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Community Harmony Roller Disco Getting Down With Impact Investing


9 July 2018 at 11:15 pm
Paul Carter
Roller disco is getting its groove on thanks to some righteous impact investing at one of Australia’s largest high-rise public housing estates.


Paul Carter | 9 July 2018 at 11:15 pm


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Community Harmony Roller Disco Getting Down With Impact Investing
9 July 2018 at 11:15 pm

Roller disco is getting its groove on thanks to some righteous impact investing at one of Australia’s largest high-rise public housing estates.

The roller disco’s sixth edition attracted 400 people over eight hours on Saturday at its regular venue, a car park space at ground level under a public housing tower in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood.

There were three 20 to 30-storey towers on the estate, home to thousands of people in hundreds of flats.

Disco organiser Joshua Tavares said the events, held every three months, tried to build bridges between residents on the estate and the wider community.

“The aim is to break down the social stigma attached to public high-rise by inviting the greater community onto the estate, so everyone can feel comfortable about where they live,” Tavares told Pro Bono News.

“It’s also a good way for the estate to create revenue to fund other projects [and] give employment opportunity. We try to upskill everyone who helps with event management, logistics etc.

“And we get a good diversity of backgrounds, a good mix of new Australians and old Australians, and it’s really affordable.”

Tavares said the impact investing grant from Bank Australia would help make the disco more financially sustainable, allowing for example the purchase of skates for hire rather hiring them to hire them.

roller disco

Bank Australia is a customer-owned bank investing four per cent of its after-tax profits into an impact investment fund targeting issues that surveys showed were relevant to its customers.

These customer grants made up 10 per cent of the bank’s annual investment from its Impact Fund, which also supported a number of longer-term partnerships including The Big Issue, Human Rights Watch and a nature conservation reserve.

Another grant will help the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland plant a corridor of Birdwing Butterfly vine to conserve one of Australia’s largest and most vulnerable butterflies.

The project will plant more than 1,000 of the special vines that are the only place the butterfly can breed, in a corridor between Neurum and Samford, near Brisbane.

butterfly

Photo: Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland

The Richmond Birdwing is one of Australia’s largest butterflies, with a wingspan of up to 16 cms, and is currently listed as vulnerable due to clearing of its rainforest habitat.

Renewable energy, environmental conservation, family and gendered violence, reconciliation, disability inclusion, educational disadvantage and refugees were some of the issues the bank’s customers wanted addressed.

The customers were also represented on a bank committee making final decisions on projects to get funding.

In its three years to date, the grants have supported 32 Australian projects. In 2018, 12 projects have just been announced. They will share $110,000 from the bank “to create positive social and environmental change”.

These customer grants made up 10 per cent of the bank’s annual investment from its Impact Fund, which also supported a number of longer-term partnerships including The Big Issue, Human Rights Watch and a nature conservation reserve.



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