Award Winners

The Co-operative Leadership Awards were created to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives (IYC). 

This International Year of Co‐operatives has been about raising awareness of the important role of co-operatives and mutuals in many sectors of the Australian economy and gave us the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the importance of leadership to the success of our businesses.

Award Winners were announced at the 2012 Co-operative Leadership Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday, 25 October 2012, the closing night of the International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) National Conference, in Port Macquarie NSW.

The Award Winners are being featured in the media with the opportunity to publicise their co-operative or mutual organisations.

The winners received an inscribed plaque and opportunities throughout 2012-13 to represent the co-operative sector.

The 2012 Future Leaders Award (Youth) winner will also be named the 2012-13 Youth Co-operative Ambassador, encouraging other young Australians to participate in and support the growth of co-operatives and mutuals.

Browse the 2012 Co-operative Leadership Awards Gala Dinner Photo Gallery

Download Media Release - Co-ops serve up leadership feast with Australia's best known foodie Adobe PDF

Award Winners

Co-operative Leadership Legacy Award

The judges decided that because of the very different but outstanding contributions in this category to give two awards of equal status.

Leadership Ambassador Award

Joyce Clague, Patron, Woolitji Cooperative

Maggie Beer with Joyce Clague

Joyce’s hands-on contribution and leadership in the community has been exemplary.  She has played a significant and inspirational role in motivating and advancing Indigenous people’s lives.  Joyce has devoted her life to the co-operative movement especially in the context of Aboriginal heritage, employment and education.  Her work has included policy development and advocacy at the national and international level. 

Joyce is a fitting 2012 Ambassador for the Co-operative Movement in Australia.

Lasting Legacy Award

Dr Race Mathews, Senior Research Fellow (retired 1998), former MP and author

Dr Race Mathews with Maggie Beer

Race’s work has been at a high level of public office including many years as a politician, academic, author and advocate.  He has played a key role nationally and internationally to promote the Co-operative Movement.  Race has been an outstanding and outspoken intellectual voice in the advancement of co-operative principles and encouraging discourse about the value and benefits of co-operative business forms, including workers co-operatives.  His educational and mentoring achievements and his academic life in Australia and overseas have inspired many young co-operators.  His life’s work represents a highly valued legacy to the Co-operative Movement.

Future Leader of the Year

Steven Lynch, National Community Banking Manager, bankmecu

Steven Lynch

Steven has demonstrated a commitment to the co-operative model and co-operative principles in every aspect of his working life with bankmecu.  He has been an inspirational role model for other employees, where he has earned a leadership role even though he is the youngest member of the team. 

The judges had no hesitation in deciding that Steven’s ability and enthusiasm for the co-operative model makes him the right person to hold the role of Young Ambassador for the Co-operative Movement in Australia in 2013.  

Read an interview with Steven after his award win.

Highly Commended Certificates

Co-operative Leadership Award Category

Shirley Faram, Chair, South East Housing Co-operative Limited

Shirley Faram with Maggie Beer

Shirley has been instrumental in overseeing the success of the largest housing co-operative in Victoria, South East Housing Co-operative Limited.  Her dedication to her role as a voluntary Board member and chair of the Board, over many years, has been critical to the formation and survival of the housing co-operative sector. 

Future Leaders Category

Sarah Taylor and Kristy Walters

Sarah Taylor, Owner, White Circles Global Trading, working in Nepal

The judges were most impressed by the commitment and dedication of Sarah to commence and build a successful co-operative enterprise in a developing country environment, in Nepal.  Sarah is obviously a remarkable woman and has demonstrated great leadership qualities and business acumen in a relatively short time.  She has clearly embraced co-operative principles in the small village called Nangi in Nepal.

Kristy Walters, Director & campaigner, Friends of the Earth Co-operative

Kristy has embraced the co-operative model and applied co-operative principles to fundamental issues for the world, including education, food shortages and the environment.  In our view, she shows great promise as a future leader.

Notable Nominees

Co-operative Leadership Award Category

Bronwyn Bancroft, Director, Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, NSW

Bronwyn Bancroft

Bronwyn Bancroft is a full time artist, author, illustrator, mentor, and PHD candidate at the University of Western Sydney. Bronwyn consistently strives to bring her passion for equality, education, and community-based co-operation to the forefront of people's awareness.

Linda Seaborn, Board Member, Co-housing Co-operative, Tasmania

Linda Seaborn

Linda Seaborn became a founding member of the Cohousing Co-operative in Tasmania, in 1993. She speaks Spanish and has studied co-operatives abroad in Latin America. Her background is in community services and unions, and she's particularly interested in worker co-operatives.

Future Leaders Category

Janelle Christmass, Underwriting manager, Capricorn Mutual Ltd, WA

Janelle Christmass

Janelle has worked for Capricorn Mutual for the past 7 years and says she has gained experience in the Co-operative principles that mirror her own personal standards of the way in which business should be conducted.

Rachel Jackett, Associate Director, Tantrum Theatre Cooperative, NSW

Rachel Jackett

Rachel’s commitment to Tantrum Theatre Co-operative has helped build solid relationships with local communities. Her strong commitment to co-operative principles and values has seen her dedicate her time to working with people in the local community - particularly those with special needs.




Joyce Clague MBE
"Over the years, I have seen the birth of many co-operatives. We choose the co-o
"We choose the co-operative structure because we want to have an equal say, we want to share the responsibility and we want to work together to improve our living conditions and our life chances..."

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The IYC 2012 Secretariat is proudly supported by Social Business Australia and Capricorn Society Ltd

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