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Salvage Division - Donated Goods - Social Enterprises

Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 12 months ago

Timeline - Home Organisation


Social Enterprises (previously known as Community Enterprises and the Salvage division and the Donated Goods division), is involved in a range of business ventures.



Salvage Division set up as Australia's first large-scale recycled clothing operation at 75 Westgarth Street, Fitzroy with two vans collecting goods across Melbourne (slogan - “We treasure your waste”). Cartons and parcels from the country are carried free of charge on Victorian Railways.  Social workers have first call on donated clothing and the remainder sold through the Opportunity Shops to help finance the social service work.  “Sorting is carried out by groups of voluntary ladies.” (BSL Annual Report 1956-1957, p.7). 



Volunteers from groups including the Young Anglican Fellowship assist the Fitzroy Auxiliary in sorting clothing at the Salvage Division (BSL Annual Report 1957-1958 p.12)



Voluntary helpers in the Salvage Division set up and run a Theatrical Hiring Section as a fundraising innovation in addition to the introduction of sales of second-hand furniture at nominal prices (BSL Annual Report 1961-1962 p.12). 



Bendigo Salvage Division established in Hargreaves Street, Bendigo, administered by a local sub-committee appointed by the Bendigo Committee of Management.  Two ladies auxiliaries, Bendigo and Eaglehawk, assist in preparing goods for sale and helping to staff the shop (BSL Annual Report 1968-1969, p.12). 



Newsprint Salvage Division opened at West Heidelberg, a sheltered workshop processing newspapers and providing employment for rehabilitees from psychiatric hospitals (later renamed Laurence Industries).  Groups of young people from schools and churches collected the paper on a voluntary basis at the weekends. During the year patients from St Vincent’s Hospital, Larundel Psychiatric Hospital, Mont Park, the Clarendon Clinic, Plenty Hospital and the Repatriation Hospital, and referrals from council social workers have processed approximately 500 tons of newsprint for export or sale to local paper mills.  Fifteen participants in the project have now graduated to full time employment in the community and another 15 have been able to move from institutional care to boarding house accommodation (BSL Annual Report 1971-1972 p.1 & 6).



First regional salvage centre opened at 520 Centre Road, Bentleigh - a collection and selling point for donated goods, “featuring a small art gallery, an extensive area for books, antiques and bric-a-brac, a modern clothing department and a separate section for furniture and household goods” (BSL Annual Report 1971-1972 p.5).  



Salvage Division began a process for restoring good quality furniture in June, with sales expected at the Bentleigh and Fitzroy Furniture Shops.  It was anticipated that the new department eventually would be involved in stripping, upholstering, repairing, painting and polishing many items of furniture (BSL Annual Report 1973-1974, p.6). 


Salvage division relocated to 240 Lygon St, Brunswick 


Jerry Marshall donated his Richmond Textile Waste Company to the Salvage Division of the Brotherhood allowing unwearable clothing to be “sorted into as many as 30 categories for continued use in industry.  This has added well to revenue received as well as extending the Brotherhood into another important aspect of conservation of resource through recycling” (BSL Annual Report 1973-1974 p.6). 



Peninsula Salvage Division developed to collect clothing furniture and household goods south of the Patterson River in order to provide funds to meet the running costs of G.K. Tucker Park (Brotherhood Action June 1975 (No.208); Bennett, "GK Tucker Settlement - An historical record 1935-1995: 60 years with the Brotherhood of St Laurence at Carrum Downs", Limited Edition, p.55). 



Parkdale Shop opened in June, staffed entirely by members of the Auxiliary.  There were now nine auxiliary run shops, with another eleven auxiliaries helping to staff the three Salvage Division’s shops (BSL Annual Report 1977, p.3).



Melbourne Salvage moved to premises purchased in West Heidelberg, renamed Donated Goods Division.



The Fitzroy Auxiliary, founded in 1936 to open the Brotherhood’s first shop, disbanded.  The group continued to work for the Brotherhood as the Donated Goods Volunteers (BSL Annual Report 1981 - 82, p.11). 


The Glenroy, Mornington, City Shop and Dandenong auxiliaries disbanded and the auxiliary shop at Clayton was transferred to Donated Goods (BSL Annual Report 1982-83). 


Reorganising of Donated Goods Division leads to retrenchment of almost 100 workers. 



The Donated Goods Division downsized and relocated from West Heidelberg to Coolaroo (BSL Annual Report 1983-1984 p.10; BSL Annual Report 1984-1985 p.11).



Acquisition of Winnipeg Textiles, a Melbourne company exporting second-hand clothing and rag for recycling and the BSL’s major competitor in the export market for rag. Most of Winnipeg’s employees transferred to the Brotherhood and the business was integrated into the Donated Goods Division’s operation at Coolaroo. By increasing the throughput of goods from 4000 tonnes to 7500 tonnes, this made the Brotherhood operation the largest of its type in Australia.  October) (BSL Annual Report 1987-1988, p.13).



Peninsula Division’s autonomous Donated Goods Division handed over responsibility for the collection and sorting processes to Donated Goods Division Coolaroo.


Establishment of the Income & Business Development Directorate, bringing together the fundraising area, metropolitan retail shops and fundraising auxiliaries, the metropolitan Donated Goods Division and the Paper Recycling Division (BSL Annual Report 1988-1989, p.15). 


Following the acquisition of Winnipeg Textiles the Donated Goods Division‘s principal export markets were Italy, India, Pakistan, Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon islands and Fiji (BSL Annual Report 1988-1989, p.15). 



Change in management and operations at the Donated Goods Division (June) (BSL Annual Report 1990, p. 18). 


Responsibility for Viking Paper taken over by the Donated Goods Division (April)



Big Bin Opportunity Shop opened in Ballarat (the Central Highlands Region) as part of the Donated Goods Division to augment the operations of the Employment Action Centre (EAC) in Ballarat, working to provide training opportunities for EAC graduates and to raise funds for the Region.  Collections from eleven bins supplied the "Big Bin" and mobile shops or were sent directly to Coolaroo.  A feature was the Mobile Shop to take stock to country centres.



Due to significant turnaround of the Donated Goods Division in 1991-1992 (profit of $608,607 compared to previous year’s loss of $496,003) some services were expanded to meet the demands created by the recession.  “However, this excellent result was unfortunately overshadowed by the revelation of a major fraud perpetrated at Coolaroo involving additional income of approximately $250,000.  Police charges were laid against a former senior officer.” (BSL Annual Report 1992, pp.25). 


The Donated Goods Division moved from Coolaroo to new premises on the Hume Highway, Campbellfield. The move took place at the end of the financial year 1992-1993 (BSL Annual Report 1993, p.25).



The continuing recession and decrease in the income from commercial activities led to the retrenchment of 34 people from the Donated Goods Division’s factory in Campbellfield. (28 October 1993) (BSL Annual Report 1993 p.6). 


Reappraisal initiated of Donated Goods Division and shops to examine purpose and relationship to BSL’s mission, to report in 1994



The activities of the Barwon Region’s Donated Goods Division were combined with the management and sorting operations of Donated Goods at Campbellfield, with all stock being obtained from Campbellfield (BSL Annual Report 1994, p.26). 



The Central Highlands Regional Committee resolved in August to cease existence and a special implementation task force was set up to investigate alternative management options with appropriate agencies for services in the Central Highlands region.  Recommendations of the task force were accepted by the Board in December 1995 when local and community management of most services was achieved.  … The only services that did not continue were the Pixie Property Maintenance Service, the Employment Action Centre, the Training Unit and the Administration Unit.”  Not all services were transferred.  The Provincial Communities Enterprise Project and the Prevention of Youth Homelessness Project remained with the Brotherhood and management of the Donated Goods Division transferred to Campbellfield (BSL Annual Report 1996 p. 10).



The former Donated Goods and Retail arms of the Brotherhood were integrated into the Commercial Enterprises Department, with restructuring including a separation of the collection activities and the clothing processing operations (BSL Annual Report 1997 pp.2, 24). 



Joint venture commercial agreements were signed with Anglicare Canberra/Goulburn and Anglicare Border North East, for clothing collections within each respective region. These agreements to be reviewed in six months.  (December-January? OPS1-98)



Brotherhood Books, an online book store, begins (BSL Annual Report 2010, p. 22).


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