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Annual tech awards highlight NFP innovation amid COVID chaos


6 November 2020 at 3:23 pm
Luke Michael
Humanitix and Orange Sky Australia are among the major winners 


Luke Michael | 6 November 2020 at 3:23 pm


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Annual tech awards highlight NFP innovation amid COVID chaos
6 November 2020 at 3:23 pm

Humanitix and Orange Sky Australia are among the major winners 

The charities leading the way in technology innovation and excellence have been recognised during the Australian Not-for-Profit Technology Awards, which showcased several initiatives undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual awards – an initiative of Connecting Up as part of the Infoxchange Group – took place on Friday, with Humanitix and Orange Sky Australia announced as joint winners of the Not-for-Profit Technology Innovator of the Year award.

Orange Sky was recognised for its purpose-built volunteer management solution Campfire (now known as Volaby), which allows volunteer-led organisations to easily on-board, manage and measure the impact of their volunteers.

Low-cost ticketing sales platform Humanitix was praised for raising more than half a million dollars to provide education programs for Indigenous students and disadvantaged girls. 

Infoxchange Group CEO David Spriggs said it was a privilege to showcase the incredible individuals and organisations helping the Australian NFP sector through technology.

“The quality of the finalists from this year’s record number of entries shows just how innovative the not-for-profit sector can be, with many of the entries including initiatives that have been in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Spriggs said.

Humanitix co-founders Adam McCurdie and Josuha Ross said in a joint statement that just being nominated for the awards was an honour. 

“Innovation in the not-for-profit sector is critically important to ensure the sector can continue to grow its impact on the world and harness the power of new technologies to affect change,” they told Pro Bono News. 

Humanitix is incredibly excited to be recognised as a top technology innovator by being nominated for these awards.”   

Nic Marchesi, the co-founder of Orange Sky and Volaby, told Pro Bono News he was thankful the organisation had been recognised for its embrace of technology to achieve its mission.

“We are so proud to be named alongside some remarkable finalists and to have the support of Connecting Up,” Marchesi said.

“We want to help as many organisations and volunteers as possible, and through this award, we hope to make more amazing people aware, inspired and supported to create impact.”

Among the other winners on Friday were This Life Cambodia’s “Be an Honourable Warrior” domestic violence initiative for Best Social Media Campaign, Graham Toomey for Best Technology Achievement by an Indigenous Australian, and Greg Taylor for Technology Volunteer of the Year.

Nan Bosler from the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association and Peter Johnston from Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club were also given Not-for-Profit Lifetime Service Awards for their years of service. 

Bosler has spent decades helping Australian seniors make the most of technology, while Johnston has been with Merrylands for more than 20 years, helping develop the club’s first website and more recently supporting its COVID response by creating online training options.

Judges for the awards included Jes Kane from Google, David Crosbie from the Community Council for Australia, Megan Short from Women in Innovation, and David Spriggs and Pankaj Chhalotre from the Infoxchange Group.

You can see a full list of winners below.

Best Accidental IT Person

Winner: Clarisse Semler Hanlon, Treasure Boxes

Best Social Media Campaign

Winner: Be an Honourable Warrior, This Life Cambodia

Best Technology Achievement by an Indigenous Australian

Winner: Graham Toomey 

Not-for-Profit Technology Innovator of the Year

Joint winners: Orange Sky Australia and Humanitix 

Not-for-Profit Technology Lifetime Service Award

Two recipients: Nan Bosler, Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association and Peter Johnston, Merrylands ASC

Technology for Community Impact Award – Best Government Agency

Winner: Digital Innovation Festival, the Victorian government 

Technology for Community Impact Award – Best Private Sector Organisation

Winner: Our Community

Technology Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Greg Taylor, U3A Brisbane


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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