Nearly 300 individuals from the not-for-profit sector and the wider community have been nominated in Pro Bono Australia’s 2016 Impact 25.
The impressive list includes eight of last year’s Impact 25 as well as many new faces who have left their mark over the past 12 months.
Voting is now open to find this year’s Impact 25.
Last year’s winner Rosie Batty, who has been nominated again for her courageous leadership in domestic violence, told Pro Bono Australia News it was a privilege to be recognised, “I really appreciated the award,” Batty said. She said being named the winner of the Impact 25 was important as it came from the sector.
“It meant a lot because [it was] an award from the sector and for me, I know how hard people have worked for a very long time and I feel incredibly privileged,” she said.
“I just wish it was for different circumstances. I think if it had been for different circumstances I would have the best life to be honest.
“I think last year was hard for me, it was such an amazing year but it was so bittersweet… because it was still very painful.
“[But] this year… even though I still have, every day, moments of intense sadness, I have been able to, I think, feel more comfortable with my journey and embrace it without such a degree of internal conflict.
Dean Cohen, founder of Flying Fox, who was nominated for being “passionate about creating an inclusive world”, told Pro Bono Australia News it was fantastic to be recognised by the sector.
“You’re working in your small communities and you are trying to have an impact on the people that you work with, for us that’s people with disabilities.” Cohen said.
“So to be recognised on a wider scale across the whole not-for-profit sector amongst a huge amount of unbelievable people who are doing amazing things is really cool.”
“I think firstly as inspiration for other people who can see that this is actually a pursuit that you can take up and you don’t have to go the traditional route…this is meaningful and fulfilling and you can also make a career out of it,” he said.
“So for that reason it is really important that we’re nominating and highlighting the successes of people in the sector.
Cohen said 2016 had seen a lot of change for the social sector, particularly with the growth of social enterprise and more young people finding a voice.
“There is obviously a push for social enterprise and for not for profits to create their own revenue and that is something that we’ve taken on board and we’re trying to do that to the best of our ability,” he said.
“I think there has been more recognition for younger leaders in the sector as well. If you look at the guys from Orange Sky Laundry as Young Australians of the Year and the way they’re inspiring an entire generation and the fact that young people are allowed to be CEOs and run their own organisations, with the support of the entire community, is something that I don’t know if it was the case in the past, and it’s really special to be a part of that.”
Voting is now open for Pro Bono Australia 2016 Impact 25.
Help select 2016’s Impact 25 here.
Voting closes Thursday 1 December.
ProBono Australia is an event partner of Purpose 2016.
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