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Charity Wins Social Innovation Award

1 September 2015 at 11:16 am
Ellie Cooper
A charity set up in 2010 to change Australia’s relationship with alcohol has been awarded the $300,000 Macquarie 2015 Australian Social Innovation Award.

Ellie Cooper | 1 September 2015 at 11:16 am


Charity Wins Social Innovation Award
1 September 2015 at 11:16 am

A charity set up in 2010 to change Australia’s relationship with alcohol has been awarded the $300,000 Macquarie 2015 Australian Social Innovation Award.

Macquarie Group’s philanthropic arm, the Macquarie Group Foundation, has awarded the Social Innovation Award to Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) for its proposal to help binge drinkers overcome risky drinking habits.

The Foundation said the Award is presented biennially to an Australian Not for Profit organisation to recognise, promote and reward new ideas that meet pressing community needs, alleviate disadvantage and promote social inclusion.

The judges said the HSM initiative clearly demonstrated there was a demand for this type of program in Australia.

“While support services exist online and offline for ‘dependent’ drinkers (alcoholics), no services exist for people who drink to excess but are not physically dependent. This is despite almost four million people in Australia classified as binge drinkers, with research in 2013 showing almost half of them actively tried to reduce their alcohol consumption,” the judges said.

More than 50,000 people have registered to complete HSM’s three-month online program, or have downloaded the “moderation” iPhone app, which allows people to set smaller, daily goals to reduce their consumption.

HSM has developed a cost and time efficient model for delivery of screening and brief intervention (known as “sBI”) in general practice and emergency departments using emerging digital technology.

HSM proposed that Macquarie’s Award funds would help it kickstart the integration of technology to work with general practice doctors and emergency departments, the primary gateways for alcohol treatment and support.

Macquarie said it will be funding this initiative alongside the Commonwealth Department of Health, VicHealth and the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine to integrate HSM’s technology with emergency departments and GPs across Australia.

Macquarie Group Foundation Chair Shemara Wikramanayake said Macquarie received 70 high-quality submissions from a cross section of organisations, from which 11 finalists were chosen.

“With the Macquarie Group Foundation this year celebrating its 30th anniversary, the 2015 Award provided for a special one-off increase to $300,000 (from $100,000) in recognition of this milestone,” Wikramanayake said.

“The Award was established in 2010 to fund an organisation with new ideas to meet pressing social needs.”

“The submissions demonstrated the ingenuity and innovation we have seen from many in the sector and the finalists particularly demonstrated their commitment to developing innovative programs.”

The judging panel for the 2015 Social Innovation Award included Rupert Myer AO from the Myer Foundation and Tony Graham, Shemara Wikramanayake and Sheryl Weil from Macquarie Group.

The next Macquarie Australian Social Innovation Award will open in 2017.

Since the Foundation was established in 1985, it and Macquarie staff have contributed more than $240 million globally.

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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