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Social Entrepreneur of the Year -Noel Pearson

4 April 2002 at 1:04 pm
Staff Reporter
Aboriginal leader, Noel Pearson has been named the Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Australia/ New Zealand Social Entrepreneurs Network.

Staff Reporter | 4 April 2002 at 1:04 pm


Social Entrepreneur of the Year -Noel Pearson
4 April 2002 at 1:04 pm

Aboriginal leader, Noel Pearson has been named the Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Australia/ New Zealand Social Entrepreneurs Network.

The inaugural award announced at the Social Entrepreneurs Network ‘Working at the Sharp End’ conference, recognises and celebrates Pearson’s work with Cape York Partnerships.

The presentation was made by Lyn McClelland, the Head of the AMP Foundation and a major sponsor of the SEN awards. (pictured Noel 2)

Noel Pearson describes social entrepreneurship amongst marginalised people in Australia as ‘work in early progress’.

In his address to the conference Pearson said that in Cape York Peninsula, ‘we are still making things up as we go along.’

He said that collectively they are trying to learn from other people’s experience while developing their own experiences and stories of social enterprise.

Pearson said the establishment of the Social Enterprise Network in Australia is hopefully going to mean that social enterprise will displace social welfare work as a principal method to confront social problems.

Chief Executive of the Social Entrepreneurs Network, Jane Sloane, said these inaugural awards show the breadth of the work social entrepreneurs are involved in across Australia.

Sloane said it’s important to this emerging sector that the great change brought about by these individuals and organisations in their communities is more widely recognised.

She said Australians know Noel Pearson as an Indigenous leader who played a central role in changing native title law but in this award he is being recognised as a social entrepreneur for the business and advocacy skills he brings to addressing the chronic social problems in the Cape communities.

Other awards have been won by Eastern Region Business Enterprise and Arts Centre, WA, for the Best Social Entrepreneurship Support Role; and EcoCentre at Crystal Waters, QLD, for Most Promising New Venture.

ABC TV’s Lateline program won the award for Best Social Entrepreneurship Media Contribution.

Also, the Chair of the Social Entrepreneurs Network Nic Frances was recognised as one of the worlds Top 40 Social Entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation; the Schwab Award was presented to him by Pamela Hartigan, CEO of the Geneva-based Foundation.

As one of the world’s Top 40 entrepreneurs, Nic Frances attended last month’s World Economic Forum in NY where there was a particular focus on social entrepreneurship.

If you would like a copy of Noel Pearson’s address to the Social Entrepreneurs Network Conference (Word format) send us an e-mail to

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