Celebrating our staff through our Big Heart Awards

21 December 2021
Group photo of our Pathways team

The Big Hearts Awards are an annual celebration and recognition of Sacred Heart Mission staff who have gone above and beyond in their roles. Across five categories, winners are chosen from a pool of amazing finalists, nominated by their peers.

This year, our award winners are:

Client Service Award

The Sacred Heart Central Pathways team, for providing a safe environment for our clients and service-users throughout the entire pandemic. We congratulate and thank them for providing compassion, support and care to over 250 people per day who attend the Meals Program.

“We feel very appreciated and are really proud of all the work that we’ve been able to do, especially during COVID. We got to be there for people who are so isolated and we’re really lucky that we got to do that.” – Melissa Battams, Pathways Worker

Customer Service Award

The Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) team for their implementation of our organisation-wide IT project. The implementation was done in a customer focused way with a lot of consultation, training, communications and targeted support for staff that made for a smooth implementation.

“The advocacy and support that was given to the project by Sacred Heart Mission [was great] – the willingness to engage everyone from Executive staff to Support Workers. It was just fantastic, the amount of help and their willingness to give their time.” – ICT Team

Innovation Award

Liu Ponomarew, Program Coordinator of the Wellness Place. Liu coordinated the Covid-19 client vaccination program at 87 Grey Street with the support of STAR Health, which has led to almost 500 vaccinations provided to our clients. Liu effectively worked with our client cohort to address fears and hesitancy about vaccinations, ensuring that everyone felt safe to be vaccinated.

“The vaccination clinic has been quite an amazing opportunity. It’s turned into something way beyond anything that I could have imagined. It’s the relationships that you’re building and have built in the past with clients, which makes a difference.” Liu Ponomarew, Program Coordinator, Wellness Place.

Citizenship Award

The entire Op Shop team, in recognition of their commitment, passion and resilience to produce excellent results despite lockdowns preventing in-store trading. The hard work of these teams helps maintain funding for our services and is greatly appreciated.

“[While stores were closed during the lockdowns] if we could meet within the 5K, we would meet for a walk once a week. It was just a coffee, it was an hour, but it was really good. Ringing and keeping people in the loop and just saying how we all really feel the same and just a friendly ‘how you going?’ – I think kept everyone going. Everyone’s so thrilled to be back.” – Julie Schafer, Commercial Road store coordinator

CEO Award

Sacred Heart Community staff for their extraordinary efforts and achievements in managing a Covid outbreak. The team, led by Margaret Thorpe demonstrated extraordinary efforts and dedication in containing the outbreak, as well as protecting residents and staff while continuing to provide high quality care in extremely challenging circumstances.

“For people to come in here and help us give out meals… it showed courage. It showed that big hearted approach to supporting their colleagues in a time of need. We couldn’t have done it without the help of the rest of the Mission. It was extraordinary. And, obviously, my huge, huge appreciation for my team. Amazing people.” – Margaret Thorpe, Manager of Sacred Heart Community

Congratulations to all winners and finalists for your efforts this year – we are so grateful.