The JustGiving Asia Pacific (APAC) Awards are our way of celebrating the phenomenal achievements of fundraisers and charities in the Asia Pacific region over the past 12 months.
Now in their second year, voting for the 2015 JustGiving APAC Awards was once again hosted on the JustGiving Facebook page, with more 7,000 votes in just six days. Here are the winners.
Australian Charity of the Year 2015: Legacy Australia
For nearly a century Legacy Australia has supported Australian Defence Force families in times of great need by providing financial and social services to families who are suffering after the incapacitation or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their Defence Force service.
David Gray, Chairman of Legacy Australia commented “Legacy is honoured to be announced as the 2015 JustGiving Charity of the Year and would like to thank everyone who voted. For over 90 years Legacy has supported the families of those who have given their lives or health as a result of their Australian Defence service. We care for around 90,000 veteran families across Australia today. It is wonderful to see the work of Legacy and our dedicated volunteers recognised in this year’s JustGiving Awards”
Here is Jenny Walker, CEO accepting the award.
Hong Kong Charity of the Year 2015: Vine Community Services
The Vine Community Services Ltd (VCSL) is a beacon of hope to the most overlooked, ignored and vulnerable in society. They transform lives by meeting the judicial and social needs of asylum seekers, refugees and victims of trafficking in Hong Kong.
“We are honoured to be awarded JustGiving Charity of the Year 2015. Thank you everyone for voting for VCSL!”
Australian 2015 Fundraiser of the Year 2015: Lennon Maher
After seeing children in developing countries walking long distances to and from school, six-year-old Lennon Maher was inspired to walk to raise money to buy them bikes. He walked his hour long journey home from school once a week for 10 weeks and raised AU$5,000 for ChildFund Australia‘s Dream Bike Appeal. Fifty more children now have a bike to ride to school in rural Cambodia
ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence described Lennon’s victory as a “well-deserved win”:
“A huge congratulations to Lennon from all of us at ChildFund Australia. It is wonderful to see that the Australian public got behind Lennon and voted him JustGiving’s Australian Fundraiser of the Year. For such a young boy to show such commitment over the course of his 10-week walking challenge is quite remarkable. He should feel very proud that, as a result of his efforts, 50 Cambodian children will now have a bike to help them get to school.”
Hong Kong Fundraiser of the Year 2015: Lisa Avelino
After saving her domestic worker salary for two years, Liza Avelino conquered Everest Base Camp in April, at the time that the powerful earthquake hit Nepal.
While doing so, she raised HK$10,830 for Enrich Hong Kong, a charity providing financial literacy and empowerment education for migrant domestic workers, like herself, in Hong Kong
Australian Company Fundraiser of the Year 2015: DLA Piper Australia
DLA Piper Australia was recognised for raising over AU$52,000 for UNICEF Australia. Their fundraisers took part in a variety of challenges including City2Surf and Bridge to Brisbane, as well as one team undertaking a gruelling nine day trek across the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia.
DLA Piper’s Sydney office managing partner, Onno Bakker said “We’re delighted to be recognised by JustGiving, and proud of all our people who ran, walked or trekked to raise funds for UNICEF. Colleagues across all levels of the firm rallied together to support one another’s fundraising efforts.”
Norman Gillespie, CEO UNICEF Australia, said: “DLA Piper have been recognised as JustGiving’s Company Fundraiser of the Year, which is justly deserved. UNICEF is proud and privileged to partner with DLA Piper”.
Hong Kong Company Fundraiser of the Year 2015: CBRE Hong Kong
Here is Craig Shute, Senior Managing Director, accepting their award.
Australian Campaign of the Year 2015: Burm & Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary (BEES)
BEES – Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary is a community based elephant sanctuary and small animal rescue centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Mae Kam was the first elephant to join their retirement program and the BEES team needed to raise AU$40,000 to secure her freedom from the torture of the tourist trade so that she could live out the rest of her life in the sanctuary.
They set up a JustGiving Campaign for Mae Kam, and in just 13 days, over 500 donations were raised from 22 countries and in eight different currencies to save Mae Kam.
“A huge thank you to all of our supporters and to JustGiving for your AMAZING fundraising platform that is helping us achieve great things!”
Hong Kong Campaign of the Year 2015: Splash: Swim School for Foreign Domestic Workers
Splash was founded by a group of volunteer swim instructors in Hong Kong. Their eight week ‘learn to swim’ courses are free for foreign domestic workers. The course ensures that they are safe in the water and aims to develop confidence both in and out of the water by learning essential life skills.
Their JustGiving Campaign raised over HK$76,000 to fund further swimming classes for the rest of 2015.
“Thank you for your generous support.”
The result of the public vote is a testament to the inspirational work that our charities and fundraisers have carried out in 2015 across the Asia Pacific region. We can’t wait to celebrate even more amazing success stories in 2016.