media release


29 October 2019


Finalists in HESTA Community Sector Awards revealed


Australia’s most outstanding community sector organisations and individuals have been revealed, with 11 finalists announced in the 2019 HESTA Community Sector Awards.

The Awards highlight outstanding service, advocacy, and leadership in the community service sector across the three award categories of Unsung Hero, Outstanding Organisation, and Social Impact.

Presented in partnership with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the Awards celebrate the remarkable contribution that individuals and organisations make to the broader community.

HESTA CEO, Debby Blakey said this year’s finalists were selected from an outstanding field of nominations at the forefront of delivering vital services to people experiencing disadvantage, discrimination, exclusion, and hardship.

“Each year the HESTA Community Sector Awards shine a spotlight on the amazing work of community organisations and individuals whose services significantly improve the lives of others,” Ms Blakey said.

“By advocating for social change and giving a voice to those who otherwise may not be heard, those working in the community sector have a lasting impact across Australia. Through the Awards, we’re proud to acknowledge the amazing contribution of this year’s finalists.”

With a prize pool of $30,000, proudly provided by Awards sponsor, ME – the bank for you, the winners of the three award categories will each receive $10,000 for further education or team development.

ME CEO Jamie McPhee said the finalists demonstrated incredible leadership in their respective fields and a dedication that goes well above and beyond the call of duty.

“ME is very proud to sponsor these Awards. Congratulations to the finalists of this year’s HESTA Community Sector Awards, who continue to strongly advocate for Australians who are most in need of care and support,” Mr McPhee said.

The 2019 finalists are:

Outstanding Organisation

Beryl Women Inc.
Dickson, ACT

Recognised for supporting women and children escaping domestic violence through the provision of short term, low-cost crisis housing.

Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC)
Carnegie, VIC

Recognised for delivering self-help, peer-led approaches to assist people recovering from addiction.

YWCA Australia

South Melbourne, VIC

Recognised for their national programs that support young women and girls develop leadership skills and for their work addressing the gender-based stereotypes, bias and inequities experienced by women in our society.

Social Impact

Diane Riley-McNaboe and Rhonda Ashby
Dubbo, NSW

Recognised for their contribution to the revitalisation of Aboriginal languages in NSW over two decades.

Laura Vidal
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Marrickville, NSW

Recognised for supporting and advocating for those impacted by human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices, including forced marriage.

The Home Stretch campaign

Anglicare Victoria
Collingwood, VIC

Recognised for advocating for the government to extend their support for young people in out-of-home care from 18 to 21 years.

Just Reinvest NSW
Sydney, NSW

Recognised for addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in custody through supporting community-led initiatives and policy reform to create savings that can be reinvested back into the community.

Unsung Hero

David Hartmann
Open Place
Richmond, VIC

Recognised for running the Open Place Counselling and National Redress Scheme support services that empower and support survivors who experienced physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse while growing up.

Dixie Link-Gordon
Women's Legal Service NSW
Lidcombe, NSW

Recognised for showing outstanding leadership in her role as the Senior Community Access Officer of the Indigenous Women’s Legal Program at the Women’s Legal Service NSW, which provides free legal advice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women throughout NSW.

Terese Edwards
National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc
Hilton, SA

Recognised for advocating for the rights and wellbeing of single mothers who can experience isolation and hardship through her role as CEO National Council of Single Mothers (NCSMS) and their Children.

Theresa Mitchell
Agape Outreach Inc.
Tweed Heads, NSW

Recognised for founding and developing Agape Outreach, an outreach organisation that supports people experiencing homelessness through the provision of meals and accommodation.  

Winners will be announced at the 2019 HESTA Community Sector Awards on Tuesday 26 November 2019 in Canberra.

Find out more about the HESTA Awards Program



Media contact:

Sam Riley

Media Relations Manager

(03) 8660 1684


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