media release 


27 October 2022   


Admirable disability, allied health, community and aged care finalists announced for national HESTA Excellence Awards


Twenty-four organisations and teams who have excelled in the disability, allied health, aged care, and community services sectors have today been announced as finalists in the 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards.


HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said each finalist has demonstrated inspiring leadership, dedication, and a drive to improve care and support for Australians during challenging times.


“HESTA is proud to help share the stories and amazing achievements of these wonderful finalists, who through their work each day demonstrate such care and compassion for Australian communities, improving health and wellbeing outcomes,” Ms Blakey said.


“From delivering clinics and outreach street care for people experiencing homelessness, to supporting bereaved parents grieving the devastating loss of their baby, these professionals help our communities in their greatest time of need. I wish to acknowledge and thank every finalist for their critical work, and the people who nominated them.”


The national Awards highlight the extraordinary work of the four sectors to enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities, with finalists chosen across the categories of Outstanding Organisation and Team Excellence.


Eight winners will share in a $60,000 prize money pool to be used for further education, service improvement or team development, courtesy of longstanding HESTA Awards supporter ME.


ME CEO Martine Jager said the bank was proud to support the Awards.


“These incredible finalists are all driven by a passion for service helping those in our community who are experiencing disadvantage. The team and I at ME Bank are so proud to be recognising and honouring their achievements.”


The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Melbourne on Thursday 24 November 2022. For more information, visit


Introducing the 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards finalists:


Outstanding Organisation - Community Services


St Patrick’s Community Support Centre (St Pat’s) - Fremantle WA

St Pat’s is recognised for its leadership on a variety of programs and services designed to support families and individuals facing complex challenges. Library Connect, the first of its kind in WA, places a support worker within the welcoming environment of the public library, improving access to support for families and individuals and reducing stigma.


Women’s Health & Family Services - Northbridge WA

Women’s Health & Family Services is recognised for their commitment to providing excellent, connected healthcare for women. Implementing cloud-based client record keeping has helped provide a more holistic service for clients and supported the team to monitor the quality and effectiveness of their services, leading to improved health outcomes.


Zonta House Refuge Association - Willetton WA

Zonta House Refuge Association is recognised for its work providing the necessary support and opportunities for victim/survivors and their families, from prevention to crisis response to recovery, redress, and rebuilding.


Team Excellence - Community Services


Health on the Streets Team, Coast & Country Primary Care - Erina NSW

The Health on the Streets (HoTS) Team is recognised for their work delivering clinics and outreach street care for people experiencing homelessness on NSW’s Central Coast. The program has diverted non-urgent cases from hospitals, reduced emergency hospital admissions, reduced the transmission of bloodborne diseases and sexually transmitted infections through education and treatment, and improved healthcare and the physical and mental health of the homeless population.


Hoarding & Squalor Team, Catholic Healthcare – Macquarie Park NSW

The Catholic Healthcare Hoarding & Squalor (H&S) Team is recognised for introducing a range of innovative, complementary programs, including the ‘Buried in Treasures’ support program, online declutter groups and a psychosocial support program for clients with underlying and additional mental health challenges.


Treasured Babies volunteers, Red Nose Australia - Mooroolbark VIC

The Treasured Babies volunteers are recognised for their work over the past 20 years to acknowledge and honour the lives of babies who have died. The volunteer-run group supports bereaved parents by providing beautiful size-appropriate handmade clothing, memory boxes and coffins for their babies. The group helps make a real difference for parents who are grieving the devastating loss of their baby.


Outstanding Organisation - Allied Health


12 Points Psychology - Bayswater VIC

12 Points Psychology is recognised for its Therapy Bytes program, an eight-week online course that aims to demystify psychology by providing easy-to-understand therapeutic resources on topics such as breathing techniques to counter stress responses, managing negative thoughts and more.


Firstchance - Mayfield North NSW

Firstchance is recognised for supporting the development of children with disabilities in the Greater Newcastle region, particularly through its ‘Welcome to Touch Football’ program to develop motor and social skills and its ‘Video Modelling Project’ to support children on the autism spectrum.


Little Wings Limited - Bankstown Aerodrome NSW

Little Wings is recognised for their innovation in supporting seriously ill children from regional and remote NSW to continue accessing life-saving medical treatment during COVID. Its Medical Wings program flew medical specialists to regular pop-up clinics, providing care to isolated communities.


Team Excellence - Allied Health


Eating Disorders Team, Epworth Clinic - Camberwell VIC

The Epworth Clinic’s Eating Disorders Team is recognised for their transformation of care for clients experiencing eating disorders within a general mental health unit. They created a new care pathway, implementing critical pre-admission screening, supportive meal therapy and specialist referrals, ensuring a holistic and comprehensive approach to care.


Mental Health Co-Responders (MH CORE), SA Health partnership - Oaklands Park SA

Mental Health Co-Responders are recognised for spearheading an innovative approach to mental health care. Paramedics work alongside nurses and social workers to assess mental health consumers in the community, helping reduce emergency department visits and alleviating pressure on the SA health system.


The Baby Play Academy Team, Western Kids Health - Mount Hawthorn WA

Western Kids Health’s Baby Play Academy Team is recognised for empowering parents to support baby development through the Baby Play Academy, an online support pathway for parents that combines digital resources, community forums and ‘as needed’ telehealth consultants and referrals.


Outstanding Organisation – Aged Care


ACH Group - Mile End SA

ACH Group is recognised for its Connected Communities strategy which through partnerships, creates social connection opportunities. Innovative programs include bringing together aged care residents and childcare-aged children and a walking soccer program for neurodiverse people.


Activus Transport – Just4Blokes program, Engadine NSW

Activus Transport is recognised for its work to combat loneliness and social isolation for men in the South Eastern region of Sydney through the Just4Blokes (J4B) program. J4B is a monthly day trip designed for men, providing much-needed companionship and social engagement in a safe, non-threatening environment.


HealthX - Petrie Terrace QLD

HealthX is recognised for its work to help address Australia’s aged care workforce shortages by boosting long-term staff capacity to improve the overall wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities through a variety of innovative programs, particularly during COVID.


Team Excellence - Aged Care


Consumer Experience Team, St Vincent’s Care Services - Bowen Hills QLD

The St Vincent’s Care Services Consumer Experience Team is recognised for reimagining the resident and family experience of aged care. During COVID they introduced a variety of initiatives including an award-winning visitor booking system, seven-day call centre and a centralised admissions process.


Falls Improvement Program Team, Brightwater Care Group - Inglewood WA

Brightwater Care Group’s Falls Improvement Program Team is recognised for identifying and implementing evidence-based strategies in falls prevention to reduce fall rates, better support aged care residents, and improve overall knowledge gaps. The program saw a 28% decline in fall rates within six months.


Specialist Community Palliative Care Team, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District - Wollongong NSW

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) Specialist Community Palliative Care Team is recognised for their commitment to supporting Aboriginal people maintain Connections to Country while receiving culturally safe care. The team holds yarning circles with staff and the local Aboriginal community to better understand how to improve quality of care for First Nations residents.


Outstanding Organisation - Disability Services


Jigsaw Australia - Frenchs Forest NSW

Jigsaw Australia is recognised for its innovative ‘prepare for work, through work’ model, which addresses barriers to unemployment, taking clients through a three-stage pathway to ensure they have the skills and expertise needed to transition into mainstream employment.


Jumbunna Community Preschool and Early Intervention Centre Inc. - Casino NSW

Jumbunna Community Preschool and Early Intervention Centre Inc. is recognised for providing a fully inclusive environment and support for children and families in their community. The team initiated visiting professionals, including paediatricians and hearing and vision professionals, to attend the venue and run clinics for families, who would otherwise not be able to access these services due to transport issues.


Loom Arts and Management - Coburg VIC

Loom Arts and Management is recognised for furthering equality and respect for people with disability. Currently run by a small team of two, Loom is forging a new way forward in the cultural sector by demonstrating that artists with disability can and should achieve mainstream success, representation, and respect.


Team Excellence - Disability Services


‘Be with Me’ Navigators, Aboriginal Family Support Services - Adelaide SA

Aboriginal Family Support Services’ ‘Be with Me’ Navigators team is recognised for its dedication to Aboriginal people with disability by assisting them to access and use appropriate support while encouraging a culturally safe environment.


Communication eXtra Team - Morphett Vale SA

A significant provider among the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, Communication eXtra is recognised for breaking down language barriers for its clients by revolutionising how clients’ NDIS information is communicated.


Down Syndrome Australia Health Ambassador Team- Armadale VIC

The Down Syndrome Australia Health Ambassador team, made up of ten people with Down Syndrome, is recognised for their tireless efforts to inform and educate healthcare professionals and students on how to include people with Down Syndrome and intellectual disability in their own healthcare outcomes.





Media contact:

Sam Riley

General Manager Media Relations

(03) 8660 1684


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