Bundjalung and Kullilli woman Melissa Browning winner national HESTA Awards  

[supplied by HESTA Media]


 Image: supplied

The winners of the first-ever HESTA Impact Awards were last night announced as part of a national celebration of health and community services professionals working to protect the future of our people and planet.


The Youth Projects team (VIC) behind ‘The Living Room’ initiative, which provides people facing homelessness with health services and social support, took out the gong for ‘Team Innovation’. Housing All Australians (NAT) was crowned ‘Outstanding Organisation’ for their work to transform vacant buildings into short-term affordable housing through their ‘Pop Up Shelters’.


The ‘Individual Distinction’ award was presented jointly to actress Julia Hales (WA) and Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Melissa Browning (QLD) for their contributions to improving diversity and inclusion for people living with Down Syndrome and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, respectively.


HESTA CEO Debby Blakey congratulated the Award winners, who she said have gone above and beyond to have a lasting impact on the world.


“I am humbled by these extraordinary professionals and the work they are doing to make a real difference to health and social outcomes in Australia,” Ms Blakey said.


“Issues such as poor health, climate change and inequality can affect our shared future, particularly as they also pose a financial risk for Australians’ investments for retirement. It’s important we all keep working to address these issues and recognise those who are creating positive change.


“Congratulations to our incredible winners, our worthy finalists and everyone who took the time to nominate them. The HESTA team is so proud to help share their achievements and recognise their life-changing work.”


Launched last year, the Awards were inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global blueprint for making measurable progress to tackle world challenges, including ending hunger, inequality and reducing climate change, by 2030.


HESTA Impact Awards sponsors AIA Australia, Link and CMS Australasia donated the prize money, which the winners will use to continue their work. Each standalone winner took home $10,000, with the joint recipients for the Individual Distinction award sharing the winnings.


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