impact awards

We are proud to present the organisations, teams and individuals who have been named as finalists in the 2022 HESTA Impact Awards.


Outstanding Organisation finalists


Zoe Support HIA2022 finalist


Zoe Support Australia

Mildura VIC

Area of impact: Diversity and inclusion

Zoe Support Australia is recognised for their outstanding support of young mothers and their children.

Since 2013 Zoe Support has worked to reduce the social isolation, poverty, ill health and distress of young mothers aged 13 to 25. They do this by providing services to re-engage mothers in education, employment and social programs, helping to break the cycle of welfare dependence, increase family stability, and improve physical and mental health. 

In the 20/21 financial year, Zoe Support had 57 clients with 83 children. Approximately half their clients had enrolled in accredited education, 26% were employed and 47% had found stable accommodation.

Zoe Support hopes to continue its wraparound service for young mothers by providing education supplies and support, as well as practical assistance such as food and housing items.




Education CHANCES Foundation

Melbourne VIC

Areas of impact: Sustainability, Gender equality, Diversity and inclusion, Sector-wide partnerships

The Education CHANCES Foundation is recognised for addressing education inequality in Victoria’s Boroondara municipality for young people experiencing financial disadvantage. 

The organisation provides scholarships based on academic performance, particular talent or talents and involvement in other activities for students at government schools. The scholarships address economic and social disadvantage, inequality, and social isolation. They also provide connections to role models, giving young people access to employment and career opportunities.

Education CHANCES has operated for fifteen years after pockets of poverty were identified in the local area.

Nearly all Education CHANCES recipients complete their secondary education, with approximately 98% going on to complete tertiary studies. This support has enhanced academic outcomes for students, provided opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities and has had a positive impact on students’ self-esteem and wellbeing.

In the future, Education CHANCES plans to provide additional scholarships that will give more students a "hand up".



Little Wings

WESNET (Women’s Services Network) Incorporated

Canberra ACT

Area of impact: Gender equality

WESNET (Women’s Services Network) is recognised for its expertise in technology abuse and innovative partnerships to support specialist women’s domestic and family violence (DFV) services during the pandemic.

As the national peak body for women’s specialist services, WESNET facilitates national debate on DFV issues and women’s services networking, contributes to national policy, and conducts research on key issues affecting DFV. 

WESNET's Safety Net Australia Service delivers training, technical advice, and policy guidance to frontline workers on topics including technology abuse, technology safety, investigating and evidence collection, and victim privacy and security rights.

WESNET’s innovative partnerships have changed lives. In the 20/21 financial year, in partnership with Telstra, the Safe Connections project distributed 5,000 smartphones and credit to victim-survivors of domestic and family violence, sexual assault, and other forms of violence against women. And in partnership with Uber, the WESNET Rides Program provided nearly 2,000 free rides for victim-survivors to get to essential appointments and deliver nappies, food, and other essential items.

WESNET will continue helping make DFV services accessible for women by developing an on-demand educational resource targeted at practitioners and victim-survivors.




Team Innovation finalists



The Haymarket Foundation Medical Practice Team
Chippendale NSW

Areas of impact: Gender equality, Diversity and inclusion, Improved health outcomes/improved patient wellbeing , Sector-wide partnerships

The Haymarket Foundation Medical Practice team is recognised for their dedication to providing accessible, specialist healthcare and housing support services for people experiencing, or who are at risk of, homelessness.

The team believes providing continuity of care is critical to reducing disadvantage. Trained in managing trauma, mental health and alcohol and other drug issues, the team provides high-quality chronic care and counselling, and helps people navigate the housing and health system. 

Since its establishment in July 2021, there has been a positive effect on patients’ health and inclusion. Most notably, 30% of patients have had forms completed for housing and disability support pensions, while also receiving medical attention. 

The Haymarket Foundation has committed to a $2.2 million upgrade of its premises in the heart of Sydney. This will include a drop-in practice with purpose-designed facilities and healthcare professionals.



Caring Mums
National Council of Jewish Women Australia -Victoria


Areas of impact: Diversity and inclusion, Improved health outcomes/improved patient wellbeing, Sector-wide partnerships

The Victorian branch of the National Council of Jewish Women Australia is recognised for their Caring Mums program.

The program provides emotional support to pregnant women and new mothers from all cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The team focuses on the mother’s emotional wellbeing and provides access to mentors, training and regular catch-ups.  

The Caring Mums team and volunteers played a pivotal role in providing nurturing and reliable support to new and expecting mums during COVID-19. In the 12 months to August 2021, volunteers spent nearly 4000 hours connecting with mums and helping reduce anxiety, isolation and depression. 

The Caring Mums team hopes to continue to develop their support initiatives, including growing their virtual services and providing ongoing training for their volunteers.




Guide Healthcare team
Rosebery NSW

Area of impact: Improved health outcomes/improved patient wellbeing

Guide Healthcare is recognised for their innovative use of technology to improve communication with and quality of life for older people. 

While COVID-19 has normalised mask wearing, Guide Healthcare recognised the communication difficulties this creates for older people with a hearing impairment.

In response, Guide Healthcare worked with occupational therapists, speech pathologists and aged care staff to create a deck of cue cards. The cards display key questions, instructions and phrases vital to effective care delivery. In just a few short months, the ‘Care Cards’ app was born. 

Since launching in August 2020, the free app has been downloaded more than 500 times, with more than 6000 older adults estimated to have been positively impacted. 

Guide Healthcare plans to further develop the Care Cards app by adding a translation service and voice reader, as well as the ability to create custom cards.



Advance Rehab Centre

Lifeblood Microbiome team
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood


Area of impact: Improved health outcomes/improved patient wellbeing

The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood team is recognised for their Microbiome program, created in partnership with Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, Western Australia. 

The program provides Fiona Stanley Hospital with a reliable supply of faecal microbiota for transplant to patients suffering from recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection. This potentially fatal illness occurs when the balance of healthy bowel bacteria is disturbed.

The Lifeblood Microbiome team is working at the forefront of this emerging field of medical science, with microbiota transplants successfully treating 70 to 90% of patients with recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection. 

Lifeblood plans to develop innovative transplant solutions for clinicians and patients. Their focus will be on ease of transplant delivery and reducing the burden on the healthcare system within Australia.




Individual Distinction finalists




Melissa McConaghy
PD Warrior

Artarmon NSW

Area of impact: Improved health outcomes/improved patient wellbeing

Melissa McConaghy is recognised for creating and developing PD Warrior, an exercise-based approach to help people with Parkinson’s Disease move, think and feel better.

PD Warrior delivers online and face-to-face training sessions directly to people living with Parkinson’s. The program also works to upskill physiotherapists and exercise physiologists to improve therapy outcomes.

Each year PD Warrior hosts a virtual conference to bring accessible, high-quality information directly to the people who need it most.

As the founder and driving force behind the program, Melissa has grown PD Warrior’s following to more than 30,000 people worldwide. The program has also been taught to nearly 5000 health professionals across 22 countries in four different languages. 

Melissa hopes to build a go-to app for people with Parkinson’s, enabling users to have their own support teams, discussion rooms, and access to hosted education sessions.



Little Wings

Sue Carroll
Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre

Swifts Creek VIC

Area of impact: Improved health outcomes/improved patient wellbeing

Sue Carroll is recognised for her leadership and for going above and beyond to deliver the best health outcomes in regional Victoria through her work with the Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre.

As the centre’s sole Bush Nurse Manager, Sue has been integral to supporting the local community’s physical and mental health. Following the impact of COVID-19 and the 2019 bushfires, Sue created a 24/7 integrated service at the centre to respond to the community’s health needs. Despite significant challenges, she demonstrated incredible leadership and provided digital health consultations, COVID-19 testing, bushfire relief packs, home visits and mental health support – all while running the centre’s day-to-day operations.

Sue plans to further develop the team’s skills, leadership and resilience in serving the community.



Little Wings

Shelly Skinner
Lionheart Camp for Kids & Perth Children’s Hospital

Innaloo WA

Area of impact: Improved health outcomes/improved patient wellbeing, Sector-wide partnerships

Shelly Skinner is recognised for her outstanding commitment to providing quality care and support to young people and families following the death of a loved one.

With over 20 years’ experience as a hospital social worker, Shelly recognised the impact death has on families, particularly young children. She went on to create the Lionheart Camp for Kids, a two-day bereavement program that aims to support the health and wellbeing of grieving children aged five to 17 years old.

Starting with friends and colleagues volunteering their time for the Camp, Shelly has since recruited and trained a large team of passionate volunteer facilitators. She has also built strong relationships with like-minded organisations and the community.

Shelly plans to develop a mentor program, providing bereaved children with access to role models for support and guidance.

Read about the 2021 HESTA Impact Awards finalists and winners

You might also like

Federal Budget 2024-25

With inflation and currently high interest rates continuing to hit household budgets, this year’s Federal Budget contained some important changes for super.

Read More

Learn more about the HESTA Impact Awards