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Westpac Honours Community Leaders


21 November 2013 at 10:33 am
Staff Reporter
An indigenous leader from the ACT, Rachelle Towart, has been named Australia’s top community CEO in the inaugural Westpac Community Leaders Awards.

Staff Reporter | 21 November 2013 at 10:33 am


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Westpac Honours Community Leaders
21 November 2013 at 10:33 am
Michael Coombs, Jason Glanville (accepting the award on behalf of Rachelle Towart), Allen Chen and Kevin Robinson.

An indigenous leader from the ACT, Rachelle Towart, has been named Australia’s top community CEO in the inaugural Westpac Community Leaders Awards.

The CEO of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC) received the award in the category for Established Not for Profit Executive recognising outstanding achievements by an executive from an established Not for Profit organisation.

The award caps off an outstanding year for the AILC and its Chief Executive Officer. Towart was last month presented with an award recognising her as one of Australia’s 100 women of influence and earlier this year accepted an award recognising the AILC as the ACT’s small RTO of the year.

“The Westpac Community Leaders award is a defining milestone not just for me, but more importantly, for the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre,”Towart said.

“Indigenous leadership education provides extraordinary moments of inspiration and celebration that are profound rewards in themselves for all of us at the AILC. This award is the cherry on the cake – providing recognition for the achievements of our organisation.”

The inaugural Westpac Community Leaders Award winners recognise significant contributions to society by Not for Profit leaders.

Kevin Robinson, the founder and CEO of Little Wings –  a free regional flight service for children and their families who are currently undergoing treatment for Cancer related illnesses at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead – won the award for Start-Up Not for Profit Executive.

The Winner of the Award for Treasurer was Allen Chen, from United Nations Youth Australia. Chen, a 20-year-old university student, restructured the national organisation’s accounting systems to meet industry standards, and employed a collaborative approach to enable his volunteer colleagues to successfully manage the revenues and budgets of state incorporated associations.

In his 12-month tenure as the national treasurer, UNYA pass two full audits, operated an annual turnover of more than $800,000, generate significant cost savings, secure more than $30,000 of sponsorship, and establish a long-term investment plan to educate youth for the next 20 years.

And the winner of the Award for Social Entrepreneur went to the founder and CEO of CareerTrackers Michael Combs – an indigenous internship program.

Over  the past year, CareerTrackers has more than doubled the number of indigenous university students participating in internship programs and employer partners have also increased by more than 50 per cent. The internship program has a 97 per cent completion rate and the estimated social return on investment of the program in 2011 was $4.40 for every dollar invested.

Each winner received $5000 grant, 5,000 worth of Westpac Davidson Institute financial education training and a Westpac MasterCard® Gift card to the value of $500.

For more information on the awards, click here.


Staff Reporter  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews


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