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Tanya named Outstanding Leader at awards

Tanya Impact award
Tanya O'Shea has been honoured with a prestigious Outstanding Leader Award for her visionary leadership at a national event.

IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea has won the Australian Scholarships Foundation's Outstanding Leader Award.

The Bundaberg woman's work was highlighted at this week's inaugural Not-For-Profit Leadership Awards, highlighting Mrs O’Shea’s remarkable contributions to empowering communities and driving positive change.

Under her leadership, IMPACT Community Services has become a beacon of hope, offering essential support to thousands of individuals facing disadvantage, poverty, or exclusion.

Her visionary leadership has helped inspire IMPACT’s more than 200 staff who deliver services across the Bundaberg, Wide Bay, Burnett and Discovery Coast regions.

“I am honoured to receive the Outstanding Leader Award,” Mrs O'Shea said.

“To win this category, it’s awesome.

“This recognition is a testament to the unwavering dedication of the remarkable team at IMPACT who work tirelessly to improve the lives of those in need.”

In accepting the award Mrs O’Shea reflected on the transformative growth journey that leadership has enabled, acknowledging the challenges leaders face while emphasising the ultimately rewarding nature of the role.

Tanya Impact award
Her visionary leadership has helped inspire IMPACT’s more than 200 staff who deliver services across the Bundaberg, Wide Bay, Burnett and Discovery Coast regions.

She also mentioned that when the opportunity to apply for the award arose, her focus was more on crucial funding opportunities than personal recognition, as financial viability was paramount in the non-profit sector.

She said, however, going through the nomination process for this award was a reminder of the importance of pausing and reflecting on her own leadership.

The win underscores the importance of fostering an inclusive workplace culture and prioritising self-care, knowledge sharing, and staff development.

Mrs O’Shea has also established WellCalm Leaders, a mentoring practice dedicated to empowering leaders to unlock their full potential while maintaining self-leadership within their personal and professional life.

She said the challenges facing the not-for-profit sector, which represents 11% of the Australian workforce and equates to more than 1.47 million people, were more complex than she had ever seen in her 24 years working in this space.

“Prioritising self-care is more important than ever for today’s leaders,” Mrs O’Shea said.

The other finalists in the Outstanding Leader category (greater than $3 million revenue) were from national organisations, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Social Ventures Australia.

The Not-For-Profit Leadership Awards, provided by the Australian Scholarships Foundation, serve as a platform to honour exceptional leaders who strive to create a better future for communities across Australia.

The winners undergo a rigorous evaluation process based on their contributions to the sector, as assessed by their peers.

Earlier this month Mrs O’Shea launched IMPACT’s new Stronger Together podcast which investigates the everyday challenges people currently face, providing insightful tips and techniques on how to retain/regain control which you can listen to here.

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