When Thomas Cooper used an old family recipe to brew his first batch of ale back in 1862, it sparked a legacy which not only led to the creation of Australia’s largest independent family-owned brewery, but, since 2006, the formation of the Coopers Brewery Foundation.
The Foundation aims to improve and protect the quality of life of Australians by providing support to charitable organisations with recognised strengths in medical research and health care, in youth education, aged care, and in fostering family and community support, based on Christian values.
The Patron of the Coopers Brewery Foundation is Living Choice Fullarton resident, Jo Cooper, who was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for services to philanthropy, and to the Anglican Church of Australia, in the King’s Birthday Honours on 12th June.
Jo is justifiably proud of the work the Foundation has achieved and is very grateful for the award as it highlights the company’s charitable efforts.
“Our family-owned company, Coopers Brewery, dates back to 1862 and is the largest Australian owned brewery. To that end we are committed to giving back to the community that has supported us, over 161 years, in a philanthropic way,” said Jo.
“The Foundation itself has a Board of Governors, chaired by our daughter Melanie who is also Company Secretary and Director of Finance within the Brewery. It was originally chaired by our son, Tim, present Managing Director of Coopers.
“Since 2006 we have given over $7 million to around 350 various Australian charities, selected by the Board of Governors, benefiting organisations caring for people in need. Our shareholders and employees are all generous supporters of the Foundation, for which we are grateful.”
Jo said she was also a passionate supporter, as was her late husband, of St. John’s Youth Services.
“This is a very worthy and well-run charity for young people experiencing homelessness. It falls under the banner of the Anglican Church, namely St John the Evangelist in Halifax Street, Adelaide. This charity not only provides a haven for young people, but also guides their clients out of poverty and homelessness, while mentoring them into gainful way of life, citing countless success stories,” added Jo.
Jo supports more than 100 charities, including the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Burnside Hospital Foundation, the Redlegs Foundation, the Clipper Ship of Adelaide and the Neurosurgical Research Foundation. She also supports the SALA Festival that is held at Living Choice Fullarton during the month of August, donating Coopers beer to the resident organisers for the official opening night every year.
Jo moved into Living Choice Fullarton in May 2015 and said it was one of the best decisions she had ever made. Everyone at Living Choice is very proud to have Jo living at the village – congratulations, Jo, on your very well-deserved Order of Australia award!