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Australians Moving Ahead With Yunus In Implementing Social Businesses

8th April, 2017

Australians Moving Ahead With Yunus In Implementing Social Businesses

Yunus Centre Press Release (08 April 2017)

Ministers, leaders of indigenous communities and Business Leaders looking forward to concrete actions

Melbourne 7 April 2017

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is in Australia to attend the first ever Australasian Social Business Forum in Melbourne and to hold a series of meetings with ministers, top government officials, business leaders, universities and media in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, to discuss social business as a way to tackle social challenges in Australia also how social business can form part of Australia's overseas development strategy for the region and beyond.

On Thursday, Professor Yunus opened the Australasia Social Business Forum organized by Grameen Australia and the Private Wealth Network which was held in Melbourne and attended by 380 participants from business, government and civil society. The theme of the of the conference was "Leading the Change" through the disruption of social business and saw exchange of experience of social businesses operating in Australia, and discussions on how social business can be expanded to become a more effective way to tackle the challenges facing Australian society.

Professor Yunus message was addressed mainly to the young people to move away from thinking about employment and move towards entrepreneurship. He said creativity is what drives human beings and only entrepreneurship can unleash that to fulfil each individuals potential to change his or her own life as well as the lives of others in society. He said this became even more pressing in the age of automation and growing use of robots and artificial intelligence.

Professor Yunus had meetings on the sidelines of the Forum with young social business entrepreneurs and visited the marketplace at the conference to speak with the entrepreneurs running 20 social businesses operating in Australia inspired by his principles.

In Sydney he held a meeting early on in his visit with Australian Finance Minister Scott Morrison MP to discuss social business as way to tackle youth unemployment, social problems faced by indigenous communities, and other social issues in Australia. The Minister who is already familiar with Professor Yunus' global work sought Professor Yunus advice on how to make Australia's programs for social inclusion more sustainable, inclusive and effective. They discussed several possible programs which will be followed up in collaboration with Professor Yunus.

Professor Yunus was also invited to the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra to launch their new International Development faculty as part of their Diplomatic Academy. He was part of a panel with Dr Duncan Green of LSE and Sally Moyle, CEO of CARE Australia to discuss how young diplomats can be trained to have maximum effectiveness especially in their aid programs for the rest of the world. Afterwards, he took part in discussion with the top officials of the Department to brainstorm about how social business can form a part of their overseas development assistance programs.

In Melbourne, and as a continuation of Canberra discussion he met with Foreign Minister Hon Julie Bishop MP who is interested to introduce social business into her overseas development programs for the Pacific region in particular for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands which have been struggling to make progress towards the UN SDGs. Ms Bishop and Professor Yunus discussed the possibility of creating a social business fund to invest into in those and other countries in the region to ensure optimal and repeated use of development aid resources.

Professor Yunus also visited and addressed students and faculty at University of New South Wales in Sydney, and La Trobe University at Melbourne, both of which have established Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBC) . He received a Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa at La Trobe University, and officially launched the YSBC which has been operating there since 2014.

He also participated in high level media events during his stay including in the most popular TV talk show "Q and A" with Tony Jones on ABC Network together with Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, and former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt , editor of the Australian newspaper Paul Kelley

During his visits to three cities, he was invited to meet with foundations, management consultancy firms, high networth individuals and others managing philanthropies who are looking to have a greater impact for the work they are doing to help the disadvantaged in Australia

Yunus was interviewed in the Radio Melbourne's live radio show "Conversation Hour with Jon Faine" .

Proefssor Yunus is proceeding to New Zealand and Queensland to attend more events.

Photo Caption 1: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today received Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Melbourne to discuss how social business's can be part if Australia's development assistance strategy for the region and beyond. Photo: Yunus Centre

Photo Caption 2: Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus was invited to meet with the Honorable Treasurer of Australia (Finance Minister) Scott Morrison to discuss how social business can be used to address challenges of social inclusion in Australia particularly those affecting the indigenous communities. Photo: Yunus Centre


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