Glenn Keys wins Community Leader of the Year for his work developing a ground-breaking new housing model for people with intellectual disabilities.
Glenn Keys is the co-founder and co-executive chair of Aspen Medical, one of the world’s leading providers of outsourced healthcare solutions and the only company in the world to be contracted by three separate governments (Australia, the UK and the US) to deliver their Ebola response in two separate countries.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been at the heart of Aspen Medical’s culture since the company was founded. A percentage of the company’s profits are allocated to the Aspen Foundation, which was established in 2009 to reduce and hopefully eradicate diseases such as trachoma and rheumatic heart disease in remote Indigenous communities in Australia.
Keys is the founder and chair of Project Independence, a social housing initiative that aims to help people with intellectual disabilities to live independently and acquire equity in a home. This group has the lowest home ownership of any population sector in the country.
Glenn Toms, chief executive office assistance, RACQ
Des Kerr, membership services manager, Surf Life Saving Qld
Tracey Green, general manager people and corporate services, Royal Doctor Flying Service (QLD section)
Don Bletchly, senior executive, Department of Transport and Main Roads
THE JUDGES SAY…
“The winner has shown outstanding work in the disability sector, taking a vision and translating it into reality with the provision of a quality social housing development for people with an intellectual disability. This is a ground-breaking new model for the future, delivered against a backdrop of adversity and through harnessing the energy and support of others to make a real difference.”
“When we moved house I asked my son Ehren [who has Down syndrome] to help me unpack a box. But he said he was too busy because he was designing the house that he wanted to live in when he left home. It was like a slap in the face. I thought, all my other kids want to own their own home, it’s the great Australian dream, so why wouldn’t a person with an intellectual disability want to own their own home, too?
“Four years’ worth of modelling with Ernst & Young showed that homes could be bought out of the disability pension. We now have 20 units in Canberra and have got another block on the go and a dozen sites around Australia that want us to build for them as well, as well as two sites out of America.
“I’m a very strong believer that while government does a lot for us, we as citizens have a responsibility to give back. While taxes are an ‘easy out’ I think we have responsibility as citizens to give back. You don’t have to be leading [a charity] or setting one up, you can be giving time and support to those who do. If we work together we will end up with a far better, more human society than we have today.”
“If we work together we will end up with a far better, more human society than we have today.”