ABCN recently celebrated the end of another successful year with a number of interstate events generously hosted by our member companies – Commonwealth Bank in Sydney and Melbourne, Minter Ellison in Brisbane and KPMG in Perth.
Our newly appointed Chair, Helen Zimmerman flew in early on the morning of our Sydney event and addressed 150 guests at CBA’s city offices. We warmly welcome Helen in her new role, taking over from John Weber, former CEO of Minter Ellison, who chaired ABCN from 2013-2014.
2014 has been our largest and most ambitious year to date, with over 15,000 students from 220 schools around Australia participating in 432 programs and over 4,000 volunteers from member companies donating their time to mentor students and support our partner schools.
We welcomed seven new member companies this year – RedBalloon, MCI, Tata Consultancy Services, Bank of Queensland Specialist, Jetstar, Moore Stephens, and the Department of Defence who impressed many of our students by arriving in full uniform for their mentoring sessions.
Partner funding from the Federal Department of Education supported us to expand Aspirations, our Year 11 career-planning program, to new regional areas including Shepparton and Geelong in Victoria, Kalgoorlie in WA and Wollongong in NSW. KPMG, PwC and Commonwealth Bank have also been critical supporters of regional programs this year.
We were also the proud recipients of several new awards this year. In South Australia, we shared the Western Futures Large Business Category award with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the GOALS and Career Choice Day programs.
We were also honoured with three 2014 Global Best Awards for our Focus program. This year, in Brussels, Focus not only received the coveted overall Global Best Award for 2014, but also two awards within the Partnerships Crossing Boundaries category – acknowledging programs that create bridges between different socio-economic, cultural or demographic groups.
And finally, in a happy end to the year, we were thrilled to announce our 14 scholarship winners for 2014. We’re extremely grateful to the many donors who enable us to support these exceptional and very deserving young students as they embark on their Year 11 studies.