Macquarie 50th
Anniversary Award

Meet the winners

From close to 1,000 applications received globally, the five winners of the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award will each receive $A10 million in funding to deliver their projects that seek to initiate or build on a bold idea that addresses an area of social need.

Last Mile Health

Saving lives in the world’s most remote communities


1 billion

People without access to healthcare in remote communities  



Community and frontline health workers expected to be upskilled 

100 million+

People in Liberia, Ethiopia and Malawi will have access to community-based primary healthcare

Illness is universal; healthcare is not. The World Health Organisation estimates that half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. This has a devastating impact on health outcomes, with millions of people dying every year from preventable causes. Ensuring access to quality, community-based primary health services for people living in the world’s remote communities poses many challenges, including the growing shortage of skilled healthcare providers and low investments in national health systems.

Last Mile Health is tackling this issue by expanding access to primary healthcare for remote communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Its approach is to partner with governments to train national networks of community and frontline health workers. Serrena, who lives in a community of 800 people in Liberia, is one of those health workers. After completing her training, gaining access to high-quality and low-cost diagnostic tools such as malaria testing kits that only cost as much as one dollar, and receiving regular supervision, she’s able to provide home-based primary health care to her community.

In Liberia, health workers like Serrena have now completed nearly 2 million patient visits and treated more than 300,000 children for malaria, diarrhoea, and pneumonia.

There is an incredible opportunity to scale this work globally. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Global Health showed that if we were able to train and equip teams of community and frontline health workers to expand rural coverage of at least 30 primary health services, we could save at least 30 million additional lives by 2030.


"We are at a critical inflection point in the fight to ensure everyone, everywhere can access primary healthcare. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Macquarie Group and others to demonstrate what’s possible when governments invest in health systems that reach all people - no matter where they live."

- Raj Panjabi, CEO, Last Mile Health

winner 1

winner 1

"With half of the world’s population living without access to essential healthcare, we're proud to support Last Mile Health's innovative approach to achieving health equity in delivering lifesaving care to some of the world's most remote communities."

- Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO, Macquarie Group

Funding outcomes

The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award funding will be used to strengthen existing operations in Liberia and transform national health systems in Malawi and Ethiopia, serving more than 100 million people and inspiring further action to close the global gap in access to healthcare through a ripple effect to additional countries. 

Monash University
The World Mosquito Program

Protecting vulnerable communities from mosquito-borne diseases


Of the world’s population live in areas vulnerable to devastating mosquito-borne diseases

100 million people

Expected to be protected by the World Mosquito Program by 2023 

20 countries

Will be reached using the Award funding

Monash University’s the World Mosquito Program has a bold goal: to protect 100 million people by 2023 from deadly mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue fever, Zika virus, chikungunya, and yellow fever. More than 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in communities vulnerable to these diseases.

Research shows around three billion people are at risk of contracting dengue fever alone each year, with estimates suggesting 390 million people are infected with this disease annually.

To address this, the World Mosquito Program (WMP) has developed an intervention that introduces a naturally-occurring bacteria called Wolbachia into the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species most responsible for transmission of these diseases between people.

The intervention has so far been deployed by WMP in 12 countries. Now, the challenge is to scale it to cover three million at-risk people by the end of 2019, 100 million people within five years and 20 per cent of the world’s population within 10 years. The aim is to bring the cost of the intervention down to US$1 per person.

"Our project supplies hope by offering a way to prevent suffering caused by these diseases in developing countries around the world. It focuses on the mosquito itself to have the most impact, treating the problem at the source. Now that we have good evidence that the intervention is working, we want to tackle the problem at scale and deliver it to communities who need it most."

- Professor Scott O’Neill, Director of the World Mosquito Program

winner 2

winner 2

"Backed by 15 years of research, the World Mosquito Program represents a transformational opportunity to protect millions of lives from multiple devastating diseases. Strengthening local communities is at the heart of the Macquarie Group Foundation’s work and we’re delighted to support Monash University’s goal to create generational, long-lasting impact."

- Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation

Funding outcomes

The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award funding will enable the program to expand to more than 20 countries and inspire development on an even larger scale, accelerating the program to reach its goal of protecting 100 million people by 2023. The funding will also drive efficiencies in the delivery of the intervention so it will be cost saving for governments to implement in the future.

Murdoch Children's Research Institute
World Scabies Elimination Program

Taking action to eliminate scabies across the world

200 million+

People worldwide are affected by scabies

1.5 million

People expected to receive treatment from this funding

90% reduction

Expected in the prevalence of scabies with a single round of medicine

According to data gathered by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and its partners, scabies affects approximately 200 million people at any one time with about 450 million new cases every year. The condition can lead to severe skin infections and other fatal diseases, impacting the economic and social growth of communities globally.

It affects children like Addisu, who developed scabies soon after starting school in Ethiopia. The debilitating condition made it impossible for him to write and sit during lessons and eventually forced him to leave school. Fortunately, he received treatment which cured his scabies and he was able to resume his education within a year.

This story alone shows the life-changing impact treatment can have.

The Institute and its partners are using a medication called ivermectin to address this disease. Providing a single round of the drug in a community can reduce the prevalence of scabies from 30 per cent to under 2 per cent within 12 months. Work is now taking place to develop a global strategy for scabies control.


"Scabies is a disease of poverty. It’s a miserable disease that affects children more than any other group, with its transmission exacerbated by overcrowding and poor living circumstances."

- Professor Andrew Steer, Director, Infection and Immunity Theme, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

winner 3

winner 3

"The World Scabies Elimination Program has tools at the ready to eliminate a highly-contagious, debilitating disease. Through its bold approach to tackling a global health problem, the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and its partners promise to positively impact quality of life for millions of people."

- Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation

Funding outcomes

Funding from the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award will be used to establish projects in Fiji and the Solomon Islands to demonstrate that scabies can be eliminated as a public health problem at a national scale. To achieve this, medication will be supplied to treat 1.5 million people for two rounds of treatment and results will then be evaluated in each country. The funding will support the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and its partners to help establish a global strategy for scabies elimination, developing internationally endorsed protocols and training for community-based treatment.

Social Finance

Mobilising capital to drive social progress

$US1 billion

In capital to be unlocked

20 – 25

Pay for Success programs developed through the Award funding  


Individuals assisted over the life of the funding 

Social Finance aims to unlock $US1 billion in capital to address declining economic mobility in the United States.

Since its founding in 2011, Social Finance has pioneered the field of Pay for Success, through innovative financing strategies like the social impact bond and the career impact bond, to measurably improve the lives of those in need.

Their current social impact bonds address critical workforce issues, providing immigrants and refugees with vocational training and supporting Veterans to find and keep good jobs, as well as other social challenges.

Social Finance’s first career impact bond will enable 1,000 low-income students to access support services and valuable training in coding to achieve career success. Once participants gain employment above a certain income, they pay a fixed percentage of their salary over a number of years, up to a capped amount.

By deploying catalytic capital, Social Finance drives better employment outcomes and improves economic opportunity for the under-served.

"Fifty years ago, 90 per cent of children in the US went on to earn more than their parents. Today it is just 50 per cent. Meanwhile, 40 percent of employers face labour shortages, resulting in over 7 million unfilled jobs nationwide. With the Macquarie Award, we will build a bold set of impact investments to address the dual challenges of declining economic mobility and a growing skills gap in our economy."

- Tracy Palandjian, CEO, Social Finance

winner 4

winner 4

"Social Finance addresses a compelling area of social need by unlocking new pathways to economic mobility. This novel approach to social impact investing will see thousands of people trained and employed by addressing social needs with private sector funds, based on social outcomes achieved."

- Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO, Macquarie Group

Funding outcomes

The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award funding will support the development of 20-25 Pay for Success projects, which will reach an estimated 20,000-25,000 individuals over the life of the grant. The remaining funds will be used as seed capital for a $US50 million evergreen fund, which will sustainably recycle returns and unlock additional impact investment capital, ultimately benefitting hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans.

The Ocean Cleanup

Developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic

$US13 billion

Cost to the global economy from ocean plastic pollution

1.8 trillion

Pieces of plastic currently floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Of plastic in the ocean expected to be removed by 2040 as part of this initiative

Research by The Ocean Cleanup shows that approximately 80 million kilograms of floating plastic debris and 1.8 trillion pieces of microplastic is distributed across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). This is an area that’s three times the size of France, located between California and Hawaii, and the largest accumulation of ocean garbage in the world.

The Ocean Cleanup is developing innovative tools for humanity to solve this problem. Its technology uses the ocean’s natural forces to concentrate the plastics in the GPGP before they’re removed and towed back to land for recycling.

By deploying a fleet of systems, The Ocean Cleanup aims to remove 50 per cent of the GPGP every five years. Its longer-term goal is to rid all oceans of 90 per cent of floating plastic by 2040.


"Plastic continues to destroy ecosystems and economies, and has potentially damaging effects on human health on a big scale. More than three billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein and tipping plastic into the ocean ends up in the food chain, with associated health consequences. We started The Ocean Cleanup to develop the tools for humanity to be able to solve this problem."

- Boyan Slat, CEO and Founder, The Ocean Cleanup

winner 5

winner 5

"The Ocean Cleanup is a bold idea to confront the significant challenge of restoring our ocean ecosystem. This is a unique opportunity to profoundly impact our environment, pursuing an ambitious solution to remove plastic waste from our oceans with significant benefits for wildlife, the food chain and community health."

- Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation

Funding outcomes

The Award funding will support the completion of the critical development phase of the technology. Once the design is proven, The Ocean Cleanup can begin its scale-up to a full fleet of systems to be deployed across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Our finalists and semi-finalists

Congratulations to our finalists and semi-finalists, who are creating better outcomes for communities around the world.

Meet the finalists
Meet the semifinalists