March 18, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE: Burnie selected to receive up to $1m to tackle complex social issues in the community

Burnie, Tasmania has been selected to receive up to $1 million of support from a pioneering group of funders who are backing a new approach to tackling some of our country’s toughest and most complex social problems, the Governor-General announced today.

Chosen from a shortlist of 11 communities around Australia, the Burnie Works initiative is applying the collective impact framework to tackle worklessness caused by entrenched social disadvantage and poor educational attainment. 

Leaders from industry, government and community have come together to focus on improving the engagement of all young people in education and their transition to employment. 

An eminent panel of international judges reviewed the shortlisted communities in terms of their community engagement, outcomes focus, leadership and possibility of success.

Their decision was a hard one and Burnie stood out particularly in regards to the way they have engaged residents and people with lived experience in all parts of the change process.

The first of its kind in Australia,The Search isan initiative convened by The Centre for Social Impact that aims to develop the capacity of communities in the early stages of implementing the collective impact framework.

Centre for Social Impact CEO Andrew Young said Burnie will now act as a lighthouse example for future collective impact initiatives.

“The challenges in Burnie are complex and interrelated, but they have shown through this process an absolute commitment to doing things differently; in the way that they think about and lead social change in their community,” Dr Young said. 

“I particularly congratulate Burnie for this, but acknowledge that all of the shortlisted communities, without exception, have committed to the long-term change agenda they have embarked upon through The Search process.”

The Search was launched in June 2014 and attracted 49 Expressions of

Interest from communities across Australia. Of the 49 applications, the largest number came from NSW (17), followed by Victoria (11) and Tasmania (5). An eminent panel of national and international judges assessed the applications and shortlisted 11 communities from across Australia.

The Search is convened by the Centre for Social Impact and supported by a Catalysing Group, which includes the following organisations: Westpac Foundation, Results Leadership Group (Australia and USA), Social Solutions Group (USA), Blackbaud Pacific, Social Ventures Australia, Australian Communities Foundation and the Centre for Social Impact.

MEDIA: To arrange interviews please contact Jackie Hanafie on 0412 652 439 or Genevieve Dwyer on 0420 534 739.

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