ARA Group and Social Responsibility in 2021
Responsible leadership of an organisation in today’s world necessitates the allocation of some resources to assist those in our midst who are at a disadvantage. At ARA, we believe that it is possible to pursue profitable growth in the business whilst simultaneously making a positive social impact. Increasingly, our employees, our shareholders and our customers are demanding that ARA contributes to the community. ARA is evaluated in many circles in which we operate by the social impact the company makes.
We have made many significant commitments to make the world around us a better place. Although we have had a major focus on the arts and literature, there have been many parts of the community we have supported in times of need resulting from natural disasters in the past. We are proud in the past year to have taken on the following initiatives.
Sydney Writers Festival
Sydney Writers’ Festival is one of the world’s leading and most beloved literary institutions. It is a place for readers, writers and thinkers to share ideas, tell stories and celebrate literature.
Since the first Festival in 1997, they have brought thousands of diverse writers and thinkers from Australia and around the globe together in Sydney. In the company of the world’s best novelists, poets, journalists, public intellectuals, economists, politicians, podcasters and scientists, Sydney Writers Festival has discussed some of the most pressing issues of our times.
“The Sydney Writers’ Festival plays a vital role in developing Australia’s literary landscape. Through the generous financial support of ARA, the Sydney Writers’ Festival is able to engage more than 400 writers who take part in over 150 conversations, debates, performances and panel discussions.
For the audience of more than 80,000 people this is the opportunity to hear from writers they love, and connect with new ones. While literature remains at the heart of what the Sydney Writers’ Festival does, it is through the power of shared conversation and the exchange of ideas, that the Festival is able to connect with the community in a meaningful way. ARA’s support further expands to foster a deeper engagement with books and reading through the SWF outreach program, Russ the Story Bus. This initiative reaches over 8000 students from disadvantaged areas, giving them the chance to hear from an author in their school, and take a book home to keep. “
Brooke Webb, Chief Executive Officer
“Taronga Conservation Society Australia is truly grateful for the support from ARA Group. Our partnership has spanned well over a decade and we are excited to see how we can continue to work together. The support ARA provides allows Taronga to conduct vital conservation work – from breed for release programs bringing Regent Honeyeaters back from the brink of extinction to housing the largest coral bank in the world ready to return coral to the Great Barrier Reef, Taronga’s work is wide ranging. And, we thank ARA for their partnership which enables Taronga to continue to conduct this incredibly important conservation work both here and abroad.”
Cameron Kerr AO, Chief Executive
NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts)
“ARA is the Principal Partner for Property Services for the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) supporting the expenses of education and training for the Higher Education courses, conducted at its world class theatre and training facilities in Kensington, Sydney. The sponsorship also includes support of the ARA Indigenous scholarships which help fund the students’ living expenses while studying at NIDA.
The 2020 student ARA Indigenous scholarship recipients studied in the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Properties and Objects, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Technical Theatre and the Stage Management and Bachelor of Fine Arts, Costume course.”
Lisa Hamilton, Head of Development and Alumni
“We were delighted when ARA Group came on to support us this year. It is a truly enlightened corporate partnership: it’s not about sponsorship or branding, it’s about making a real difference in the community. Thanks to ARA, we are building the writing skills, confidence and creativity of hundreds more young people in under-resourced communities across Sydney. On behalf of all of them, thank you so much!”
Dr Catherine Keenan, AM Co-founder and executive director
“In March 2021, devastating floods hit widespread parts of NSW and Queensland, destroying homes and livelihoods. ARA Group’s donation of $100,000 to national online charity GIVIT meant that urgent material support could be provided to communities impacted. GIVIT works with frontline charities and community groups to ensure people get exactly what they need, when they needed it. From rural supplies for farmers whose properties had been destroyed, to vouchers for residents of a caravan park who had lost everything; ARA Group’s generous donation helped communities get back on their feet as they began their road to recovery.”
Caroline Odgers, Corporate Partnerships Manager
Monkey Baa Theatre
“ARA’s support of Monkey Baa, and its belief in children’s theatre, has been vital in our ability to traverse the devastating impacts of the global pandemic on the Arts sector. Your sponsorship will ensure that all children will continue to have the opportunity to experience immersive, live experiences that will broaden their perspectives, inspire their imaginations, and discover and develop hope… which now, more than ever, is so important for young hearts and minds.”
Eva Di Cesare, Artistic Director
Historical Novel Society Australasia
“Raising the profile of historical fiction in Australia and New Zealand has been the mission of the Historical Novel Society Australasia since its inception. It was serendipity and our good fortune to discover Edward Federman had the same vision. The ARA Group has supported our biennial conferences since 2017. The inauguration of the ARA Historical Novel Prize in 2020 has enabled talented historical novelists to be recognised and rewarded in a class of their own. The increase of prize monies to $100,000 this year has made it the richest genre prize in our region. We’re proud and grateful to partner with the ARA Group to establish this new award in the Australasian literary calendar.”
Elisabeth Storrs, HNSA Chair and Program Director
The Carrolup Story
“With your help, Curtin University is creating a permanent home for the precious Carrolup artworks, allowing their important lessons to be widely shared with our local, national and international communities and encouraging us to walk together towards a more just and inclusive future.”
Tim McInnis, Chief Advancement Officer Corporate Relations
ARA Pro Racing
“The steadfast and passionate support of the ARA Group to the Australian Cycling Academy and our ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team riders through what has been a challenging time for all; has been simply phenomenal. This support has enabled our young riders the confidence to continue to study, to train and compete at the elite level where possible. Amongst our standout results, two young local riders, Alistair MacKellar and Taj Jones secured World Tour contracts, Maeve Plouffe and Alastair Donohoe won selection to the Australian Tokyo 2020 Olympic team and our riders have won multiple podium results across Australia. On behalf of the team – we thank you!”
Ben Kersten, Managing Director ACA
Melbourne Writers Festival
“Melbourne Writers Festival is thrilled to welcome the ARA Group as its Principal Partner from 2021. ARA’s support is critical to Melbourne Writers Festival in the years ahead. Through the partnership, ARA supports writers from Australia and across the world. Together we celebrate creativity and shared storytelling which helps unite and connect the world. Thank you to Ed and the ARA team.”
Rebecca MacFarling, Chief Executive Officer
In 2009, we established the ARA Endowment Fund as part of our mission to create a lasting legacy of support for our community. Our goal is to grow the principal balance of the Fund and provide meaningful donations in perpetuity. The Fund is a registered Australian charity in its own right.
Every year, 100% of the annual interest earned on the Fund balance is donated to three select partnerships: The GO Foundation, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and The David Lynch Foundation.