The Fred Hollows Foundation’s CEO Mr Ian Wishart has been awarded the 2019 Chancellor’s Alumni Award from the University of Canberra in recognition of his contributions to the international humanitarian sector.
The award, which recognises a former student’s outstanding achievements, was presented to Wishart at a gala dinner on 26 October 2019.
“I’m incredibly honoured and humbled to have been recognised alongside the likes of leading public sector professionals, health experts and politicians,” Mr Wishart said.
“International humanitarian workers often go unrecognised as their work is overseas and out of sight. This is a huge encouragement to me as it is not just recognition for me but for all the colleagues in my sector.”
Wishart has a long career in the humanitarian sector that includes working across all levels of international development, with his roles ranging from grassroots response to global senior leader.
His career started with World Vision Australia as a graduate international emergency response officer. Prior to joining the Fred Hollows Foundation in 2018 he was CEO of children’s rights and gender equality agency Plan International Australia.
Wishart’s experience growing up in pre-independence Papua New Guinea inspired him to support people who are impacted by poverty, disaster and disease.
“Working in a sector that sees the absolute best and worst of humanity has opened my eyes to the need for more people to follow in Fred’s footsteps,” Wishart said.
“Compassion strengthens humanity and the moral bonds that tie us together. I’m proud to work for an organisation that’s compassionate and contributes to international fraternity.
“And of course, I’m extremely grateful for the generosity of thousands of everyday Australians giving to the Foundation’s work. Without them, I would never have been able to do what I’ve done.”
Since 2011, the University of Canberra Chancellor’s Alumni Award has been presented on a biennial basis. Previous winners include Mental Health First Aid Program co-founder Ms Betty Kitchener and Maldivian political leader Mr Ibrahim Ismail.