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Congratulations to all finalists of the

Community Services Excellence Awards 2014

Skip Navigation LinksCSEA 2014 Finalists

Category: Community Services Excellence Awards – 

Volunteer-Based Organisation

Sponsored by Beyond Bank

12 Buckets Inc, of Westminster

12 Buckets of Westminster, have developed an innovative mentoring approach for vulnerable and disadvantaged primary school children in Perth’s northern suburbs, connecting them with adult mentors for one-to-one or group mentoring.  12 Buckets encourages and assists children who have experienced violence, isolation, or addiction or who may simply need a hand with their studies.  Programs are tailored to each child’s individual needs, using programs based on skills such as sport, photography and web design and mentees are supported to learn a range of valuable social, emotional and life skills.  The classroom learning experience for all children and teaching staff has improved greatly in the two schools currently running the program.

angelhands Inc, of Maylands

angelhands, based in Maylands, provides a peer-based recovery service for people who have experienced homicide and serious personal violence.  All programs are free of charge, ongoing and have no time limit.  angelhands’ programs aim to teach healthy coping mechanisms, reduce feelings of isolation and enable a return to some sense of normalcy, safety and belonging. The programs include peer-support, known as ‘befriending’, virtual and physical resource library, training and referral services. Personalised programs give participants the opportunity to take part in holistic therapies and retreats, enabling them to reconnect and providing a much-needed opportunity for rest, relaxation and support. Run by volunteers, angelhands’ programs provide a much-needed alternative to traditional counselling.    

Fair Game Sports Equipment Inc – Fair Game WA Program, of Derby

The Fair Game WA Program is a health promotion and community development charity that uses recycled sports equipment to deliver health and fitness programs to communities across Western Australia.  The program operates in disadvantaged areas, aiming to reduce rates of disease, promote the prevention of harmful behaviours and provide direct relief of suffering, misfortune, distress, poverty, helplessness and destitution.  Fair Game WA runs courses on how to avoid, overcome or recover from harmful behaviour, trains carers and professionals in ways of dealing with harmful behaviour and disease and provides information to the public and health professionals. Fair Game WA has developed a unique learning partnership with students studying sport science, exercise and health at the University of Western Australia.  Through the program, students are given the opportunity to participate as youth leaders in remote indigenous communities across Western Australia.  

Leeman & Green Head Community Resource Centre – Trash 2 Treasure Community Recycling Yard Service, of Leeman

Trash 2 Treasure, based in Leeman, is a unique spin on the traditional ‘op shop’.  Based in the centre of town, Trash 2 Treasure has become an important community space offering cost-effective clothing and housewares.  The service has been built upon the use of damaged items and the different ways in which they may be used.  The service also now includes a mosaic club, and mosaic workshops are almost always sold out in advance. The main benefit of Trash 2 Treasure has been the engagement of a strong team of mature women in the town, who were looking to contribute to their community.  They have remained committed with little turnover of volunteers and are eager to add value for the customers who come through the doors. Their next scheme is an external beautifying gardening project at the centre using all recycled materials.  Some pieces can already be seen in public places throughout town.


Category: Community Services Excellence Awards – 

Small Organisation

Peel Youth Services – The BLO4C Program, of Mandurah

BLO4C means ‘Building Lasting Opportunities for Change’ and aims to meet the needs of young people in non-judgmental, safe and respectful ways. Based in Mandurah, it stems from a 2010 study identifying high truancy rates, social issues and anti-social behaviour as problematic in the Peel Region.  Now based on a 10-acre property, the Peel Youth Services run program has implemented a range of courses, including a Shed Program for young men, the Choyces Program for young women dealing with low self esteem and self harm, and an environmental setup which has vegetable gardens, chickens and recreational space.  By the end of 2013, intensive support had been offered to more than 500 young people and their families; an increase of 300 per cent.  Partnerships with community services, organisations and businesses have grown to more than 70.

South West Counselling Inc, of Busselton

South West Counselling has been operating for 32 years and now covers a geographical area of 23,970 square kilometres with six permanent locations.  It provides demand driven, quality, client-focussed counselling services.  To meet new demands and provide choice in service delivery, the organisation has used innovative thinking and technology entrepreneurship in the design and delivery of new and existing services.  It has expanded to offer domestic violence support programs for women and men, and also offers counselling services in anger management, self-harming and bullying. Its reputation for providing quality services and responding to emerging needs across the region has been a major contributor to its long-term success.

Teach Learn Grown Inc – TLG Rural Program, of Crawley

Teach Learn Grow Inc provides tutoring and mentoring services free of charge to rural and Indigenous WA students with the aim of overcoming poverty and disadvantage through education. The services focus on consolidating knowledge and inspiring a student’s interest in education to maximise their potential. One hundred and eighty volunteers travel twice a year to 12 schools to provide one-on-one tutoring with every child for two hours a day.  The remainder of time is spent mentoring and engaging children with school, with planned activities, science experiments, reading and games.  Volunteers also spend time forming sustainable relationships with regional communities, resulting in improved attitudes towards education from the community.   November 2013 saw Teach Learn Grow deliver 5001 tutoring hours in one week, free of charge, to schools most in need in WA. 

The Hood Academy, of South Hedland

Standing for ‘Hope, Optimism, Opportunity, Dance’, the HOOD Academy was established in Port Hedland in 2009 after a leadership group of young people identified boredom and anti-social behaviour as major issues confronting young people in the area.   Hip hop was identified as an activity of greatest interest with several local children showing dedication and flair for breakdance and beatbox.  It is now used for its proven self-expression, self-worth, and self-confidence attributes as a tool to engage, equip and empower children and young people through peer mentoring and youth leadership.  The Hood Academy is wholly youth led, and supported by a group of dedicated volunteer parents.  The program attracts the best choreographers, photographers, filmmakers, business and community leaders to mentor and teach hip hop skills. The only unfunded youth service to operate beyond 6pm every day, it provides a highly valued activity and service to all young people involved, and to the community. 

Community Services Excellence Awards – Medium Organisation

Halo Leadership Development Agency – Just Another Day Program, of Spearwood

Halo, which stands for ‘Hopes, Aspirations, Leadership and Opportunities’ was formed in 2007 by a single mother determined to change lives.  Using a unique peer mentoring model the agency listens to the needs of Aboriginal young people and their families, provides advocacy, programs and networking opportunities that enable individuals to discover who they are, design their own futures and make a difference in their communities.  Just Another Day is a forum theatre performance created and performed by young Aboriginal people.   The aim was to develop a theatre performance that dealt with the issue of violence against women and its effects on children. The performance has broken taboos, and communities have finally been able to discuss these important issues and break down decades-old boundaries.  Critically, all participants are counselled throughout the process and encouraged to debrief with a range of trusted social workers and Elders.

Inclusion WA – Youth Connect Program, of Osborne Park

For over twenty years, Inclusion WA has worked alongside individuals, community groups and government organisations to enable social inclusion for all West Australians, regardless of their differences.  Youth Connect is a unique program from Inclusion WA, which operates for young people with disabilities or at risk of social isolation.  The program enables them to identify their goals, get involved in mainstream recreational and social activities, address barriers and develop their social skills. To date, every young person has been successful in connecting to community and some have experienced a sense of belonging within a mainstream environment for the first time in their lives.  

Mental Health Law Centre (WA) Inc, of Perth

The Mental Health Law Centre is a statewide specialist Community Legal Centre, which specialises in mental health law. It provides free legal advice and presentation to people who are involuntary patients within the WA mental health system. Prior to the opening of the Mental Health Law Centre in 1997, there had been no dedicated facility through which people detained in authorised psychiatric hospitals could obtain access to legal advice concerning their rights. Involuntary patients upon admission to an authorised hospital are now provided with information about how to contact the centre.  The centre incorporates innovative human resource management, while aiming to reduce the stigma attached to mental health problems through a volunteer and education program for law students and graduates. The centre supports families and actively promotes the incorporation of human rights.  Demand for services continues to grow with 935 clients provided with legal service in 2012-13.

The Nintirri Centre Inc, of Tom Price

The Nintirri Centre Inc is at the very heart of the Tom Price community, delivering a vast range of services and programs through the Nintirri Neighbourhood Centre, the Little Geckos Childcare Centre, the Community Health and Wellbeing unit, a Domestic Violence Counselling and Prevention Service and the Three Year Old Transition to School Program.
The Nintirri Centre Inc. works very closely with the community at a range of different levels to enable the centre to devise and deliver services and infrastructure responses that that reflect the continually growing local priorities.  This is achieved by direct and informal communication with service users, an annual survey, use of social media and initiatives such as the ‘Conversation Café’. The centre has just recently implemented a three year strategic plan identifying priority outcomes and areas of change which will see the Nintirri Centre grow and expand through till 2016 meaning new and exciting time ahead.

Category: Community Services Excellence Awards – 

Large Organisation

Rise Network Inc – Kira House Project, of Midland

Kira House was inspired by the plight of a pregnant teenager with nowhere to go within the 2004 refuge system.  Opening its doors in 2008, Kira House is WA’s first funded 24 hour a day, seven days a week safe house for young women aged 14 – 18.  Today the facility assists young women fleeing domestic violence and operates with support from local and regional businesses.  It provides individually planned approaches for up to six families at a time and includes basic life skills, disease management, and parenting.  In some cases young women give birth while at Kira House and they are supported through the whole process.  Following their transition out of the facility, support continues to be provided to help maintain their tenancy, establish networks for safeguarding, continue to develop their life skills and ensure their well-being.

Silver Chain Group Limited – NBN Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program, of Osborne Park

Australia’s ageing population and its stress on the health care system prompted Silver Chain to develop the innovative NBN Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program, which has seen over 70 patients in Geraldton trial the technology.  The Telehealth system allows Silver Chain to remotely monitor a client’s vital signs using equipment that is installed in the home.  Clients are given training, and the system can be used to communicate through text, voice and video, using the internet.  The Telehealth system ensures that clients are better educated about their health and are encouraged to take steps to maintain it, in turn preventing visits to the emergency department or their GP.  This also means that they are able to stay within their community of choice for longer.

Volunteer Task Force – Waterwise Gardening Program, of Carlisle

The Volunteer Task Force Waterwise Gardening Program got fully underway in 2013 following a successful trial.  Volunteer Task Force works closely with local government authorities, the Health Department and private businesses to deliver the program, which was successfully implemented through training information sessions for staff, volunteers and clients.  The Waterwise Gardening Program produces results that are better for the environment, the purse and client independence.  The results also benefit the Volunteer Task Force, which has been able to lessen some gardening services and support additional clients. The aim of the program is to transform around 250 gardens (that’s ten per cent of Volunteer Task Force clients) into waterwise, cost effective, easy to maintain gardens in 2014.

Wanslea Family Services Inc – Wanslea Foster Care Service, of Scarborough

Wanslea Family Services commissioned the ‘I was a foster child’ film series to highlight the potential benefits of foster care and to raise awareness of fostering and of the need for foster carers. In addition, it was an opportunity for young people to tell their stories about being in care. Three young people who have all been in foster care for significant periods of time were approached to be part of the film, to paint a picture of what life in foster care is like. The young people were interviewed sensitively, were given control over where they would like to be interviewed and who they wanted to be with them in their films. They were also given final editorial control over how they were represented in the film. Since the films were made, they have been used in public forums, online, on social media and within the foster care sector to highlight some of the critical issues in placing and supporting children in care.

Category: Community Services Excellence Awards – 

Regional Organisation

Sponsored by The Department of Regional Development

Geraldton Regional Community Education Centre Association Inc, of Geraldton

Geraldton Regional Community Education Centre has facilitated a number of creative and innovative projects across the Midwest Gascoyne region of WA.  These projects have been developed through consultations and partnerships with communities, families, young people and service providers. The projects are varied and have included; implementation of a Future Leaders Program, a Mentor Toolbox for Employers developed with young people, many of whom have experienced substantial risk factors; mental health and art workshops; parental and community engagement programs and a civic engagement program for young people disengaged with school.  Staff at the centre say that working in the Midwest Gascoyne is a privilege as they have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people who face the challenges of distance and isolation to develop skills, talents and strengths that are often overlooked.

The Hood Academy, of South Hedland  

The Hood Academy was established in Port Hedland in 2009 as a learning and healing hip hop centre, an art form known for its self-expression, self-worth, and self-confidence attributes.  Through innovative engagements with schools through the ‘Kool 2B Kind Hip Hop Festival’, youth-led workshops and the ‘Battle Zone’ competition, the Hood Academy were able to share the power of hip hop with over 1000 students in 2013.  With visiting choreographers and key partnerships, the HOOD Academy’s continued hope is to engage, equip and empower young people through open discussions about the major issues of bullying, suicide and substance abuse.  

Wongan Community Care Inc- Wongan Hills Therapy Group, of Wongan Hills

The Wongan Hills Therapy Group was formed in 2012 by a group of concerned parents who have children with various disabilities. The formation of the group was initially in response to the lack of therapy services available locally. Australian music therapy program, You Gotta Get Up, was identified, which incorporates elements of speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, kinesiology and psychology into a music program. This original aim has now been further refined into four clear objectives; to establish a therapy program based at the local school; to bring professional trainers to Wongan Hills; to work with the Department of Health and the Disability Services Commission to address concerns with therapy service delivery and to find ways of securing stable, long-term funding for the group.  

Category: Community Services Excellence Awards – Partnerships

Sponsored by Synergy 

Avon Youth Community and Family Services Inc – 6510Youth Program, of Northam

Recognising that two services were providing disconnected programs from the same facility, the Shire of Moora and Avon Youth took the proactive step of partnering in January 2013. 6510Youth combines expertise from both providers in a more streamlined and effective way.  One focus has been on school truancy and they have worked closely with all three local schools, measuring attendance rates and implementing strategies where relevant.  In an area where education has not been traditionally valued, the ‘no learning no play’ policy has been supported by sporting clubs, and an innovative approach to re-engaging kids lost to the education system has also been successful.  The centre also encourages youth to drop in after school to provide a linkage point for further referral if necessary.

Foodbank WA – Food Sensations, of Welshpool

Foodbank WA’s Food Sensations community education initiative aims to improve knowledge and understanding of nutritious foods, and provide the skills to purchase and prepare them. Building on the excellent work that Foodbank WA does across regional and remote WA, Food Sensations was created in order to increase the quality, reach and sustainability of its work.  Partnering with WA Country Health Service units, and engaging with key collaborators such as dieticians and health promotion workers, Food Sensations is providing cooking equipment, educational resources and some staff in the areas of hands-on nutrition and cooking programs.  Equipping staff with ready-to-deliver resources for use in person or via videoconferencing builds capacity and supports partners with similar goals.  Innovative thinking has meant that these partnerships have also reduced duplication of services, cut expenses and lessened the overload of information into communities.

St Bartholomew’s House – A Good Life – Homeless and Transitional Support Services, of East Perth

A Good Life is an intensive support program for individuals experiencing high-risk chronic homelessness.  Borne from the multi-agency involvement that can often result in a silo mentality, A Good Life focuses on the efficiency of collaborative case management, and for clients who are dealing with many agencies and support workers at once, it provides one key worker and facilitator for whom they can rely on.  The results have seen service consistency, better problem solving, a wider skills base and the elimination of duplication. The use of partnerships and collaborative working processes has proven to encourage greater client honesty, disclosure and engagement, and provided the opportunity to view homelessness and its associated issues differently.

Street Law Centre WA Inc, of Maylands

A clear gap and a pressing need for legal services specifically for homeless people in WA was the impetus for Street Law, which was launched in March 2011.  Collaborative partnerships were formed with host agencies and three Street Law clinics have been established within community based services.  In addition, vital partnerships were developed with law firms, which have ensured that the program could become operational, and maintain and expand its service delivery.  Using a combination of volunteer and Street Law staff lawyers, clients received some 1,155 hours of professional legal services, 251 advices and opened 169 cases in the last financial year. 


Category: Community Services Excellence Awards –

Outstanding Achievement in Raising Awareness of Community


Sponsored by HESTA

Holyoake, the Australian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Resolutions Inc, of Victoria Park

As a leading provider of alcohol and other drug services for over 35 years, Holyoake acknowledged its need to change focus when WA was listed above the country’s average for both alcohol and illicit drug abuse.  With a tight budget it developed a creative campaign across a range of media, and distributed information through referring agencies, doctors and supporting organisations.  It also targeted community events, expos, universities and TAFE campuses, and provided services to 25 per cent more people as a result.   Importantly, scores of people who are affected indirectly by other people’s substance misuse are now aware that they can come to Holyoake for counselling and support.

Man Healthier Directions for Males – The Mooditj Marmun Book, of East Perth

The Men’s Advisory Network, known as MAN, is a not for profit health promotion charity that works with providers, business groups and individuals to improve the health and wellbeing of men.  Its very successful Blokes Book was recently reproduced for the Aboriginal community to cater specifically to the culturally sensitive issues around males in the South West of WA and up to Perth and is now known as the Mooditj Marmun Book.  Key to achieving this success was connecting with the Nyoongar community, understanding the specific challenges and barriers Nyoongar men have to sourcing and utilising the health and wellbeing services available to them, and incorporating appropriate strategies for presenting the information through the project as it developed.   

Organ Donation and Transplant Foundation of WA, of Maylands

In order to achieve heightened community awareness about donation, Organ Donation and Transplant Foundation of WA works to foster, promote and develop organ and tissue donation at all levels with a strong focus on establishing sustainable mechanisms to increase community awareness. This is achieved through the organisation’s community engagement programs, corporate outreach projects, promotional events, collaboration and networking functions, and recognition and support of WA donor families.  Through innovative programs unique to WA, the Organ Donation and Transplant Foundation of WA is leading the way for other States, and its Workplace Partnerships for Life Program, Night Under the Stars, and Student Volunteering Program are just some examples of the creative avenues being utilised to educate across demographics in the WA community.

Seniors Recreation Council of WA Inc, of Leederville

The Seniors Recreation Council of WA continues to have a significant impact on the older community with its ‘healthy ageing through activity’ ethos, which encourages seniors to be physically, mentally and socially active through a range of programs.  Not only does the Seniors Recreation Council provide the foundation for major initiatives and relationships such as ‘Have a Go Day’ and the ‘Have a Go News’ publication, it meaningfully links other providers together in support of seniors.  An easy to use reference booklet listing contacts for hundreds of organisations offering seniors’ services is now in its 18th edition, and is widely available at no cost. The Seniors Recreation Council continues to be creative and innovative in identifying the needs of seniors and designing strategies to best service them.

St Bartholomew’s House of East Perth, Homeless for a Day campaign

This ground-breaking publicity campaign saw six Perth CEOs undergo complete transformations with wardrobe and makeup to spend a morning as a homeless person in Perth’s CBD. The powerful media coverage provided West Australians with an insight into the homelessness plight in WA and provided awareness of St Bart’s mission to raise money for a new social housing facility on Brown Street, East Perth.  Coverage in The West Australian’s Insider magazine connected the campaign with the business community in a profound and significant way.  With a $15million fundraising goal, St Bart’s has successfully engaged with a leading property group, and made connections with other leading corporations, all on the success of this campaign.

Category: Community Services Excellence Awards – 

Outstanding Commitment by an Individual

Sponsored by Water Corporation

Damiano Chiera, of Osborne Park

Joining the Margaret Court Community Outreach program when it launched 15 years ago, Damiano Chiera shows no signs of slowing as he approaches his 74th birthday.  He began with providing soup, food and clothing to homeless people and prostitutes in Perth, and soon started assisting with the country outreach by taking food to the regions.  He is a volunteer supervisor for the dedicated team of over 50 volunteers in Osborne Park and Kwinana who assist in packaging food hampers, distribution of clothing and other necessary aids each week. His passion goes beyond just meeting their needs, but to continually encourage, empower and equip individuals with necessary life-skills to change their current circumstances, giving them hope for their future.

Esben Kaas-Sorensen, of East Perth

Esben Kaas-Sorensen’s lasting legacy will be the changing attitudes to the homeless and street-present young people, for whom his is a fierce advocate.  His reputation for insight into issues on the street and his capacity to build strong working relationships across a range of sectors makes him a leader with integrity, innovation, compassion and a determined approach to the rights and responsibilities of young people.  Esben leads a team of street-based youth workers who link homeless and at risk young people to the assistance they need, and is making practical changes through the re-vamped Street Connect bus which has refocused on the older target group.  He also participates in fundraising activities, community public speaking and works as an impartial grievance officer at Anglicare WA.

Gary Pike, of Willetton

Gary Pike first volunteered for the Great Toad Muster in 2009 and fell in love with the mission of the Stop the Toad Foundation.  His passion and energy while out in the bush doing hard, dusty, uncomfortable work was infectious and he came back each year to lead a group.  His enthusiasm for the cause has also seen him become the foundation’s education guru, and he has carried out thousands of presentations to community groups, schools and universities with the one-eyed view of awareness always at the forefront.  In recognition of his incredible work for the foundation, he was appointed to the board as vice chairman in 2012 and his peers believe his work has educated a large proportion of the Australian public.

Malcolm Smith, of Ocean Reef

Malcolm Smith first visited Perth to establish a rehabilitation program in 1985 but the short-term project has extended for some 28 years.  From a basic centre in Beverley, Teen Challenge has grown to a 45 bed, fully occupied facility in rural Esperance.  His passion and vision to help young people with drug and alcohol addiction has not waned in his 50-plus years in the field and he has impacted thousands of lives with his compassionate and firm approach.  Coupled with the detox and rehabilitation aspects of the program, Malcolm saw the need to prepare his patients for the next life stage, so a training college was launched, providing training in areas such as literacy and numeracy skills, business administration and warehousing.  Malcolm has truly helped reshape the futures of so many young people.

Click the links below to download the information on the finalists

2014 CSEA Finalist Summaries (word)
2014 CSEA Finalist Summaries (pdf)

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