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2016 Social Enterprise Awards

By recognising excellence and best practice, the Awards bring together and showcase the best and brightest of Australia’s social enterprises.

26 finalists were shortlisted from over 100 applications for the 2016 Social Enterprise Awards.
Read the press release >

Eight winners were selected from the pool of finalists, judged by an expert panel including Simon Gillies (PwC), Belinda Morrissey (English Family Foundation), Catherine Brown (Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation), Ian O. Williamson (Melbourne Business School)and Luke Geary (Salvos Legal).

Congratulations to the winners

Australian Social Enterprise of the Year (Small)

ASRC Catering (VIC)

ASRC Catering are a not-for-profit social enterprise operating under the umbrella of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. They provide catering to events in the Melbourne metropolitan and surrounding area providing training and career pathways into the hospitality industry for asylum seekers.

Australian Social Enterprise of the Year (Large)

Soft Landing (NSW)

Soft Landing is a mattress recycling social enterprise currently operating in NSW, ACT and WA. They divert waste mattresses from landfill and recover the components for recycling and reuse. Through deconstructing and recycling mattresses Soft Landing offers entry level training and employment to people who experience significant barriers to work.

One to Watch Award

MYC Painting Services (NSW)

MYC Painting Services is a scalable social enterprise initiated by Marist Youth Care. Their mission is to create employment for unemployed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth by operating a high quality painting and decorating business. MYC Painting Services employs young people as apprentices and delivers an intensive 26 week training program that meets all first year apprentice training obligations.

Capital for Impact Award

Vanguard Laundry Service (QLD)

Vanguard Laundry Services (VLS) is a social enterprise initiative of Toowoomba Clubhouse. Social Ventures Australia (SVA) played the role of arranger for the project, working closely with the team at Toowoomba Clubhouse to create a detailed financial model, verify the model with industry experts, determine the appropriate capital structure, and raise the capital from a combination of philanthropic and repayable sources. Westpac Foundation were the first to commit to the fundraising target after the land was donated. The social enterprise Laundry project will create permanent jobs for 30 people with mental illnesses and also operate an industry-linked pathways program.

Social Enterprise Innovation Award


40K PLUS addresses the lack of access to quality education for any child in any village anywhere in the world, where there is fluctuating electricity, little-to-no internet, and critically an unavailability of quality teachers. Our program has seen us design and build an innovative use of technology, which makes quality online content available offline through a learning platform on tablet, with a “flipped” classroom environment.

Buy Social Award

Brisbane City Council (QLD)

Historically, Brisbane City Council has made a strong commitment towards social procurement and spend each year has continued to grow steadily. Goods and services socially procured include mowing and landscaping services, cleaning services, graphic design services, catering, fabrication services, animal welfare services and training & development services.

Social Enteprise Champion Award

Walter Villagonzalo (VIC)

Walter Villagonzalo has been an advocate and champion for social entrepreneurship since graduating from the School for Social Entrepreneurs as member of the first class in Melbourne in 2010. He received the Project Achievement Award for the organisation he founded – The Migrant HUB Incorporated. Walter established The Migrant HUB as a social enterprise to encourage and support migrants to integrate better into Australian society and become more active citizens of their local community.

Women’s Impact Award

Tjanpi Desert Weavers (NT)

Tjanpi Desert Weavers, established in 1995, is the dynamic social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC). Tjanpi was formed to provide indigenous women in the community with culturally appropriate employment on their homelands so as to better provide for their families. Today, Tjanpi’s fibre artists are living across 26 communities in the tristate border region of WA, NT and SA.

Social Enterprise Awards 2016 Advisory Panel


Social Enterprise Awards 2016 Supporters