Do Good Team and Do Good Business Award Finalists
Do Good Team and Do Good Business Award Finalists
These are the stories from our finalists in the Do Good Team and Do Good Business Awards. They are volunteers and entrepreneurs with their eye on social need and a willingness to make a difference to the lives of those in need. Their contribution is helping make Australia a richer, more caring and enabling society.
Do Good Team Award Finalists
Serving the NSW Southern Highlands, Highland FM 107.1 Community Radio is run completely by a team of volunteers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is the only service of its kind operating in the region.
Operating since 1987 it provides locals with wide range of music programs, sport, news, BBC’s World Service, emergency information and local goings on. Its Board, also volunteers, oversee the licensed radio station.
Importantly the station provides a platform for local community organisations to promote their activities – a key component of programming is to mirror community interests, support local not-for-profits, to entertain, inform and to train people in radio skills to present live radio. Community groups get a free voice over the airwaves, a service vital to getting their message out to locals.
The station is run with the support of sponsorship, grants, memberships, and of course a bunch of volunteers that believe in community building and giving everyone a voice.
The Friends of Wingecarribee Animal Shelter (FOWAS), located in the Southern Highlands of NSW, is a volunteer organisation run by nine women dedicated to the support and re-homing of animals brought to the council shelter.
They do this through raising awareness and tireless fundraising activities. The results are inspiring. Two of their group are accredited dog trainers who assess the suitability of dogs for adoption and deliver a skills program to ensure the animals are safe and socialised.
Working closely with the local council they have implemented a minimal euthanasia policy that ensures non-dangerous animals are given an opportunity to live happy lives with caring owners. They have also developed close working relationships with local businesses to support the cause ensuring that locals are aware that FOWAS is a great place to find a wonderful pet.
The team is responsible for a number of events in the region including Dogs Day Out and community dog walks in local area. They also have more than 100 local members who volunteer their time to support the program. The shelter has been running for 13 years re-homing an average of 385 abandoned or surrendered dogs and cats every year.
Funds raised support animal care including training, food, special dietary needs, vet care, toys, bedding and shelter. Want to help?
The volunteers at Diversity ACT are motivated by the principals of inclusion: that people should receive equal rights and treatment regardless of their sexuality or gender expression. The charity is run solely by volunteers without on going funding and provides a social hub, support networks, a social worker and resources to assist the LGBTIQ+ community.
The scope of their work is broad, from emergency food hampers, shelter, advice and support for young people coming out, work placements, training and advice, to advocacy and court support.
Megan Jackson from Diversity ACT explains what it feels like to fall through the cracks in an intolerant society.
‘Imagine being a person in your fifties for whom coming out as transgender has cost you your family and your home. Imagine it is Canberra in winter, and you are living in your car. None of the women’s refuges will take you in, because you are in possession of male genitalia. None of the men’s refuges will take you in, because you look like a woman and staff are “concerned for your safety”.
You have applied for social housing but there is a wait list, and all these hoops that you have to jump through and paperwork that you have to provide, some of which you don’t have anymore because you got thrown out of your home with a suitcase of clothes. You are cold, and stressed, and this impacts on your capacity to function at work, and you are worried that you will lose your job on top of everything else.
Diversity ACT can help arrange emergency accommodation but a month or two respite in someone’s spare room is not enough to provide long-term safety and security.’
The incredible work of Megan, Shay, and other volunteers and supporters is advancing a culture of inclusion in the ACT region. To find out more visit their website.
Established by Betty Derrick, an active senior and Waroona local, the Waroona Community Car is owned by Waroona Senior Citizens Welfare.
Staffed by a team of local volunteers, the service is funded by the community with help from the Shire for servicing and the Waroona Community Resource Centre that manages bookings.
For a small fee the car service provides seniors and community members with transport to medical appointments and other services that they could not otherwise attend.
This unique and valuable service relies heavily on local fund raising activities and a team of volunteer drivers, and has been a lifesaver for many families and elderly given the distance from major centres such as Perth.
Locals hope community support for the program is ongoing and generous volunteers continue to come forward.
Do Good Business Award Finalists
Nip Wijewickrema is just 25 years old and is determined that people with special needs should have the opportunity to gain meaningful employment and be paid award wages. So, with the help of her family, she began GG’s Flowers and Hampers, a social enterprise employing twenty-six individuals with special needs.
There are an extraordinary number of Australians living with a disability and a large percentage of those are unemployed and welfare dependant – often not through choice. Nip’s goal is to make a difference to people’s lives by providing access to safe, meaningful and compassionate employment.
Her business packs and despatches thousands of gift hampers every year - all loving hand packed by the team.
‘Watching all of our employees hand pack gift hampers and cherish the opportunity to be part of a team - is truly magical. Celebrating all their personal wins and encouraging them in the workplace is a true honour,’ say Nip.
This year they celebrated everyone’s efforts and achievements – 1,500 hampers were packed in November. Her efforts were summed up when one of the team said to her, ‘thank you for letting me feel like I work in a normal workplace – I love GGs.’
Harry Dimpel cares about inequality. He’s also a self-confessed technology ‘ geek’ who has a vision to rebalance global wealth inequity and in doing so improve peoples lives.
Following extensive travel to some of the world’s poorest communities Harry realised very simple technology had the potential to create enormous improvements for people who are financially excluded from accessing the global economy.
So Harry developed Rocket Remit, the first service of its kind, to provide instant money transfers to recipients overseas using mobile technology. This may sound simple but imagine you are living in poverty and have no access to banking services. With this technology family members can send money internationally quickly and at a low cost providing a lifeline for essentials, such as food, medicine and education.
Thanks to Harry, Rocket Remit is helping Australians by facilitating funds transfers in countries previously un-reachable by the banking system and other money transfer services. Find out more about Rocket Remit here.