The HESTA Community Sector Awards recognise outstanding service provision, advocacy and leadership in improving the lives of people who rely on access to the services of this sector.

See the winners


A story worth celebrating...

Do you know a community sector worker with a story worth celebrating? Nominate them for the 2017 Awards.

Nominations open May 1

Awards Dinner

The 2016 Awards ceremony took place on Thursday, 17 November 2016 at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney.

Ticket sales now closed


Winners will share a $30,000 prize pool, courtesy of proud Awards sponsor ME- the bank for you.

Terms and conditions



Nominations are now closed

Nominations for the 2017 Awards will open on May 1.

Award categories

Unsung Hero

An individual working within the community sector who has made an exceptional contribution to social justice in Australia by enhancing the wellbeing of individuals or communities experiencing disadvantage.

Eligibility criteria

Outstanding Organisation

An organisation which has made an outstanding contribution to social justice in Australia through the development or provision of a high quality and innovative program, project or specific service.

Eligibility criteria

Social Impact

An individual, organisation or network that has made an outstanding contribution to social justice in Australia through policy development, advocacy, leadership or representation.

Eligibility criteria

Who can enter?


Australia’s community sector contributors are at the forefront of caring for and providing support to members of the community who experience disadvantage, discrimination, exclusion and hardship.

Colleagues, community sector professionals, volunteers and community sector contributors can nominate a special individual or team who has made a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged Australians. Everyone involved in the delivery of community services can nominate, or be nominated in accordance with the terms and conditions.




Every person or organisation nominated will receive a certificate in recognition of their contributions.

Terms and conditions


Finalists receive two tickets to attend the Awards dinner.

Terms and conditions


Overall winners share in a $30,000 prize pool, courtesy of proud Awards sponsor ME- the bank for you.

Terms and conditions




This year's winners and finalists epitomise excellence and the highest levels of commitment to the community sector.

2016 winners

Unsung Hero Winner

Anne Mitchell was recognised for providing support and advocacy to young homeless people through leading the outreach program 'Steps'.

Read Anne's story

Outstanding Organisation

Arts Project Australia is a full-time not-for-profit art studio for artists with intellectual disabilities.

Read their story

Social Impact

Women with Disabilities Victoria were recognised for contributing to the review and formation of government policy in order to bring about social justice and change for women with disabilities in Victoria.

Read their story

Unsung Hero 

Anne Mitchell 



Dr Claire Jones

Janne Bidenko 

Ronald Briggs 

Outstanding Organisation

Arts Project Australia 



Communicare Inc. 

Youth Involvement Council 

SHINE for Kids Cooperative Ltd

Social Impact

Women with Disabilities Victoria



Advocare Incorporated

Fitted for Work

Justice Connect Not-for-profit Law 






Relive the excitement of the 2016 HESTA Community Sector Awards Dinner.