Two Charities in the Running for Top 2017 National Telstra Business Award
1 August 2017 at 2:33 pm
A Tasmanian charity committed to combatting social injustice in Australia and a NSW charity globally recognised as a leader in the world-wide effort to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are both in the running for the major 2017 Telstra Business of the Year Award.
In recent days Tasmanian not-for-profit organisation BIG hART, which was set up as an innovative experiment to find new ways of dealing with social disadvantage, was named 2017 Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year and 2017 Telstra Tasmanian Charity Award winner.
In NSW, MS Research Australia, a charity at the forefront of international research into MS, was named the 2017 Telstra New South Wales Business of the Year and NSW Charity of the Year.
BIG hART CEO Scott Rankin said the organisation raised the profile of issues such as family violence, the incarceration of indigenous people and slavery at sea with the goal to empower vulnerable individuals, foster social cohesion and drive positive and generational change.
“Big hART focuses on what is strong – rather than what is wrong – in communities to deliver much-needed pathways to economic participation for some of the most at risk and hidden groups in the country,” Rankin said.
As the country’s largest not-for-profit organisation dedicated to funding and fostering collaboration in MS research, the awards ceremony was told that MS Research Australia had “transformed the entire MS landscape, contributing to a 80 per cent decrease in related hospitalisations in the last 20 years”.
MS Research Australia CEO Dr Matthew Miles said the organisation’s efforts would only intensify as they edged ever closer to eradicating the disease altogether.
“Until we find a cure – and we’ve made incredible progress towards that – we will devote our attention to ensuring we are completely and utterly aligned with the needs of people with MS. We are at a tipping point and the finish line could potentially be in sight,” he said.
Celebrating its 25th year, the Telstra Business Awards showcased the achievements of Australia’s small and medium businesses (SMBs) and more recently, charities as well.
Telstra director of branded channels Mike Tregurtha said the state winners of the 2017 Telstra Business Awards demonstrated what it took to become ‘that’ business – a leader in their field, a name that is trusted and admired and an organisation that inspired others.
“The Tasmanian winners have combined their affinity for creative thinking and a willingness to adopt new technology to make a significant contribution to their respective communities and industries,” he said.
“BIG hART’s refusal to shy away from tackling Australia’s most pertinent issues has connected with communities nationwide and seen them become an inspiring arts and social change organisation.
“Its team of incredibly creative and engaged individuals has shaped world-class art and music productions. The organisation’s influence is extraordinary in scale and their work is truly helping to create a new social trajectory for Australia.”
Telstra awards ambassador Kevin Russell said: “The New South Wales winners are all driven by a desire to address problems affecting everyday Australians – from new parents to new business owners – and are successfully using technology as the platform for making those ambitions a reality.
“MS Research Australia is the definition of innovation, leading the global charge against MS with its pioneering research methods. They’re a great example of an organisation using digital technology to remain at the forefront of the MS conversation and associated medical developments.”
In Queensland, Youngcare, a charity aiming to bring change to the disability housing sector, was the winner of the 2017 Telstra Queensland Charity Award.
In Victoria, SleepBus, the world’s first charity converting old buses into temporary overnight accommodation for homeless people and founded by Simon Rowe. was the winner of the 2017 Telstra Victorian Charity Award
In the Northern Territory Riding for the Disabled in the Top End – a program of sporting, therapeutic, educational and recreational equestrian activities designed to develop the abilities of people with disabilities was the winner of the 2017 Telstra NT Charity Award.
In Western Australia Shalom House, an entirely self-funded men’s rehabilitation centre whose mission is to restore the lives of those suffering from substance abuse, anxiety and emotional trauma, was the winner of the 2017 Telstra WA Charity Award
Winners of the 2017 Telstra Tasmanian and NSW Business Awards will join other state and territory winners at the 2017 Telstra Australian Business Awards in Sydney on Friday 25 August 2017.