Veena a 2022 Impact 25 finalist

UNSW SMaRT Centre Director, Professor Veena Sahajwalla, have been shortlisted as a finalist of the Pro Bono Australia’s 2022 Impact 25 Awards that recognise the most influential leaders over the past year.

From a record number 440 individual nominations, 150 nominees have been shortlisted to be voted on publicly. Pro Bono said finalist "impact makers" spend their days advocating on the issues of the time, usually working over years and even decades to generate positive social change and support communities of interest. 

Karen Mahlab AM, the founder of Pro Bono Australia, said the Impact 25 Awards played an important part in making these people visible. 

“There are many people leading organisations whose mission is to make the world a better place for all of us,” Mahlab said. 

“Some of those people have been working for decades at building the organisations to do this, some have been creating new ways of approaching age old issues, and some have created new organisations dealing with the issues of our time.

She said that it was now in the public’s hands to vote. 

VOTE for Veena here.

Head here to find out more information about the awards, see past winners.  

Impact 25 logo 2

“Each year the Impact 25 Awards makes these people visible and celebrates them. This year is no different and this year, perhaps because of the tough couple of years we’ve had, we’ve had a record number of nominations,” she said. 

“I urge you to place your vote. It’s now up to us to vote and show our appreciation for their great work.”

Readers can vote for up to three changemakers who they believe have had the biggest impact in the last year.

The 25 nominees with the most votes will be crowned the Impact 25 Award winners. From this 25, a panel of judges will also choose a winner in each of the following three categories: Innovator, Influencer, and Collaborator.

Previous winners include anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty AO, the Australian Council of Social Services CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie, and founding director of the Fred Hollows Foundation Gabi Hollows AO.

Voters will also go into the running to win one of two for-the-planet prize packs from the Karma Collective, Zea and Coconut Bowls, all valued at over $450 each. 

Voting closes on 1 February and the winners will be announced on 16 March. 

Head here to find out more information about the awards, see past winners, and of course, cast your vote.