media release 


25 November 2022   


Winners of the 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards recognised for their inspiring work across the disability, allied health, aged care, and community services sectors 


Eight winners of the 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards were announced last night in Melbourne in recognition of organisations and teams who have excelled in the disability, allied health, aged care, and community services sectors.


Winners include an organisation who fly medical specialists to pop-up clinics in regional and remote NSW to support seriously ill children, a team who work to help address Australia’s aged care workforce shortages, and a team who provide culturally safe support for Aboriginal people with disability.


HESTA CEO Debby Blakey congratulated the winners and finalists and acknowledged their inspiring work.


“A huge congratulations to all our winners and finalists. These teams and organisations have gone above and beyond to deliver critical services, making a real difference for so many people in need across Australia,” Ms Blakey said.


“We are so grateful for the contributions these professionals make each day to support our communities and keep our nation safe and healthy. It’s a great honour for the HESTA team to help recognise their vital work.”


The winners each shared 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 praised the winners and thanked them for their work.


“A huge congratulations to all of these truly deserving winners. Your exceptional work helping communities most in need absolutely deserves to be celebrated. On behalf of ME, thank you for your dedication, passion and incredibly hard work.”


The HESTA Excellence Awards have taken place since 2020. For more information, visit   


Introducing the 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards Winners:


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.


St Patrick’s Community Support Centre CEO Michael Piu said it was an honour for the work of St Pat’s to be recognised.


“This award is a testament to the passion and dedication of our staff and volunteers. We’re grateful to HESTA for giving us a platform to draw attention to one of the most complex and pressing social issues of our time; homelessness. It also gives us an opportunity to thank all our service partners, donors and sponsors who have helped us change the lives of thousands of people over the past 50 years. Above all, we’d like to thank the people of Fremantle, the place where it all began, and without whom none of this would have been possible. With the strength and support of our community behind us, we know we can achieve our goal of ending chronic homelessness,” said Mr Piu.


St Pat’s plans to use the funds to host ongoing social engagement activities for families and individuals, such as art and storytelling workshops, at their accommodation facilities and Community Support Centre in the afternoons.


Team Excellence - Community Services

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.


Catholic Healthcare’s General Manager Home & Communities Therese Adami said, “It’s great to be recognised for the fact that we’ve been able to develop a really specialised, niche service and create a suite of specific programs to fill a gap in the Community Services sector and support people facing issues with hoarding.”


The team plans to use the funds to create video content that will give their clients the opportunity to tell their story in their own words and describe the impact of Catholic Healthcare’s programs.


“It’s an opportunity to remove the stigma around hoarding and counter the “reality TV” approach, which suggests an individual doesn’t want to look after their own home. We want to raise awareness about the complexities of this mental health issue, which is often derived from a trauma background and difficult life experiences,” Ms Adami said.


Outstanding Organisation - Allied Health

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.


Little Wings CEO Clare Pearson said winning a HESTA Awards means a lot to the organisation. “Little Wings is a 90% volunteer led organisation - a group of incredible, generous, and talented humans all sharing their time and talent to make a difference. The award recognises the work, the time and talent of our volunteers and reminds us to celebrate the innovation and impact to date. Above all, it encourages Little Wings to keep pushing, to keep trying and keep believing.”


The prize money will be used to fuel another four Medical Wings missions, supporting up to 300 children living in region or remote NSW who are seriously ill.


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.


Epworth Clinic’s Senior Dietitian Amy Kaplan said it was so rewarding to know the team is making a difference.


“Working in the eating disorder field can be demanding at times. We are identifying more eating disorders amongst our consumers and our insights allow us to put strategies in place to better support these patients. This award recognition acknowledges all the hard work the team put into this project over the past two years and gives the team extra encouragement and motivation to continue their work in this vital and underserviced area,” Ms Kaplan said.


Outstanding Organisation – Aged Care

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.


HealthX CEO Carollyne Palling said the team was honoured to be recognised, alongside Australia’s leading healthcare providers.


“We see this as an acknowledgement of our high level of service, our ability to react quickly in times of crisis and the relentless dedication of all HealthX employees on placements across Australia, supported by the Brisbane-based office,” Ms Palling said.


The prize money will be directed back into supporting their employees with professional and personal development, to help their health, wellbeing and sense of community and belonging.


Team Excellence - Aged Care

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 of launch.


Brightwater’s CEO, Professor Catherine Stoddart PSM, said winning a HESTA Award meant so much to the organisation.


“We are so proud of our Falls Improvement Team. This award is an acknowledgement of the wonderful work our staff do every day to ensure we can support our residents to continue to be independent and live well. To put falls prevention in the spotlight through this award we hope will trigger a cultural shift in the wider health sector as we have shown that falls in older Australians are preventable. The prize money will enable us to take this program even further,” Professor Stoddart PSM said.


Outstanding Organisation - Disability Services

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.


Loom Arts and Management Co-Executive Director Hannah Reekie said the team was honoured to be a winner.


“Being recognised for the 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards is not only recognition for the work Loom does and that of our artists, but also the time and effort we have dedicated as its founders and Co-Executive Directors. We feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to do the work of helping artists achieve their goals and gain confidence in themselves as essential and valued contributors to the cultural landscape within Australia.”


The prize money will be invested back into Loom to fund artist resources, professional development opportunities and lease spaces essential for artists to continue their work.


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.


Aboriginal Family Support Services (AFSS) Manager NDIS and SILS Olivia King said winning a HESTA award was a huge honour.

“The ‘Be with Me’ program was born out of the lack of community-driven services to support Aboriginal people with disability and in turn the lack of positive engagement between the NDIS and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We know our project is having a positive impact on our community and supporting closing the gap in services. We appreciate that our nominators and HESTA recognise the importance of this. Being recognised for Team Excellence acknowledges our effort and our self-determination as well as the importance of Aboriginal-designed and facilitated services for the community. We are thankful for the elders who came before us who founded AFSS and the elders who continue to serve our community within AFSS and on the board.”


The team will use the prize money to fund reports and assessments that are not affordable for families in the community.







Media contact:

Sam Riley

General Manager Media Relations

(03) 8660 1684


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