Macquarie Park Business Community Partnership
Find out how businesses in Macquarie Park are helping the community in which they work
In 2013, business leaders from Macquarie Business Park in Sydney’s northwest met to explore how they could collaborate to support their local community where they work, in the Ryde LGA.
Despite being in the shadow of high rise buildings, the surrounding communities were telling a different story. The sixteen suburbs of Ryde have a population of 116,302, with 42% of residents born overseas. There are more children in the Ryde LGA starting school at 21%, up from 18% in 2012, with poor communication and language being the main vulnerabilities. There is 68% of 15-19 year olds out of work, which is much higher than the state average.
In light of these challenges, these business leaders wanted to create a Partnership that could engage meaningfully in the communities where their businesses operate, and collaborate to leverage their expertise, networks and resources to improve the local community. The group determined the goal of the Partnership would be to focus on helping young people reach their potential, with particular emphasis on early learning and literacy, and youth transition to employment or further education.
They asked United Way Australia to help coordinate their efforts and the Macquarie Park Business Community Partnership was born. The Partnership, alongside United Way aims to optimise the role of families, learning environments and the extended community in guaranteeing that children and youth are on track for success.
In simple terms, together we strive to ensure children enter school ready to learn, and that young people leave school ready to succeed.
It takes entire communities working together to create community-based, comprehensive solutions that support children along the education continuum—from birth through primary school, into high school and onto their future careers. Families, schools, early care providers, government, service providers, business leaders and the community all have important roles to play.
With the support of the Macquarie Park Business Community Partnership, United Way has introduced Read, Learn, Succeed into the local community. Our early literacy program, delivering books to the homes of children each month, encouraging reading, bonding and early learning. Our goal is audacious, to increase our early literacy program from the current 700 enrolments to one thousand children by the year 2022. We then work with community partners with parent engagement and literacy wrap-around services.
Leveraging our immense business talent, we utilise corporate volunteers to mentor high school students through mock interviews, workshops and industry tours providing them with necessary skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Not only are we creating positive impact in the community, our corporate partners and employees find their involvement invaluable. By bringing passion, skills and vision to our efforts, focusing sights on the greater good, together, we accomplish far more. All of us bring our unique perspective, experience and enthusiasm to the cause, and that diversity is what we need to affect positive change on a large scale.
The unique nature of this initiative is the collaboration between business, community, government and education. Current business partners include Fuji Xerox Australia, Johnson & Johnson, Macquarie Telecom Group, Optus, Orix, and Ricoh.
Our annual fundraising events are the highlight of the Macquarie Park/North Ryde calendar. The annual Macquarie Park Community Walkathon includes 900+ participants from 16 businesses, competing in a treasure hunt around the Park concluding with a sausage sizzle on the lawns of Johnson & Johnson. It’s truly amazing to see so many individuals making a difference in the lives of local children. Similarly in 2019, the United Way Community Cup was launched with 12 teams in a friendly competition for bragging rights to the trophy and company pride.
If employee engagement, business networking and leadership development are important to your organisation, we invite you to be part of the change in your Macquarie Park/North Ryde community. Contact us here.
Walkathon video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SlfWS5oovA&t=1s