Lutheran Care is thrilled to be a finalist in the 2023 South Australian Premier’s Business and Export Awards.
Considered ‘South Australia’s Business Night of Nights’, Lutheran Care is nominated for the Not-for-Profit Business of the Year award.
Lutheran Care Chief Executive Officer Rohan Feegrade says it is an honour for Lutheran Care to be nominated as a finalist alongside this field of highly respected South Australian businesses and other NFP sector organisations.
“It has been another year of significant growth and achievement for our organisation,” Mr Feegrade says. “Being named a finalist in these awards is a genuine acknowledgment for our hard-working and dedicated team for the work they do to support vulnerable people and communities every day.
“We’ve delivered new services, expanded existing services, built new partnerships and reimagined our service design, so we can continue evolving our programs and meet the increasing demand for our services in the face of the current cost of living and housing crisis.
“Over the past year, we provided Emergency Relief to almost 1700 clients via 3350 appointments. Half of these clients had not accessed the service before and just under 100 of those clients accessed Emergency Relief five or more times.
“We have not seen this level of need before which has required our team to be innovative and even more resourceful in the way we make our services available.”
Lutheran Care’s award nomination highlighted several projects demonstrating our innovative work in the sector. These include partnerships with:
- Renowned artist Andrew Baines and numerous notable ‘gold-painted’ South Australians for a living art installation in Rundle Mall, to raise awareness of the emergency state of homelessness and break down stereotypes.
- Six high schools to provide learning outcomes, volunteer opportunities and an understanding of disadvantage and challenges faced by individuals through Lutheran Care’s Emergency Relief program.
- Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to identify people eligible for compensation through the Northern Territory Youth Justice Class Action and provide free financial counselling.
- Zahra Foundation and Incompro Cultural Services for Aboriginal people to co-design culturally safe and respectful programs tailored to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people needing financial counselling or wellbeing support.
- Corporate Australia including Northpoint Toyota, Good360, Optus, Beyond Bank, Pernod Ricard, Michael Keelan and others to raise awareness of programs and inject funds to support Lutheran Care programs.
In the past 12 months, Lutheran Care has also expanded and diversified revenue streams, including the establishment of an additional Elcies Op Shop in Semaphore and the introduction of NDIS service Positive Behaviour Support to the organisation’s remit.
Along with Lutheran Care’s Fundraising Appeals, all areas of the business that generate revenue are reinvested back into our Emergency Relief services, supporting clients with food, clothing, Op Shop and grocery vouchers, wellbeing services and bill relief. This year our Op Shops have given away 40% more of much needed clothing and household items to people and families at risk of homelessness or fleeing crisis situations.
In addition to diversifying revenue streams, our Op shop teams are ensuring donations are being fully utilised (approximately 95%), with textile items unfit for sale reclaimed into patchwork quilts and tote bags; cut up to be sold as rags for commercial and household use; and copper wire stripped from broken electrical items on-sold to support our work.
Also highlighted in Lutheran Care’s nomination was the introduction of new programs including the Children’s Contact Service and Community Connections program to complement existing services in the Barossa, Light, Mid North and Adelaide Hills regions. It also emphasised Lutheran Care’s philanthropic partnerships with events and organisations that share its value of ‘Inclusion’, such as the Adelaide Fringe and the Reconciliation SA Breakfast.
Mr Feegrade says he hopes being part of the awards will lead to greater awareness of the important work Lutheran Care does in the community.
“We hope that people who are struggling know we are here to provide immediate help for people in crisis and ongoing support for people needing skills, strategies and connections to help them improve their own lives in the long term,” he says.
“Good luck to all the finalists and we look forward to attending the awards next month.”
The 2023 SA Premier’s Business and Export Awards will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday, September 22.
More than 250 organisations entered this year’s awards, submitting 600 nominations across 24 categories. For a full list of the 2023 finalists, visit the Business SA website.