Sydney, 31 August 2015
A charity set up in 2010 to change Australians’ relationship with alcohol has won Macquarie’s 2015 Australian Social Innovation Award.
Macquarie Group’s philanthropic arm, the Macquarie Group Foundation, today announced that the 2015 Social Innovation Award judges had chosen Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) for its proposal to help binge drinkers overcome risky drinking habits.
Macquarie’s Social Innovation Award is presented biennially to an Australian not-for-profit organisation to recognise, promote and reward new ideas that meet pressing community needs, alleviate disadvantage and promote social inclusion.
The judges said the HSM initiative clearly demonstrates there is a demand for this type of program in Australia. While support services exist online and offline for ‘dependent’ drinkers (alcoholics), no services exist for people who drink to excess but are not physically dependent. This is despite almost four million people in Australia classified as binge drinkers, with research in 2013 showing almost half of them actively tried to reduce their alcohol consumption.
More than 50,000 people have registered to complete HSM’s three-month online program, or have downloaded the ‘moderation’ iPhone app, which allows people to set smaller, daily goals to reduce their consumption.
HSM has developed a cost and time efficient model for delivery of screening and brief intervention (known as ‘sBI’) in general practice and emergency departments using emerging digital technology. It is currently conducting a pilot project with GPs to determine how they could use HSM to conduct sBI with patients, and then easily refer them to ongoing support.
HSM proposed that Macquarie’s Award funds would help it kickstart the integration of technology to work with general practice doctors and emergency departments, the primary gateways for alcohol treatment and support.
Macquarie will be funding this initiative alongside the Commonwealth Department of Health, VicHealth and the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine to integrate HSM’s technology with emergency departments and GPs across Australia.
Macquarie Group Foundation Chair Shemara Wikramanayake said Macquarie received 70 high-quality submissions from a cross section of organisations, from which 11 finalists were chosen.
“The submissions demonstrated the ingenuity and innovation we have seen from many in the sector and the finalists particularly demonstrated their commitment to developing innovative programs,” she said.
The Social Innovation Award finalists were:
The judging panel for the 2015 Social Innovation Award comprised Rupert Myer AO from the Myer Foundation and Tony Graham, Shemara Wikramanayake and Sheryl Weil from Macquarie Group.