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Caring Spirit Award – Recognising Unsung Heroes

Details Directorate: Vocational (& Youth)

Project Leader: Kum-Weng Lee

Code: ??

Documented: (???)

Funds Required: $5000/award pa

Project Team: 3

Total Hours pa: ???

Member Involvement: Small team to evaluate applications

Approved: 2008

Status: Terminated


Description In 2008 Heirisson decided to introduce Carer Awards to recognise those “quiet achievers” who “go beyond” in caring for others in our community – our unsung heroes. The awards were publicised through partner organisations’ websites and networks. Heirisson continued to develop a suite of awards for carers, hoping to add one new award each year until 2013. The project was suspended by 2011 due to other awards emerging of a similar nature, and a failure to attract corporate sponsor support.


Caring Spirit Award

Developed in partnership with ASeTTS, this award acknowledges and values individuals from refugee backgrounds who provide out-standing care and support to a family member (or other person in the refugee community) who has a disability, is frail, aged, or who has a mental or chronic illness. We hoped that the award will assist in reducing stigma against refugees in our community.


“The name ‘Caring Spirit’ tried to capture, celebrate and promote the spirit of caring in our community. The word ‘spirit’ of course has spiritual connotations too, an aspect often understated and not fully acknowledged in the role of caring for others. It indicates an essence; something unchanging, indefatigable and transcendent. Although it is something deep within, it can be shared with another. With these awards we celebrate the spirit of giving, and long may it live.” Pearl Proud


Caring Employer Award

Developed in partnership with WAAMH (WA Association for Mental Health), this award acknowledged and valued organisations providing employment for people with mental illness and supporting them on their recovery journey. We hoped that the Award would assist in reducing stigma experienced by people with mental illness when seeking employment.


Evaluation Panels

Award evaluation panels assessed nominations. They comprised representatives from Heirisson, partner organisations and independent experts. They were deeply touched by the outstanding stories of courage, love and inconceivable trauma.


Awards Granted:

Year Awarded to: Award Presentation
2009 Eliana Shugwegwimana
Young Carer

Mya Kee La Lay & Nguyen Thi Hue
Adult Carers

Caring Spirit Award

ASeTTS’ International Human Rights Day Celebration, 10 December 2009.


2010 GROW, WA

Peer Support for Mental Health

Caring Employer Award

Mental Health Forum, May 2010


Future Aspirations

We hoped to continue two existing Carer Awards, and planned to introduce one new award annually. The intent was to again partner with a peak body to identify how best to support those at the margins of our society and recognise unsung heroes. Potential sectors included Homelessness and Disabilities. However, other state and national awards now significantly fill the gap perceived when our awards were envisaged.


An Invitation

Heirisson still hopes to expand these awards if areas exist where recognition is lacking. They provide a unique opportunity to join with us in recognising unsung heroes in our community.


We seek corporate partners for three years to provide prize money for such awards. Each award would be $5,000. The total funding package is:


2014 2015 2016
(3 Awards)
(4 Awards)
(5 Awards)


Branding and promotion of the corporate partner will be a key part of award publicity. If you are interested in participating, please contact us.


Heirisson’s role and criticality to success Heirisson commenced this initiative, arguably creating a catalyst for wider national and industry awards, which once in place, caused Heirisson to suspend involvement..


Part of a strategic relationship or partnering/alliance? The project was contingent on strategic relationships with ASeTTS and the WA Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), and also corporate sponsorship.


What difference will the Project/Program make? The awards provided recognition, hope and encouragement for carers and caring organisations, that did not previously exist.


Other Benefits (Include sustainability of benefits, fun to do, recognition for Heirisson) N/A