We don’t know about you, but we’re in disbelief that 2018 is almost over. Before taking a break over the holiday season to reboot and prepare for 2019 we took a moment to reflect on some of the Stretton Centre’s milestones and achievements in 2018
Northern Adelaide Plains Food Cluster
This year the Stretton Centre collaborated with Primary Industries and Regions South Australia to deliver a project facilitating the development of an industry-led cluster.
To promote the establishment of a potential Northern Adelaide Plains Food Cluster, the Stretton Centre held an industry dinner promoting collaboration and the need to establish collective ownership of the region. The event was highly successful with 170 people in attendance which included an address by the Hon Tim Whetstone MP.
Following further consultation with stakeholders, a formal industry-led governance council has been established which is supported by a range of stakeholders including the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, TAFE SA and Ironwood Institute together with other Government stakeholders. The aim of the cluster is to improve the regional profile and support growth of local businesses.
The cluster is still in its infancy but we have big plans for 2019, including launching a website that celebrates the Northern Adelaide Plains. So make sure you follow the Facebook page to stay up-to-date.
Programs and events at the Stretton Centre
Once again the Stretton Centre delivered and hosted a range of programs and events supporting local job creation in Northern Adelaide under our sub-brand, Stretton Connect.
On Friday, 16 February thanks to the strong advocacy of the Hon Tony Piccolo MP the Young Entrepreneurs Program Pilot (YEPP) was officially launched by the former Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close. The program supports young entrepreneurs transform their innovative business idea into a productive venture or social enterprise through workshops and mentoring. The first round of YEPP participants graduated on Saturday, 17 November and we can’t wait to see what amazing things the participants achieve.
We launched our Connections Industry Breakfast with an insightful discussion on procurement opportunities within the $50 billion Future Submarine Program and how businesses can best position themselves to become a supplier with representatives from Naval Group Australia and SAGE Automation presenting on the topic.
We broadened our business support services through the Stretton Connect: NDIS Business Support Program which was launched in August 2018, with 18 businesses currently enrolled. The program is funded by the Government of South Australia’s Department for Industry and Skills and delivered in collaboration with the National Disability Services in order to support small businesses located in Northern Adelaide who are seeking to provide services to people with a disability through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The Playford Alive Local Heroes Awards was held at the Stretton Centre on Thursday, 18 October with over 100 people in attendance. Two businesses who were nominated by the Stretton Centre were successful in receiving a Playford Alive Local Heroes Award, congratulations to:
- Mas National for receiving the Best Training Program for Cycle of Change; and
- Pathways to Recovery for the Business Award recognising the outstanding efforts of a local Playford Alive contractor or business.
This year through the Stretton Fellowship which is funded by the South Australian Housing Authority we commissioned the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (SACES) to conduct a report on the value of social enterprises using two South Australian social enterprises as case studies. The report demonstrates the socio-economic value of social enterprises to the community and how social procurement can be a driver of growth in the industry, read the report here.
In 2018 we were a major partner of the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Thinkers in Residence: Social Capital program. Through this partnership we were able to connect with international experts on social innovation to hold a variety of events which included thinkers Dr Guy Turnbull, from the United Kingdom and Allyson Hewitt and Dr. Ilse Treurnicht from MaRS innovation district located in Canada.
Through our work it is clear social procurement can create a market for social enterprise businesses to grow and generate jobs for people who may find it difficult to enter the workforce through ‘traditional’ employment pathways. In 2019 we will continue to explore and advocate for greater social procurement in Northern Adelaide and South Australia.
Advocacy and Government Relations
The Stretton Centre plays an important role in the community, advocating on your behalf to Local, State and Federal Governments. Here are some of our achievements this year:
- Through advocacy to the State Government we were able to secure funding for the purchase of the first commercially available 3-D printers in Australia, which are located here in the City of Playford;
- Prepared and submitted nominations for the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) 2018 Excellence and Innovation Awards. The submission was successful with the City of Playford’s Prince George Plaza receiving a commendation award for ‘Creating value through growth category’;
- The City of Playford’s persistence was rewarded with the full electrification of the Gawler rail line thanks to their membership of the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) and continuous advocacy, lobbying and research from employees of the Stretton Centre and City of Playford; and
- Prepared the City of Playford’s Economic and Finance Committee Inquiry into Investment attraction (Northern Economic Plan) submission to the South Australian Parliament ensuring continual economic development for Adelaide’s Northern suburbs.
The Stretton Centre was officially opened over three years ago, however our building continues to be praised for its design, which is testament to the fantastic work of the team at Hassel responsible for the design. In July our building featured in an episode of Channel 10’s Australia by Design where the Stretton Centre was commended for its community minded design and awarded the 7th best architectural design in South Australia. Well done Hassel!