The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals – the sector body for Australian co-ops – has organised a study visit to the UK.
It says the tour is “a unique opportunity to learn about mutuals and co-operatives and how successive UK governments have incorporated member ownership in the delivery of health and human services to increase diversity and choice in the market, improve the quality and productivity of services and create better jobs.”
The visit, from 17-28 September, will look at issues such as social enterprise, health and social care, employee ownership and housing.
It will include meetings with Social Enterprise UK and the John Lewis Partnership in London, and visits to the Co-op Group, The Federation and Co-operatives UK in Manchester, as well as Rochdale Pioneers Museum.
There will be site visits to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Salford Community Leisure Centre, Aspire Mutual, Central Surrey Health, Hackney Community Transport, Greenwich leisure provider GLL, Surbiton-based Your Health Care and Community Dental Services in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire.
And the delegates will meet with academics and government policymakers, with visits to the London School of Economics to discuss the UK Mutuals Programme, the Centre for Enterprise & Economic Development at Middlesex University, and the UK government’s Mutuals Programme.
The visit also includes meetings with Adrian Roper, chief executive of Cartrefi Cymru, and Graeme Nuttall, who led a 2012 review of employee ownership.