The Australian Community ICT Awards have been announced at the national nonprofit conference, Connecting Up 2008, in Brisbane. Tags: CU2008. NPTech.
GetUp!, Young People Connected, Karma Currency, Arwarbukarl, SupportLink and Quicksites impressed the judges with their innovation and the impact they had achieved with scarce resources.
Karma Currency, of Melbourne, was named Innovator of the Year for its pledge to cut down the billions of dollars spent on unwanted gifts by diverting these funds to charities using a web-based Charity Gift Voucher scheme.
Sydney-based GetUp! won the Best Web Strategy for its social activism site, which has successfully encouraged Australians to stand up for social justice, environmental sustainability and economic fairness. GetUp has made the most of the social web's potential to influence and channel widespread opinion to gain political outcomes. It has even been credited with helping shape the outcome of the 2007 Federal Election. As GetUp executive director Brett Solomon says, "The GetUp culture is deeply Australian - a cheeky mate-to-mate callout for change in the face of bad leadership."
Queensland's Quicksites won for its use of ICT to connect to the community. The company's UCare system began as an online database designed to help the local METRO church keep in touch with members and visitors, and has evolved into a smart, low-cost customer relationship management tool for any nonprofit setting. Unlike sales-oriented CRM tools, the judges said, "UCare has been designed to build a true sense of community, encouraging a profound sense of belonging".
Young People Connected won the Telecommunications award for its mobile phone technology, which reaches out to some 46,000 young homeless people every night, across Australia. YPC is the result of collaboration between the Vodafone Australia Foundation (VAF) and three not-for-profit organisation, Barnardos Australia, Mission Australia and Father Chris Riley's Youth Off The Streets, and their young clients.
The Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association and Support Link Australia were joint winners for Best Use of Software.
Arwarbukarl impressed the judging panel with the Miromaa Language Program, which uses technology to help preserve and reclaim our native languages. Miromaa allows users to gather all evidence of language in one place, whether the language is in text or audio formats. It was developed through a process of consultation with community based language groups from all around Australia and is now being used in programs in all states.
The SupportLink Referral Communication and Management System is a web based application that enhances early intervention outcomes for vulnerable individuals and families. It does this by establishing web-based ground rules for police officers and other intermediaries to proactively refer persons they come into contact with for social assistance.
This eliminates the need for people to self navigate their way to support. The system was designed to overcome agency and service fragmentation within the area of referral communication.
The Winners' Details
Best Use of Software in Nonprofit Settings - Joint winners: Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association (Phone: 02 4954 6899; Web: www.arwarbukarl.com.au ) and Support Link Australia (02 62433663; Web: www.supportlink.com.au )
Best Use of Telecommunications in Nonprofit Settings: Young People Connected (YPC) Ramana James, (02) 9415 7000; email@example.com
Best Web Strategy: GetUp! Phone: +61 2 9264 4037; Web address: www.getup.org.au
Community ICT Innovator of the Year Award: Karma Australia Phone: 03 9686 6100;Web: www.karmacurrency.org
Using ICT to Connect to the Community, Business Award: Quicksites Phone: 07 5526 4809; Web: www.ucarehq.com
To arrange interviews with the award winners of with Connecting Up, please phone Leila Henderson on 0414 69 70 71 .For other comment and information, please contact Doug Jacquier, Connecting Up Awards organiser and CEO of CISA . Phone: +618 8122 2752; Mobile: 0408955541
Connecting Up is a national technology conference for the nonprofit sector, organised by Community Information Strategies Australia (CISA). Held in Adelaide for the past four years, the conference was held in Brisbane for the first time in 2008. Speakers from around the world share their approaches to increasing the productivity and effectiveness of charities and community organisations over two days. In over 40 sessions, topics covered include implementing client management systems to deliver better services ; e-networks for rural children with hearing problems; using blogging as an effective PR tool in fundraising; using webtools in financial counselling for drought-stricken farmers; managing the information flood; and using computers to save dying Aboriginal languages