Community investment: RAA

“Better for members, better for our community.”

Interview by BCCM
Photography by Sven Kovac (cover photo)

Royal Automobile Association (RAA) was founded in 1903 as a member-owned motor club to assist members with car maintenance and repairs, and to act as advocates for South Australian motorists. Since first forming, RAA has expanded its operations across home, motor and tourism insurance services and now serves over half of SA’s adult population. Community investment is a core part of RAA’s mission.

RAA’s ethos is embedded in its new company purpose statement “Better for members, better for our community”. Community is also ingrained across RAA’s four core values of "champion the member", "think beyond", "on the same side" and "do the right thing". Due to its wide reach across SA, RAA can deliver social good across the whole state.

RAA’s extensive community investment contributions include:

  • Road safety education to over 24,000 students, 83,000 learner drivers and 2,000 senior citizens, through programs such as Street Smart, keys2drive, License to Work, Safety Centre and Years Ahead.
  • Partnership with Sammy D Foundation on the impacts of bullying, violence and drug and alcohol misuse, as well as with the Tjindu Foundation to improve access to quality education for young Aboriginal people.
  • Advocacy for safety upgrades to road infrastructure.
  • $50,000 of grants to a vast range of grassroot causes, including safety and security of regional communities, social diversity and environmental sustainability.
  • $350,000 across a range of sponsorship programs, such as Foodbank SA, CFS Foundation and Regional Safety Grants.

RAA will continue to strive towards achieving better outcomes for the community. RAA plans to use the BCCM’s network to share ideas and understand how to optimise community investment.

RAA to create SA’s first electric vehicle (EV) charging network
RAA partnership with Foodbank SA

Left photo provided by RAA, right and cover photo by Sven Kovac

RAA to create SA’s first electric vehicle (EV) charging network

In February 2022, the RAA won a State Government grant of $12 million to create a state-wide network of EV charging points along highways and in regional cities, tourist destinations and Adelaide’s suburbs.

Over the next two years, with partner Chargefox, RAA will be installing 536 EV charging points at 140 new locations to create the state’s first EV charging network. More than three-quarters of the new charge points will be in regional SA.

As a mutual organisation representing more than 780,000 members, RAA is well placed to understand drivers’ needs and concerns and the barriers to the uptake of new technologies. RAA applied for the grant to facilitate the uptake of EVs, promote SA tourism and reduce greenhouse gases. RAA is committed to sustainability, a greener future and enhancing the future of South Australia.

Foodbank SA

During 2020-21, RAA completed a first full year of a partnership with Foodbank SA. The RAA Foodbank Mobile Food Hub distributed more than 116,370 meals to people in need.

The RAA Food Drive, which ran for a week in RAA shops and shopping centres throughout metropolitan Adelaide, saw RAA collect an incredible 311 kilograms of food donations. The Mobile Food Hub also received 13,000 meal donations through its pop-up locations, and $6,300 in donations from community members. More than 5,200 people received food support thanks to RAA.

According to an independent study, Foodbank’s food support not only addressed people’s immediate nutrition needs but also contributed to improvements in their health, emotional well-being, sense of self-worth, social relationships and overall standard of living.

Combined with the environmental savings of food not going to waste, the benefit to supported individuals and the broader community that flows from every kilogram of food distributed by Foodbank is valued at $23. Foodbank SA has calculated the social rate of return of RAA’s 2020-21 contribution to be more than $1.3 million.


This case study was published in the BCCM's 2022 National Mutual Economy (NME) Report.

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