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Optus awards 31 grants to reduce social isolation and reconnect disengaged youth in Australian communities
09 Dec 2010

Optus announced today that it has awarded close to $150,000 worth of funding to 31 not-for profit organisations that help to reduce social isolation and reconnect disengaged youth in communities across Australia. The annual Optus Connecting Communities Grants Program awards funding of up to $5,000 to each organisation, and is an essential part of Optus' Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Jann Kohlman, Group Manager of Optus Sponsorship and Community Programs said, "Optus connects millions of people across Australia everyday, it's what we do best, so assisting organisations who provide similar support on a physical and emotional level is a natural fit for us. Over the past three years, our grant scheme has helped to reconnect hundreds of people looking for support and guidance and to make a connection with people in a similar situation to themselves.

"The quality and breadth of this years applications shows there is a real need to support these community groups. We are committed to using this program to help build better communities and create positive change with the aim of engaging youth by removing barriers and connecting them with the benefits of technology," said Ms Kohlman.

The organisations awarded funding this year include:

Victoria: Baptcare Ltd, Berry Street Victoria Inc, Beyond Disability Inc, Big Brothers Big Sisters (Melbourne) Inc, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Cerebreal Palsy Support Network, City Life Inc, Cystic Fibrosis Victoria (CFV), Desert2Surf Limited, Disability Justice Advocacy Inc, Embrace Education, Kids Who Care Foundation, Somebody's, Daughter Theatre Inc and Wesley Mission Victoria.

New South Wales: Alzheimer's Australia NSW, Australian League of Immigration Volunteers, Autism Spectrum Australia, Hear For You Limited, Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services Inc., Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, OzGREEN, Parramatta Young Christian Workers, Reach Community Initiatives, Sir David Martin Foundation, Stewart House, The Australian Children's Music Foundation, The Children's Hospital at Westmead and The Exodus Foundation.

Queensland: BoysTown and Douglas Shire Community Services Associaiton Inc.

Western Australia: Wunan Foundation Inc.

In addition to the Community Grants Program, Optus is committed to positively contributing to community development through its financial giving, people, products and services by focusing on assisting disengaged young people and building social inclusion.

Optus would like to thank all organisations who submitted an application this year. For more information on the Optus Connecting Communities Grants Program and this years recipients please visit www.optus.com.au/community.

Media contact:
Siobhan Quinn
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 8082 8432
Optus Media Hotline: (02) 8082 7850