Big Co-op Conversations #1 - In From the Cold: Co-ops and Mutuals In the National Interest


The Theatre, Australian National Maritime Museum
Wharf 7 Darling Habour
Sydney, NSW 2000
12.45pm - 2.00pm
Event type: 
Free event
Contact person: 
Melina Morrison
Contact email:

FREE lunchtime conversation - three leaders from the co-operative and mutual sector talk about why the 'people-centred' approach to business is in the national interest.

Simon Holmes a Court, Chair Hepburn Wind; Louise Petschler, CEO Abacus - Australian Mutuals; and Colin Heavyside, Chairman Capricorn Society Ltd in conversation with business journalist and Walkley Winner, Anne Lampe.

The GFC showed the limitations of a business model predicated on short-termism and monopoly finance. The 'Red Tory, Blue Labour' debate in the UK suggests a new political consensus based on social reform and a macro-economic alternative that serves the needs of all; with co-ops and mutuals the star pupils of Big Society and devolution. Back home, there's a quieter evolution. After decades on the fringes of public perception the co-op is making a comeback. Communities have built modern, dynamic businesses in health and renewable energy; credit unions have been anointed the 'fifth pillar' for providing the banking market with its competitive dynamic; and our largest co-op businesses deliver reliably and profitably against a backdrop of market doom.

Video introduction by Bob Debus AM, Former Attorney-General and Minister for Co-operatives, New South Wales Presented by Australia’s Secretariat for the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

RSVP for lunch.




Bob Debus AM, Patron
Bob Debus AM, Patron IYC 2012
"People are looking for institutions they can trust. However [co-ops] strength is not only financial, it is ethical. Co-operatives are social businesses."

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

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