Community Engagement Program of the Year
June 1, 2018

By Cameron Lynch – Synergy Group

National Volunteering Week last week provided an opportunity to reflect on the valuable contributions of so many people in our community. I was humbled to present several awards to fellow Camp Quality volunteers to recognise 5, 15, 20 and 25 years of dedicated service to this fantastic charity. It was also inspiring to hear the worthy recipients of the ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards which is a fantastic event hosted by Volunteering and Contact ACT.

Tonight, I am honoured to attend the Australian Accounting Awards in Sydney, where Synergy is a national finalist for the Community Engagement Program of the Year. I am proud of what we have achieved over the past few years working with YouthCare Canberra and several other local charities and community groups.

Synergy’s goal in partnering with YouthCare Canberra was to build a stronger and sustainable organisation that could assist more Canberra youth living on the streets.  YCC appointed an additional youth care worker to double the impact the organisation is having on the lives of Canberra’s youth.

This has been a goal of ours since establishing Synergy’s partnership with YCC and was achieved through several initiatives. Synergy provides an annual donation and aims to double this with in kind contributions throughout the year by supporting YCC fundraisers and running our own events. This provides YCC with a stable financial position from which they can plan with more certainty given that they receive minimal (if any) government funding.

Synergy has achieved great things in a short space of time through several initiatives in addition to an annual donation, including:

  • Assisting the YCC Board to enhance the financial position and strategy of the organisation
  • Taking the lead to promote YCC to 800+ attendees and fundraise at the CPA Congress in Canberra each year
  • Selling thousands of dollars of raffle tickets at the YCC Cricket Luncheon and YCC Rugby Dinner
  • Running a Synergy Easter raffle and Christmas Raffle with all proceeds to YCC
  • Consuming plenty of chocolate each day as part of a Cadbury fundraiser with all profits to YCC.

Over the last year we have helped YCC raise over $50,000 to directly assist youth homelessness. We are constantly inspired by the success stories of YCC in helping homeless youth get their lives back on track and to become valued members of society.  The small but high impact team of outreach workers is led by the inspirational Zack Bryers, who was recently named 2018 ACT Young Australian of the Year.

We are excited to continue to help both financially and through staff engagement in the coming years.  Good luck to all the Finalists at tonight’s awards!