, which will ultimately create stronger, healthier and more resilient communities."
Our purpose at Commonwealth Bank is to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities. At its heart, it describes what we stand for – as an organisation – and also serves as a constant reminder, that no matter what we achieve, we know there will always be more to do. As we strive to be a better bank, we are looking outward – listening to our customers and understanding what’s important to them; and working with community groups, experts in economic and social studies, policymakers and others, to better understand and respond to Australia’s most pressing financial challenges.
We are proud to join the Thriving Communities Partnership, and know that together we can further help shape the policies, practices and initiatives that will result in tangible change for people experiencing vulnerability or hardship.
CUA is Australia’s largest credit union, contributing to the financial wellbeing of around 530,000 Australians through our banking, insurance and health insurance offers. As a mutual, we were created by members for members and we care for them through the changes and challenges in their lives. Our growth and success enable us to reinvest in our business, deepen our relationships with members and build stronger communities.
Alison White, Head of Communications and Community
“CUA is thrilled to join the Thriving Communities Partnership’s collaborative network of 150 organisations to solve common problems around vulnerability and hardship, ensuring vulnerable Australians have fair access to essential services. We want our members to be in control of their finances and feel financially secure now and into the future and these new partnerships will support us in achieving that goal.”
EnergyAustralia provides gas and electricity to more than 2.5 million residential and business customer accounts in Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Queensland. We supply our customers with energy from wholesale markets and our own coal and gas-fired power stations and renewable energy sources. EnergyAustralia, which has its headquarters in Melbourne, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CLP Group, one of the largest publicly-owned integrated power businesses in the Asia Pacific.
Jenny Odgers Community, Vulnerability & Sponsorship Leader at Energy Australia
“Our purpose at EnergyAustralia is to lead and accelerate the clean energy transformation for all. There’s a real emphasis on the ‘for all’ and what we do every day to support our customers and our communities. An inclusive community can only be achieved through collaboration, and we’re proud to work together with other Thriving Communities Partners towards this outcome.”
At Energy Queensland, we play a key role in providing secure, affordable and sustainable energy solutions for customers across Queensland, and interstate. As an essential service, we deliver electricity across Queensland through our ‘poles and wires’ businesses Energex and Ergon Network. Our retailer, Ergon Retail sells this electricity to customers throughout regional Queensland. These activities are also supported by a range of innovative products and services delivered through our energy services company Yurika and other market brands. Led by our purpose of safely delivering secure, affordable and sustainable energy solutions – we place the customer at the centre of everything we do. The electricity sector, like many industries, is undergoing a rapid period of transformation. We are exploring new ways of delivering value for communities and customers, refining our products and services to best meet the needs of customers, today and into the future.
Michael Dart, General Manager, Customer, Brand and External Relations
“Our new Customer and Community Strategies promote collaboration both internally and externally so collectively we can deliver value to our customers. An important element of this is to understand pain points, implement improvements and develop tailored products and services to create an experience that our customers’ value. These strategies translate to; helping those in financial hardship to help them manage their electricity bills, enabling the benefits of solar to those who would otherwise not have access to renewable energy and collaborating to find solutions that provide greater support for vulnerable customers.”
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.
Stuart Hartley Sector Leader Advisory - Power & Utilities (APAC) | Advisory
"EY is proud to support the critical objectives of TCP to help the community get better access to essential services and to proactively tackle the impacts of financial hardship. The opportunity to collaborate with TCP partners to help deliver and access these vital support services via a digital hub, fits seamlessly with our purpose of building a better working world."
Infoxchange is a not-for-profit social enterprise that has delivered technology for social justice for over 25 years. With over 100 staff across Australia and New Zealand we tackle the biggest social challenges through the smart and creative use of technology. We work with community, government and corporate partners to solve family violence, homelessness, mental health and issues facing people with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Our products and services are used by over 7500 organisations across the community sector. We provide the right tools to improve efficiency and deliver greater impact – from nation-wide service coordination systems to IT advice for individual organisations. Our community programs focus on digital inclusion. We use technology to improve the lives of vulnerable people, driving social inclusion and creating stronger communities. We believe no-one should be left behind in today’s digital world.
David Spriggs, Chief Executive Officer
“With our mission being “technology for social justice”, it’s a natural fit for us to be part of the Thriving Communities Partnership. We’re a not-for-profit with a strong track record of delivering solutions that link vulnerable Australians to resources and services that can help them, and we’re passionate about using technology to enable whole of sector initiatives. We’re excited by the idea of simplifying the way those facing hardship can access support, by creating a single web portal that can link vulnerable members of our community with government services, community sector service providers and corporate hardship services.”
KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services across a wide range of industries, Government and not for profit sectors. We operate in 152 countries and have more than 189,000 people working in member firms around the world. In Australia, KPMG has a long tradition of professionalism and integrity, combined with our dynamic approach to advising clients in a digital-driven world. We have approximately 6,700 people, including over 400 partners, with 13 offices around the country.
Our deep expertise in Audit and Assurance, Tax and Advisory services has seen us work with renowned companies to help them solve complex challenges, steer change, disrupt sectors and grow. Collaboration and innovation are ingrained in our approach, with our people aiming to provide genuine, sustainable value for our clients.
Beyond our clients we contribute in voluntary and honorary capacities to assist the wellbeing of the communities in which we live and operate. We work with community partners to help solve challenges. Through the Pro bono @KPMG program we all have the skills and expertise to create positive and lasting impacts for our communities. KPMG is a significant contributor to the not-for-profit sector and has a long tradition of pro bono work.
KPMG Partner, National Sector Leader Power & Utilities, Cassandra Hogan
“KPMG is proud to be a Founding Partner of the TCP. Through KPMG’s Corporate Citizenship program we aim to create impacts for our communities in Indigenous Australia, mental health, skills for the future and climate change. We believe that our nation will not realise its full potential until everyone has equal access to opportunity, with business playing a vital role in solving social and environmental issues. This includes the important issues of affordability and access to modern essential services which requires the combination of government, industry and the consumer sector to work together to provide a better way forward”.
NAB is one of Australia’s largest banks. With 35000 employees we serve more than 10million customers.
NAB provides a range of consumer banking products such as transaction accounts, credit cards, personal loans and mortgages to personal banking customers. NAB is Australia’s largest business bank and has a significant Wealth division offering financial planning, superannuation, insurance and investment products.
Together with our partner, Good Shepherd Microfinance, NAB have assisted over 420,000 low income Australians and New Zealanders with a suite of microfinance programs, aimed at building the financial resilience of Australians. NAB is an industry leader in how financial service providers should view and respond to customers who are doing it tough. We understand that we have an important role to play in the lives of Australians and we want to be a bank that is there for our customers not only when they take out a home loan or sign up for their first credit card, we want to be their bank for life and how we respond and support customers in financial difficulty is a key part of being their bank for life.
NAB’s approach to financial hardship was recognised in 2016 in Fortune magazine’s ‘Fifty companies that are changing the world’.
NAB has been involved in financial inclusion and financial resilience for many years. For 12 years we have contributed to the financial inclusion of low income Australian’s through our partnership with Good Shepherd providing no and low interest loans.
For these reasons NAB is committed to supporting vulnerable consumers and sees the Thriving Community Partnerships as a vehicle for us to share best practice and together support our mutual customers through their challenging times.
Origin is one of Australia’s leading energy companies providing electricity, natural gas, LPG and solar solutions to more than 4.2 million customers.
We’re focused on helping customers manage their energy use and costs by providing energy saving advice; simplifying communication for customers and making sure offers are transparent and can be easily compared. Protecting people in financial hardship is a priority along with delivering a genuine and lasting reduction in energy prices through a whole-of-industry response.
We care about our impact and respect the rights and interests of the communities in which we operate by listening to them, understanding and managing the environmental, economic and social impacts of our activities. This includes supporting regional communities and stimulating the local economy through the Live Local and Regional Buy programs, while the Origin Foundation is focused on creating better lives for young Australians by supporting good causes in education and increasing indigenous participation in the workforce.
Formed in 2010, Queensland Urban Utilities is one of Australia’s largest water utilities. With the support of our 1000-strong workforce, we deliver world-class drinking water, recycled water and sewerage services to over 1.4 million customers across a 14,000km2 service territory.
Behind the scenes, we manage and maintain a $5.6 billion asset base, which includes over 19,000 km of water and sewerage mains, 109 water reservoirs and 333 sewage pump stations. We’re also responsible for operating the Scientific Analytical Services Laboratory, which provides water sampling services and chemical and microbiological analysis to a range of industries.
But it’s our customers who are at the core of our business. They’re the reason we exist, and we’re committed to listening and responding to their evolving needs and expectations. We’re particularly passionate about supporting our most vulnerable customers and are proud to proactively offer flexible payment solutions, tailored to individual circumstances.
CEO testimonial: Louise Dudley, Queensland Urban Utilities CEO
“At Queensland Urban Utilities, we’re dedicated to our purpose: To enrich quality of life. We pride ourselves on being a socially conscious organisation, and provide a range of services and initiatives to ensure every member of our diverse community feels supported, included and valued.
We’re honoured to join the Thriving Community Partnership and look forward to working with other like-minded organisations to build more resilient communities and stronger businesses.”
Sparke Helmore Lawyers is a firm with more than 700 people working from eight offices across Australia, serving the needs of the insurance, government, financial services, technology, mining, construction, property and not-for-profit sectors. Our true legal subject matter expertise and targeted industry knowledge means we deliver a level of insight that helps our clients find better ways to solve problems—from the everyday to the business critical.
We believe it is important to us to have a positive impact on our local communities and to build local connections. We provide non-legal support to local not-for-profit organisations and charities through our Community Program and pro bono legal advice to these organisations and individuals experiencing disadvantage through our dedicated Pro Bono Program.
We are proud to support the Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP) as founding partner—an initiative of Yarra Valley Water—helping all Australians to have access to essential services such as transport, financial services, telecommunications and utilities to build more resilient communities and stronger businesses.
Hannah Rose, Head of Pro Bono & Community, Sparke Helmore Lawyers
“As a result of our pro bono work with individuals experiencing vulnerability and financial hardship, we appreciate the significant need for the TCP. Often an individual’s legal problems are associated with their inability to afford or access essential services. The TCP provides an innovative way to collaborate across sectors with business and community organisations to combat this vulnerability and hardship.”
We are South Australia’s leading provider of water and sewerage services for more than 1.7 million people. For more than 160 years we have been working together with South Australians to ensure a reliable supply of safe, clean water and a dependable sewerage system. We are committed to ensuring our services represent excellent value.
Our customers are at the heart of all we do and we work with them to ensure our future planning reflects their priorities and to provide support when it is needed.
Our Customer Assist Program helps residential customers experiencing short and long-term financial difficulty. Together with these customers, we help manage their service costs through staggered bill payments, develop an agreed flexible plan and ensure regular review checks to provide support. This program proudly aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is part of our commitment to reducing inequality, working in partnership, no poverty and providing clean water and sanitation.
Roch Cheroux, Chief Executive SA Water
“We are proud to be a founding partner in the Thriving Communities Partnership. Our vision is to provide world class water services for a better life. With Thriving Communities we can work collaboratively on cross-sector programs that support the most vulnerable people in our community. Working together means those improvements will be bigger and better for our customers than if we tried to do it alone.”
South East Water is a state government owned utility that provides water, wastewater and recycled water services to more than 1.75 million people in Melbourne’s south east. Together with our financial counselling partners, our South East Water Assist Team have been proactively supporting vulnerable customers for many years.
Terri Benson, South East Water Managing Director
“At South East Water we talk with over 1500 customers every day and we understand vulnerability can take many forms, and affect anyone at any time. That’s why we’re committed to be a founding partner of the Thriving Communities Partnership. This supports our focus on mitigating vulnerability for our customers through a broader, community-wide effort.
We have a very diverse customer base and are proactively supporting them by providing greater control, choice and tools to provide solutions that work for them. Addressing affordability by listening to our customers and developing innovative solutions will deliver greater efficiency and value for customers. Collectively we can do more, and we believe that the Thriving Communities Partnership can effect positive change. We’re honoured to be involved.”
Suncorp Group Limited is a trusted provider of financial services and solutions, helping customers to make good choices and take positive action to improve their financial wellbeing.
Since 1902, we have created value for stakeholders while being a responsible and resilient business. Today, we are a top 20 ASX-listed company with $97 billion in assets. We employ approximately 13,400 people and serve close to nine million customers across Australia and New Zealand.
Our Marketplace of products, services and experiences is designed to make it easier for our customers to meet their financial needs. It brings together our strong portfolio of banking & wealth and insurance solutions from across our many brands including Suncorp, AAMI, GIO, Apia and Shannons, as well as those from our partners.
Suncorp is proud to be one of the innovative companies participating in the Thriving Communities program. Suncorp is committed to putting our customers at the heart of everything we do and helping them make good choices. Meeting the needs of people who are vulnerable, experiencing financial hardship or from diverse backgrounds is already key to the way we work. Suncorp has a track record of successfully partnering with community groups, our industry and other stakeholders to improve access to suitable and affordable financial services.
Being involved in the Thriving Communities program is a great opportunity for our people to use their passion for helping customers during life's critical decisions and challenges, and to contribute in a meaningful way to the financial wellbeing of all Australians.
Sydney Water is Australia's largest water and wastewater service provider. Every day, we proudly protect the health of our community by providing safe and high quality drinking water, removing wastewater and preserving our rivers and beaches. We supply water, wastewater, recycled water and some stormwater services to more than five million people in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.
We've been supplying high quality services for more than 128 years. We're passionate about contributing to the lifestyle of Sydney now and in the future. We want to provide more and better choices for customers, while ensuring our essential services remain fair for everyone.
"Sydney Water is proud to be a founding partner of the Thriving Communities Partnership, which builds on our long-term commitment to provide essential water and wastewater services to customers experiencing financial difficulty. We have an in-house specialised Customer Care team, built from the ground up, who deliver holistic solutions to customers in hardship. They use a tailored and solutions-focused response to provide access to a wide range of essential services, emergency relief and community support. We also provide direct financial support through our Payment Assistance Scheme (PAS).
Sydney Water’s existing program aligns well with the TCP’s goals to give all customers the best opportunity to build their capacity and improve their outcomes through a collaborative and coordinated approach across all sectors. This partnership presents Sydney Water with an exciting opportunity to be part of the solution and influence positive change for our communities."
Kathy Hourigan, Head of Customer Services – Sydney Water
Telstra is a leading telecommunications and technology company with a proudly Australian heritage and a growing international business. In Australia, Telstra provides to retail customers approximately 17.5 million mobile services, 5.4 million fixed voice services and 3.5 million fixed broadband services. Telstra’s purpose is to create a brilliant connected future for everyone, which recognises the fundamental role the company plays in enabling social and economic inclusion. Telstra has provided products, services and support to enhance digital inclusion for more than a decade through its Access for Everyone and Everyone Connected programs, reducing the barriers to inclusion such as age, income, skill level and location.
Since 1988 Telstra has been working intentionally with community representatives to increase access to communications services. Today, this intention continues in our purpose to create a brilliant connected future for everyone. We are proud to be helping our customers improve the ways in which they live and work through connection. By joining the Thriving Communities Partnership we will work with other essential service providers to innovate and to create a greater collective impact in responding to the needs of those in our communities who are at risk of exclusion.
Transurban manages and develops urban toll road networks in Australia and North America.
With more than five million Australian customers using our 13 roads across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, an ongoing focus and commitment to customer service and community resilience is critical to our business.
Our vision ‘to strengthen communities through transport’ recognizes the major role we play in the way our cities move and local communities thrive. Our success depends on understanding the needs and expectations of our stakeholders and working collaboratively toward shared goals.
We know that diverse communities make our cities great places in which to live, work and visit. However, in diversity there are challenges. At Transurban, we are increasingly aware of the rising state of financial vulnerability in Australia, and the numbers of those already struggling in financial hardship.
We are proud to become founding members of the Thriving Communities Partnership from which we draw support for our ongoing journey to improve the way our business listens and responds to customers experiencing difficult circumstances. As a partner, we look forward to contributing to this leading community of good practice.
Water Services Association of Australia www.wsaa.asn.au
The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) is the peak industry body representing the urban water industry. Our members provide water and sewerage services to over 20 million customers in Australia and New Zealand and many of Australia's largest industrial and commercial enterprises.
“WSAA fully supports the goals of the Thriving Community Partnership and is proud to be a member. It aligns strongly with the urban water sector’s priorities of supporting customers and contributing to our communities. Collaboration has always been at the heart of what we do and the Thriving Communities Partnership is an excellent way to work with other organisations who have similar values and goals to ensure that we don’t leave any members of our communities behind.”
Adam Lovell, Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia
Situated in south-west Victoria, Wannon Water supplies water and sewerage services to a permanent population of more than 83,000 people, including residential, commercial, industrial and rural customers.
Andrew Jeffers, Wannon Water Managing Director
“Our customers and employees live in south-west Victoria and make up the myriad of communities that exist in the region. We believe that strengthening these communities is inextricably linked with building value for our customers.
Financial vulnerability can have devastating effects on individuals, families and their wider communities. Whilst some groups in our communities are more often impacted by financial vulnerability, it can impact all of us.
Wannon Water recognises that helping our region prosper and ensuring the health and wellbeing of those who live here cannot be done in isolation. The Thriving Communities Partnership provides an important vehicle for working with other like-minded organisations to support everyone in our communities to access what they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.”
Founded in 1817, Westpac is Australia’s first bank and oldest company.
With 14.2 million customers, we are one of four major banking organisations in Australia and one of the largest banks in New Zealand. We provide a broad range of banking and financial services in these markets, including consumer, business and institutional banking and wealth management services.
Our vision is to be one of the world’s great service companies, helping our customers, communities and people to prosper and grow.
Lisa Pogonoski, General Manager Customer Solutions
"Many of us will become vulnerable at some point in our lives and be in need of extra help or care. When this happens to our customers we want to be there for them, providing a level of extra care and sensitivity. Being a part of Thriving Communities Partnership gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other organisations that share our commitment to supporting those who need it most."
Yarra Valley Water provides essential water and sanitation services to more than 1.8 million people, which is approximately 30% of Victoria’s population. Our service area covers most of Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs, from Wallan in the north to Warburton in the east.
We know that keeping on top of utility bills remains a challenge for many Victorians, and that there are significant variations in socio-economic advantage and disadvantage within our service area – we have four of the five highest ranking and five of the nine lowest ranking Melbourne councils based on the Index of Relative socio-economic disadvantage (SEIFA). As well as ensuring we deliver our services as efficiently as possible to reduce the pressure on household budgets, we make sure our services are inclusive and look after the most financially vulnerable members of our society. A fundamental part of this is our long history of collaboration with others to tackle the root causes of socio-economic disadvantage. We are thrilled to be convening the Thriving Communities Partnership to take collective action on inequality, disadvantage and exclusion.
Community & Supporting Partners
Consumer Policy Research Centre www.cprc.org.au
The Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) is committed to inclusive markets because ultimately, they build inclusive communities. The CPRC is proud to be a founding member of the Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP), working to achieve this goal. The open and collective approach taken by TCP to working with businesses, policymakers and the community sector to improve outcomes for consumers is a vision also shared by CPRC.
CPRC is committed to the development of a stronger evidence-base of consumer experiences and outcomes, in particular to inform policy and practice change. The TCP also presents a watershed opportunity to improve the way customer outcomes and trust are measured, a flagship area of research for CPRC. We are excited to be part of this group of organisations committed to making tangible change for consumers and the broader community.
Council of Single Mothers and their Children www.csmc.org.au
The Council of Single Mothers and their Children (CSMC) provides telephone and email support to single mothers, gives them a greater voice and advocates for their rights in income security, employment, affordable childcare, family law and housing and respectful treatment from government agencies.
Jenny Davidson, CEO
“We are thrilled to be working in a collaboration of such diverse organisations and businesses, all united in the belief that together we can create a community where everyone has fair access to essential services they need to thrive in Australia.”
Domestic Violence Service Management (DVSM) is a registered charity which aims to prevent and to provide support for people escaping/experiencing Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) and homelessness. DVSM provides support services in an urban context (Inner Sydney), in a suburban context (Western Sydney) and in remote rural NSW (Wilcannia). DVSM also provides professional services (Sightlines) to build capacity and share learning about Domestic and Family Violence within the Community Services sector and more broadly with the wider ecosystem of corporations, organisations, institutions, online and local communities.
Financial Counselling Australia is the peak body for financial counsellors in Australia. Financial counsellors work in community organisations and provide advice to people in financial stress to help them get back on track. Their services are free, independent and confidential.
There has to be a better way! Many of the organisations involved in the Thriving Communities Partnership assist people who are struggling to pay their bills and debts. From the viewpoint of our mutual clients though, being unable to pay their bills may be just one of their worries, or a symptom of so many other issues - sick children, inadequate housing, mental health issues, family violence and so on. At the moment, without a coordinated response from different industries, this group of clients is getting the run around. Is it any wonder that they may not want to engage? This partnership is a chance to try and do things differently. There has to be a better way - our job is to find it.
The Thriving Communities Partnership aligns with our mission and values and we believe this is an efficient and effective way to join resources, build cross sector capacity and advocacy to increase community wellbeing.
GSANZ was founded by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Victoria 1863. Our mission “is to disrupt the intergenerational cycle of poverty, especially for women and girls”. Our vision is ‘to create an emotionally, economically and physically safe world, especially for women and girls’.
GSANZ provides a diverse range of community services across VIC, NSW and WA, with a committed, client focussed and highly qualified team of staﬀ. While we work on an integrated approach to service delivery, our services are loosely grouped within the following areas:
- Safety and Resilience: supporting women, children, young people and their families who have experienced family violence, economic or other abuse to be safe, resilient and to thrive, through case management, refuges, therapeutic services, Police and other partnerships. Family specific work though Child FIRST intervention and family support work, including case management, coaching, group work and counselling to support families.
- Financial Security: supporting people to increase their ﬁnancial capability and money wellness through ﬁnancial counselling, ﬁnancial capability building, microﬁnance loans, ﬁnancial coaching, workshops and group work. GSANZ also provides professional development, capability building and coaching for utility companies and other businesses that provide customer service responses to people in need.
- Educational Pathways: assisting people to achieve their full educational and vocational capacity through alternate schools, innovative, peer led programs for young people and all-age community houses.
- Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy: Our WRAP Centre explores, supports and delivers expert research and evaluation, policy commentary and advocacy in partnership with our clients and with government, academic, community service, Philanthropic and corporate sectors.
Seventeen per cent of adults in Australia experience financial exclusion. That’s 3 million people unable to access a small amount of credit, a transaction account or general insurance. This places them and their families at risk of poverty and poor social, emotional and health outcomes.
Without savings or access to these basic financial products and services, meeting one-off expenses or unexpected costs can cause serious financial stress. Replacing a broken fridge, getting the car back on the road after an accident, or sending their child to school with the technology needed for a 21st century education can be a real struggle.
Good Shepherd Microfinance offers a suite of people-centred, affordable financial programs to people who are financially excluded. These programs promote economic wellbeing for people with low incomes, especially women and girls, and move clients from financial crisis to resilience and inclusion.
We work collaboratively with the corporate, government and community sectors to create people-centred programs that enable clients to realise their own economic wellbeing, as they define it themselves. This approach leaves clients feeling valued and in control of their finances and lives
No to Violence works to bring about the changes our community needs to eliminate men’s use of family violence. For 25 years, we have been working directly with men who use family violence to support them to change.
Our expertise in their beliefs, attitudes, behaviour and choices has enabled us to develop standards, programs and training, lead policy development, and fulfil our role as the largest peak body in Australia for organisations and individuals working with men to end family violence. As a pro-feminist organisation, the safety of women and children is at the centre of everything we do. It is by ending men’s violence that families can have happier, safer and more fulfilled lives.
Jean Sum, Growth and Partnerships Manager
“No to Violence is excited and proud to partner with the Thriving Communities Partnership to work together in ending men’s use of family violence. This important partnership will enable cross-sector efforts to collaborate with workplaces to end family violence by bringing together diverse thinking and practice from leading Australian organisations. Together, No to Violence and the Thriving Community Partnership will work together to build more resilient communities”
QCOSS (Queensland Council of Social Service) www.qcoss.org.au
The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) is the state-wide peak body representing the interests of individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing poverty and disadvantage, and organisations working in the social and community service sector.
For 60 years, QCOSS has been a leading force for social change to build social and economic wellbeing for all. With members across the state, QCOSS supports a strong community service sector.
QCOSS, together with our members, continues to play a crucial lobbying and advocacy role in a broad number of areas including place-based activities, citizen-let policy development, cost-of-living advocacy and sector capacity and capability building.
QCOSS is part of the national network of Councils of Social Service lending support and gaining essential insight to national and other state issues. We believe that everyone in Queensland deserves to live a good life. For many years QCOSS has examined the cost of living for people on low incomes, finding it is harder and harder for these households to make ends meet. We advocate strongly for our elected leaders and policy makers to prioritise living affordability for every person in every community. The Thriving Communities Partnership provides another way to address this growing challenge.
Australian Red Cross improves the lives of people experiencing vulnerability through mobilising the power of humanity. We support people before and after disasters strike. We work to alleviate suffering during wars and conflict and promote humanitarian laws and values. We advocate based on direct experience and evidence, and empower people to speak out and take action to improve their lives. We are bound by our Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary service, Unity and Universality. We are a voice for humanity. Our communications are guided by our principles so that we keep the confidence of all. This supports our ability, and that of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, to continue to alleviate suffering wherever it may be found, in Australia or overseas. And we work with others to create an Australia that is caring, welcoming and allows everyone to thrive—even in the toughest of times.
Judy Slatyer, CEO
"Australian Red Cross is delighted to become a community partner of the Thriving Communities Partnership. We have over 100 years’ experience supporting and working alongside people and communities experiencing vulnerability and hardship both within Australia and internationally. Red Cross has a bold vision of “human dignity, safety and wellbeing for all”, with ambitious strategic targets and critical objectives to deliver in our programs and services. However, we are tackling issues which are complex and require cross-sector collaboration to solve them. We are excited about the opportunity that the Thriving Communities Partnership presents to connect and share expertise with organisations from a range of sectors to build more resilient communities and address growing issues of vulnerability and hardship."
A resilient Melbourne will draw on the strengths of our diverse communities and geographies, to pursue our shared interests, embrace our differences and grow stronger together. We will help communities prepare for change and whatever the future may hold. We will work today, tomorrow and together, towards a viable, sustainable, liveable and prosperous Melbourne.
Resilient Melbourne is a metropolitan-wide initiative. We collaborate across 32 metropolitan councils, with the Victorian Government and a wide variety of stakeholders and industry partners to promote and embed resilience practice across all sectors that have major roles to play in strengthening our city’s resilience.
We are part of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), a global network pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation helping cities around the world prepare to meet the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. Melbourne was selected from 372 applicant cities around the world to be among the first wave of 32 cities to join the 100RC network.
We unite individuals and organisations critical to the resilience of Melbourne and its diverse communities. We offer new ways to address the chronic stresses and acute shocks Melburnians are likely to experience, and to achieve our vision of a city that is viable, sustainable, liveable and prosperous, today and long into the future.
Toby Kent, Chief Resilience Officer
“Resilient Melbourne is proud to become a Thriving Communities partner. Today, the scale and pace of demographic change in Melbourne are unprecedented. We are a proudly diverse city, with a growing population, but with these changes come increasing complexity and uncertainty. Our approach is centred on the strengths of our diverse communities, supporting and enabling them to adapt to accelerating change and the associated shocks and stresses, to survive and thrive, no matter the challenge.
In a city administered by 32 local governments, these shocks and stresses cannot be dealt with comprehensively by a single agency, or by each local council acting independently. Resilient Melbourne offers a rare opportunity to tackle these challenges together, working across sectors in new collaborative ways.”
Uniting is a community services arm of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania. Uniting was formed through the coming together of 22 UnitingCare agencies, including Uniting Kildonan, and two church business units, on 1 July 2017. We’ve been supporting Australians for over 135 years. We are 7000 skilled, passionate and creative people providing over 770 programs and services.
We empower children, young people and families to learn and thrive. We’re there for people experiencing homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction or mental health issues. We support people with disability to live the life they choose. We assist older people to maintain their independence and enjoy life. We provide people with opportunities to access training and meaningful employment. We’re proud to welcome and support asylum seekers to our community. We work to empower people with the information, skills and tools they need to live a healthy, happy life.
Uniting Kildonan provides training and consultancy in relation to supporting vulnerable customers to sectors including banking and finance, property development, insurance, debt collection and with government regulators.
In 2014, Uniting Kildonan piloted a new way of supporting vulnerable households with Yarra Valley Water. Since that time the program has expanded to a range of sectors, offering wrap-around support to more than 4,000 people experiencing financial and other inter-connected issues.
Joanna Leece, Executive Officer, Uniting Kildonan and Barwon cluster.
“As a founding community partner of the TCP, Uniting Kildonan is keen to get better outcomes for our clients through strengthened relationships between business, government and the community sector. Our focus is on delivering effective referral pathways for vulnerable Australians, and we know that partnering with the businesses who work with them is vital in achieving this. We look forward to continuing to develop cross sector partnerships which support our mission to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice.”
Uniting Communities is an inclusive not-for-profit organisation working alongside more than 30,000 South Australians each year as they strive for bright futures and great lives. We value diversity and are committed to providing respectful, accessible services to all.
Uniting Communities seeks to reduce inequality and improve wellbeing for all who are striving to overcome disadvantage – individuals, their families and communities – so that they can realise their potential and live the best lives they can. We do this in a way that is non-judgemental, generous and supportive; that embrace diversity; and that values and promotes fairness, justice and the benefits of strong communities.
Our service delivery, advocacy and community building activities are central to achieving this.
We offer more than 90 services to support the needs of both individuals and our community, across a range of areas. These include mental health and counselling; residential aged care and support for independent living; housing crisis and emergency support; disability services; services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people; energy efficiency services; financial wellbeing; drug and alcohol counselling; family relationships; and respite and carer support.
Simon Schrapel AM, Chief Executive
“Uniting Communities is thrilled to be part of the Thriving Communities Partnership. We look forward to working with others in the South Australian community to collaborate in developing better ways of supporting vulnerable customers to better be able to manage their utilities and financial situation in ways that are dignified and respectful, with a focus on making accessing hardship support as easy and as supportive as possible for consumers.”
World Vision is an international community development organisation that assists more than 100 million people worldwide. For more than 50 years, World Vision has been working to eliminate poverty and its causes. We are a Christian organisation and collaborate with people of all cultures, faiths and genders to transform the lives of children and their communities. We do this through relief and development, policy advocacy and change, education about poverty, emphasis on personal growth, social justice and spiritual values. Our work is made possible by the support of generous Australians, and we work hard to make sure all resources are used as effectively as possible to benefit children in need.
World Vision recognises that the Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP) will help everyone to have equal access to the modern essential services that we all need to thrive in contemporary Australia.
This initiative will build more resilient communities, and ease the hardship, vulnerability and disadvantage experienced by some groups trying to access essential amenities. As a child-centred organisation, World Vision believes that TCP will help many Australian children and their families. Fair access to services frees people to become more self-reliant, and make their contribution to the wider community.