Purpose-led people of 2023

Posted on 18 Dec 2023

By Greg Thom, journalist, Institute of Community Directors Australia


The charity and not-for-profit sector is filled with people determined to make a difference.

Since the launch of the Community Advocate earlier this year, we’ve tried to shine a light on their efforts through our weekly People with Purpose profiles.

From the tireless efforts of George McDonald, who is still giving back to the community aged in his 90s, to Orange Sky mobile laundry volunteer Annmarie Lambert and Good Karma Network founder Amy Churchouse, each is out on the frontline contributing in their own way.

Here’s a recap featuring some words of wisdom from a few of our People with Purpose class of 2023.

By George, there's still work to be done

George Mc Donald resized
“Be inspired, have your say, get involved.”
Veteran community volunteer George McDonald,
Ann Lambert 2
“Working with great volunteers, a fantastic service provider and making awesome friends has been life changing.”
Orange Sky mobile laundry volunteer Annmarie Lambert
Jennifer Tierney mask
“At its core, MSF is about one person reaching out to another in their greatest time of need."
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Australia CEO Jennifer Tierney
Nicole Chaplin 002
"We know what works and have a proud record of developing innovative service models to change young lives for the better."
St John’s Youth Services CEO Nicole Chaplin.
Matt Tilley Foodbank
"Fundraising and marketing are really quite similar to commercial radio. You’re basically trying to get people to love you or your cause – only we’re chasing donations not ratings."
Former radio DJ Matt Tilley, chief communications officer, Foodbank.
Bianca Crocker 19b
"I am always inspired by the work and commitment of others who are working to create positive change in our world."
Small Non-Profits Alliance CEO Bianca Crocker.
Lea Corbett
"The resilience and tenacity of NFPs are highly motivating, along with the commitment to changing lives, providing opportunities, and lifting the aspirations of people and communities."
Social change campaign veteran Lea Corbett.
St Kilda Mums
"Their cause really resonated with me. I believe kids deserve to be kids, living their best lives, without the stresses of adult life intruding on that."
St Kilda Mums volunteer Laura.
Good Karma Network Amy Churchouse
"We are so disconnected and, it seems, oblivious to the different narratives that are keeping us polarised. We need to come back together and remember that we are all human and have the same basic needs."
Good Karma Network founder Amy Churchouse.
Emma 1
"By providing the rescued food free of charge, we enable charities to save their money and reinvest it in other services like health and wellbeing programs, counselling, and financial relief services."
Emma Watts, director of fundraising and communication at food relief charity SecondBite.
Henley Collopy Mary202305 DAY2 CIC1 008
“I’m really strong on the idea that if you’ve got the ability to work, to volunteer or to be on a board, then you’ve got a responsibility to contribute.”
Former social worker and disability advocate Mary Henley-Collopy.
Paul Bird
"For those NFPs that have or seek government funding, governments at all levels are increasingly requiring their contractors to align to their climate action policies and demonstrate their environmental action."
Veteran social justice warrior Paul Bird.
Walter beach background
"The protection of children's rights requires a commitment to creating a society where every child can grow up happy, safe, and strong."
Alannah & Madeline Foundation founder Walter Mikac.
KK TV interview pic
"Effective communication skills should be in the toolkit of every leader. NFPs are no different."
Senior corporate affairs professional and pro bono NFP media trainer Karina Keisler.
Edgars Mission Pam Ahern with Red Baron the rooster
"For the wider community Edgar’s Mission gives people a chance to visit the sanctuary and meet or learn the stories of the former farm animals who live here."
Pam Ahern, founder of Edgar's Mission animal sanctuary.
"Public and social housing often represents a pocket of social disconnection, exclusion, and economic disadvantage."
Unison Housing community engagement place manager Deb Wilson.
Marcus Harvey Infoxchange
"I have an amazing role at Infoxchange, helping not-for-profits of all sizes find ways to use digital technologies more effectively and undertake a digital transformation."
Marcus Harvey, Infoxchange.
Photo of Jaya Manchikanti
"Much good work is undertaken by community-based NFP organisations, yet their work is seriously overlooked."
Jaya Manchikanti, community development researcher
Yamamah Agha
"Helping newcomers to feel welcome and included requires us to see their humanity – to acknowledge their differences and to embrace them with curiosity and understanding."
Yamamah Agha, general manager, newcomers, settlement and integration, Settlement Services International.
Morris Hayley Supplied Pic
"We want to provide an affordable and usable platform to support businesses to measure their emissions and actually reach net zero.”
Impact Sustainability director Hayley Morris.

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