Communications & Media

Smooth co-operators step up after GFC

Claire Dunn, Sydney Morning Herald | 3 December  2012 Play the best blackjack sport outside of the casino with!

How can co-operative enterprises build a better world? That was the question at the National Co-operatives Conference held in Port Macquarie recently as part of the 2012 United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

Drawing 250 delegates from co-operatives spanning agriculture, retail, credit unions, building societies, housing, medical practices, automobile associations and renewable energy projects, the conference celebrated the achievements of the co-operative structure in Australia and made plans to develop the sector beyond 2012.

The director of the Australian Secretariat for the International Year of the Co-operative, Melina Morrison, said the conference message was clear – co-operatives are one of the fastest growing modes of business, and are playing an increasingly vital role in the post-GFC economy.

The first challenge, Melina said, lies in better communicating the benefits of belonging to a co-operative.

“Because co-operatives don’t have large advertising budgets, they deliver good value for money to their members but often fail to communicate them. For example, an average mortgage with a building society or credit union costs about $75,000 less over the life of the loan than if it was taken out with a commercial bank.”

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Our Time to Shine

The co-operative business model could bring more benefit to regional Australia. Melina Morrison talks about the International Year of the Co-op. Play ABC Country Hour podcast


Dame Pauline Green is the first woman President of the International Co-operative Alliance in its 116 year history. Elected in 2009 at the General Assembly, Pauline argued that the time is right for radical change in the priorities of the ICA, and called on members to rally to help her achieve the sort of global body that the size and reach of the movement deserves.

Dame Pauline Green’s blog, Humanitus, follows her International Co-operative Year journey.

Humanitus is defined as a manner becoming mankind – it is derived from the latin word ‘humanus’ meaning; pertaining to mankind, humane, cultured. My passion – from my years as a European politician to my leadership roles in the co-operative sector, has been to remain close to the lives of the people I am representing. In politics, elected by the people, to act in their interests through political action. In my co-operative life representing our members, by helping to build people centred businesses. To me these are both real democracy in action.

Read Dame Pauline Green’s blog, Humanitus
Read Dame is the world’s first global, digital campaign to spread the benefits of cooperation through the tradition of story-telling.

Stories connect people through the power of words and the power of pictures.

Stories tell the facts and they connect to our emotions, so your story of cooperation can make a lasting impact. delivers the UN’s message “Cooperative enterprises build a better world” to the global public in International Year of Cooperatives  2012.

Social Business Australia

Social Business Australia (SBA) was created in 2009 to assist all forms of social business to develop and grow in the competitive environment of the real economy. SBA provides a platform for developments in the national and international social business movement to be shared with the Australian business community, the public and the media. We encourage debate and discussion on the merits of moving to a more values-based mixed economy.

Future Leaders – iCooperate


iCooperate is a global campaign for members of co-operatives to identify themselves and share their stories in the lead up to the International Day of Co-operatives (July 7) and beyond.

Just as ants co-operate on a massive scale to the betterment of their communities, so do co-operatives work to the benefit of their members – making the ant a fitting mascot for co-operative business.

Ants are organized, work together and get the job done – all while providing for their communities.

There are several easy ways to get behind iCooperate and share your co-operative story…


Follow the Ants on twitter @iCooperate and simply post “I Co-operate because…”

Follow the Ants on twitter @iCooperateand simply post “I Co-operate because…”

Remember to use the #coops2012 tag.


Follow @icooperate and share your co-operative snaps using the tags #antlove and #coops2012.

The most creative, quirky and inspiring images will feature on ‘story of the day’ and


Finally, if you are a Twitter user you can add the ant twibbon to your avatar – an identifying emblem for co-operatives everywhere! Add the twibbon here

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