The BCCM was formed in 2013 as a legacy of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives. As Australia’s first peak body for co-operatives and mutuals in all industries, we are proud of how far we have come in our short history. Our strategy of uniting the sector has delivered outstanding results for all Australian co-ops and mutuals.


Timeline of achievements


The BCCM starts Federal Government funded 2.5 year social care project to help improve the quality and diversity of services provided to older Australians, people living with disability and veterans around the nation.

The BCCM announces new Sustainability Strategy for Co-operatives and Mutuals course designed to help co-operatives and mutuals implement the Co-operatives and Mutuals Climate Policy.



The BCCM presents its budget submission to Treasury, calling for the Federal Budget to restore confidence and a clear plan for navigating the economic challenges of the COVID pandemic.

We also present our 2022 policy blueprint before the federal election and state-specific policy blueprints for New South Wales and Victoria ahead of the state elections.

Our housing blueprint is released, highlighting the housing crisis solutions that co-operative housing models offer.

The BCCM calls for “an all-in commitment” to tackling climate change and launching a Declaration of Climate Action at the 2022 Leaders’ Summit.

The BCCM launches the first industry Principles, Code of Conduct and Good Practices for Australian Discretionary Mutual Funds.

The BCCM secures amendments to the Franchising Code to exempt co-operatives to ensure a less costly and more appropriate operating environment for buying group co-ops.

The BCCM calls for a National Co-operative Disaster Recovery Centre of Excellence to be set up in Lismore in the aftermath of record-breaking floods in NSW and Queensland. It also works with the Australian Mutuals Fund to raise over $210,000 for small grants for co-ops and community organisations in flood-affected areas.

Co-operatives and mutuals are a key focus of Budget funding for aged care innovation, with $6.9 million in funding for the BCCM to deliver a Mutual Support Program announced in the 2022/23 Budget.

The first NSW Parliamentary Friends of Co-operatives and Mutuals is launched.

Federal Labor commits to ensuring co-ops and mutuals could access the $15b National Reconstruction Fund. After Labor forms government, the BCCM continues working with the new cabinet on this policy and other enabling policies.

The BCCM is invited to participate in an industry roundtable for the federal government’s jobs and skills summit. New research shows that “co-ops and mutuals had returned a larger share of their income to labour than other businesses”.


The BCCM releases the ninth annual National Mutual Economy (NME) Report.

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, BCCM research reveals the number of females at the helm of Australia’s top co-operatives and mutuals increased five-fold over the past five years, outstripping progress on gender diversity among top ASX 200 companies.


The BCCM are leaders in industry education and training for co-ops and mutuals, offering a wide range of professional education for co-operative and mutual directors, executives and employees. The BCCM hold 10 Introduction to Co-operatives and Mutuals induction courses throughout the year and launches the Innovation Masterclass.

The BCCM secures $10,000 in annual bursaries for co-operative education courses sponsored through the Australian Mutuals Foundation.

Networking and events

Forty CEOs attend the inaugural CEO Summit, “Vision for growth – bigger markets, better CMEs”, for a roundtable discussion on pathways for growing the sector.

The Resilience Dinner returns after the disruption of lockdown, giving more than 100 leaders a chance to come together and celebrate the remarkable stories of courage and service in the face of devastating floods and natural disasters.

Special projects

The Bunya Fund launches as Australia’s first co-operative development fund with inital funding of $137k from four BCCM funders – Australian Unity, Bank Australia, CBH Group and CoPower. The Bunya Fund will help fund support and advice for the next generation of high-impact co-ops and mutuals.

A landmark Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) program launches aimed at positioning the sector to take the lead in a new era of impact and sustainability.

Along with members and our research partner, Monash University, the BCCM launches a digital dashboard for MVM© that will enable more members to integrate the measurement framework, better communicate with their members and gain powerful strategic insights.


The BCCM releases the 8th annual state of the sector report, the National Mutual Economy (NME) Report. Published every year since 2014, the NME Report maps the size and contribution of Australia’s co-operative and mutual business sector. It provides a longitudinal picture of the health and performance of co-ops and mutuals compared to other business sectors.

BCCM develops the first CPD course on co-operatives for accountants and legal practitioners.

BCCM develops the first induction course about co-ops and mutuals for employees.

BCCM launches the Mutual Value Mark – for CMEs, MVM Accreditation™ is a mark of quality, and an acknowledgment of their profound commitment to the ongoing promotion and creation of mutual value for their members and their community. Four BCCM members achieve MVM Accreditation™ in the 12 months following its launch: Civic Risk Mutual, Futurity Investment Group, Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative and StateCover.

Following a concerted advocacy campaign by the BCCM, the Queensland Government passes Co-operatives National Law becoming the final State to do so and finalising the full harmonisation of the legislative scheme for Australian co-operatives.

Following the BCCM advocacy, the Commonwealth includes co-operatives with other business structures on www.business.gov.au.

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and the BCCM signed an MOU so ACSA members (non-profit aged care providers) can discover more about the attributes and benefits of co-operative and mutual enterprises models of caregiving.

The BCCM calls for the co-operative and mutual sector to be included in national resilience and recovery planning, following the release of its Primary Producer Co-operatives: the beating heart of community resilience and recovery report.

The BCCM appears at a public hearing for the Inquiry into Housing Affordability and Supply in Australia, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue

The BCCM launches the second season of its successful podcast series Meet the Co-op Farmers.

Advocacy by the BCCM contributes to the Federal Government announcing $7.3m in grant funding for industry-led workforce projects to address the challenges of attracting and retaining agricultural labour.

The BCCM issues a new report, Doing Business Together, which was the result of a major research project looking at the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in co-operative and mutual businesses.

The BCCM updates its policy Blueprint for an Enterprising Nation. A strong economy: It’s every Australian’s business is the BCCM’s policy platform for government to support a strong economy with a diversity of business models including a strong co-operative and mutual sector.

The BCCM unveil a new look and tagline to reflect our growth, professionalism and values. Our new website infrastructure includes a member-only site where members can access additional resources and support.


First MCIs
BCCM congratulates Australian Unity on becoming Australia’s first mutual to issue Mutual Capital Instruments (MCI). Australian Unity Limited announced an offer of Australian Unity Mutual Capital Instruments to raise $100 million on Friday (November 27, 2020).

Resilience Report
BCCM releases the Resilience Report to highlight the strength of Australia’s co-operatives and mutuals in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-operative Farming
This 18-month project supports Australian primary producers to form new co-operatives, as well as fostered the resilience and growth of developing farming co-operatives. Co-operative Farming was supported by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment through the Australian Government’s Starting Farm Co-operatives Program.


BCCM welcomes landmark changes for mutuals
In April 2019, the Federal Parliament passed landmark legislation for mutuals. These are the first amendments to the Corporations Act for 18 years that relate to our sector and open up a number of new opportunities for Federally registered co-operatives and mutual businesses to grow whilst safeguarding mutuality for future generations. The BCCM was at the forefront in advocating and developing this new law.

Government announces BCCM will receive $2.5 million and Southern Cross University $500,000 to help farmers, fishers and foresters establish and grow farm co-ops and other collaborative business models that can boost farm gate returns.

Launch of the Mutual Value Measurement
The MVM research study led to the development of a framework that helps the CME sector measure their total value creation through a set of common dimensions.

Mutual Reforms Bill
The Mutual Reforms Bill amended the Corporations Act so that mutuals and co-operatives can issue investment capital without demutualising, that passed into law on the 5th April 2019.

First AICD course
The first AICD course – Foundations of Directorship for CMEs


The BCCM reaches 50 members milestone – and growing!

Co-operative Farming funded
Government announces that the BCCM will receive $2.5 million and Southern Cross University $500,000 to help farmers, fishers and foresters establish and grow farm co-ops and other collaborative business models that can boost farm gate returns.


Establishing the Parliamentary Friends of Mutuals and Co-operatives.

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Melina Morrison and Dr Andrew Leigh

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Melina Morrison and Dr Andrew Leigh


The Hammond Review into access to capital.

Senator Bridget Mckenzie, RHS; Greg Hammond OAM; The Hon. Scott Morrison; Wendy Machin, Chair, COBA; Melina Morrison, CEO, BCCM

Senator Bridget Mckenzie, RHS; Greg Hammond OAM; The Hon. Scott Morrison; Wendy Machin, Chair, COBA; Melina Morrison, CEO, BCCM


BCCM launches annual Recognition Awards for outstanding service to the sector.

BCCM Hall of Fame Inductees received a handcrafted BCCM pin.

BCCM Hall of Fame Inductees received a handcrafted pin


ICA Global Board
Global board of the International Co-operative Alliance meets in Australia for the first time in 100 years.

Farming Together Program
Working with agricultural co-ops to secure the $14 million Farming Together Program.

Senate inquiry into Co-ops, Mutuals and Member-owned firms
On 17 March, the Senate’s Economics References Committee handed-down their report into their examination into the role, importance, and overall performance of co-operative, mutual and member-owned firms, which has received strong industry endorsement as a roadmap to begin to level the playing field for the sector.

Nick Xenophon (co-proposer) and Bridget McKenzie (co-proposer) flank Chris Ketter (chair) of the Senate inquiry into Cooperatives, Mutuals and Member-owned Firms

Nick Xenophon (co-proposer) and Bridget McKenzie (co-proposer) flank Chris Ketter (chair) of the Senate inquiry into Cooperatives, Mutuals and Member-owned Firms


The BCCM forms National Chairs’ Forum

National Chairs Forum

The BCCM holds a CME 100 Chairs’ Forum bi-annually, bringing together the Chairs of co-operative and mutual enterprises to discuss issues facing the sector and the economy more broadly. The National Chairs’ Forum has focussed on the development of governance principles for member-owned enterprises.


Get Mutual
BCCM launches Get Mutual, a free resources website.


The BCCM Leaders’ Summit
Establishes the Annual National CME Leader’s Summit. BCCM holds the first National Leaders’ Summit and the Taste of Australia Industry Dinner is born.


Sector reports
The BCCM releases the first sector Blueprint and the National Mutual Economy Report.


B20 Group
Chair of the BCCM, Dr Andrew Crane is the first co-operative CEO appointed to the B20 Group advising the G20 nations.


Co-operatives National Law
The roll-out of Co-operatives National Law to reduce regulatory costs, provide co-ops with flexibility in accessing capital and reduce administrative burden of having to register in multiple jurisdictions.


Formation of the BCCM
The BCCM is formed as a legacy of the International Year of Co-operatives. It is Australia’s first national peak body for co-ops and mutuals.

Tony Stuart, Group CEO NRMA, Greg Wall, Group CEO Capricorn, Damien Walsh, CEO bankmecu, John McInerney, MD Common Equity Housing Ltd, Andrew Crane, CEO CBH Group, Peter Knock, CEO The Co-op, Melina Morrison, CEO BCCM

Inaugural Board: Tony Stuart, Group CEO NRMA, Greg Wall, Group CEO Capricorn, Damien Walsh, CEO bankmecu, John McInerney, MD Common Equity Housing Ltd, Andrew Crane, CEO CBH Group, Peter Knock, CEO The Co-op, Melina Morrison, CEO BCCM


ICA Board

Greg Wall

BCCM Inaugural Chair, Greg Wall, is appointed to the Board of the International Co-operative Alliance.


International Year of Co-operatives 

International Year of Co-operatives 2012 Coin

National committee forms to coordinate the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives in Australia.


Stories.coop logo

BCCM plays an integral role in the design and development of Stories.coop – a collection of co-op

Social Business Australia forms assisted by Capricorn Society Ltd. It’s the beginning of a movement to establish a permanent representative body for co-ops and mutuals in Australia.