Top Community Sector Awards Announced
Thursday, 12th June 2014 at 10:45 am
A former female prisoner mentoring other prisoners affected by the criminal justice system, one of Australia’s oldest women’s refuges and a disability advocate leading a fair wage claim have won top honours at the 2014 HESTA Community Sector Awards.
Announced at the ACOSS Conference in Brisbane, the winners were recognised for excelling in service provision, advocacy and leadership in the community sector in the categories of Unsung Hero, Organisation and Social Impact.
HESTA CEO, Anne-Marie Corboy, said the judges were looking for an individual or organisation making an outstanding contribution to social justice in Australia.
“In just its second year, the HESTA Community Sector Awards have highlighted the vital work being carried out by the sector and the difference it does make to people’s lives,” Ms Corboy said.
“Our three winners stood out from hundreds of nominations for their dedication and commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community.
“We are proud to give these outstanding individuals and organisations the acknowledgment they deserve.”
The 2014 winners are:
Unsung Hero Award:
Kat Armstrong from the Women in Prison Advocacy Network (NSW) for her role in developing a mentoring program that supports women exiting prison as well as training women to become mentors themselves. Kat is a former prisoner who turned her life around and started a grassroots charitable organisation to mentor others. Since its inception in 2008, the organisation has trained 68 mentors and achieved almost an 80% success rate in keeping mentors and mentees out of prison.
The Hobart Women’s Shelter (TAS) for providing women experiencing homelessness or domestic violence with refuge, as well as other services to help women and their children.
The shelter operates 10 safe houses throughout the northern suburbs of Hobart and a community centre in Glenorchy. It was recognised for its holistic and innovative approach to service delivery.
Social Impact Award:
Kairstien Wilson from the Association of Employees with Disability Inc. (VIC) — which trades as AED Legal Centre — for her role in leading a ground-breaking anti-discrimination wage case on behalf of workers with disabilities. For the past 10 years, Kairstien and her colleagues have been challenging the Federal Government’s wage assessment tool that delivers lower wages to about 20,000 workers with disabilities employed in segregated workplaces around the country.
The winners shared a $30,000 prize pool courtesy of long-term HESTA awards supporter ME Bank. The Unsung Hero and Social Impact Award winners each received a $5,000 ME Bank EveryDay Transaction Account and a $5,000 education grant. The Organisation Award winner received a $10,000 development grant.
The HESTA Community Sector Awards are presented in partnership with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the peak body for community services in Australia.
HESTA is the leading super fund for health and community services, with more than 770,000 members and $27 billion in assets.