MS Research Australia has been recognised as Charity of the Year in The Australian Charity Awards 2015.
The Australian Charity Awards were introduced in recognition of the dedication and achievements of nonprofit organisations, charitable funds and charitable institutions. As a partner program of The Australian Business Awards, the Awards highlight charitable organisations with outstanding results through initiatives that have significantly benefited charitable causes. Previous winners have been JDRF and The Fred Hollows Foundation.
In 2004, MS Research Australia was established to change the way MS research is funded in Australia. There are 2.5 million people worldwide and 23,000 within Australia affected by the disease. In just ten years, MS Research Australia has greatly increased the total funding and the number of research programs focusing on multiple sclerosis throughout Australia. Since 2004 the organisation has contributed over $24 million to fund the best MS research in Australia, and now, also internationally via the International Progressive MS Alliance.
In 2006 there were only a couple of therapies available to treat the disease. Now, thanks to the work of the international and Australian MS research community, there are 11 treatments available for MS. MS Research Australia is one of only 12 not-for-profit medical research organisations in Australia that award prestigious category 1 competitive grant funding. The charity is the largest national MS organisation in Australia dedicated to funding and coordinating MS research.
MS Research Australia’s Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign raised over $800,000 for MS research in 2014 and created widespread awareness and empowerment about the disease.
‘It is a great honour to be awarded Charity of the Year. This award is a culmination of over ten years of very hard work by many people. The support of people with MS, donors, state based MS societies, allied organisations and corporates has been critical to this success’ said Dr Matthew Miles, Chief Executive Officer of MS Research Australia.
Ms Tara Johnston, Program Director of the Australian Charity Awards says, ‘The initiatives of charitable organisations are dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals, inciting social change and creating a positive impact on the broader community. We are proud to honour MS Research Australia for its achievements.’
Megan Healey is a mother of three children and was diagnosed with MS 17 years ago. She says ‘As someone who is living with MS, it gives me hope to see the ground breaking achievements of MS Research Australia. It is imperative that we continue to work towards a cure for this disease not only for the individuals living with MS, but also for their family members and the community. National awards such as this are wonderful for the recognition of the hard work and also to increase awareness about MS.’
The 2015 Australian Charity Awards program received a significant number of nominations, with five organisations shortlisted and recognised for Outstanding Achievement and MS Research Australia announced as the overall winner for The Australian Charity of the Year. For more information on The Australian Charity Awards go to www.charityawards.com.au