A charity cyclist, a not for profit founder, a leader in sustainability and a head fundraising volunteer have been announced as the winners of oOh!media’s Open Awards, taking away a $250,000 media package for the charity of their choice.
The awards, which received more than 100 nominations across the Performance, Impact and Engagement categories, recognised individuals in the industry who are making significant community contributions.
Among the winners was Rachael Wilmot whose volunteer work leading and organising large-scale fundraising events for Cystic Fibrosis Community Care, saw her take away the Palme D’Orange award for the most outstanding entry, winning $250,000 in media for the charity of her choice, as well as a three-night stay at Daydream Island Resort, with flights and accommodation valued at $10,000.
Rachael spends countless hours volunteering for Cystic Fibrosis Community Care, the peak community not for profit supporting those living with cystic fibrosis. Rachael and her husband are both carriers of the recessive cystic fibrosis gene, and in October 2017, their daughter Hope was born with Cystic Fibrosis.
Rachael supports the organisation across a variety of different volunteer programs, with the majority of her time spent leading the Cystic Fibrosis Community Care’s major fundraising annual gala ball event – ‘A Night for CF’.
“CF doesn’t receive the attention or levels of funding that other big charities do, so we’re so thrilled to win this major award to raise much needed awareness about CF to ultimately provide more support for the CF community,” she said.
oOh! Chief Customer Officer, David Scribner, said the panel were overwhelmed by the number of powerful entries which showcased the extraordinary number of individuals in the industry who selflessly take time out of their busy lives to make these astonishing contributions to charity.
“Selecting only four winners from all the wonderful entries was no easy task. However, we believe we’ve chosen truly worthy winners, with all recipients making significant contributions across a range of sectors including vital cancer research, general health research and sustainability,” he said.
Fellow award recipient, Paul Tadich, participated and helped organise the Type 1 challenge – a 1,100km bike ride around Victoria raising money for a charity very close to his heart – the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. Since his daughter Paige was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes five years ago, Paul has participated in the Type 1 challenge for the past three years and is an active member of the state leadership group of JDRF.
“I am committed to helping researcher’s find a cure so that Paige and other children like her can have a long and healthy life. This generous prize from oOh! will contribute greatly to raising awareness of what the organisation is doing and the funding that we need,” said Paul.
Suzanne Neate was selected for the Engagement award for her work as the founder of The Aftershock – a not for profit organisation raising funds and awareness for high mortality rate cancers – which has raised $200,000 over the last two years.
Suzanne began the organisation after losing her mum Teresa in 2016 to a rare form of thyroid cancer. Since founding The Aftershock, Suzanne has organised a number of charity events, including ‘Teresa’s Trotter’s – a 6km walk around The Tan in Melbourne, ‘Tidy’s Tour’ – a cycle event in Melbourne and other exhibition events.
“There is a proven correlation between cancer funding and survival rates. Receiving such generous funding as part of this award from oOh! will give us extraordinary channels to raise awareness, and more opportunity for funding, bringing us one step closer to defeating these rare types of cancers,” said Suzanne.
Environmentalist and passionate leader in sustainability, Charlotte Berry, took away the Impact award for her work across a number of key sustainability campaigns as a senior strategist at UM on Coca Cola.
Charlotte’s work in the sustainability space includes launching Coca Cola’s first sustainability campaign raising awareness of bottles being made out of 100% recycled plastic, pioneering Queensland’s Container Deposit Scheme and counselling a national recycling campaign for the Australian Government to educate Australians on what and how to recycle.
She believes our industry is part of the solution. However, there must be a fundamental shift in how we talk about sustainability out of the Corporate Social Responsibility conversation and into the sphere of economics. Once businesses see the long-term economic gain in sustainable practices returning on business outcomes, both short and long term, we will see change.
“My mission is to be the sustainability champion wherever I work – as an educator, counsel and strategist. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most iconic brands to spread the sustainability message across oOh!’s network.”
The winners have attended an awards ceremony today, being presented with a certificate, trophy and their $250k media donation cheque followed by lunch hosted by oOh!.
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