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Newsletter 26 - June 2005

Please send your comments, feedback and suggestions to the Editor, ACCORD NEWS,

Commiserations and tributes to ACCORD

"This is indeed, very sad news. ACCORD represented the social economy and Cooperative activites better than any forum in the English-speaking world. We will miss her deeply."
Michael L. Cook, University of Missouri, Robert D. Partridge Professor, University of Missouri, Department of Agricultural Economics

"Change is good, you go first. In many respects this could apply to the work of ACCORD. Its leadership role and its support of mutuals and principles of mutuality through its rigorous scholarly research and knowledge dissemination in its Newsletter are well recognised nationally and internationally. Social entrepreneurs passionate about change and cooperation in communities recognise the significance of this work, unfortunately less so State and Federal Governments. The demise of the organisation (while seemingly painful to some), will be matched by the opportunity for a new mutualism and resilience within a 'social movement' of which ACCORD has played a vital part. We thank ACCORD and its people for their contribution these past years."
Leo Bartlett, Australasian Institute for Social Entrepreneurship

"The demise of ACCORD reflects and reinforces the pattern of co-operative development in Australia - moving forwards and backwards. The contribution of ACCORD in research on mutuality was invaluable. The contribution of the newsletter has been equally important - particularly since the closure of National Co-op Update. The lesson for all of us is the same - the only way forward is through co-operation."
David Griffiths, Secretary, Co-operative Federation of Victoria Ltd

More tributes ...


Contents in this issue


Researching the sector ... where to from here?

We sincerely regret the loss of ACCORD, Australia's only national research and development agency. The closure diminishes our capacity to map and publicise the dimensions, strengths and potential of Australia's co-operatives and other social enterprise organisations. All is not lost, however, former ACCORD research members, Dr Branka Krivokapic-Skoko and Professor Eddie Oczkowski of Charles of Sturt University; Adjunct Professor, Mark Lyons and Associate Professor Judy Johnston of the University of Technology, Sydney will continue their co-operative research activities. For their contact details please visit

"As Director of CACOM, I would like to add our regret that such an important enterprise as ACCORD should flounder. We will assist in any way we can to continue some of the important work of ACCORD in extending our knowledge of co-operatives and the underlying principles of mutuality and cooperation." Professor Jenny Onyx

Co-operative research and development is also carried out by our former Associates. A comprehensive list of ACCORD Associates is available at:

Depending on availability of resources, the Centre for Australian Community Organisations Management (CACOM) will take over many of the important communications activities of ACCORD. We are optimistic that CACOM will host an Australian co-operatives web page and continue publishing the popular and informative online newsletter (ACCORD NEWS), under a new title.

Jenny Onyx
Professor Jenny Onyx, Director of CACOM

"As Director of CACOM, I would like to add our regret that such an important enterprise as ACCORD should flounder. We will assist in any way we can to continue some of the important work of ACCORD in extending our knowledge of co-operatives and the underlying principles of mutuality and cooperation."
Professor Jenny Onyx (UTS)

It is proposed to transfer the National Co-operatives Database to the website of the NSW Registry of Co-operatives and Associations. Details of the new location will be posted on the ACCORD website in the near future.

The Board and staff of ACCORD would like to thank all our supporters, especially our close partners, the NSW Registry of Co-operatives and Associations, Office of Fair Trading, the Co-operative Federations, ACCORD Advisory Committee, Associates Network, researchers and the many individuals and organisations including former staff that have contributed to our understanding of the important role co-operatives and similar mutually based organisations play in Australia, and throughout the world.

Please continue to logon to our website, for current information and directions to the new site when it becomes available.

Associate Professor Judy Johnston

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ACCORD Projects

Youth Reinventing Co-operatives an Australian perspective

"Gen Xers are notorious for mixing and matching belief systems, sub-cultures and career moves - a fertile starting point for establishing the new co-operative, which will serve tailor-made purposes for groups of young people seeking innovation and individuality." Lee Wilson

Lee Wilson
Lee Wilson

In her submission to the BC Institute for Co-operative Studies, University of Victoria, Canada, publishers of a book soon to be released on Youth Reinventing Co-operatives, Lee Wilson, former ACCORD researcher writes ...

... Unfortunately young people have not been closely observed regarding their attitudes and behaviour towards co-operatives, nor is it easy to ascertain how many young people are 'active' members of co-operatives.

Young people naturally gravitate towards places and people who represent their sense of 'self'. It is commonly accepted that the notion of 'belonging' holds a lot of meaning for young people developing a sense of identity and structural meaning for their futures. Questions being asked by the co-operative movement in Australia are; how are co-ops relevant to young people? Are they aware of co-operatives and their potential to cement a sense of belonging and 'self'? And what kinds of co-ops might young people gravitate towards?

Youth Reinventing Co-operatives
Youth Reinventing Co-operatives

Young people now have far more options in how they choose to live their lives and participate in areas of particular interest or concern. Gen Xers are notorious for mixing and matching belief systems, sub-cultures and career moves. This appears to be a fertile starting point for establishing the new co-operative, which will serve tailor-made purposes for groups of young people seeking innovation and individuality.

Of course these co-operatives would lend themselves more to interest or recreational pursuits, as urban artists in Sydney have found - forming collectives to address their creative needs rather than trying to 'break-in' to a competitive and sponsored market. They claim to be doing this for both financial and philosophical reasons - tying in their reaction against the biased and often unrepresentative nature of the mass market.

Youth Reinventing Co-operatives Reserve your copy online!

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Assocaite Professor Judy Johnston attended the 2005 Canadian Association for Co-operative Studies (CASC) annual conference in Saskatoon, Canada in May, with financial support from the School of Management, Faculty of Business, University of Technology Sydney. Local and international delegates attended from the United States, Australia and Canada.

Judy presented the following papers, based on the most recent research undertaken by ACCORD:

Her paper on the Gondoliers examines co-operative structures in existence for nearly 1000 years, where mutuality has been a fundamental aspect of organisational longevity.

"Our research confirms that there is a place for both the socially directed, and the commercially based co-operatives." Judy Johnston

The setting for the paper highlights the importance of the mutual and co-operative style of organisations, so evident in Italy, and surrounding European countries, where there is a strong tradition of co-operation.

The research again identifies the critical issue here that when there is clearly potential to support new forms of co-operation, there is no apparent interest or tradition in Australia. Governments so far, have not recognised the potential of the co-op as an alternative to market-based models.

This is especially relevant to community self-help initiatives, youth and the aging population. "Our research confirms that there is a place for both the socially directed, and the commercially based co-operatives," says Judy. "The Independent Liquor Group Co-operative Limited, our co-operative profile, in this issue, highlights the advantages co-operatives have to be both commercially successful, and ethically sound."

Please send your comments, feedback and suggestions to the Editor, ACCORD NEWS,

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Australian liquor co-operative celebrates 30 years in business

Australian Liquor Co-operative

It was a huge night; six hundred people packed the historic Sydney Town Hall to celebrate the Independent Liquor Group's 30 years in operation. Mr Price is Right, Larry Emdur had his hands full controlling the room which was abuzz with excitement.

"Co-ops that de-mutualise cease to consider the needs of their members. And are ultimately striving to satisfy their own needs. Nine out of ten of our Directors are retailers in the industry. The reason the co-op exists is because of their desire to retain the co-op identity." Paul Hart

ILG Chairman, Bob Bourne welcomed members, suppliers and official dignitaries who included the Hon. Philip Ruddoch, current Gaming & Racing minister Grant McBride and former minister Richard Face. The opposition Gaming & Racing minister Richard Bull was also present. "They said we couldn't make it, Mr Ruddoch, but looking around this room there's a good feel for what small business is doing," said Bourne smugly. He praised all those that had assisted ILG's phenomenal growth over the last 30 years. "We are the second largest cooperative in Australia, just behind the Rice Growers," said a proud Bourne. "And yes there is a future for ILG, a great future. We have a plan that you won't believe," confided Bourne. He said the battle against the chains was not over, nor the battle against deficiencies within the Trade Practices Act. He said ILG in collaboration with the Independent Liquor Stores Association (ILSA) would continue to fight for the rights of independents.

ILG Directors
ILG Directors at their 30 years celebration

"In the liquor industry we've seen many competitors come and go," says Paul Hart, Company Secretary of the Independent Liquor Group Co-operatives. All tried to compete with us by basically giving stock away.

"We've survived because our shareholders are the people we trade with, and not a remote party. So, naturally, we've been able to satisfy their competitive needs. Our shareholders re-invest by leaving the distribution of surpluses in the co-op for cash-flow purposes. In other words, they have the title and we have the use of the money. They are compensated through payment of interest.

"The Board constantly reviews our status as a co-operative to ensure it fits appropriately with our members' needs. We are convinced that this is the ideal model for a group of business people in a highly competitive industry to help themselves. "Co-ops that de-mutualise cease to consider the needs of their members. And are ultimately striving to satisfy their own needs. Nine out of ten of our Directors are retailers in the industry. The reason the co-op exists is because of their desire to retain the co-op identity. "

Find out more about the ILG on their website

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Australia and EBOs

Co-operative buyouts can prevent the loss of a vital community business
(From Jackson Smith Solicitors Newsletter, June 2005, Volume 8, Issue 5)

"Buyouts are common in the United States and various European countries. In Spain for example, not only are such buyout co-operatives common, but there is a strong support network to assist them." Peter Jackson

In 2004 the residents of the town of Kaniva in Victoria found themselves about to lose their only petrol station. Without the petrol station residents of the town would have had a 90 km round trip to buy fuel.

The community banded together and formed a co-operative, with community members investing amounts ranging from $500.00 to $10,000.00, to purchase the petrol station. The community saw this as a way of saving jobs, maintaining the value of their property in the town, and helping to secure their future.

In the United Kingdom in late 2003 the directors of a company that made double-glazed windows were looking to retire and sell their business. One of the directors saw a newspaper article on employee buyouts, and it was arranged that the 90 employees of the company raise sufficient money to buy the business from the old shareholders.

In the same way as the petrol station example, a co-operative was formed and it was the co-operative that purchased the business, with the employees as members of the co-operative and purchasing shares.

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson, Partner, Jackson Smith Solicitors

Buyouts such as those described above are common in the United States and various European countries. In Spain for example, not only are such buyout co-operatives common, but there is a strong support network to assist them.

In Australia only 38 percent of small business owners have a succession plan although the average family business owner in Australia is 55 years old, and 40 percent of business owners plan to leave their businesses within the next five years. A further 66 percent of these people are dependent on their business to fund their retirement.

Jackson Smith has joined a group of business people and academics committed to assisting communities and groups of employees purchase businesses through a co-operative structure, where there is a community need, the owners of the business wish to retire, or the business is insolvent.;

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The Co-operative Advantage

Co-ops help Co-ops in Malaysia

A new Co-operative Commission in Malaysia will form a fund and an account that would boost local co-operatives.

The Central Liquidity Fund (CLF) aims to help co-operatives facing liquidity problems and the Central Deposit Account (CDA) is to assist co-operatives expand their businesses.

"CDA is a deposit by all co-operatives, part of which can be a source of loan to co-operatives wanting to expand their businesses. So indirectly this system works like co-operatives helping co-operatives," said Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives, Datuk Khamsiyah.

Social enterprise expands in UK

The London School of Economics has held its first Social Enterprise Careers Fair, such is the growing demand for information about ethical jobs.

Encouraged by government and supported by organisations such as The Social Enterprise Coalition, social enterprises are growing across the UK. High profile examples included TV Chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen, The Big Issue and fair traders such as Café Direct. Other examples include Green-Works a furniture recycling business set up by social entrepreneur Colin Crooks which employs 44 staff, and Via3 Co-purchasing, an ethical goods and services buying service which aims for a £1m turnover this year.

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Womens' co-operatives in Nepal


A rural co-operative in the Bara region is helping local women increase their income and improve their quality of life by using locally available resources

The Saraswoti Durga Women's Multipurpose Co-operative was formed three years ago by 47 women. 40 per cent of the earnings go into supporting development activities like gravelling the village road and building a pre-primary school building. Pushpalata Devi Sahani, secretary of the co-operative, said that members of the co-operative had not received dividends from the earnings. So there were plans to buy goats for them instead. Many of the members could not read or write, but some had received training in book keeping.

More stories from this region found at:

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Co-operative Bank stands by ethics

If you are inclined to think social enterprises will put business before ethics consider the case of the UK's Co-operative Bank which has asked the Christian Voice organisation to close its account, citing a conflict of interest between the groups extreme views on homosexuality and the bank's ethical agenda. Read More...

Fighting demutualization in the Netherlands

In a rare stand, co-op members of Norway Life insurance giant, KLP, have voted down a demutualisation option by a vote of one.

"It is very rare for a demutualisation to be voted down, to my knowledge it has only happened once before (Standard Life in the UK). This is a credit to Per Koppang, Head of corporate finance with Terra Securities ASA and his team who have fought vigorously against the demutualisation for the past three years," said Shaun Tarbuck of ICMIF.


It was estimated that the cost of the demutualisation campaign was in excess of Eur 30 million, not including the management time spent. KLP Forsikring is one of Norway's largest financial services groups. The Group provides insurance and financial services to municipalities, health enterprises, and companies in the public sector. Most health enterprises, municipalities and county municipalities in Norway have their employees insured with KLP. The Group has total assets of approximately NOK 140 billion.

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Co-operative education and community development

Ownership Strategies at The Mercury Centre

ACCORD Associate, Peter Gates of The Mercury Centre Co-operative has announced that employee ownership specialist Alan Greig (known to many at ACCORD) will be joining the team at Mercury as Director, Ownership Strategies.

"The expanded expertise at the Mercury Centre will mean that co-operative or employee-owned organisations can ask us for help in understanding the often difficult issues they face, and to plan long-term development strategies." Peter Gates

The formal expansion into the ownership area is a natural extension of Mercury's role in corporate governance and as a co-operative developer, and will open up new opportunities for mutual ventures. Peter said, "One of the natural outcomes of consideration of the many facets of ownership is to look at the power of collective ownership through mutual solutions."

Alan's role at Mercury will be to help facilitate ownership change transactions and provide its expertise towards avoiding common implementation mistakes. "The expanded expertise at the Mercury Centre will mean that co-operative or employee-owned organisations can ask us for help in understanding the often difficult issues they face, and to plan long-term development strategies." he explained.

The Mercury Centre focuses on those organisations and individuals that have traditionally not had access to appropriate business skills and practices or quality business support - particularly those in the social enterprise and co-operative sectors and in regional Australia. The Mercury Centre believes that it can help build better communities by supporting and growing values based enterprises.

For further information on co-operative ownership strategies, contact Alan Greig, Director, Ownership Strategies at and see the web-site of The Mercury Centre at

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Wimmera 2020

Tony Gill
Tony Gill

In April 2005, Co-operative Development Services Ltd conducted six community enterprise workshops across the Wimmera region of Victoria for Wimmera 2020, a regional business development group sponsored by the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority. Like other rural areas around Australia, many small Wimmera communities are struggling to retain essential services, such as banks, petrol stations and general stores. In response, Wimmera 2020 in collaboration with Regional Development Victoria, received funding from the Victorian Agribusiness Network to hold the workshops to assist community leaders make informed decisions about forming community enterprises to save services essential for the survival of their towns. For more information go to Clients or email Tony Gill

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Association of Co-operative Educators (ACE)

The 2005 ACE Institute General Session will be held Aug 3-6 in Virginia USA.
The theme is Co-operative Education: Understanding Co-operation as a Strategic Business and Community Asset. For more on the program and speakers see the Spring issue of the ACE Institute newsletter.

Also in the newsletter:

  • ACE awards
  • ACE scholarships

Master Co-operative Communicator Program

Co-operative Communicators Association launched the Master Co-operative Communicator Program. The program, open to all communicators including freelancers, signifies an individual's level of professionalism and competency and provides professional development opportunities for co-operative communicators. Candidates meeting all the requirements of the program earn the designation of a Master Co-operative Communicator. For more information and application forms, visit

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11th UN International Day of Co-operatives, 2 July 2005

The 2005 International Day of Co-operatives message Microfinance is our business! Co-operating out of poverty is now translated into several languages including French and Spanish:

This year the theme of the International Day links to the United Nations International Year of Microcredit.

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Agriculture: How co-ops are helping agricultural producers around the world

Looking after member interests in Australia

Winegrowers consider co-op,
Australian Broadcast Company, Sydney, Australia 6/14/05
Swan Hill winegrowers, frustrated with low returns and contractual difficulties with major wineries, consider setting up as a co-op


Grower Del Haupstein, who moved to Australia from Canada seven years ago, says a co-operative structure can particularly help smaller growers retrieve some influence in the system.

"In Canada we have lots of co-operatives running quite successfully - it wasn't until I got over here and saw how multinationals are pretty much controlling our industry that we have no checks or balance against them and that's when I realised that's what the co-operative was doing in Canada," he said.

Co-op farmers to get milk price rise,
Australian Broadcast Company, Sydney, Australia 6/15/05
Dairy Co-op helps farmers through tough times.

Dairy Farmers corporate affairs general manager, Lina Melero says: "We have done the best possible because as a co-operative we do have an obligation and of course a strong desire to support our farmers who are facing increasingly tough times as a result of not only the worsening drought, but the on-farm costs that they're facing."

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Young entrepreneurs in Kashmir

Vege Market
Market Stall in India

Srinagar, India. Twenty young people have formed a commercial floriculture co-operative as part of a state government Entrepreneur Development Program (EDP). The Entrepreneur Development Program marks a shift in the mind set of the younger generation away from the idea of seeking white collar jobs in the government sector and instead creating jobs not only for themselves but also for others.

The government will organise another 15 EDPs in the areas of Commercial Floriculture, Food Processing, Textile Manufacturing, Export Business, Cultivation and Marketing of Medicinal Plants and other related areas.

More stories from this region found at:

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Co-ops fight rural poverty in Asia Pacific

Farm Worker
Farm in Asia

The region is home to three-fourths of the world's agricultural households. A large majority of these are very poor, mainly small and marginal farmers with less than 2 hectares of land, others are small-scale coastal fisherfolk, ethnic people in remote hilly areas, people in natural disaster-prone regions, disabled farmers, and rural women.

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN) regional rural development strategy is to reduce rural poverty and food insecurity by promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development.

A FAO Handbook for trainers on participatory local development provides technical guidance to local government officials and local women councillors in promotion of local empowerment, transparency, self governance and village level small scale co-operative enterprise. Electronic copies are available for downloading at the FAO website:

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Increased sales in Thailand

BANGKOK (TNA) - The deputy agriculture minister proposes a compete overhaul of the nation's agricultural co-operative system in a bid to increase sales. Mr. Newin Chidchob said that the plans were based on the idea of direct sales and the creation of networks to encourage more people to trade via the nation's 6,000 co-operatives. (From MCOT NEWS)

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Harnessing renewable energy in the USA

Rice Growing Co-operative Banks Solar Credits,
Technocrat.Net, Massachusetts 6/18/05
A rice-growing co-operative is turning sun into savings for its members.

Grain Silos
Grain Silos

The Butte County Rice Growers Association last year saved 70 percent on the cost of electricity at two of its warehouses by harnessing the power of the sun to dry and store the co-operative's rice.

Pendleton co-op to produce biodiesel,
Capital Press, Salem, Oregon 6/17/05
Another co-operative moving into renewable energy sources is the Pendleton Grain Growers Co-operative.

Al Gosiak, president of the Grain Growers, said the move into biodiesel for furnace oil is a natural step for the co-operative. The co-operative already has the infrastructure to sell and distribute biodiesel. And wheat growers in Umatilla County and bordering counties can use another rotation crop to cut down on weed and disease pressure. " ... We think we can create a sustainable industry that is locally based and locally benefited, " he said.

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Promoting fair trade in the UK

Why Mark Darcy is full of beans for the latest fair-trade coffee venture,
Sunday Herald, London, United Kingdom 5/19/05

Cash Roll

The World's first chain of fair trade coffee shops, Progreso, was launched last year by Oxfam and Scottish coffee merchant, Matthew Algie.

Progreso aims to redress the gross imbalance that has emerged in the coffee industry, which sees a handful of roasters and multinational coffee retailers raking in hundreds of millions of pounds while the world's 25 million coffee growers typically make 1p on every latte sold.

The company buys its coffee from growers' co-operatives in Honduras, Ethiopia and Indonesia at a price which covers production costs. The co-operatives also own 25% of Progreso, which means they share in profits; and a further 25% is ringfenced for investment in disenfranchised growers that haven't been able to set up their own co-operative.

Fair trade is at the heart of the Make Poverty History campaign, which has been widely publicised by Oxfam and leads up to the G8 summit at Gleneagles in July.

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Co-operative publications & links

The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan has published a new book: Co-operative membership and globalization: New directions in research and practice. Edited by Brett Fairbairn and Nora Russell, the book brings together researchers and practitioners in a series of essays that raise critical questions regarding the survival and viability of co-operatives in the 21st century. For more information or to order a copy e-mail:

Co-operatives: Principles and Practices in the Twenty-First Century, a co-operative reference book written by Kim Zeuli and Bob Cropp of the University of Wisconsin. The publication is available for free on the UWCC website.

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News in Brief

Sourced at:

Australia & NZ

Riverina rice crop fried by drought,
Herald Sun, Melbourne, Australia 6/15/05

Fonterra pitches Bonlac takeover bid, New Zealand - 19 Jun 2005

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Other territories

Operators, drivers back plan for motorcab co-op
Sun-Star, Dumaguete, Philippines 6/19/05

Panama banana growers fear EU tariffs may spell end
Fresh Plaza, Netherlands 6/16/05

'Co-operatives must have autonomy'
Business Standard, New Delhi, India 6/14/05

Minister dissolves co-operatives
The Standard, Nairobi, Kenya 6/16/05

PNG's future: Yes, we can!
The National, Papua, New Guinea 6/18/05

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What's on

In Australia

July 12, July 19, August 2, November 15

One Day Seminars for Not-for-Profit co-operatives:
The Co-operative Federation of NSW is conducting one-day seminars on: being a co-operative; duties of board members; finance; policies and procedures; human resources, and GST issues.
Information or contact Helen McCall (02) 4938 5308
Registration Form

Thursday 14 July

Family-Driven Innovations in Housing and Accommodation for People with Disabilities

The demand for innovative personalised housing and accommodation options for people with disabilities and other high support needs is huge. This forum in Melbourne will explore some family-initiated models and develop mechanisms for developing them in practice. Speakers include Suzette Gallagher, Marge Arnup, Richard Deyell, John Benson and Toni Maddocks. Registration details are available here.

Tuesday 26 July

Social Enterprise: NSW Networking and Collaboration

This one day networking event in Sydney is for communities and businesses with an interest in social enterprise and partnerships in resource recovery, community cafes and catering, employment and training, housing and accommodation, youth ventures, micro-finance, community foundations and community banking, mental health, arts and environmental ventures.
CLICK HERE for more information.

Towns and Villages Futures Program NSW closes 15 August
The Program aims to foster economic growth and create a more positive environment for business in small regional communities.

Foundation for Young Australians 2005 Grants Program
The Foundation for Young Australians is a non-profit organisation committed to supporting and empowering young people aged 12 - 25.

  • Challenge Ya!: closes 19 August
  • Alumni Fund: closes 23 August
  • Fund for Individuals: closes 30 August
  • Indigenous Small Grants: closes 30 August
  • Opportunity Bank: ongoing

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) Small Grants for Small Rural Communities close 30 September
The Foundation has been established as a partnership between philanthropy, governments and business to stimulate rural and regional renewal in Australia.

Wednesday 10 August

Health Reform: Breaking the Stalemate

This National Strategy Workshop in Melbourne will explore a comprehensive model for patient-centred integrated health care which has emerged from the work of the Integrated Health Care Reference Group over the past 12 months Registrations:

14 - 17 August

Engaging Communities - International Conference 14 - 17 August 2005

An initiative of the United Nations and the Government of the State of Queensland, Australia, this unique event will explore all issues related to community engagement and address the experiences, challenges and research which effect all citizens, governments and organisations alike.

29 Aug - 1 September

The International Not-for-profit Convention and Exhibition 2005 - August 29-September 1

Sydney. Over 50 speakers include governance expert Carol Weisman (USA), membership expert Mark Levin (USA), fundraising and marketing expert Adrian Sargeant (UK) and sponsorship expert Anne-Maree Huxley (Australia).

5 September

Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference - 5 September 2005

Sustainable Regional Development: getting down to business.

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Other territories

International Year of Microcredit 2005
The UN General Assembly has designated 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit (resolution 53/197) stating that the Year will be an important opportunity to give impetus to microfinance programmes throughout the world.

July 20 - 22
Future Co-operative Leaders Conference, North East
Co-operative Council, Holiday Inn, Batavia, NY.
For more information, contact

2 July
International Day of Co-operatives.
Contact: Maria Elena Chávez Hertig

24-27 July
WOCCU, 2005 World Credit Union Conference, Rome, Italy.

11-12 August
ICA Global Research Conference, Cork, Ireland Contact: Olive

22-23 September
ICA General Assembly, plus related sectoral and thematic committee meetings. Cartagena, Colombia.
Contact: Gabriella Sozánski,
see or

7-8 November
Farmers Co-operative Conference, Co-operative Opportunities in a Global Economy, Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis, MN.

15-18 November
ICMIF Conference, Singapore.

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About this Newsletter

We welcome your comments on our newsletter and any suggested topics or items for inclusion in future newsletters. Please email