New partnerships for Smith Family

ONE of the country’s oldest charitable organisations, the Smith Family, is increasing its presence in Western Australia with a number of recently announced partnerships in the state. But in developing new partnerships there is a growing need for better marketing in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector, according to the Smith Family’s WA general manager. The organisation, which supports children and families living in financial disadvantage through education, has most recently been announced as the facilitating partner for the Federal Government’s Communities for Children initiative in Mirabooka and Kwinana. The Smith Family’s latest initiative funds larger community organisations to develop and implement a ‘whole of community approach’ to support children and families in difficulty. According to the Smith Family’s WA general manager David Ansell, the organisation brokered an investment of $3.8 million in Mirabooka and $2.2 million in Kwinana. Overall, the Federal Government has committed $110 million over four years for its Stronger Families and Communities Strategy program until 2008. Another partnership that has been successful for the Smith Family has been the Rio Tinto WA Future Fund, which began funding supporting the Smith Family Learning for Life program in Kwinana at the beginning of 2004, providing $160,000 a year for three years, ensuring the survival of the project. Mr Ansell said the organisation is targeting more partnerships in the state. But there is a real difference in Australia’s corporate sector emerging between traditional sponsorship agreements and corporate philanthropy, he said. NFP organisations have to be able to market themselves according to their particular needs, said Mr Ansell. “I think the NFP sector has to be savvy like that,” he said. The philanthropic side of funding is demanding increased accountability though, with more feedback to stakeholders, he said. “We have to be able to deliver value for money, and at the same time be transparent in our activities,” Mr Ansell said. He added that the Smith Family would like to target partnerships with WA’s mid-capitalisation mining sector in the future. The Smith Family was established in 1922, and is run from its head office in Sydney, with regional offices around the country. Community funding for waste THE Core Consultative Committee on Waste (3C) has released details of community funding to be made available to assist communities to comment on potential hazardous and industrial waste treatment precincts. The grants aim to empower communities by encouraging participation in a public exhibition process. Communities will be able to use the grants to secure suitably-qualified experts to assist them to develop submissions and clarify siting issues. In August a list of eight potential precinct sites – four in the South-West, two in the Goldfields and two in the Pilbara – will be placed on public exhibition for three months. Following consideration of public comment, the 3C will recommend one site in each of the Goldfields and Pilbara and one to two sites in the South-West to the State Government for development as waste treatment precincts. One grant of up to $10,000 will be made available to a community group for each exhibited site to provide them with access to independent technical advice of their choosing.

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