Ritchies Testimonials

Friends of Damper Creek

Friends of Damper Creek say Thank You!

Damper Creek is a natural and peaceful bush setting and walking track, dogs off-leash area, which covers an area of 11 hectares in Mt Waverley. Council and the Friends of Damper Creek Inc. have been restoring the creek environment since 1993.

The Friends of Damper Creek Inc. Mt Waverley wish to thank Ritchies IGA for their Community Benefits program from which the Friends have benefited by almost $2000 so far.

By using your free Ritchies Community Benefit card nominating The Friends of Damper Creek, the Friends can purchase trees and plants to assist with the restoration and maintenance of Damper Creek, a unique bushland remnant in the heart of suburbia for all to enjoy.

Their CB number is 95108.


Gene Ethics

Gene Ethics

Gene Ethics: working for a GM-free future

Gene Ethics works for a safer, more equitable and more sustainable GM-free society. All proposed uses of Genetically Manipulated (GM) crops and foods must be subject to the precautionary principle, scientific evidence and the law, to minimise their ethical, environmental, social, health and economic impacts.

We are a non-profit educational network of citizens and kindred groups who generate and distribute accurate information and analysis. Our education programs critically assess GM for the public, policy-makers and interest groups.

Please give your generous financial and practical support to Gene Ethics, to continue the GM-free work we began in 1988.

Gene Ethics

Gene Ethics

Level 2, 60 Leicester St, Carlton 3053

Tel: 1300 133 868 or 03 9347 4500/0449 769 066

Fax: 03 9341 8199

Email: [email protected]



Gippsland Base Hospital Auxiliary


A recent letter from the Gippsland Base Hospital Auxiliary asked me to pass on their thanks to Ritchies and to all those people who have nominated the hospital to receive a donation through Ritchies CommunityBenefit Card program.

Gippsland Base Hospital Auxiliary had received $15,034.50 at the end of October 2003.

A patient warming blanket worth over $3,000 and a refrigerator freezer for the Obstetrics Department are two of the items purchased by the Auxiliary. A total of 5 wards have already benefited from equipment purchased with the money raised through Ritchies Community Benefit Card program.

The most recent purchase was two Welch Allyn Monitors for the Surgical Ward at the Gippsland Base Hospital. The photo below shows members of the Gippsland Base Hospital Auxiliary trying the equipment out on one of our staff members. Hope he passed the test!!!

It is great to know that Ritchies Community Benefit Card program is having such a positive effect on the local communities in which we operate.

Ritchies Community Benefit Card saves you money on over 2,000 extra specials each week, while at the same time it donates 1% of the money you spend to the club, school or charity of your choice.

A patient warming blanket worth almost $3,000 and a refrigerator/freezer for the Obstetrics Department are just two of the items of equipment purchased by the members of Gippsland Base Hospital Auxiliary with the money received through the Ritchies Community Benefit Card program. They have been able to purchase equipment for five wards of the hospital with donations of almost $10,000 received to date (January 2003).

“Many thanks to Ritchies for this wonderful program. It’s so easy! We don’t really have to do anything but spend the money! And the Auxiliary ladies are happy that they don’t have to bake cakes any more, especially with all the new government regulations on safe food handling. We wouldn’t have been able to go anywhere near fulfilling the hospital’s ‘Wish List’ without Ritchies' Community Benefit Card program."
Vic Forrest,
Gippsland Base Hospital Auxiliary


Gippsland Health Service

Partnership Benefits Health Service

Pictured in the Emergency Department surrounded by items purchased with the support of Ritchies and the Friends
of the Central Gippsland Health Service are, from left at back, nurse Rosalie Walker and group members Amanda Duck,
Verna Pilgrim,  Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager Louise Vuillermin, and Iris Mitchell, while in front are Carmel
McManus, Ritchies Store manager at Maffra Colleen Phillips, and Elva Doolan-Jones.

Ritchies Store Manager at Maffra, Colleen Phillips, presented a plaque to commemorate its relationship with the Friends of Gippsland Health Service, which has seen donations in excess of $63,800 in the past few years.

Under the Ritchies Community Benefit Card Program a percentage of the money spent by Ritchies customers is donated to charity.

Locally, the Friends of Central Gippsland Health Service, formerly known as the GBH Auxiliary, has been one of the long term beneficiaries of the program.

The group supports the Health Service through the purchase of various items of equipment, one of the most recent being $20,000 for a range of equipment in the Emergency Department. The equipment included two emergency unit trolleys with IV poles and over bed tables, which cost some $8,000 each, and two ENT sets, including wall mounted monitoring systems.

Ms Phillips said it has been a wonderful partnership.

“Obviously many people are supportive of the work the Friends of Central Gippsland Health Service undertake and through that group the vital role of the Health Service,” she said.

“Those members of the community have nominated the Health Service, through the Friends, as their preferred charity. It gives all of us at Ritchies a thrill to see the community benefits that our program provides, especially the tangible and practical items that help people needing emergency care.”

Friends of Central Gippsland Health Service President, Elva Doolan-Jones, thanked Ritchies for its continuing support. “We raise money in a number of ways but the Ritchies donations provide a regular source of funds that we can allocate to equipment needed at the Health Service.”

If you would like to help Gippsland Hospital, you can nominate Friends of Central Gippsland Health Service when you apply for your free Ritchies Community Benefit Card.

Their CB number is 94523.


Greening Australia


Act Now or it will cost the earth

Ritchies Community Benefit Program helps keep Australia green!

FACT: Australia is the only developed nation in the world that is mega-diverse and can sustain a huge range of multiple life forms.
Carl Carthy, Greening Australia in Victoria's Chief Executive Officer, said, “As proud Aussies, we tend to rack up achievements at the rate of knots. We're famous worldwide for our success in sport, science, technology, the arts, food and fashion, but we need to turn our attention back home, where we are topping some much less honourable lists. Despite our mega-diversity, Australia has, embarrassingly, the worst record in the world for species extinction.


Greening Australia is the largest not-for-profit environmental organisation in Australia. We manage world-class environmental projects at all scales. We are farmer-friendly and science guided. For 25 years now, Greening Australia has been quietly working with farmers, landowners, community groups, land management agencies, schools and individuals, tackling critical issues like salinity, declining water quality, soil degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss head on. The sad truth is that Australia still faces extensive natural resource management challenges. There is still a very long way to go to save our country, but Greening Australia is working on projects every day to move towards solutions.

If you would like to help keep Australia Green, you can nominate Greening Australia when you apply for your free Ritchies Community Benefit Card.

Their CB number is 81171.


Griffith Can Assist

Ritchies - Can Assist!

South Gippsland Animal Aid

The Griffith branch of Can Assist is 24 yrs old, formerly known as Cancer Patient Assistant Society. Their role is to give direct assistance to financially traumatised local cancer patients.

In the photo are Margaret, Olga and Wilma who do a wonderful job within Can Assist.

Ritchies Community Benefit Program is the easiest way to raise funds for your local community group!

Help Can Assist! It's so easy! All you need to do is nominate them to be the recipient of a donation through Ritchies Community Benefit Program.

Their CB number is 80066.


Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs Logo

Update of Ritchies Sponsored Guide Dog Puppies


Guide Dogs provide vision impaired people with freedom and independence and carry the duty of ensuring that their vision impaired handler travels safely around the community. This job carries great responsibility, so prospective Guide Dogs must progress through an extensive selection and training process to ensure that they can safely guide a vision impaired person.

The selection process involves an intensive five day assessment during which the temperament of the dog is observed, and their reaction to different situations and stresses is scored. Dogs assessed as having excellent temperament required for Guide Dog work undertake five months training. Of the 130 puppies bred each year by Guide Dogs Victoria, about half are assessed as being suitable to go on to become Guide Dogs.

Each Guide Dog is provided to a vision impaired person free of charge, but will ultimately cost the association around $25,000.00 through the course of his working life. Ritchies Community Benefit Card program is a great opportunity for members of the community to support their favourite charity like Guide Dogs Victoria.

In 2002, Guide Dog Puppy ‘Ritchie' was born and named in thanks and recognition of the generosity of Ritchies' shoppers through Ritchies Community Benefit Card Program. When it came time for Ritchie to be assessed to continue on with his Guide Dog training, he unfortunately did not demonstrate the high level of confidence required for Guide Dog work and was reclassified. He has since gone on to become a family pet, whilst two of his siblings went on to become working Guide Dogs, and another went on to be a Companion Dog.



In honour of Ritchies CEO Mr Fred Harrison, Guide Dog Puppy ‘Freddy' was named. After his 12 months of Puppy Raising he came into Guide Dogs Victoria Kew Campus for his initial assessment. Freddy passed and spent five months in intensive training. Freddy graduated in December 2004 as a fully-fledged Guide Dog, which is a wonderful success story. This could not have been achieved without Ritchies support. Freddy was an exceptional Guide Dog and in February 2005 was carefully chosen by the Guide Dog Manager to further his ‘career' with our sister school in Japan - The Guide Dog and Service Dogs Association of Japan (GD&SDAJ). Guide Dogs Victoria has an excellent relationship with GD&SDAJ and has been supplying trained and untrained dogs to them for many years. Freddy was matched with a vision impaired person, enabling them to become independent by providing mobility and freedom many of us take for granted. It is expected Freddy will continue to be the guiding eyes for this person for many years to come.

Guide Dog Puppy ‘Kia' was one of 12 pups born on 1st February, 2005 to proud parents Nelson and Winsome. In October 2006, Kia was successful in her assessment and training and is now a qualified working Guide Dog. Now three and a half years old, Kia lives in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne with a vision impaired lady and is very much loved. Kia and her handler are about to head north to Queensland for the winter. Half their luck!

‘Buddy' was born on 16 November, 2007, of proud parents Jazz (min) and Herbie (Golden Retriever). Buddy is currently enjoying living with his volunteer Puppy Raising Family. Buddy is having fun exploring new places and understanding new commands. He is slowly being introduced to new environments, building his confidence inside small shops and cafes. Buddy's Puppy Raiser Advisor is very happy with his concentration and he is improving all the time. So far Buddy is doing very well and all are very impressed with how much he has grown and matured over the past six months.

Guide Dog Puppy ‘Victor' was born on 25 July, 2006. Having passed all his training and assessment, Victor graduated in April, 2008. Victor was carefully chosen for a middle aged vision impaired lady living in country Victoria. They make a well-matched Guide Dog team and Victor is her second Guide Dog. Victor is helping her become independent by providing the mobility and freedom that most of us take for granted. It is expected that Victor will continue to be her guiding eyes for many years to come.

Guide Dogs CB No. 90671


Hanwood Primary School

Hanwood Primary School says thanks to Ritchies!

Hanwood Primary School

Paul Sweeney, Principal of Hanwood Primary School wrote “Hanwood Primary School appreciates the generous donations that Ritchies IGA in Griffith Central provides.”

“Our school has found the extra funds to be critical in supporting both of our Literacy and Numeracy programs at the school.”

“Funds provided by Ritchies IGA are channeled into purchasing resources in both our 'Accelerated Literacy' and 'Count Me in Too' programs. These programs provide children with the opportunity to be extended and assisted in the curriculum. To date, these programs have produced excellent results and Ritchies IGA have assisted our school with their generous contribution.”

Pictured are Marisa Atkinson, Store Manager with Gaynor Castellaro (Assistant Principal) and her daughters, Ella and Ava who are students at the school.


Hastings Primary School

Thank you from Hastings Primary School!

Hastings Primary School was one of the first schools to be part of Ritchies Community Benefit Program.

They are so appreciative of how much Ritchies have given them and all the things they have been able to do with the money. They want to thank all those Community Benefit Cardholders who have nominated their school. They have received $49,702.78 to date (end March 2006).

The school has been able to install sails over the sandpit, a new bike cover area at the front of the school, improvements to the cycling and running track, a new laminating machine and other office equipment. They have an old oak tree which they have decked around, built seats and fenced it off for the students to chill out and get some shelter on hot days.

Is your school getting enough money from Ritchies Community Benefit Program? Many schools are receiving over $1,500 every month. Your school can too!

Help yourself to savings and help your favourite club, school or charity at the same time by shopping at Ritchies with your free Community Benefit Card today!


Heany Park Primary School

Heany Park


Technology is alive and well at Heany Park Primary School. The school recently established a 30 PC computer lab early in 2008 with Acer Veriton S460 computers, digital web cameras and the latest software. Students across the school now attend regular ICT specialist lessons with their classroom teacher. This room has been well received by the students, teachers and the school community. The establishment of the ICT Learning Centre was assisted by funds distributed from the IGA Community Benefits Program. In particular, the funds were used to provide the furniture, awnings, wiring and security for the room.

The 21st Century demands new approaches to learning, and we need to ensure that today's students are adequately prepared for an ever-changing digital environment. It is the role of teachers and schools to equip students for this life through a technology-rich experience at school, where students and teachers don't just learn about technology, they use it to achieve powerful learning and teaching outcomes. This has been achieved through the establishment of a new computer lab and the replacement of computers across the school at Heany Park Primary School.

Prior to 2008, the school had a number of computers between two classrooms, which made it difficult to train students and teachers to use ICT tools. Some of the equipment was reaching the end of it's working life. The School Council approved the leasing of 130 new computers for the school, including 30 for the ICT Learning Centre. Each computer pod between the classrooms now houses 6 new computers, and the ICT Learning Centre or lab is now equipped with the state of the art technology and a range of excellent software. The lab is fully timetabled throughout the week and involves a comprehensive program conducted by ICT specialist Mrs. Lisa Hill (pictured with the current ICT captains Jonathan and Gabrial). Already students have been learning how to use such programs as Kahootz 3, Kid Pix Deluxe 4, Expression Web for web page design and are learning to use blogs, wikis and emails. The school has a comprehensive Cyber Safety program to encourage all staff, students and the community to be Cyber Smart when using the internet. The SuperClubs Plus web site in particular, which was a State Government initiative, has been a hit with the Year 3 and 4 students in learning how to be safe on the internet as it is free of cost for this group.

The new ICT Learning Centre hopes to embark upon profiling digital movie making across the school with the use of digital movie cameras and video editing software. Heany Park Primary School is now showing the potential of ICT to enable powerful teaching and learning with the establishment of the ICT Learning Centre. See our school web site at www.heanyparkps.vic.edu.au and click on the ICT Learning Centre link to learn more about our school program.

Thank you to Ritchies IGA for forwarding the funds from the Community Benefits Program - as staff and students are now more equipped for life in the 21st century!

Lisa Hill - ICT specialist 2009.