Paid Charity Leave Winners
14 May 2013 at 11:20 am
Mobile phone company, Vodafone, has announced the four recipients of its Paid Charity Leave competition, through the Vodafone Foundation World of Difference Program.
The competition, which has been running for 10 years, allows four inspirational Australians to take 12 months of paid charity leave enabling them to make a difference through their chosen projects.
This year’s winners hail from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Head of the Vodafone Foundation Demelza Alderson says Paid Charity Leave aims to make social investments and form partnerships with registered charities.
She says in addition to training, mentoring and ongoing support, the program helps fund the salaries ($70,000) and provide an expenses budget ($15,000) to four worthy successful applicants.
“The World of Difference program is about giving people the unique opportunity to dedicate themselves to a charity close to their heart for an entire year.
"This year’s winners have chosen a diverse range of causes, from the education of refugees to raising awareness for Motor Neurone Disease. Their work is truly inspirational and the Vodafone Foundation is extremely proud to provide them with this opportunity,” Alderson said.
Each year, four participants take part in public voting, allowing other passionate Australians the opportunity to vote for the charity they’d most like to see benefit from the program.
This year’s winners are:
Jackie Ruddock from NSW who will spend her Paid Charity Leave as the first employee for The Social Outfit.
The Social Outfit will establish itself as a new fashion label, shop and café in Sydney’s Inner West that provides education, skills and employment for young refugees and promotes the rich creativity of our refugee communities.
Ruddock says her goals are to bring her start-up strategy to life and open up the doors to The Social Outfit during her Paid Charity leave year.
Her focus will be to develop the skills and talents of the young people from refugee backgrounds to create a local brand as well as to develop their education and employment opportunities.
Juliette Wright from Queensland will spend her Paid Charity Leave managing GIVIT in Brisbane.
GIVIT supports over 790 Australian charities and Community Service Providers by matching and connecting them to willing donors of everyday items.
Wright says her goals for the year are to ensure the sustainable growth of GIVIT to enable the capacity to respond to families impacted by poverty and natural disasters.
She will also work with the Vodafone team to design and build a mobile app that will assist in the speed and quality of goods that the public can offer to those in need.
Wright says she will also launch GIVIT Kids to promote philanthropy in youth to allow kids to donate things like their music or sport equipment to vulnerable, impoverished and isolated Australian children.
Melbourne-based Ian Davis will spend his Paid Charity Leave working for the MND and Me Foundation.
The MND and Me Foundation was formed to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and its impact in the community.
Davis was diagnosed with MND in 2011 and has decided to dedicate his remaining years to pushing MND into the limelight, by raising awareness and much needed funds to help find a cure to this cruel and relentless disease.
He says his goal is to raise a million dollars through some innovative fundraising events; these include cycling one million metres from Brisbane to Sydney in a custom designed recumbent bike with the Founder of MND and Me, Scott Sullivan.
He says he will also expand the reach of his home brew recipe ‘Cavalier Courage’ beer, and also hopes to release a feature length documentary called ‘Legacy: A Ride to Conquer MND’, which will capture Ian’s incredible life of living with MND, as well as his and Scott's adventures on the ‘Million Metres for MND’ bike ride.
Loren O’Keeffe will spend her Paid Charity Leave establishing the Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN), based in Melbourne.
O’Keeffe’s brother Dan went missing in 2011, and having run 'Dan Come Home' since then, she says she knows what it takes to rally support and reach out to the public when searching for a loved one.
She says her goal is to create partnerships with media outlets and corporate organisations, as well as a guide that fosters the mass communication required, to support the families of the 35,000 Australians who go missing every year.