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Social Traders Awards highlight the sector’s resilience in 2020

14 December 2020 at 6:33 pm
Luke Michael
Westpac, John Holland and Fruit2Work are among the major award winners

Luke Michael | 14 December 2020 at 6:33 pm


Social Traders Awards highlight the sector’s resilience in 2020
14 December 2020 at 6:33 pm

Westpac, John Holland and Fruit2Work are among the major award winners

Australian corporates that have continued to push for social procurement in their organisations despite the difficulties of COVID-19 have been recognised at the Social Traders Awards. 

The awards celebrate organisations that have helped bring social procurement – the buying of goods and services from social enterprises – closer to the mainstream, and the social enterprise suppliers that have best adapted to the challenges of the pandemic. 

Joanne Kennett from Wespac won the Social Procurement Champion of the Year Award for her work creating sustainable relationships with social enterprise suppliers, while John Holland Group won the Social Procurement Big Spender Award for its engagement with social enterprises while working on projects like the Westgate Tunnel and Mernda Rail Extension.

The Social Enterprise of the Year Award went to Fruit2Work in the “Small” category and Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative in the “Large” category.  

Social Traders CEO Mike McKinstry congratulated the award winners and the entire sector for continuing to drive social procurement despite the unprecedented disruptions of COVID.

He said while many businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic, a lot of vital work has still been done. 

“Some of our award winners this year had demonstrated brilliant dedication before the pandemic, and they have gone up another level in terms of their commitment to keep delivering,” McKinstry said. 

“Equally, some of the work done by our buyers to promote social procurement internally within their business and enshrine it into policy is really important as we look to take social procurement closer to the mainstream economy over the next decade.

“That work is particularly important, as it sets a standard we can only hope the private sector more broadly will follow.”

McKinstry said many companies were now recognising social procurement as a way to help them meet the growing expectation for businesses to contribute positively to the communities they work in.

He said Social Traders’ goal was to see social procurement functioning as part of the mainstream economy by 2030.

“We had a lot of brilliant examples of innovation and adaptation amid the 70 nominations, and that is very encouraging,” he said. 

“While not all can win, the work done by all nominees is vital in driving social enterprise growth and impacting the lives of everyday Australians.” 

You can see the full list of winners below.

  • Social Enterprise of the Year (Small) – Fruit2Work
  • Social Enterprise of the Year (Large) – Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative
  • Social Enterprise Champion of the Year Award – Rebecca Scott (STREAT)
  • Social Procurement Partnership of the Year Award – Ability Works and Transurban
  • Social Procurement Big Spender Award – John Holland
  • Social Procurement Game Changer of the Year Award – Victorian government
  • Social Procurement Champion of the Year Award – Joanne Kennett (Westpac)
  • Business and Government Agency of the Year – CPB Contractors

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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