Ardoch celebrates 20 years with Latitude

When: 6 Dec 2022

The 20-year anniversary of Ardoch’s partnership with Latitude Financial Services was marked with a celebration and presentation of a $20,000 cheque on Wednesday, 23 November. Hosting the special occasion at their offices in Melbourne’s Docklands, Latitude invited Ardoch staff and Board members, and their own current and former workplace volunteers to be part of the celebrations.

As both Ardoch and Latitude’s most enduring corporate partnership, we are incredibly grateful to the ongoing commitment from Latitude to support our programs through volunteering, sponsorship and financial backing.

“This partnership began back in our GE days and remains our longest-standing charity partnership in Australia,” said Latitude CFO, Paul Varro in his speech during the event.

“For us, this partnership truly brings to life one of Latitude’s core values, ‘Showing Care’ – where we strive to ask more of ourselves and unleash the power of our community. We’re extremely grateful to have a partner like Ardoch to work with on unleashing this power and in doing so, raise awareness of disadvantage in our community.”

To mark the significant milestone, Paul then presented a large cheque for $20,000 – symbolising every year of the partnership – which was gratefully received by Ardoch CEO, Lisa Jones who highlighted what this partnership truly represented.

“Thank you for the hours, the dollars, the commitment, the being there, the connections you’ve made with the children, the confidence you’ve helped nurture, the possibilities you’ve opened up, the sharing of your stories and the influence and shaping of theirs and being an integral part of ours,” said Lisa.

“Relationships create change. And the stronger the relationship, the more powerful the possibilities, and the greater the impact we can jointly achieve.”

The collective impact

 Longstanding partnerships such as this can’t simply be measured in dollars or volunteer hours alone. Everyone has a story of personal growth and fulfilment – from the students to the teachers, volunteers to the organisations. Each interaction strengthens commitment and confidence and demonstrates the true value in creating a community of care that can be transformative for all.

“This year has been my second as a Big Buddy, and it has been an immense privilege not only to take part in the program, but to see firsthand the impact it has on the students and teachers that are part of it,” said Paul.

“Since 2002, more than 2500 committed employees have volunteered over 19,000 hours to Ardoch programs. The success of the program has meant that over the years, our relationship has expanded to include other programs such as Learning Through Lunch, Numeracy Buddies, Mock Interviews, professional volunteering and sponsorships of corporate events.”

Adding further context of the impact Latitude’s involvement in Ardoch’s programs is having, Lisa shared recent feedback from teachers:

“The corporate days are beneficial for the students. When adults come into the school like this, it creates an awareness of a work culture, widens their world knowledge. They don’t see a lot of professional people really – the chance to talk to them is beneficial,” shared one teacher.

“There has been a huge improvement in literacy skills. At the beginning of the year students could write two lines. At the end of the year they are writing three to four pages. They can write a letter, they can be the most elaborate things. They are writing for a purpose, there is a huge relationship with the buddy. When the letters arrive from the buddies, you get mobbed. There are big spin-offs for literacy and numeracy especially, also socially and for self-esteem,” shared another.

This is the truest measure of impact, the positive change and the seeds of possibility planted in young hearts and minds.

“Everyone here at Latitude is incredibly proud of the longevity of our relationship with Ardoch and the impact we have had together empowering children through education and connecting vulnerable children to working role models,” said Paul.

Thank you to Latitude and its workplace volunteers both past and present for giving, being there and showing care. We look forward to another 20 years of this significant relationship and continuing to have extraordinary impact.


If you would like to get involved in our workplace volunteering or learn how to become a partner with Ardoch, please see our Corporate Hub.