Australia’s Most Ethical Crowned
11 December 2013 at 10:56 am
A holistic community health enterprise Western Desert has taken out the inaugural national Ethical Enterprise Award for 2013.
Presented by Victorian-based social enterprise Moral Fairground and superannuation and investment fund manager Australian Ethical Investment, the award recognises a business or organisation, regardless of size, which has had a positive social and economic impact through innovative ethical practice.
A Not for Profit, non-Government Indigenous-governed health organisation, Western Desert offers a holistic model of care for people needing kidney dialysis who would otherwise be forced to leave their communities to access treatment in Alice Springs.
The awards, held in conjunction with Fair@Square, Australia’s largest ethical and fair-trade festival, saw the organisation receive networking, media and promotional opportunities along with a $6,000 advertising package and a cash prize.
They beat out eight other finalists including:
Ashoil, an Indigenously-owned company that convert waste cooking oil into a renewable fuel;
Ashadesh, enabling families living in the slums of India to switch from primitive, smoky stoves that deal disease and death to clean burning ones;
The Social Studio, a fashion label, shop and cafe that celebrates the style and skills of diverse cultures in Australia;
WDNWPT, a Not for Profit, non government, Indigenous governed Community controlled health organisation that supports over 20 remote communities;
CERES Environment Park, a Not for Profit community that exists to educate and inspire change-environmentally and socially;
African Pacific, building relationships with farmers through production, marketing, sales and distribution of products sourced directly from the growers and producers in the South Pacific;
Eternal Creation, which designs clothing and has it's own manufacturing unit, the Himalaya Tailoring Centre, which is a certified member of the Fair Trade Forum India;
VATMI, providing a place of work for people who might not get that opportunity elsewhere. The businesses consist of packing, processing recyclable materials and art & design;
Alter Eco, a brand of specialty food products directly benefiting farming communities in the Global South.
“A true inspiration to other ethical and socially conscious organisations, Western Desert originated to help raise funds for a medical need has shown just what can be achieved when a community comes together to provide a service for its own members,” the Director of Moral Fairground and Founder of the Ethical Enterprise Award, Susanna Bevilacqua, said.
“This Award, the first of its kind in Australia, celebrates the importance of informed ethical leadership, conscious business and innovation and demonstrates how organisations that seek a fair, just and sustainable offering can also provide great financial returns too."
Moral Fairground, operating since 2009, says its aim is to create positive social impact by increasing economic opportunities and fairness within society, including creating avenues for enterprises to become more effective in delivering their social mission.
Click here to read Pro Bono Australia’s discussion with Susanna Bevilacqua about the rise and meaning of the "ethical" label.