National Awards 2015

Anglicare Australia National Awards

The Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence, sponsored by Telstra, recognise outstanding services, projects and programs provided by the organisations of the Anglicare Australia network, as well as individual volunteers who have made a significant contribution.

The Awards program affirms the contribution of Anglicare agencies to the health and wellbeing of not only the individuals, but also Australian society.

The Winners and Highly Commended were announced at the National Awards ceremony at Floriade in Canberra on 15 September 2015.


The EXCELLENCE category is for a particular service or project or for the overall service provided by an agency.

WINNER - Anglicare Southern Queensland - Reading and Writing Group

The Reading and Writing Group was first inspired by the personal journey of the late Carmel Rosella, a woman who, despite a learning disability, created an active life, including a job and literacy for herself and many others.

Her vision formed the foundation of the group; recognising that everyone has a right to learning and literacy and that positive educational experiences in safe and supportive environments reinforce and develop people’s strengths, unique talents and capacities.

The Reading and Writing Group has evolved into a community based adult literacy program, under the stewardship of Anglicare Southern Queensland’s A Place To Belong, which is a program working to build inclusion for people who experience mental health challenges.

The judges felt this project was a highly effective quiet achiever. It was about real social inclusion outcomes and not simply linked to employment.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Excellence Award winner, Damian Le Goullon. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Reading Writing Group_Anglicare SQ

Highly Commended - Anglicare Victoria - TEACHaR (Transforming Educational Achievement for Children in Home-based and Residential care program)

Children and young people living in Out Of Home Care (OOHC) often experience poorer educational outcomes and vocational opportunities than those in the wider community.

TEACHaR is an evidence-informed education program that aims to lift the learning outcomes of children and young people in OOHC. It does this by employing highly experienced specialist teachers to directly work with children and young people in a variety of classroom or care settings.

TEACHaR is a partnership arrangement with schools, carers, case managers, residential workers, wellbeing officers and government workers. It provides access to educational and health assessments, complementary services, extra-curricular activities and learning resources.

The judges saw very real outcomes for young people in this program and were impressed with the view that education is not just the responsibility of schools.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Excellence Highly Commended winner, Cathie Valentine from Anglicare Victoria. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

TEACHaR_Anglicare Victoria

Highly Commended - Anglicare Tasmania - Needle and Syringe Program

Anglicare Tasmania has operated a Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) in Hobart and Glenorchy since 2011. The program works within a harm reduction paradigm to enhance the capacity of people who inject drugs to initiate solutions for their own health and social support.

A number of studies in Australia identified that for many clients, NSP contact is clients’ only contact with health and community services. Therefore the program provides a non-judgmental, confidential, friendly service with a range of sterile injecting equipment, disposal facilities and resources for people who inject drugs. It also makes available to client, fresh and nutritious food.

The judges were impressed with the program’s respect and dignity, and that clients were able to voice opinions about its operation.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Excellence Highly Commended winner, Daryl Lamb from Anglicare Tasmania. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Needle Syringe Program_Anglicare Tasmania

The INNOVATION category is for a program activity directed to the client, or clients, that yields exceptional results that would not ave been achieved otherwise. 

WINNER - Anglicare Southern Queensland - Deco Room Challenge

While more than 60% of homeless people in Queensland are women, there are 10 times more beds for homeless men than for women. Anglicare Southern Queensland has done something about this by building a new home-away-from-homelessness facility for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

When the facility was nearing completion, attention turned to the rooms, which needed to be furnished. Wanting to avoid a repetitive ‘institutional’ look, Anglicare Southern Queensland decided to run the Deco Room Challenge. This involved inviting schools, businesses, families and community groups to raise funds and compete in designing and dressing each of the 24 bedrooms.

Within the first two hours of the launch, the campaign had secured teams for 19 of the 24 rooms. This interactive concept ran over a five month period and judges scored each team’s room for its style, comfort and atmosphere.

The judges were impressed with how the attention to décor and furnishing went beyond what we would normally expect and it was great to see the community getting involved.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Innovation Winner, Heidi Monsour from Anglicare Southern Queensland. Photo: Josk Sellick, End Vision Photography. 

Deco Room Challenge_Anglicare SQ

Highly Commended - Samaritans Foundation - Web Based Restricted Portal System

The impact of trauma, disability, mental illness and socio-economic disadvantage can result in the development of a range of serious and intractable ‘challenging behaviours’ that place an individual at risk, as well as limit their capacity to participate in community life.

Such behaviours are often met with situational management strategies that are often restrictive and have limited impacts on supporting the person to achieve sustainable behaviour change. Such ‘restrictive practices’, despite both legislative and practice requirements, often remain unauthorised and unregulated, and potentially impinge on a person’s basic human rights.

The Samaritans Foundation’s Web Based Restricted Practice Portal System ultimately ensures the human rights of an individual subject to the use of ‘restricted practices’ are recognised and respected. It allows a stronger focus on behaviour support and the need for services to effectively support the person manage their ecologies, build skills and access relevant mainstream service supports.

The judges thought the program highlighted a really important issue in the mental health space that we do not talk about enough. It was pleasing to see human rights put at the front of service design.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Innovation Highly Commended winner, Faren Brewer from Samaritans Foundation. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Web Based Portal_Benetas

Highly Commended - Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT - Transition to Leaving Care program

St Saviour’s provides a range of Out Of Home Care services in western and south western Sydney, and the NSW Southern Highlands. The arbitrary nature of the care system cuts support to young people in these services when they turn 18, with no regard to their specific and individual development needs.

At St Saviour’s, young people are transitioned into a trial Transition to Leaving Care (TLC) program at 17, where they practice their living skills in a small unit set up as a short-term rental and live independently for one or two days at a time while still attending school or work. When they are 18, they are then supported to transition to a range of accommodation options and are further supported by the TLC program staff.

Since the program began in October 2014, the most outstanding benefit is that no one has ended up in homelessness services. Of the current 12 young people aged 18 to 20 in the program, nine are engaged in training or work or a combination of both, including one who has received a scholarship to attend Sydney University.

The judge said they were impressed with the evidence base and that the organisation was getting great outcomes.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Innovation Highly Commended winners, (L to R] Rachael Atkinson, Cassandra McNamara and Katie Barry. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Transition to leaving care_Anglicare NSWACT

The PARTNERSHIP category is for a program or project that builds and strengthens links.

WINNER - AnglicareSA - Refugee and Settlement Services Program

AnglicareSA, in partnership with the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia, provides accommodation and support to refugees who have recently arrived in Australia. It is a complex partnering approach designed to assist new arrivals to settle into the local community and equip them with the skills, knowledge and community support they need to build a new life in their new country.

A significant number of the new arrivals are coming from traumatic circumstances in their previous countries of origin, or from detention centres, so there is a strong need for sensitivity and understanding.

AnglicareSA’s partnering approach to supporting the new arrivals goes further than the standard household goods package and accommodation agreement. The Refugee Housing team pays a great deal of attention to the details that make the difference between providing a house and making it a home; between accommodation and hospitality. The approach now combines the resources of over 20 partnerships both within the organisation and with external groups.

The judges said at a time where there is so much demonisation of issues with refugees, this program was changing hearts and minds, and there is a big effort into going the extra mile.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Partnership winners, Mary Awata and Trish Buhagiar from AnglicareSA. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Refugee Settlement Services_AnglicareSA

Highly Commended - Samaritans Foundation - Wyee/Riverview Transition Project

The Wyee/Riverview Transition Project is a crisis and transition response where government and non-government organisations worked together to deliver quality of life outcomes to the 58 people requiring short-term crisis accommodation, until their housing situation was resolved, following the closure of Riverview Boarding House.

With just four days’ notice of the Boarding House closure, Samaritans formed relationships with relevant partner organisations to ensure quality support for the residents transitioning to Wyee. Samaritans’ role in the project was pivotal in supporting and accommodating 38 of the 58 residents affected.

The partnerships provided opportunities for the creation of real improvements in the lives of the people with mental illness, their families and communities.

The judge found the outcomes of this project were extensive and they were impressed with how real outcomes were delivered to a group that can often get forgotten.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Partnership Highly Commended winner, Marette Gale from Samaritans Foundation. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Wyee Riverview Transition_Samaritans Foundation

Highly Commended - Anglicare Tasmania - Lift The Lid event

The Lift The Lid event was developed in response to a number of suicides that occurred in the small rural town of Bothwell. This community event aimed to raise awareness of support available, reduce the feelings of isolation and provide a safe forum where the community could ask questions. Most of the town’s 300 residents attended.

Following the Bothwell event, the community of Oatlands asked for a Lift The Lid event, which was adapted to that community’s needs, with mental health awareness, suicide prevention and community capacity building at the forefront.

The Oatlands event was a partnership with key influential community members, the local football clubs, PHaMs participants and service providers. The diversity of stakeholders included those both locally based and those doing outreach from the city. Some focused exclusively on mental health and others provided more generalist services.

The judges found the collective impact quite massive and particularly noted how effective this project tackled rural isolation issue.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Partnership Highly Commended winner, Michaela Mitchell from Anglicare Tasmania. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Lift The Lid_Anglicare Tasmania

The VOLUNTEER ACHIEVEMENT category is for exceptional service by an individual who has made a significant contribution or significantly changed and improved the quality of service to the client or work environment of the agency.

WINNER - Bronnie Cooper - Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT

St Saviour’s Long Day Care Centre’s longest standing volunteer, Bronwyn Cooper, has notched up more than 31 years of volunteer service. Run by Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT, the centre welcomed Bronwyn and her twin sister after they finished Year 10 at Goulburn High School (NSW).

Bronwyn, or Bronnie as the staff and children call her, has remained devoted to the centre for the past three decades and shows no signs of retiring. Her commitment and dedication, volunteering four mornings a week, has earned her respect among the staff and the community.

Bronnie supports the staff in the centre by preparing morning tea and lunch for the children. She takes time to sit with the children and educates them in appropriate table manners and the importance of healthy eating.

The judges thought Bronnie was a role model across generations, with a positive impact on so many local families and children.

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with the winner of the Volunteer Achievement award, Bronnie Cooper, from Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Bronnie Cooper

Highly Commended - Joshua Waugh - Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT

Joshua Waugh has been volunteering for Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT every year since 2007, when he was nine years old. His volunteering activities include collecting food for Anglicare’s Pantry Appeal at his school, counting and distributing Christmas cards, collecting donations at the Brumbies rugby games, selling Anglicare Bears to his mates, helping with newsletter mail-outs and organising a winter jacket appeal at his school.

Joshua is a quiet achiever with a big smile. Despite his commitments at school and his competitive swimming, Joshua has spent over 350 hours volunteering with Anglicare over the past three years. He shares with others the importance of giving back and supporting those who just need a helping hand. He is continually looking for ways to raise money and support others while having fun.

The judges said Joshua was an outstanding role model and showed great leadership. He has already made an incredible contribution to Anglicare and he is only 17!

Award judge and Telstra representative, Robert Morsillo, with Volunteer Achievement Highly Commended winner, Joshua Waugh, from Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT. Photo: Josh Sellick, End Vision Photography.

Joshua Waugh_Anglicare NSWACT

Proudly sponsored by