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HESTA Community Sector Awards Announced


Friday, 26th June 2015 at 11:13 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
A West Australian Not for Profit dedicated to protecting an endangered Indigenous language has taken out the title of best organisation at the 2015 HESTA Community Sector Awards.

Friday, 26th June 2015
at 11:13 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


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HESTA Community Sector Awards Announced
Friday, 26th June 2015 at 11:13 am

A West Australian Not for Profit dedicated to protecting an endangered Indigenous language has taken out the title of best organisation at the 2015 HESTA Community Sector Awards.

An innovative social housing business and the Victorian founder of an agency supporting children with disabilities and their families also received top honours at the awards, announced last night in Sydney.

The winners were recognised for their exceptional contribution to social justice, by enhancing the wellbeing of disadvantaged individuals and communities in three categories: Unsung Hero, Organisation and Social Impact.

HESTA CEO, Debby Blakey, said the three winners reflected the important work of those working in the community sector in building stronger, more inclusive communities.

“The work of our winners has significantly improved the lives of individuals and communities often over a long period of time and in difficult circumstances. We are proud to acknowledge their achievements and give them the recognition they deserve,” Blakey said.

The 2015 winners are:

Unsung Hero Award: Maureen Crawford for founding Interchange in Victoria – the first respite care program to support children with a disability and their families. Now, 12 Interchange agencies across Victoria alongside agencies in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, support 4,000 children annually.

Organisation Award: Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre, Western Australia, for its immersion-based, native language program for Indigenous children and young people. The organisation is revitalising the endangered native language with young children – through fun activities such as simple storytelling, songs, games, and arts and crafts – and fostered a sense of pride throughout the community.

Social Impact Award: Karen Barnett – of Port Phillip Housing Association in Victoria – for her long-term commitment to providing affordable accommodation to low-income households and contributing to the development of local, state and national housing policies. Ms Barnett developed a profitable social housing business over 25 years that now has assets worth $300 million, employs 35 staff and manages 1,083 tenancies.

Winners were announced at the third annual HESTA Community Sector Awards Dinner in Sydney and shared in a $30,000 prize pool.

The Awards were presented by HESTA, in partnership with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist |  @XavierSmerdon

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

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