Media Release

June 16, 2011

The 2011 Westpac Community Treasurers' Awards have revealed an army of highly passionate and committed treasurers stamping their mark on community groups across the country.

Though passion is not a quality usually associated with number-crunchers, it's something that's found in spades in the 513 nominations received for this year's awards.

Nominations, which were up by 21 per cent on last year's awards, were received from groups across the country and from a huge range of community groups, from the tried and true (scouts, guides, emergency services), to the novel (dog agility groups, floorball associations); from arts and sports and environmental groups, to outdoorsy clubs, fellowship groups, service organisations, advocacy organisations and special-interest groups.

Now in its third year, the Westpac Community Treasurers' Awards, which are run by Our Community and Westpac, celebrate the thousands of Australians who volunteer their time to manage the finances of these community organisations.

Hundreds of thousands of community groups in Australia rely on the unpaid and largely unsung labour of their honorary treasurers.

And it seems that more women than men, particularly in the small organisation category, are willing to roll up their sleeves and take on the difficult role of a community group treasurer, with 52 per cent of nominations being for women treasurers. In the small organisations category, women made up 58 per cent of nominations.

"The small organisations are often the hardest. They have less potential for generating funds to even out the bumps; most don't have staff to take care of the banking or file the receipts. In these organisations, the treasurer has to do just about everything," said Our Community Group Managing Director Denis Moriarty.

"The role of the treasurer is often filled by whoever is there and willing to jump in and help out, and as the nominations highlight, more often than not, this task falls to a woman."

Winners of the Westpac Community Treasurers' Awards - Fran Galvin OAM from Community Living and Respite Services in northern Victoria, Peter Stevens from Wolli Creek Preservation Society in Sydney and Carol Ross from the Melbourne-based KAGE dance-theatre company - were announced by NSW Treasurer Mike Baird at a function at Westpac Place in Sydney on June 15, 2011.

The three treasurers were selected for their excellence in fulfilling their role of managing the financials of their community groups (small, medium and large).

"It's great to see a significant increase in nominations in this year's Westpac Community Treasurers' Awards, showing more people recognise the work of their local treasurer," said Head of Westpac Social Sector Banking, Julienne Price.

"It is very demanding managing the financial wellbeing of a not-for-profit organisation but the people who put their hand-up for these roles do it because they are passionate about the organisation and about the cause," she said.

About the Westpac Community Treasurers' Awards

The Westpac Community Treasurers' Awards were established to show appreciation of the immense contribution community treasurers make to their community groups, the community sector, and to Australia.

An initiative of Our Community and Westpac, the Awards are designed to unearth three Australian community treasurers who best fulfill the duties of ensuring good financial management, good financial governance and good financial outcomes. Treasurers' could enter three categories depending on their budget class:

  • Small Organisations: For organisations with an annual income of less than $100,000 per annum.
  • Medium Organisations: For organisations with an annual income between $100,000 and $1 million per annum.
  • Large Organisations: For organisations with an annual income of more than $1 million per annum.

About Westpac and Our Community

Our Community and Westpac are working together help community groups improve their financial management by providing help with financial literacy and access to better band more cost-effective banking services and products.

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