Homeless shelter and NFP, Dignity, named 2019 Telstra Australian Business of the Year
Friday 22 November 2019 – New South Wales homeless shelter and not-for-profit, Dignity, has been named 2019 Telstra Australian Business of the Year, announced at a national gala dinner in Melbourne last night.
Since its inception in 2015, Dignity has been able to assist more than 70,000 vulnerable people in metropolitan and regional areas throughout the state, providing shelter, food, clothing, advocacy and education, and empowering people to regain control of their lives. They also won the 2019 Telstra Australian Social Change Maker Award.
The other national winners of the 2019 Telstra Australian Business Awards are:
- Emerging & Energised Award – Sonder [NSW], uses cutting-edge technology to mobilise spare capacity among ex and off-duty emergency services personnel to make safety and support services accessible to everyone.
- Small & Succeeding Award – Water Tight Canberra [ACT], a customer-first plumbing, drainage and gas-fitting company seeking to defy the lazy tradesperson stereotype and frequent second-rate work standard within the industry.
- Medium & Making Waves Award and People’s Choice Award – Modibodi [NSW], a protective apparel brand for menstruation and incontinence leaks, sweat, odour and more, eliminating the need for costly and uncomfortable single-use hygiene products.
Telstra Group Executive, Consumer & Small Business, Michael Ackland, said the national winners showcase Australia’s incredible commitment to business.
“It takes courage and resilience to build a future-thinking, customer-centric business, and this year’s winners are an outstanding example of this. To reach this stage of the Telstra Business Awards is a huge achievement, and we thank these businesses for their hard work improving the lives of Australians,” Mr Ackland said.
The national winners were awarded following a thorough judging process, which involved in-depth interviews with a panel of high profile judges, including David Koch, host of Channel 7, Sunrise and Chairman, Port Adelaide Football Club, Hana-Lia Krawchuk, founder of Love To Dream and 2017 Telstra Australian Small Business Award winner, and Julie Trell, global head of muru-D.
“Inspired by Dignity’s passion for breaking the homelessness cycle, the judges commended the not-for-profit organisation for its commitment to truly learning from their clients, while building a robust business model that has created systemic social change” said Mr Ackland.
“With a belief that every person should be treated with dignity, the organisation has grown from strength to strength, a credit to its strong business acumen while demonstrating how homelessness can be eradicated through business thinking to provide a viable solution to a real world problem.”
The Telstra Business Awards are an exclusive platform to help businesses thrive by providing recognition, expert advice and benchmarking and by opening doors to an exclusive network of businesses and opportunities.
They recognise the best in business nationally across five categories: Emerging & Energised, Small & Succeeding, Medium & Making Waves, Social Change Maker and People’s Choice.
Nominations are open all year-round. To nominate a business, even if it's your own, and be part of the 2020 Telstra Business Awards, go to: https://www.telstrabusinessawards.com/nominate
Information about the national winners of the 2019 Telstra Australian Business Awards:
2019 Telstra Australian Business of the Year and Social Change Maker Award winner: Dignity [NSW]
Frustrated with the increasing rate of homelessness, Suzanne Hopman knew there must be a way to stop the problem from the outset. Her idea was Dignity, a not-for-profit organisation focused on supporting people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness by providing shelter, food, clothing, advocacy and education, to empower people to regain control of their lives. Beginning with one shelter for women and children in 2016, Dignity now has 25 shelters across New South Wales accommodating up to 240 people every night. Since its inception in 2015, Dignity has been able to assist more than 70,000 vulnerable people in metropolitan and regional areas throughout the state. With a vision to end homelessness by 2028, the organisation is collaborating with the NSW Government to rehouse people within 28 days spent in crisis accommodation.
2019 Telstra Australian Emerging & Energised Award winner: Sonder [NSW]
Sonder is a world-first personal safety monitoring and response company, founded and led by proven performers from across the military, government and top-tier technology companies. Launched in early 2017, Sonder uses cutting-edge technology to mobilise spare capacity among ex and off-duty emergency services personnel to make safety and support services accessible to everyone. The Sonder Technology Platform connects members in need of immediate help with a 24/7 operations centre. Sonder’s response network puts help by a person’s side if they are concerned, confused, lost or stranded, ill or injured.
2019 Telstra Medium & Making Waves Award and People’s Choice Award winner: Modibodi [NSW]
Eliminating the need for costly and uncomfortable single-use hygiene products, Modibodi is a protective apparel brand for menstruation and incontinence leaks, sweat, odour and more. Modibodi’s patented fibre technology hopes to put an end to embarrassing mishaps and provide an eco-conscious alternative to disposable hygiene. Offering designer styles, ultra-comfort and superior high-tech protection, Modibodi is reinventing apparel and personal hygiene. In the five years since launching, the company has sold over 1 million garments, from leak-proof underwear and swimwear to maternity singlets in an all-inclusive range of sizes and styles. With a positive and long-lasting impact on the environment, Modibodi hopes to offer more convenient and worry-free ways to help customers look and feel their best, every single day.
2019 Telstra Australian Small & Succeeding Award winner: Water Tight Canberra [ACT]
Owner Tom Martin sought to defy the lazy tradesperson stereotype and frequent second-rate work standard within the industry through his customer-first plumbing, drainage and gas-fitting company, Water Tight Canberra. Constant communication with clients as well as team training and collaboration form the backbone of this small yet successful business. Founded in 2010, Water Tight’s seamless service is largely attributed to its productive use of digital software - including Google Drive, ServiceM8 and QR coding - to openly engage with clients and keep them up-to-date and informed live about every job completed. With fierce customer service standards, alongside cleanliness and quality service guarantees, Tom Martin strives to lead by example.
For further information and access to the winners for interview, please contact Steve Carey.
Images are available upon request.
Media contact: Steve Carey, General Manager Media,
M. +61 413 988 640