Friends with Dignity honoured with outstanding achievement in charity sector awards

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Friends with Dignity honoured with outstanding achievement in charity sector awards

Friends with Dignity has been recognised for Outstanding Achievement (OAA) in The Australian Charity Awards 2019. Now in their seventh year, The Australian Charity Awards have been established to identify, recognise and reward organisations for the exceptional work undertaken through their charitable activities. The Australian Charity Awards are a partner program of The Australian Business Awards (now in their fourteenth year).

“It is truly such an honour for Friends With Dignity to be recognised for Outstanding Achievement (OAA) in The Australian Charity Awards 2019. This amazing achievement not only highlights the dedication and drive volunteers have to make a difference to the lives of people affected by domestic and family violence, but how this epidemic affects society as a whole,” said Friends With Dignity Chief Executive Officer, Manuela Whitford.

Friends with Dignity is a national not-for-profit organisation with a big vision focused on providing a platform for anyone to volunteer, and in turn change the perception and statistics of domestic and family violence throughout Australia.

“The practical support offered by the local community ensuring that families have no reason to return to a life of abuse and violence is equally overwhelming and humbling,” said Friends With Dignity Chief Financial Officer, Julia McKenna.

“Our service is built from a mutual passion and determination to make a difference to families whom we will never meet. It’s about doing what we can within our capacity to support our neighbours and community.”

Being a volunteer driven model totally self-funded and reliant on donations reinforces the value that the service provides within the not for profit sector.

“Having been described as a “ground breaking” service, it’s reassuring to know that Friends With Dignity identified a gap, and by engaging the local community we have managed to assist thousands of men, women and children to date through our programs,” said Friends With Dignity Chief Operations Officer, Zoe Scharenguivel.

“Our goal is to make people more aware that domestic and family violence does not discriminate and that we all have a role and can do something no matter how big or small.

“All of our programs are gifted unconditionally, we do not charge victims we assist, nor the services who refer their clients to us.”

Friends With Dignity relies on donations of new and pre-loved whitegoods, furniture and household items from the community to create “sanctuaries” for men, women and children leaving refuge to start a new life.

“We take pride in that we are in some way limiting landfill and unnecessary waste, taking an environmentally-friendly approach in all that we do,” said Ms Whitford.

“This award will provide further exposure, recognition and acknowledgement for our innovative 100% charitable model, also providing increased awareness to the general public that want to help but don’t know how, we can provide them this opportunity.”

“We are so fortunate to have an incredible group of volunteers that sit on our board, our executive team, leadership team and operations who are active everyday in their selected roles,” said Ms McKenna.

“Our current sponsors, supporters and generous donors are an absolute asset to our organisation, and this award is vital recognition of their trust and belief in what we are doing. We so value all of the support as the sustainability of our service relies on this.

“With the ongoing challenges of securing financial support to maintain basic operational costs, this award provides us with much needed credibility to ensure we can help more families nationally.”

In celebration of this award, Friends With Dignity invites all supporters to attend “A Magical Christmas Gala Charity Ball” on Saturday, 16th of November, 2019 at the Southport Sharks Event Centre on the Gold Coast.

“We are so excited and honoured for Friends With Dignity to be recognised for Outstanding Achievement (OAA) in The Australian Charity Awards 2019 – we would love all of our supporters, volunteers and sponsors to celebrate with us at this very special event,” said Ms Scharenguivel.

“The Australian Charity Awards exist to recognise organisations within Australia that are committed to social innovation,” said Australian Charity Awards Program Director, Ms Tara Johnston.

“Six organisations have been selected in this year’s Charity Awards. These organisations have demonstrated thought leadership and management practices that have effectively addressed social challenges and promoted social change. The awards resonate with our mission of highlighting organisations within Australia that foster a culture of innovation, promoting teamwork and problem-solving,” Ms Johnston added.

For more information about Friends With Dignity, please visit:

To purchase tickets to the Friends With Dignity “A Magical Christmas Gala Charity Ball”, please visit: