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International Year of Co-operatives 2012 e-newsletter

2 July 2013

In this issue

Dear Co-operator,
Celebrate your co-operative on our special day...


- International Co-operatives Day

- Food Co-ops eligible for new government grants


- Co-operatives National Law Update

- Graphic co-op novel book launch, 4 July, Sydney


- The Co-op outlines bold future from humble roots

- Co-op updates


- Community Energy Update

- CUFA gains new sponsor


- France to teach social economy to students

- Dispelling Co-operative Myths


- bankmecu wins Australasian Reporting Awards

- The Co-Op Shop blog: Social enterprise workshop

Latest Co-op News
ICA Flag

International Day of Co-operatives
"International Co-operative Day will be celebrated on July 6, 2013 with the theme 'Co-operative enterprise remains strong in times of crisis'. It is an apt theme when one considers how other forms of business measure up when faced with current global economic struggles."
             - Charles Gould, Director-General, International Co-operative Alliance
There's still time to plan an event. Find suggestions in our Co-operatives Toolkit from the International Year of Co-operatives.
Have something planned? We'd love to hear about it.

Food Co-operatives eligible for new government grants
National Food PlanThe Australian Government is investing $1.5 million in the Community Food Grants program, an initiative of the National Food Plan. Food co-ops may be eligible for up to $25,000 in grants, but be quick as applications close this Thursday, 4 July. Grant applications must be matched dollar for dollar in cash or equipment. Check your eligibility here and read further.
The grants program is ideal for co-operatives, with priority given to projects that can demonstrate a strong level of support in their local communities.
Community Food Grants FAQ.

Co-operatives National Law Update
Fair Trading     
Fair Trading NSW has issued an update on The Co-operatives National Law (CNL), extending the introduction of the CNL or alternative consistent legislation for States and Territories until May 2014. Fair Trading NSW has indicated that NSW and Victoria will most likely commence their new laws in 2013. 
Full information on CNL, as well as all public submissions on the drafted regulations, can be viewed at NSW Fair Trading
Subscribe and view previous updates here.

The Co-operative Revolution

Sydney Co-operators – Don't miss graphic co-op novel book launch, 4 July
Illustrator and political cartoonist Polyp will be in Sydney for the Australian book launch of the graphical novel The Co-operative Revolution, this Thursday, 6pm at Abbey's Bookshop, 131 York St.
Commissioned by The Co-operative in 2012 to celebrate the International Year of Co-ops, the novel tells the story of the co-op movement from its mid-nineteenth century historical beginnings in Rochdale England. This is an excellent resource for learning about co-operation in history and in nature – especially good introduction to the movement for teenagers and the young at heart.
View the digital version online here.

The Co-op outlines bold future from humble roots The Co-op outlines bold future from humble roots
The Co-op CEO, Peter Knock, discusses the recent rebranding of The University Co-op Bookshop to The Co-op and future directions in this short video interview with BRR Media.
The Co-op was started in 1958 by a group of students at the University of Sydney who wanted to make textbooks cheaper and more accessible. It is now Australia's largest member-owned retailer with over 1.7 million members and 50 stores across the nation.

Co-op updates
Ecovillage acquires land
Narara Ecovillage Co-operative celebrates the acquisition of 150 acres of land this month after buying the Gosford Horticultural Institute Site from the NSW Government.
The co-operative's vision is to create a sustainable living village that can be a model for others around the world. Narara Ecovillage will hold an open day for all interested on 20 July. Contact for more information.
Co-operative Home CareSocial care co-op launches
Australia has a new social care co-operative operating in domestic aged care services, based on the successful co-operative homecare models in the USA and UK.
Australian Independent Living Enterprise (AILE), operating as Co-operative Home Care, is owned by the care-givers, with the primary purpose of delivering benefit to the community through their services. As an employee owned co-operative, the members, who are also employees, have a vested interest in the performance of the organisation. Employees provide quality care necessary to facilitate the independent living goals of older Australians. In return the co-op provides high quality work, equitable pay conditions and career advancement opportunities.
AILE Coordinator, Robyn Kaczmarek, said the reinvention of community services is creating an opportunity to recognise the significance of existing social care co-ops and the potential for the development of new organisations.
Read more about AILE
The co-operative model is increasingly seen as ideal for public services delivery. Read a UK case study: Is employee ownership the future for social care?, The Guardian, 31 May 2013 

Solar PanelsCommunity Energy Update
The Coalition for Community Energy is leading a drive to assist community owned renewable projects through the development stages. You can follow the Fund Community Energy Campaign on Facebook.
Interested in the take up of solar renewable energy? See map of Solar Energy in Australia.

CUFA gains new sponsor
CUFAThe Credit Union Foundation Australia (CUFA) has a new sponsor in CPA Australia, one of the world's largest membership bodies, representing over 140,000 accountants and business leaders. CUFA's work involves developing and supporting financial co-operatives in communities that have little or no access to a financial institution.

France to teach social economy to students
French ministers have signed an agreement to introduce study on the social economy to the national school curriculum. The sector is an important one in France, producing 10% of national wealth and employing more than 10% of workers.
Read more: Learning about social economy at school, VITA Europe, 19 June 2013

The GuardianDispelling Co-operative Myths

The Guardian has published a series of articles explaining some common misunderstandings about co-operatives: 

bankmecu wins Australasian Reporting Awards
Congratulations to bankmecu, who last month were awarded the Specialist Category Online Reporting Award and the inaugural Special Award for Integrated Reporting at the Australasian Reporting Awards. The awards recognise effective communication of financial and business information.

The Co-Op Shop blog: social enterprise workshop for common good

The Co-op Shop blog is a new online 'workshop' – a place where people interested in social enterprise can find help and fresh opportunities. It will also feature inspiring stories and interviews with people who are imagining and building common good through social enterprise.

Upcoming Co-operative Events

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