2019 Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards winners: Kerry Anderson (accepting on Michael Dooley's behalf), Franca Pedulla, Mark Floresta, Annette Schefe. Photo credit: Deb Curran
Sports clubs shine in awards for Australia's best community treasurers
Australia's best community treasurers have shown how it is possible to do more with less when you combine good tech with clever ideas and great organisational skills.
Four treasurers from every corner of Australia have collected $20,000 in prizes for their organisations in this year's Commonwealth Bank Not-for-profit Treasurers' Awards.
The awards mark the fifth year in the partnership between the Commonwealth Bank's not-for-profit arm and social enterprise Our Community, which hosts training and free resources for the country's 600,000 not-for-profits.
This year's best treasurers were named at a ceremony in Melbourne on September 19. They are:
- Annette Schefe, Katherine Rugby League Club, Northern Territory
- Mark Floresta, Prouille Football Club, Wahroonga, New South Wales
- Franca Pedulla, Cannington Tigers Cricket Club, Western Australia
- Michael Dooley, Castlemaine Cemetery Trust, Victoria
Sporting organisations were represented strongly in the winners' list this year, and rightly the winning treasurers displayed true grit, focus and creativity in lifting the performance of their organisations. A common theme for all four winners was their embrace of technology.
Michael Dooley said that his cemetery trust realised it must take on new digital tools to do better, despite the older age profile of members. "If someone is contemplating taking on a treasurer's role, then my advice without hesitation is to embrace the technology, including good computer hardware, good software and reliable NBN access," he said.
Annette Schaffe, 3300km away in the Northern Territory, is typical of unsung treasurers - spending two or three hours a day on the books. She stressed that all treasurers must be adopt "a good accounting system that they can use well".
In Perth's southern suburbs, Cannington Tigers Cricket Club treasurer Franca Pedula used technology to allow her group to think ahead. "I introduced technology to automate financial reporting, invoice management and record keeping, to allow the committee to focus on strategic planning for the club's future," she said.
In Wahroonga, Mark Floresta for the Prouille Football Club has been kicking goals in his shift to electronic payments. "It's a lot easier to keep track," he said.
CommBank's Julienne Price and Our Community's Denis Moriarty present to a full room of Not-for-Profit Treasurers. Photo credit: Deb Curran
The awards were hosted at Our Community House, a community sector co-working hub in North Melbourne. Alongside some of the 2000+ award nominees present, were:
- Ass. Prof. Susan Pascoe, AM, former Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission and now Chair of the Community Directors Council
- Carol Schwartz AO, Our Community chair and board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia
- Todd Roberts, General Manager Corporate Victoria at CommBank
- Gareth Newton, General Manager Specialised Industries and Business Development at CommBank
- Julienne Price, Head of Schools and Not-for-profit Sector Banking, CommBank
Carol Schwartz drew an important connection between her roles, saying one of the policy planks of the RBA was ensuring the "economic prosperity and welfare" of all Australians.
"It's extraordinary for me to witness not just four winners, but to hear and see first-hand how more than 2000 treasurers are being valued, and to bear witness to the contribution you do to shape the prosperity of the nation and of our communities," Ms Schwartz said.
Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty said the awards capped off a week of free training supported by Our Community and CommBank as part of Not-for-profit Finance Week, with more than 4000 community staff and volunteers taking up the offer to lift their skills in board management, cyber-security, accounting standards and fundraising.
"This is a week in which we aim to support ongoing financial skill development across the community sector, as well as to recognise the many people who contribute so much to keeping the sector sustainable," Mr Moriarty said.
Commonwealth Bank Not-for-Profit Banking chief Julienne Price said the awards were a chance to put some of the sector's hardest-working volunteers in the limelight.
"For those of us who've been involved in a community organisation … we understand the incredibly important role of not-for-profit and community treasurers," she said.
"It's a role which is usually undertaken not in the spotlight, and involves long hours, often without any thanks or recognition. Your untiring efforts and enthusiasm for your role ensures the ongoing health and sustainability of the entire Not-for-Profit sector - and that of the civil society. So, thank you."
More about the awards, top tips for treasurers and an honour roll of nominees: www.ourcommunity.com.au/treasurersaward
Hear from Annette Schefe, 2019 Not-for-Profit Treasurers' Awards winner.