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Impact 25 Awards: It’s time to pick your social impact leader of 2020


24 November 2020 at 8:27 am
Maggie Coggan
Australians are being urged to recognise those dedicated to positive social change amid a year of turmoil 


Maggie Coggan | 24 November 2020 at 8:27 am


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Impact 25 Awards: It’s time to pick your social impact leader of 2020
24 November 2020 at 8:27 am

Australians are being urged to recognise those dedicated to positive social change amid a year of turmoil 

Nominations have opened for Pro Bono Australia’s 2021 Impact 25 Awards, giving people the chance to nominate their picks of this year’s most influential people in the social sector.             

The past year has been characterised by unprecedented and turbulent times. The catastrophic summer bushfires at the beginning of the year caused untold damage to communities, the environment and wildlife. 

And in the following months, the global outbreak of coronavirus has impacted the economy, vulnerable communities, and the entire world’s way of living in ways we’ll be feeling for years to come.   

But amid the chaos and extreme challenges of 2020, there has been an emergence and growth of strong and innovative leaders in the sector, who have stepped up to serve the communities that need them the most. 

Pro Bono Australia is again calling on the social sector to recognise those individuals who have worked tirelessly to create positive impact in a year full of turmoil. 

Karen Mahlab AM, Pro Bono Australia founder and CEO, said it was important in such a testing year that extraordinary people fighting for good were recognised. 

“2020 has tested us personally, tested the systems that operate to keep us safe, the priorities of our governing structures and the workings of all our sectors; community, government and business,” Mahlab said. 

“This year has called for inner strength and external action.

“We call on everyone who has seen extraordinary actions to nominate people they know, admire and respect in the year that was COVID 2020.”

Previous winners over the years include Melissa Monteiro, CEO of the Community Migrant Resource Centre; Ronni Kahn AO, CEO of OzHarvest; Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM, founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre; and Rosie Batty AO, anti-domestic violence advocate. 

For Monteiro, being an Impact 25 winner was like a badge that recognised her hard work for her organisation and surrounding community. 

“Besides visibility and recognition I now have support from family and friends who cheer for me and help me build a strong support base for my work,” Monteiro said.

The awards are open to all those engaging across the social economy: from charities and not for profits, philanthropists, social enterprises, impact investors and corporates looking to do good.

Due to the overwhelming number of nominations received in previous years, Pro Bono Australia will this year curate a list of 150 nominees from the pool of all nominations to present to the public for voting.  

The 25 nominees with the most votes will be crowned the Impact 25 Award winners.

From the final 25 award winners, a panel of judges will choose a winner for each of the following three categories: Innovator, Influencer, and Collaborator.

Nominations are now open, and will close on 9 December. Nominate your top picks for 2020 here.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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