November 23, 2021

2021 CSI Staff Award recipients announced

The Centre for Social Impact is delighted to announce the recipients of our third annual staff awards.

The year has brought another period of significant change across Australia and we wanted to publicly celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of our award winners, and also thank all CSI staff for their hard work and dedication to catalysing social change throughout 2021.

You can read below about each award recipient’s achievements and why they have been awarded their category - in the words of their nominators.

Best Research Paper Award (Early career)

Chris Hartley, Emma Barnes and Thomas Writer

For: More than temporary? An evaluation of the accommodation of people sleeping rough in inner city Sydney during the COVID-19 pandemic. Released in August 2021, the report was produced by CSI UNSW and Homelessness NSW, following interviews with key organisations involved in the temporary accommodation response, including government departments, specialist homelessness services and local health departments in Sydney.

Cultural Builder Award

Dr Roksolana Suchowerska

For: Roksolana is an outstanding researcher at CSI Swinburne who brings cohesion and harmony to team projects. She inspires confidence in her two-way learning approaches and is keen to learn new perspectives in research, as much as shouldering the massive task of organising the daily work of research teams.

Director's Choice Awards

CSI UNSW: Nicholas Chau

Nicholas has held significant and complex financial oversight for a range of areas at CSI UNSW while stepping up into the Centre Manager job where he is flourishing.

CSI Swinburne: Louise Luscombe

Over the last three years Louise has successfully led the operations of CSI Swinburne through a period of major growth. Until early 2021, she provided nearly all professional support to the Swinburne node, including oversight of our research contracts and income, which typically constitutes around 50% of the network's load, node communications and events, internal and external reporting and HR functions.

CSI UWA: Kathryn Conway

Kath plays a vital role in managing the CSI UWA node and CSI nationally. She manages CSI UWA across our education, research and community impact areas and is CSI's National Operations Director, where she has taken a leading role in developing and managing the CSI Collaboration Agreement between our three partner universities.

Impact Award

Elizabeth Rose-Ahearn, Dr Megan Weier and Emma Barnes

For: The team worked with federal government department Infrastructure Australia to develop a theory of change, an outcomes framework that would be used to inform the Australian Infrastructure Plan. Released in 2021, the plan named CSI as an influencing partner and for the first time, included social outcomes and community and user outcomes as part of the theory of change.

This positive outcome reflects the integration of CSI work within Infrastructure Australia strategy and means that any organisation applying for infrastructure funding must now articulate how the proposed work will lead to improved community and user outcomes.

Leadership Management Award

Vanessa Schilt

For: Vanessa has done an amazing job in the education operations portfolio within CSI UNSW. She is incredibly intelligent and across multiple tasks and roles within the portfolio.

During a time in which we had reduced staff due to sickness and turnover, Vanessa stepped up and resolved a number of challenges for CSI. She has a great ability to spot potential problems and has identified and resolved a number of administrative matters.

Research Teaching Excellence Award

Associate Professor Renu Burr

For: As the Unit Coordinator for Leadership for Social Impact at CSI UWA, Renu consistently receives exceptionally high ratings for her outstanding lecturing and commitment to providing additional mentoring and support for students around social impact at work and their own career development.

Renu’s teaching is further strengthened by her excellent facilitation skills that result in topical and engaging discussions between students and well-selected guest speakers.

Research Translation Award

Professor Paul Flatau, Dr Ami Seivwright and Zoe Callis

100 Families WA - A collective action research project addressing the issue of entrenched disadvantage or hardship, as experienced by families living in WA.

The project is an Australian-first collaborative study between seven community services, WACOSS, CSI UWA and a Community Advisory Group comprising people with lived experience. The final report identified the need for broad systemic change from state and federal government policy right through to service delivery by the community service sector.

Teaching Innovation Award

Libby Ward-Christie

For: In 2021 Libby took on the teaching and convenorship of an applied project unit, Social Venture Development, at CSI Swinburne. During these units students work in teams to expand and augment a venture's social impact and financial sustainability.

Libby linked students with an organisation within The Swinburne Social Start-up Studio to enable teams to gain real-world, hands-on experience with an organisation that was struggling with its identity and financing strategy. The unit received excellent feedback and has provided a model for linking students with ventures in The Studio, strengthening the nexus between pedagogy, research and practice at CSI Swinburne.


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