Goulburn export livestock processor Southern Meats has received a significant community support award for its work in the field of employment.
The 2011 Mission Australia Employment Solutions Awards were presented at a gala dinner held in Sydney’s Le Montage, Iron Cove Bay last week.
The awards acknowledge businesses that have gone that extra mile to give an unemployed person a fair go.
Despite a three-month shutdown and change of ownership this year, Southern Meats in the NSW city of Goulbourn was honoured for its commitment to the community’s most needy.
The abattoir was named the NSW/ACT region winner of Mission Australia awards, beating dozens of other candidates including supermarket giant, Woolworths.
The award was accepted by Southern Meats’ Claire Graham.
Mission Australia first started working with Southern Meats 11 years ago, when the business was under the ownership of the Newton family, and has continued under new owners, Western Australian Meat Marketing Cooperative (WAMMCo) which took over in July.
The business has put on 40 job-seekers through the Mission Australia program this financial year alone.
Mission Australia’s commendation said Southern Meats had employed job seekers from a range of backgrounds including refugee and new arrival migrants, mature-aged workers who had been made redundant from other industries and early school leavers with little or no experience.
“Southern Meats stood out for its dedication in helping local job seekers turn their lives around,” an award commendation said.
A recent employee put on by Southern Meats told the dinner, “With all my knowledge and experience, this was the only employer willing to give me a chance after applying for over 180 jobs in six months and attending 40 interviews.”
The award also served to illustrate the critival role that meat processing companies play in providing employment across rural and regional Australia.
Mission Australia is a Christian community service organisation that has been transforming the lives of Australians in need for more than 150 years. Today the enterprise runs 550 community and employment services assisting more than 300,000 Australians by providing a hand up, a way forward and hope for the future. Mission Australia’s 3500 employees and 1700 volunteers work towards creating a fairer Australia by standing up for people in need and helping them to get back on track. The organisation strengthens families, empowers youth, and strives to solve homelessness and provide employment solutions for the underprivileged.