Congratulations to Julie Sneddon, CEO of Cana Communities, who is the recipient of the Cath Leary Social Justice Award for 2019. This award recognises Julie’s outstanding work, efforts and commitment to transforming the lives of vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised people, addressing poverty and returning dignity. The Board also acknowledges her outstanding leadership in developing Cana Farm, providing disadvantaged individuals with the opportunity and resources to take a new direction in their lives.
This award is given each year by the Mercy Foundation to an outstanding individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution to social justice in Australia.
The Mercy Foundation Social Justice Award was established in 1996 to mark the United Nations International Year for the Eradication of Poverty.
In August 2014 the Board made a decision to name the annual social justice award, the Cath Leary Social Justice Award. This recognises the significant social justice work made by long term member of the Mercy Foundation Board, the late Cath Leary. Cath died after a short illness and well before her time, in June 2014.
Through this Award, the Mercy Foundation wishes to affirm and promote:
- The important goal of addressing systemic social justice problems in Australia.
- The importance of work which is aimed at changing the things that cause people in our society to live in poverty, have inadequate access to education and/or employment, or experience homelessness or housing insecurity.
- The importance of doing this work in a way which demonstrates an attitude of fundamental respect for all people.
- Working to develop increased opportunities for people living in poverty.
- Advocacy activities : speaking up about and promoting solutions to structures and systems which contribute to inequities in our community.