Mercy Family Services Toowoomba’s Community Action for Multicultural Society Program scooped the Community Business Awards at the 2012 Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Excellence Awards. Well over 600 guests attended including State and Federal Ministers, local MPs, regional business and industry leaders and regional councillors. Mercy Toowoomba was a triple winner being:
1. Finalist in the Government funded category
2. Winner in the Government funded Division
3. Winner Community Category (sponsored by Russell Mineral Equipment) and the 2012 Community Business Excellence Award winner.
The other nominees and competitors for the Community Business Award were: Blue Care South West QLD Region; Carers QLD; Careflight Rescue; Cerebral Palsy League; Clifford Park Special School; Community Housing Service Toowoomba; Condamine Alliance; Crime Stoppers; Endeavour Foundation; Friends of the Birth Centre; Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement; Group Dynamics;Highfields Better Business; Highfields Cultural Centre; Lifeline – Darling Downs & South West QLD; Metro Church; Multicap Disability Support; PCYC Toowoomba; Senior Citizens Highfields; Smithy’s Gym; Speaking from Experience; St John’s Ambulance (Qld); Toowoomba Food Cooperative.
The Chamber was delighted at the record number of 410 nominations for this year’s Awards. Applications were judged by a panel of 14 independent judges and nominees had to provide documentary evidence of successful business operations; products and services; planning goals and objectives; risk management and sustainability; customer service and marketing; business performance and improvements and innovation. The judges said ‘it took all day’ to judge the applications.
MFS Toowoomba background to the winning the Award
The CAMS program uses collaborative partnerships, strategic business planning and innovative programs to support growth in the services available for refugee and migrant settlers in the Toowoomba region.
CAMS business goals are to strengthen Toowoomba’s capacity for providing employment, education and business opportunities for new migrant and refugee communities and to maximise these communities’ capacity to participate in and contribute to the region’s prosperity. CAMS vision for the Toowoomba region is full, effective and productive participation by new refugee and migrant communities in the growth, health and wellbeing of all aspects of community life.
CAMS does this by connecting communities, agencies, employers and all government tiers in projects that support new refugee and migrant communities in building productive, healthy and sustainable lives. CAMS works within the ‘early intervention’ framework for delivery, a best practice approach in community development, which identifies problems as they emerge and takes early action to address them.
In the past last five years CAMS has developed a consortium of agencies that designs and deliver training for newly arrived families in key aspects of Australian life; developed and mentored a series of refugee and migrant settlement projects across a range of local organisations; provided governance training workshops; built multi-level ‘networks of expertise’ to increase cross-cultural skills and program delivery; published news, updates and funding information for agencies in south-east Queensland and facilitated the sourcing of program funding in the region.
CAMS is funded by the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs. The CAMS Program commenced at Mercy Family Services Toowoomba in 2007.