HESTA Impact Awards winners ‘create positive change’


The winners of the inaugural HESTA Impact Awards have been praised for making “a real difference to health and social outcomes in Australia”. 

Health and community services professionals were recognised across three categories for their efforts to protect people and the planet.

The Team Innovation award went to Melbourne’s Youth Projects, whose ‘The Living Room’ initiative provides health services and social support for people facing homelessness.  

Housing All Australians was named Outstanding Organisation for its work to transform vacant buildings into short-term affordable housing through pop-up shelters.  

The Individual Distinction category was jointly won by actress Julia Hales of Perth and Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Melissa Browning for their contributions to, respectively, improving diversity and inclusion for people living with Down Syndrome, and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

“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,” HESTA CEO Debby 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.”

Launched in 2020, the HESTA Impact Awards were inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a global blueprint for making measurable progress to tackle world challenges, including ending hunger, inequality and reducing climate change, by 2030.  

Each category had a prize of $10,000 to be used for continuing the winner’s work – the joint recipients of the Individual Distinction award took home $5,000 apiece. 

For more information, visit HESTA’s awards website.

Read more: HESTA Impact Awards finalists named

Read more: HESTA commits to climate change plan


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