Award nominations are closed for 2017. 

Winners will be announced on Monday 28 August at the Microfinance Conference Awards. 

Good Luck!


Gavan Podbury Award for Individual Excellence

NILS and StepUP are unique programs that changes lives. Often their power lies in the relationship between the microfinance worker and their client. Research has shown that even when clients are ineligible for a loan, their interaction with a NILS or StepUP worker is invaluable.

The Gavan Podbury award for excellence is awarded to an individual NILS or StepUP worker who has gone beyond their job description. Do you know someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty?  Perhaps they’ve advocated on behalf of a client to get a debt waived or reduced? Or someone who has worked tirelessly and resourcefully within the system to get great outcomes for their clients beyond the loan itself.

The Judges will consider:

  • the extended benefits that clients have received when going through a loan application
  • the impact the NILS or StepUP worker has had on the program team
  • the impact the NILS or StepUP worker and their work has had on their community.

Nominations are now closed.


Good Shepherd Sisters Award for Program Excellence

The Good Shepherd Sisters Award For Program Excellence is an appropriate honour at a time when operating within the not-for-profit sector is more challenging than ever.

The award is for developing a new or innovative approach that has enabled your NILS or StepUP program to better meet the needs of your clients, or allowed you to operate more efficiently as a provider. The Good Shepherd Sisters were able to do a lot with very little. They took an innovative leap when ‘experts’ advised them against it and put their faith in the community.

Has your program made changes, developed new systems – or modified old ones – in a way that embodies the audacity of the Good Shepherd Sisters? By entering this award we may all learn from you – and your program might win a great prize!

The Judges will consider:

  • has the program demonstrated benefit to their clients or local community through innovation, such as turning a potential set-back into an opportunity?
  • is there evidence of initiative and improvements in efficiency?
  • is the program audacious in its approach to better meeting the needs of clients?

Nominations are now closed.


Life Changing Impact Award

The Life Changing Impact Award is for client stories that demonstrate the power of NILS or StepUP to connect and change lives.

Many of us have chosen to work and volunteer in microfinance programs because we know it changes lives. As microfinance workers we are privileged to become part of our clients’ history, regularly hearing stories of quiet endurance. Some stories stay with us more than others – perhaps because of the connection we made with our client or because of the admiration a client might have inspired in us.

Enter the client story you are most inspired by. You should change names to protect their identity.

The Judges will consider:

  • the social impact of the NILS or StepUP loan on the client (e.g. demonstrated increased confidence or improved self-esteem)
  • the economic impact  of the loan on the client (e.g. greater financial independence)
  • the client’s experience with the loan process (feedback from clients is welcome).

Nominations are now closed.


Volunteer of the Year Award

Microfinance programs in Australia couldn’t run if it wasn’t for our volunteers. Last year volunteers provided the equivalent working hours of approximately 133 full-time employees. This award recognises the volunteer who has shown exceptional dedication to the delivery of microfinance.

That dedication can be in the form of building great client relationships, or exceptional behind-the-scenes management that might slow down processes or increase work if they weren’t there.

Is there a volunteer in your program who does more than the role requires of them? Someone who is reliable, flexible and positive in the face of all the challenges your organisation experiences.

The Judges will consider:

  • how the volunteer has inspired others in their team and program
  • how the volunteer connects and relates to their clients
  • other important aspects of the volunteer’s work (e.g. obstacles overcome, innovation, initiative, dedication, broader benefits of the work).


Nominations are now closed.



Good Learning Award

Innovation and best practice is enhanced by continual learning. This award is open to individuals or programs who have committed to using professional learning as a way to improve service delivery.

Are you able to show how learning has supported your program or one of your workers to improve service delivery and client outcomes? For example, has completing the ‘Pathways to Resilience’ module allowed your team to target the financial conversation to individual clients more effectively thereby enhancing the financial capability of the client.

The Judges will consider:

  • has the nominee been able to show a pattern of participation across a range of Good Learning and other learning initiatives?
  • has the nominee been able to tell a story of peer learning where they were able to assist another program to solve a problem or improve service delivery?
  • has the nominee been able to demonstrate how the learning has made a difference to the way they work?

Nominations are now closed.