Major recycling award shines spotlight on IMPACT

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Bundaberg-based community organisation, IMPACT Community Services has been awarded for its efforts in providing job opportunities to Wide Bay workers with disability in Queensland’s annual Changemaker Awards.

IMPACT was named Small Operator of the Year alongside individuals, community groups and organisations from across Queensland at the 2023 Changemaker Awards held in Brisbane on Thursday, July 6.

Each year, the Changemaker Awards honour those making a difference in local communities by recycling through the Containers for Change scheme, which pays customers 10 cents for every eligible beverage container returned at a refund point.

IMPACT has been operating Container Refund Points in Bundaberg since 2018, driving the community to become a recycling leader resulting in a 54% increase in containers recycled from year to year.

IMPACT uses these refund points to provide greater opportunities for workers with disability, rostering these workers at all Container Refund Points so they can develop their skills while engaging with the broader community.

The organisation was also commended for its Container Refund Point at Qunaba, a self-sufficient and solar-powered facility making container refunds more convenient for residents in Bargara, Innes Park and Burnett Heads.

Team effort

Tanya O’Shea, Managing Director of IMPACT, shared her pride in her team following the award and attributed their success to a love for their local community.

“We are so proud to be recognised as Small Operator of the Year at the Change Maker Awards this year! This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and their love for our community,” said Mrs O’Shea.

“The people of our community are at the heart of what we do. If our staff feel included, they’re more likely to make our customers feel welcomed. By prioritising staff development and investing in our people, we foster a positive and engaged workplace culture that benefits everyone.”

Sustainable focus

IMPACT’s award helps shine a light on some of the best sustainability efforts in Queensland alongside other winners in nine different categories which were brought to life by leading sustainability not-for-profit organisation, Container Exchange.

Container Exchange Chief Executive Officer, Natalie Roach said the commitment and creativity highlighted in this year’s awards submissions was inspiring.

“The 2023 Changemaker Awards showcase just what a profound effect the Containers for Change scheme is having on the communities of Queensland,” said Ms Roach.

“We are continuing to see individuals, community groups, charities and organisations create change and drive social impact in their local community, simply by collecting and returning eligible containers through the scheme.

“I want to congratulate the winners and all our finalists from this year’s Changemaker Awards for not only creating positive change for their community but helping clean up the local environment. Those recognised truly are making great change for the future.”

Changemaker of the Year – Hearts of Purple, Gold Coast
Community Group or Charity of the Year – Hearts of Purple, Gold Coast
People’s Choice Operator of the Year – Anything Environmental, Paget
Young Changemaker of the Year – Hudson Magee, Brisbane; Holly and Charli Garrity, Brisbane
Refund Point Employee of the Year – Rhys Cobbo, Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Kingaroy
Sustainable Beverage Manufacturer of the Year – Mount Warning Beverage Company, Mt Warning NSW
Large Operator of the Year – Reef Recycling and Logistics, Townvsille
Medium Operator of the Year – Return ‘Em for Cash, Toowoomba
Small Operator of the Year – IMPACT Community Services, Bundaberg

In celebration of the 2023 Bundaberg Careers Expo, IMPACT Community Services is encouraging Bundaberg residents to stay up to date with upskilling and training opportunities by following our Facebook page ‘Training Bundaberg – Impact Community Services' for the opportunity to win a $50 WISH voucher (valid at a wide range of shops including Woolworths & Big W).

Winning is as easy as two simple steps!

Follow the Facebook page ‘Training Bundaberg – Impact Community Services’.

Leave a comment on the competition post answering the question ‘What training would you like to see available in Bundaberg?’*

The winner will be announced on Monday, May 29 via our Facebook page and contacted through messenger to arrange collection.

Terms & Conditions

  1. Anyone (except IMPACT staff and their immediate families) is eligible to win.
  2. The prize will be drawn on Monday, May 29.
  3. The Winner will be announced through the 'Training Bundaberg - Impact Community Services' Facebook page and also contacted via Facebook Messenger to arrange collection.
  4. The results will also be published on IMPACT's Facebook page.
  5. If the winner does not claim the prize within 2 weeks of being notified, the prize will be redrawn.
  6. This competition is run by IMPACT Community Services' Marketing team.
  7. For an entry to be valid, participants must follow the Facebook page 'Training Bundaberg - Impact Community Services' and leave a comment on the competition post on this page answering the question ‘What training would you like to see available in Bundaberg?’
  8. All steps must be followed to qualify as a valid winner.

When professional tennis coach Anton Hanssen decided to leave Melbourne and return to his old home-town of Bundaberg to be closer to family, he knew it was also time for a career change.

Having worked closely with tennis athletes of all abilities, Anton felt a calling to work in the disability sector.

For years, Anton has helped emerging tennis players reach their potential. Now, he sees a new pathway where he can empower those facing challenges in their day-to-day lives to grow and develop.

Completing his Certificate III in Individual Support at IMPACT Community Services in January 2022, Anton is prospering in the industry.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Anton said.

“It is so rewarding to work with people in the NDIS and be part of their journey.

“You need to be a lateral thinker to help create different ways so participants can find solutions that work for them.”

Anton is just one Bundaberg resident who has answered the urgent call for more care workers in this region.

A recent Care Workforce Labour Market Study, conducted by the National Skills Commission, found the care and support sector was facing significant staff shortages.

Those interested in learning more about work in the sector are encouraged to attend a Disability Sector Meet and Greet Day at IMPACT Community Services’ 108 Bargara Road headquarters on Wednesday, October 19.

There they will be able to talk with employers, current carers and meet with participants.

Local organisations Community Access Care, Care Right Associates and Community Lifestyle Support will be on-site to answer questions.

These organisations have partnered with IMPACT to address some of the challenges the industry currently faces.

IMPACT’s Employment and Training General Manager Nathan Spruce said IMPACT was focused on connecting people to productive employment pathways.

Mr Spruce said constructive relationships with industry partners was central to getting people into work in a sector where job opportunities were currently high.

IMPACT is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO code: 0115) that currently provides Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community, Disability).

There will also be a free sausage sizzle at the event, which runs from 10am to 1pm. For more information phone Michael Hayman on 4153 4233 or 0419 773 615.

IMPACT Community Services is encouraging residents to register a Containers for Change Scheme ID account and recycle their containers at either of our regional refund points to go into the draw to win a monthly $50 WISH voucher (valid at a wide range of shops including Woolworths & Big W).

Starting October 10, all customers with a Scheme ID who recycle their containers at either our Container Refund Point at 78 University Drive or new site at 417 Windermere Road, Qunaba can go into the draw.

Ensuring you’re in the draw is easy; simply fill out the entry form when you drop off your bottles.

To register a Scheme ID go to: Home | Containers for Change

People with an existing Scheme ID are able to participate.

Having a Scheme ID, makes things even easier to recycle.

When you provide your scheme ID barcode via your digital wallet or app, or your mobile number at the refund point, your refund will go directly into your preferred account - whether that's to your bank account, PayPal (no bank details required) or favourite cause.

IMPACT’s University Drive container refund point is open from 7.30am-4pm weekdays (last customer received at 3.30pm) and 8am-midday on Saturdays.

The Qunaba container refund point is open 8.30am-3.30pm weekdays and 9.30am-1.30pm Saturdays.

Terms & Conditions

Anyone (except IMPACT staff & their immediate families) is eligible to win.

Monthly prizes will be drawn on the first Tuesday of the following month Eg; October’s draw will be on the first Tuesday in November. 

Winners will be notified via the phone number provided on their entry form. 

The results will also be published on IMPACT’s Facebook page.

If the winner does not claim the prize within 4 weeks of being notified, the prize will be redrawn.  

This competition is run by IMPACT Community Service’s Marketing and Communications department.

All sections of the form must be completed in order for the entry to be valid.

Only one entry per visit.

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