Bundaberg social impact trailblazer Tanya O’Shea is taking her changemaking into the national spotlight, as a finalist in the inaugural Not-For-Profit Leadership Awards.
The Managing Director of IMPACT Community Services is one of three finalists in an Outstanding Leader award category, to be announced at a Sydney event on Thursday 15 June 2023.
The recognition for the CQUniversity alumnus follows more than two decades delivering vital services at IMPACT, supporting people experiencing disadvantage, poverty or exclusion.
Ms O’Shea, who was named CQU Alumnus of the Year for Industry Excellence in 2020, completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and her Master of Business Administration (Human Resource Management) at CQU across 2007 – 2015.
Through her work at IMPACT, Ms O’Shea supports a thriving team to deliver training and employment opportunities, disability services, mental health support, and socially innovative business, through her exceptional leadership and management.
She said it was exciting to see the Not-For-Profit Leadership Awards recognising the vital and diverse work of community services providers in regional areas.
"The recognition of these awards extends beyond urban centres and encompasses the remarkable efforts made by organisations serving both regional and metropolitan areas alike,” she said.
“I am deeply honoured to stand among fellow finalists who share a common goal of creating positive change and uplifting lives across all corners of our society.
“It wasn't until someone truly believed in me that I discovered my leadership purpose and sense of belonging.
“Now, as the Managing Director of a not-for-profit serving vulnerable members of one of Australia's most disadvantaged regional communities, I feel it's my responsibility to help others find that same sense of belonging and self-assurance.”
As well as leading IMPACT, Ms O’Shea has created a mentoring practice WellCalm Leaders, and is passionate about supporting other leaders to ignite human potential, and find healthy balance and sustainability across personal and professional achievement.
Ms O’Shea regularly contributes to CQUniversity’s social innovation activities, and its Office of Social Innovation supported her nomination.
The Not-For-Profit Leadership Awards shines a light on organisations, teams and individuals who have demonstrated excellence and courage in their social impact, while providing for fundamental societal needs.
The awards are an initiative of the Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF), and finalists are peer-judged and assessed on the overall merit of their contribution to the sector.
Louisa Graham, CEO of the ASF, said: “I’m incredibly inspired by our first list of finalists, all of whom deserve this acknowledgement. By celebrating their achievements, we can create a stronger and more effective not-for-profit sector that is better equipped to address key social and environmental challenges important to us all.
“In a sector where salary is not the primary career motivation, rewarding excellence is crucial. We look forward to celebrating the winners in Sydney on June 15.”