CEO of the Year TOP 5 NOMINEES - Vote Now!
Ian Wishart is one of Australia’s most accomplished CEOs in the global humanitarian sector, having dedicated his 30-year career to helping people in poverty.
He is one of the few people who has worked at virtually every level of international development, including emergency relief operations, long term development and influential policy and advocacy initiatives.
Since joining The Fred Hollows Foundation as its new CEO on March 5, 2018, Ian has launched The Foundation’s 2019-2023 Strategy, lead global efforts to help Rohingya refugees arriving at crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh.
He championed gender equity within The Foundation and its programs by launching the She Sees initiative and implementing a Gender Equity and Inclusion Framework, and launched The Foundation’s largest investment into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health.
Ian’s experience growing up in pre-independence Papua New Guinea kindled a lifelong passion to support those impacted by poverty, disaster and disease.
Ian’s country experience is extremely diverse, including such places as Cambodia, Laos, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, South Sudan and Rwanda.
Ian has also been a leader in the sector as a former Vice President and Director of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak council for Australia aid and development organisations.
Alison Covington brought the ‘Good360’ charity to Australia, which offers the retail sector a sustainable, community-focused option to redirect surplus product from landfill. Inspiring all Australians to ensure that every brand-new product must have a ‘first life’ use – nothing useful to lie unused or go to waste.
Good360 is Australia’s largest on-line marketplace, matching business’ surplus brand-new goods to people most in need.
In just six years, over 300 retailers and manufacturers have signed on and donated over $188 million in brand new product, including essential toiletries, household items, clothing, shoes, PPE and stationery supplies to name a few. Their network of over 2,800 member charities and disadvantaged schools Australia-wide, across 31 cause areas, order the goods they need from the Good360 website with the ease of 24/7 access, saving time and precious budget. Thanks to Alison’s business model and vision, more than 21 million brand-new items have been matched to people in need, helping to provide dignity and equality.
Good360 Australia is well on the way to achieving Alison’s goal of matching $1 billion worth of brand-new goods to Australians in need by 2025.
Ben Vasiliou is CEO of Youth Projects and is committed to delivering life changing, frontline support to our community’s most vulnerable people. Ben leads from the front and has overseen considerable service growth framed by an industry leading social impact outcomes framework, that now supports over 10,000 people each year.
Throughout the pandemic, Ben has advocated for, and delivered, systemic change in the way people experiencing homelessness and young people enduring poor mental health are supported. Ben was instrumental in enabling an additional 2,500 people to access support from Youth Projects in the past year, whilst simultaneously driving service expansion into 14 new regions, opening 3 new social enterprise businesses and leading a team of healthcare heroes to remain open and operational throughout the entire pandemic.
Ben continues to advocate for the elevation of lived experience workforces, harnessing best practice in behaviour change, and shifting attitudes from tokenism to genuine action. Ben is also Vice President of LiverWELL Hepatitis Victoria, former Chair of BGKLLEN, was named as one of the most inspiring and influential leaders in the social economy by ProBono Australia in 2020, and recently graduated from the Executive Education in Social Entrepreneurship program at Stanford University (USA).
Elfa is the CEO of SydWest Multicultural Services, the leading not-for-profit multicultural agency in Greater Western Sydney, providing a range of services to vulnerable and diverse communities. Elfa has been involved in the community sector for the past 30 years and has an extensive background in developing services for linguistically disadvantaged communities, with a focus on engaging community and stakeholder participation. Elfa was awarded 2017 Blacktown Woman of the Year for supporting migrant and refugee women establishing their businesses and was one of the 2020 UNSW Alumni finalists for Social Impact and Service. She is a Director of Settlement Services International and a Director of the NSW Council of Social Services. Elfa has a degree in Sociology from the University of NSW, an Associate Diploma of Applied Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is passionate about social justice and is a strong advocate for the human rights of the elderly. She is proud of her Greek heritage and was the first Greek female journalist in Sydney’s ethnic media and a member of the Greek-Australian Journalists Association. For her contribution to the Greek media, Elfa was awarded an ΟΕΕΓΑ award for ‘Excellence in Journalism’.
Pat Hall, CEO, Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections (LNC) has worked in the Liverpool LGA for 31 years. With staff outreaching to Moorebank, Heckenberg, Cecil Hills, Lurnea and Casula, Pat oversees more than 60 programs per week to the Liverpool LGA with approximately 22,000 clients and volunteers accessing services annually.
In addition to providing core early intervention programs with funding from Department of Community and Justice NSW and NSW Department of Education, over the past seven years Pat Hall has worked in partnership with the Sydney Community Foundation and it’s Sydney Women’s Fund philanthropy community to expand a single social enterprise cafe into seven distinct profit-for-purpose businesses. Pat’s unique approach saw her develop an innovative employment scholarship program five years ago, ensuring the long term sustainability of the social enterprises. Last year Western Sydney University completed and launched an evidence-based Evaluation Research Paper which showed the Placed Based Community Development program developed by LNC and supported by Sydney Women’s Fund changes the lives of the local community.
Last year Pat was awarded the Business Women of the West Award from Western Sydney University. Pat has also won the Westfield’s Local Heroes Award, the Zest Award for Outstanding Leadership, and been inducted to the Zest Hall of Fame