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Xavier Smerdon
Journalist
Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.
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Tuesday, 13th January 2015 at 10:53 am

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Impact 25 Calls for Collaboration in 2015

By Xavier Smerdon, Journalist

The most influential people in Australia’s Not for Profit sector have called for greater collaboration both within the sector and with Governments.

Members of the inaugural Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 shared their wishes for 2015, with many of them saying they hoped the Not for Profit sector could rejuvenate itself in order to tackle the challenges it faces.

Last year almost 3,000 people nominated and voted for the 25 most influential members of the social economy.

With the arrival of the new year, Impact 25 members revealed to Pro Bono Australia News what their hopes are for the sector, and the wider Australian community, and what they believe can be achieved.

CEO of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, who was named the most influential person in the sector, said he wanted average Australians to grow their sense of social responsibility.

“To see Australians putting more energy into helping others feel a true sense of being a valued participant in their community – whether it’s their neighbour or someone from a place they have never seen. The rewards on offer are huge,” Costello said.

CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Kon Karapanagiotidis, said his new year hope was to see an end to damaging Government policies.

“Political leadership, with policies founded on principles of fairness and humanity, rather than cruelty, meanness and divisive rhetoric,” Karapanagiotidis said.

CEO of the Community Council for Australia, David Crosbie, said he wanted to see the sector take more responsibility for its own future.

“My hope for 2015 is that charities and Not for Profits will become stronger and be more responsible for their own future,” Crosbie said.

“I want us to build a choir of collective voices that Governments across Australia cannot ignore or dismiss.  

“The real value we contribute in cultivating flourishing communities should never be under-estimated.”

Anita Tang from the Cancer Council NSW said she wanted to see the Not for Profit sector have a louder voice in 2015.

"My hope is that in 2015, Not for Profits do more to amplify the voices and share the stories of their constituents,” Tang said.

“If ordinary citizens organise and mobilise, we can make sure that decision makers pay attention to the needs and interests of the community, whether for health, economic justice, or the environment. No to for Profits can act as a catalyst for citizen power.

“I believe we can create a more cohesive, healthy, and fair society by ensuring that governments are accountable to the people who elect them.”

The full list of 2015 wishes from Impact 25 members is below.

Tim Costello – CEO, World Vision Australia

“To see Australians putting more energy into helping others feel a true sense of being a valued participant in their community – whether it’s their neighbour or someone from a place they have never seen. The rewards on offer are huge.”

Anita Tang – Manager of Policy and Advocacy at the Cancer Council NSW

"My hope is that in 2015, Not for Profits do more to amplify the voices and share the stories of their constituents. If ordinary citizens organise and mobilise, we can make sure that decision makers pay attention to the needs and interests of the community, whether for health, economic justice, or the environment. Non-profits can act as a catalyst for citizen power. I believe we can create a more cohesive, healthy, and fair society by ensuring that governments are accountable to the people who elect them."

Andrew Young – CEO of the Centre for Social Impact

“Thomas Stallkamp said: ‘The secret is to gang up on the problem rather than each other.’ My wish for the sector in 2015 is for meaningful and constructive working relationships with other sectors, with the sole focus on improving outcomes for Australia’s disadvantaged.”

Audette Exel – Founder and CEO of the Adara Group (formerly ISIS)

“Over the past 17 years I have seen the incredible things that be achieved when the business sector holds hands with the Not for Profit sector. I think there are hugely exciting opportunities for the NFP sector and the business sector to reach out to each other in a way that creates meaningful change for both NFPs, the people they serve, and for the private sector.”

“So, my wish for 2015 is that we see many more NFP and private sector partnerships, and a plethora of businesses for purpose, full of amazing people from all walks of life looking to change the world together.”

Chris Hall – CEO of Mercycare

“My wish is for the Australian Government to show leadership in reinvigorating the 'Australian Way' of building a society that is tolerant, just and compassionate especially for those who experience significant disadvantage, marginalisation and discrimination. This can be achieved by Government and the NFP sector working respectfully in collaboration as is evident between the WA Government and WA NFP sector.”

Claire Mallinson – National Director, Amnesty International Australia

"My new years resolution is for Amnesty International to remain a profoundly important voice in the fight for human rights around the world. In Australia, we won’t rest until there are no children left in detention centres and the government addresses the unjust and unfair treatment of our Indigenous youth, reducing the high rates of incarceration."

David Crosbie – CEO, Community Council for Australia.

“My hope for 2015 is that charities and Not for Profits will become stronger and be more responsible for their own future. I want us to build a choir of collective voices that governments across Australia cannot ignore or dismiss. The real value we contribute in cultivating flourishing communities should never be under-estimated.”

Jay Allen – Founder of sunbedban.com and Community Coordinator at the Melanoma Institute Australia.

“In 2015 I would like to see a cure for cancer and if every Australian could book in for a skin check.”

Julie Reilly – CEO, Australian Women Donors Network

“My wish is to see greater investment in women and girls. Bringing women and girls into focus when funding and delivering social programs is a proven strategy for increasing impact and strengthening society.”

“Our Network supports philanthropy and the NFP sector to embrace a gender-wise approach. We are excited that in 2015 we will introduce our Gender-wise Toolkit and Training to help make this wish a reality.”

Kon Karapanagiotidis – CEO and founder, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

“Political leadership, with policies founded on principles of fairness and humanity, rather than cruelty, meanness and divisive rhetoric.”

Mary Waterford – Executive Officer, Western Sydney Community Forum

“I wish that the spirit of Sydney’s heart which we saw demonstrated late last year will continue – our connections and interactions of warmth and generosity, with acknowledgement that our strength lies in our living and working together peacefully and respectfully, inclusive of people of all ethnicities and all faiths or none. Last year we launched the ‘olive ribbon‘ campaign, pledging not to position any community as ‘the other’; one Australia which will not be divided. My wish is that as a society we continue to stand together – hurt one of us and you hurt us all.”

“And I wish for tax reform that makes companies pay their share!”

Peter Quarmby – Executive Director, Community Sector Banking

“I hope that 2015 is the year that Governments fully acknowledge that funding organisations doing important cultural, environment, and social work in communities is not just draining the coffers, but vital investment in our society’s future prosperity.”

“In the interest of greater social impact, I wish for improved dialogue and partnership.  I hope for courageous partnerships to be established between government, the sector and the private sector to tackle the complex issues we face as a society.”

Richenda Vermeulen – Founding Director, ntegrity

“My new year wish for the sector is that Australians rally around not-for-profits, taking a stance by being generous with donations and their voices through social media. Concurrently, I hope that the sector speaks and engages the public in a way that continues to touch hearts and shows the impact of their work.”

Simon Robinson – Director, London Benchmarking Group (LBG)

“My new year wish would be to encourage more and better measurement and reporting of the investments companies make in the community. By doing so companies would realise much greater value and return from those investments and my hope would be that more would then be invested.”

“The public, the Government and the social sector can play a role in commending those companies that do measure and report and encourage more to follow suit realising the benefits of doing so.”

Susan Pascoe – Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

“The card on my desk wishing peace, hope and joy for 2015 expresses the motivation and disposition of so many in the Not for Profit sector. May 2015 also bring security, certainty and sustenance to those working in the sector, and to those beneficiaries whose needs they serve.”

Violet Roumeliotis – CEO, Settlement Services International

“My wish for 2015 is that Government allocates specific resources to develop the NFP sector's capacity to aim for ISO accreditation, irrelevant of an organisation's size, and develop robust governance structures through skilling-up board directors and leaders and that the sector develops mechanisms to share intellectual property and resources to achieve this.”

 
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Xavier Smerdon
Journalist
Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.
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