Rachel Donnelly, A/Deputy Director, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, Department of Regional NSW

The Drop-In Centre project is a very successful initiative that has been driven by Ernst & Young since its inception in Kangaroo Valley in the immediate aftermath of the 19/20 bushfires.

EY developed a unique model that ensures service delivery is locally led, proactive and agile in responding to business needs. Through leveraging their networks, EY also secured additional pro-bono services and funding for community organisations and facilitated better coordination across state and federal government business support services.

The Drop-In Centres have delivered significant social and economic outcomes across the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and Snowy Monaro: 

  • To date, the Drop-In Centres have supported 563 businesses to access over $1.381 million in financial assistance.
  • The value of the emotional support and referrals to mental health services is much harder to quantify. Anecdotal evidence from businesses suggest this is significant.
  • The underlying emphasis of this project is to support communities to help themselves – giving them the skills and confidence to navigate their recovery.

 EY’s substantial pro-bono commitment to this project is to be commended.